The Romanian Minor Gypsy Scale (Linear)

The Romanian Minor Scale

Other names for this scale include the Romanian Minor Scale, The Ukrainian Doran scale, altered Dorian scale or Dorian #4.

This is one of several scales used by the Romani or Roma people. It is used in Romanian music and Jewish music.
The sound of the scale might remind you of Jewish klezmer music.

The formula is: 1 2 b3 #4 5 6 b7

The scale has 3 half steps:

2 – b3
#4 – 5
6 – b7

The has one augmented 2nd:

b3 – #4

Seeing connections with other scales, will help you memorize this new scale more easily:

The Romanian Minor Scale is a dorian scale with a raised 4th.
It is also the 4th mode of Harmonic minor.
What this means is that, when you play a harmonic minor scale starting from the 4th note, you are playing a Romanian Gypsy Scale.

The notes in G harmonic minor: G A Bb C D Eb F# G
Starting this from the 4th note, you get:
The C Romanian Gypsy Scale: C D Eb F# G A Bb C

Here’s C Romanian Gypsy mapped out on each string.


The Romanian Gypsy Chords


C Eb G = Cm
D F# A = D
Eb G Bb = Eb
F# A C = F#dim
G Bb D = Gm
A C Eb = Adim
Bb D F# = Bbaug

7th Chords

C Eb G Bb= Cm7
D F# A C = D7
Eb G Bb D = Ebmaj7
F# A C Eb = F#dim7
G Bb D F#= G-maj7
A C Eb G = Am7b5
Bb D F# A= Bb7#5

Some chord progressions

||: Cm | D | Gm | Cm :||

||: Cm | F#dim | Gm | Dm :||

||: Cm | Eb | D | Bb13 :||

Solo over any of the above chord progressions, 1 string at a time.
The better you get this down, the easier you will learn the in-position fingerings, which we’ll cover in upcoming blog next week.

Here’s how it sounds like:

Hit me up anytime at [email protected] if you would like me to send you backing tracks for any of the above chord progressions, if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.
You’re on your way to becoming a great guitar player.
Have fun! 🙂


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