• This particular Middle Eastern Idiom is based on a major scale (D, Eb, F#, G, A, Bb, C#, D)
  • Based on a major scale with the 2nd (E-Eb) and 6th (B-Bb) degrees lowered a ½ step
  • Triads: I Major, II Major, iii minor, iv minor, V7 b5th, VI Major, vii min- 3rd double flatted and minor 5th
  • Highlights: Minor 2nd, leap between 6th and 7th degree and I and II chords are both Major
  • I and II chords create the tensions and “pull” between the harmonies


  • Begin by playing the scale on 1 string only while singing
  • Play the scale (1 octave) starting with 1st finger on D (5th string/5th fret), 2nd finger on Eb (5th string/6th fret), stretching the 4th finger to F# (5th string/9th fret), 1st finger on G (4th (string/5th fret), 3rd finger on A (4th string/7th fret), 4th finger on Bb (4th string/8th fret), 2nd finger on C# (3rd string/6th fret), and 3rd finger on D (3rd string/7th fret)
  • Over emphasized vibrato while playing the scale on each note is recommended. So dig in! (using vibrato is an important characteristic of the guitar, and can bring the notes and melodies to life!)


  • Utilizing the I and II chords (both Major) beginning with the open string D major chord, and sliding (same finger position) up 1 fret making an Eb Major chord
  • Utilizing the I and II chords (D and Eb) using 5th string root bar chords, or 6th string Root Bar chords
  • Tuning the low E string down to D to be used as a pedal
  • The first 3 strings beginning with low E (tuned downed to D) are now D, A, and D can be used as a drone
  • Utilizing the 3 low strings as pedals while playing a melody on the G string (#rd string) beginning on the 7th fret (D) (locate the entire scale on the G string beginning on D)
  • Using octaves: Finding D on the 5th fret of the 5th string (A string) with 1st  finger, and locating the octave on the 7th fret of the 3rd string (G string) using the 3rd finger


  • Experimenting with different strumming patterns while singing within the scale
  • Experimenting with arpeggios within the chords while singing within the scale
  • Experimenting with “choppy,” detached playing and continuous strumming that creates a “wall of sound”
  • Experimenting with 2 string chord “clashes” (dissonance)
  • Muffling the bass notes of the chord with the right hand while playing
  • Experimenting with down up picking, tremolo picking

This excerpt is taken from the “Orchestrating Affective Relationships” (OAR) Training Module: Music Therapy and Neurodevelopmental Disorders of Relating & Communicating. Copyright © 2009 John Carpente. All rights reserved 


About drjohnmtbc

John A. Carpente, PhD, MT-BC, LCAT, NRMT, Assistant Professor in Music and Music Therapy at Molloy College, is the Founder and Executive Dir

4 responses »

  1. Brian says:

    I love this! Extremely helpful. Thanks, John!

  2. Nancy Lonich says:

    Thank you for this! I’m not a guitar player but I’ll give it a try…..really looking forward to the piano resources.

  3. Dirk Cushenbery says:

    Nice Hijaz Kar! 🙂

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