1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by DaBassman, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. DaBassman


    Mar 25, 2002
    Oneonta, NY
    Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns
    by Nicolas Slonimsky

    Has anyone used this book? How does it compare with other books of the same type?
  2. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    Coltrane did, allegedly
  3. I wanted the book when it was $25, then I quickly bought it when the price hit $60. Didn't want to be left out. I've never really used it. Now I am much more familiar with Yuseef Lateef's book Repository of Scales and Melodic Patterns. There's a bass clef book out now, too. That book is a dream.

  4. I have it in a cupboard. It's premise is 101 ways to split an octave or two octave or any equal division. It is not melodic patterns in the sense of phrases, quotes or licks. The Lateef book is though.

    Opening Slonimsky at random is a page of patterns headed Infra-Ultrapolation. If you want to practise all the combinations of notes methodically this might be a way to do it. You can gather that it's got nothing to do with rythmn either. This doesn't stop the patterns being played rythmically but they are written as pages of 16ths.

    I hope this gives you a picture of what the book is. It would be a fearsome technical challenge on the bass. I've never tried it and have no plans to.
  5. I play out of it and I like it. It's not really set up as, if there is this chord use this scale which I suppose a lot of the "method books" are. They are more set up as here is a sound and if you like it then there ya go. A teacher I work with that is actually a trumpet player told me to go through chapter by chapter through the whole book and just circle the things that sounded good to me. Then you can go back and work the sound out and find where it works. I use Yusef's book too and I really like it. There is really great stuff in both and both are worth checking out.
  6. I didn't see anything on this, but does it have bass celf?

    Sorry, I just was reading through the reviews on Amazon, it has bass celf.
  7. DaBassman


    Mar 25, 2002
    Oneonta, NY
    Yeah! The reason I posted this question was that in the new Bass Player Mag the article about Jaco said this was a book he used.:cool:
  8. jmpiwonka


    Jun 11, 2002
    and coltrane supposedly used it, and zappa.....
    my previous bass teacher did and he showed me all kinds of patterns to practice up and back down the fingerboard.....i bet some of them came out of the slonimsky book.
  9. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    There is a paperback and a hardcover version, I don't know which are in print, they seem to come and go every few years.

    I think it is a lot of fun to look at the book, Slonimsky was obviously a brainiac ( He wrote another book about Music History that I hear is a good read)

    Basically, what he does is write out every possible combination of tones, all in C. If you want to play more outside jazz or get your new music reading chops up, it is a great value. You can tell after looking at it for a long time that Coltrane did use it, and it will make you a badd-ass to go through it.

    I think my favorite part is the Schoenberg quote on the back, you can see it at the Amazon link. Nah, it is the section called spirals. Just wicked stuff to blow your mind.
  10. jmpiwonka


    Jun 11, 2002
    my teacher had a big hard back or library edition that has been out of print for a long long time.
    he had lots of books that were different, i got the ray brown book for some new stuff to go through and he pulls his copy out off of his shelf....it was a completely different cover :)
  11. tzadik


    Jan 6, 2005
    Perhaps it's good reading practice. A friend of mine, monster guitarist, practiced out of it all the time. Me, I'd rather play simple melodic morsels that sound musical and genuine.

    Life's too short. I have determined that I don't have the patience to go through a giant tome of doom. Those of you who do use it, may I ask how much time per day/week whatever you spend with it?
  12. fcleff


    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    The edition that I have has a front and back cover 'fold-out' that give harmonization suggestions. The harmonies provided are all dom 7ths. If you are a composer, you can get some really wicked stuff from this book. I play out of it some, but not a whole lot. Mostly, it is a reference book. I think it is worthy of any musicians library.
  13. TGP


    Mar 27, 2005
    As much as I like the Slonimsky book, Jerry Bergonzi's "Thesaurus of Intervallic Melodies" gives a more useful method of approaching these cyclic patterns for improvisation and composition. Not to mention getting your fingers to play new things you normally wouldn't.
  14. +1 I don't see where it would lead me - where has it lead you guys?
  15. fcleff


    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I tend to be a very tonal composer. When I feel the need to express something that doesn't necessarily fit that glove, I have found some nice ideas in that book. Like I said, for me it is really just a reference book; a way to open doors to new ideas.

    I am considering reading from it, though. Sometimes I like to read things that seem a little more unpredictable.
  16. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Like the original poster, I recently saw that Jaco used it. In the same article, they also mentioned that, IIRC Eddie Harris and Joe Dioro also used it in addition to Jaco and Coltrane.

    EDIT: Oh, and yeah, this thread has me REALLY interested in this book. Yar!
  17. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN


    And practice singing the Bergonzi stuff...that'll open up anyone's ears.
  18. DaBassman


    Mar 25, 2002
    Oneonta, NY
    Well, I started this thread so, here goes: I ordered it and it arrived today! (paperback from amazon @$20) YIKES! It is pretty intense. Just arrived at my office so I haven't had time to really look thru it, it sure isn't "light reading"!!!
    Glad I got, looks like a great reference addition.
    Thanks for all you input folks!
  19. fcleff


    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I think you'll like it if not for any other reason than to be able to say, "Disjunct Lydian Polytetrachord" or "Infra-Inter-Ultrapolation." You'll be a hit at the parties! :hide:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.