Snake Charmer Riffing

Another one of Blackmore's rhythm guitar techniques is to play single note riffs using exotic sounding scales. In this example, we'll start with a Baroque-Classical sounding scale, A harmonic minor. Then, we'll alter it further by raising the fourth degree. Now we have what is called the Hungarian minor scale' or what Blackmore called his dark, Gypsy sounding scale, the "snake charmer" scale. Finally, to make it sound even more exotic, we'll use the fifth mode of this scale, the phrygian mode, which means that we'll start on the fifth note of the scale. This gives us a very dark, sinister, mysterious sound that Blackmore used to great effect in his playing.

Christopher Schlegel
Instructor Christopher Schlegel
Snake Charmer Riffing song notation