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Scale exercises for jazz?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by muthagoose, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. muthagoose


    Jan 18, 2004
    Right now I'm trying to get a firmer grasp on the different scales since I'm trying to get into the whole jazz deal :cool:.

    Before I had to quit taking lessons from him, my teacher showed me a few different patterns/ways to play thru the major scales in all keys. I'm guessing this was to get to know the scales better and to be better prepared to start improvising over chords and so on. The different patterns he showed me was 3rds ascending and descending and a pattern for minor scales, which 1 2 b3 5 (i.e A B C E, B C D F, C D E G and so on.)

    Right now I'm working on memorizing the arpeggios to the different chords in all 12 keys.
    What chords should I focus on?

    I've found some different patterns here: http://www.jazzbooks.com/jazzhandbook/10_practice_procedures.pdf
    Are there any other good exercises like these really to get the different scales and chord tones and other important info into your mind and muscle memory?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. ii-v


    Mar 27, 2005
    SLC, UT
    Learn the following scales:

    For minor chords (ii, based off of Dorian):
    All from root Dorian, Minor, Phrygian, Locrian, Half step up from root Major, Lydian, 4th away from root Spanish Phrygian (AKA,Arabic scale, this is the fifth mode of harmonic minor therefore whole step down from root harmonic minor will work too)

    For Dominant Chords (v, based off of Mixolydian)
    From root Mixolydian, Mixolydian Bebop, Spanish Phrygian (Arabic, This is especially effective over 7b9), Harmonic Minor from the 4th of root.

    For Major chords (i):
    Lydian off the root
    Minor a half step up from root
    Major scale from root (more applicable in blues, because of the 4) Whole step up from root Mixolydian, Lydian. Fifth from root Major

    Learn the Altered Scale (7th mode of melodic minor). This is good for alt chords and other chords but I will not get into that now.

    A rule of thumb in jazz theory. Play all Major modes over 1 root Ex.
    C maj
    C dor
    C phryg
    C lyd
    C mix
    C min
    C loc

    Then note the differences from major
    C maj 0 #'s 0 b's
    C dor b3 b7
    C phryg b2 b3 b6 b7
    C lyd #4
    c mix b7
    c min b3 b6 b7
    c loc b2 b3 b5 b6 b7

    Then group (View these as columns left to right, because the spacing I put in for them does not work):

    vii iii vi ii v i
    b2 b2 b3 b3 b7
    b3 b3 b6 b7
    b5 b6 b7
    b6 b7

    In a nutshell if we take cmin7 for ex. which has a b3 b7 all scales from root (C) with b3 b7 will work. Stay away from major 3 and major 7.

    This is how I derived my scales over chords above. However, it is not all the choices, just a few I like. You will not be good at this at first. But practice resolving the many passing tones and voila' you will begin to play jazz. The goal to me is not to learn 1300 + scales. It is to build them on your own after learning the basics. I do not know anyone that has every scale memorized by name and would probably elect to drink poison before doing that myself. One other note, if I screwed something up let me know, I am not perfect.... yet :D

    Hope this helps,