Today while praticing guitar I've played the following notes on the fretboard, one after another:

E F G G# A B C D# E

It didn't sound wrong, in fact, it sounded like Harmonic Minor with something else. Nevertheless I could not find anything about what this pattern could be.

Anyway, is there any kind of scale that contains eight different notes? If the answer is yes, what is the purpose of these "aditional" notes?

  • And let us not forget the 12-note chromatic scale. Used extensively in a functional way by 'modern classical' music, more as decoration in popular music. Feb 11 '17 at 16:20

The scale you mentioned appears to be a double harmonic with a flat 3rd added. This flat 3rd, in combination with the flat 2nd of the double harmonic, can give it a kind of phrygian mode feel, but then there's the leading tone too, so it's not completely phrygian mode.

Ely was right in that octatonic scales contain 8 notes. However, not all octatonic scales are structured the same way. The specific one described in that answer can be called a diminished scale, since it includes the eight notes of two adjacent fully diminished seventh chords. This scale is also neat in that it is a symmetric scale, which allows the "center" to be transposed, or shifted around, while still keeping the intervals in the same order.

Another example of an octatonic scale would be the bebop scale, which is basically the dominant scale (minor 7th) plus a major 7th. This is interesting, since it has the capability to have a dominant feel as well as a leading tone.

Some wikipedia links if you want to read more about this stuff:

(I can't post more than two links, but also check out the page titled "Modes of limited transposition" for some awesomeness about symmetric scales.)


The octatonic scale contains 8 different notes. It follows an alternating whole/half step pattern. So: C, Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Abb, Bbb, Cbb C I think.

  • D# and Eb are the same.Did you mean C, D, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, A, B. With only 7 letter names, and 8 notes,2 will have to share the same letter. This is the whole/half diminished scale.With simplified note names !
    – Tim
    Aug 23 '14 at 4:36
  • There we go, sorry. Aug 23 '14 at 4:38

Typical 8 note scales are the bebop scale which has the #7, and the diminished scale.

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