Dominant scales

Dominant scales are often played over dominant seventh chords and are variants of other scales. They are also distinguished by the including of a minor seventh degree, just as in the seventh chords.

Phrygian Dominant

The Phrygian Dominant (a.k.a. Spanish Gypsy) is a popular in jazz, rock as well as flamenco. It includes both a minor third and seventh that match the notes in minor and dominant seventh chords.

Intervals: 1, 2b, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7
Semi-notes: 1 - 3 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 2
Example of a scale, C Phrygian Dominant: C, Db, E, F, G, Ab, Bb

Phrygian and Phrygian Dominant comparison
Phrygian C Db Eb F G Ab Bb
Phrygian Dominant C Db E F G Ab Bb

Lydian Dominant

The Lydian Dominant is mostly used in jazz and has a touch of blues. It deviates from the Lydian mode by its minor seventh. The 1, 3, 5 and 7b degrees in the scale match the notes in dominant seventh chords.

Intervals: 1, 2, 3, 4#, 5, 6, 7b
Semi-notes: 2 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2
Example of a scale, C Lydian Dominant: C, D, E, F#, G, A, Bb

Lydian and Lydian Dominant comparison
Lydian C D E F# G A B
Lydian Dominant C D E F# G A Bb

Aeolian Dominant

The Aeolian Dominant (a.k.a. Hindu Scale) is mostly used in Indian music. The scale includes a minor seventh degree.

Intervals: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7
Semi-notes: 2 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 2
Example of a scale, C Aeolian Dominant: C, D, E, F, G, Ab, Bb

Aeolian and Aeolian Mixolydian comparison
Aeolian C D Eb F G Ab Bb
Aeolian Dominant C D E F G Ab Bb

Dominant Diminished

The Dominant Diminished (a.k.a. Diminished Blues) shares several notes with the Blues scale and also has a minor seventh.

Intervals: 1, b2, #2, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7
Semi-notes: 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2
Example of a scale, C Dominant Diminished: C, Db, D#, E, F#, G, A, Bb

Blues, Diminished and Dominant Diminished comparison
Blues C   Eb F F# G   Bb
Diminished C D Eb F Gb Ab A B
Dominant Diminished C Db Eb E F# G A Bb

Dominant Bebop

The Dominant Bebop Scale (a.k.a. as the Mixolydian Bebop) is one of several choices for bebop. What distinguishes they from the regular Bebop Scale is partly the minor seventh.

Example of a scale, C Dominant Bebop: C, D, E, F, G, Ab, Bb, B
Example of a scale, C Dominant Bebop Mode 3: C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, G, Ab, Bb
Example of a scale, C Dominant Bebop Mode 5: C, D, Eb, E, F, G, A, Bb

Dominant and Dominant Bebop comparison
Bebop C D E F G G# A B
Dominant Bebop C D E F G A Bb B
Dominant Bebop Mode 3 C Db Eb F Gb G Ab Bb
Dominant Bebop Mode 5 C D Eb E F G A Bb

Dominant Pentatonic

The Dominant Pentatonic is characterized by its minor seventh, which separates it from its major counterpart.

Intervals: 1, 3, 4, 5, b7
Semi-notes: 2 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 2
Example of a scale, C Dominant Pentatonic: C, D, E, G, Bb

Major, Minor and Dominant Pentatonic comparison
Major Pentatonic C D E G A
Minor Pentatonic C D Eb G Bb
Dominant Pentatonic C D E G Bb

See also: Altered scales