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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've been playing for around a year right now and over this time i have realised how important key signatures are, i have already learnt the concept of chord changes and inversions, but what used to get me was how to improvise say if the key was in G major/E minor

then i started to realise the possibilitys from this key, so i've set myself a project, which (like the title) is pretty much arming myself for improvisation

For all Major keys i will learn these scales

Major
Major pentatonic
Lydian
Bebop scale
Harmonic Major
Lydian augmented
Augmented
6th mode of Harmonic minor
Diminished
Blues scale

And for all Minor keys

Minor(dorian)
Minor Pentatonic
Bebop Scale
Melodonic minor
Bebop Minor
Harmonic Minor
Diminished
Phrygian
Natural minor/Aeolian

I plan to spend a Day on each key to ensure i really do learn this stuff, if there are any scales can u tell me the Formula of them

thanks alot
 

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Adderleysfasthands said:
Augmented
Augmented is a chord not a scale. Possibly you mean whole tone as you missed that from your list
Adderleysfasthands said:
6th mode of Harmonic minor
Why this ?

That's a lot to concentrate on, I would recommend you learn fewer scales but learn them more thoroughly, and in more keys per day.

Also leave time for work on tone, repertoire, transcribing, listening and improvisation (if you want to learn impro)
 

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The augmented scale has the half step/minor third or minor third/half step structure; there are only four possible augmented scales. There is also a whole tone scale that is built on whole steps, and there are only two of these.

All the other scales you list can be reduced to:
Major
Melodic Minor
Harmonic Minor
Harmonic Major (i.e. C D E F G Ab B C)
The modes of these four scales allow the construction of all the other scales you list. For example, the C major scale contains the D dorian, E phrygian, F lydian, G mixolydian, A aeolean, and B locrian modes (scales). The bebop scales are built by adding a chromatic tone to these heptatonic (seven tone) scales.

There is also the:
Blues Scale
Pentatonic scales (C major pentatonic is the same as the A minor pentatonic)

There are several great books available about scale theory. One I like is the Jazz Theory book by Mark Levine. Another is the Lydian Chromatic Concept by George Russell (expensive, but worth it).

I don't really think about key signatures, because most songs modulate into several keys; if you stick with the key signature to construct your solos, you might hit some harmonically dissonant notes, which can sound great too. For example, if the key signature is G (one sharp) and it modulates to an Eb (three flats), the G major scale won't work very well over the Eb major chord.

Also, the idea of G major and E minor being equivalent is great for classical music, but in jazz the A minor (dorian mode) of the G major scale is more appropriate.

Good luck,
Heath

Adderleysfasthands said:
i've been playing for around a year right now and over this time i have realised how important key signatures are, i have already learnt the concept of chord changes and inversions, but what used to get me was how to improvise say if the key was in G major/E minor

then i started to realise the possibilitys from this key, so i've set myself a project, which (like the title) is pretty much arming myself for improvisation

For all Major keys i will learn these scales

Major
Major pentatonic
Lydian
Bebop scale
Harmonic Major
Lydian augmented
Augmented
6th mode of Harmonic minor
Diminished
Blues scale

And for all Minor keys

Minor(dorian)
Minor Pentatonic
Bebop Scale
Melodonic minor
Bebop Minor
Harmonic Minor
Diminished
Phrygian
Natural minor/Aeolian

I plan to spend a Day on each key to ensure i really do learn this stuff, if there are any scales can u tell me the Formula of them

thanks alot
 

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Adderleys

Whew ... that's a lot of scales to learn. Agreed, to become an advanced improviser you would probably need to know them all (and don't forget the whole tone!). But I would heed PT's advice if I was you - learn scales, but learn tunes, licks, patterns, tricks, articulation and improve your tone as well. Take your time - don't try to move the earth all at once -enjoy it!

PS Learn those tunes - that's the most important part - use the melody.
 

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Adderleysfasthands said:
I plan to spend a Day on each key to ensure i really do learn this stuff
A whole day, WOW! I wish I could internalize new concepts that fast.

Seriously though, if you spent one day on a scale and then move on, you're not going to really learn anything. Or at least not to the point to where you can use them effectively in improvisation. Studies show that it takes a minimum of 3 weeks for the brain to fully assimilate new concepts. You may be able to learn a new scale a day, but you're not going to internalize it.

If somebody asked me to spell an Altered (diminished-whole tone) scale in any given key, I could do it no problem. But if I was improvising, I would probably struggle to instantly recall that scale for certain chords (keys) simply because I haven't spent the necessary time in order to play that scale without thinking about what notes are in it.

Start with the major scale and get that REALLY comfortable in all 12 keys. Comfortable to the point where you don't have to think about the notes. Only when you have that down, move on to the modes of the major scale. The most common are Dorian, Mixolydian, and Aeolian (natural minor). If you got your majors down, it makes learning the modes a lot easier.

Once you got those move to the melodic and harmonic minor scales and once those are mastered, move on to the modes of those scales.

Then add the diminished and whole tone scales.

You should be able to play all scales in broken 3rds, 4ths, triads, and 7th chords. Add to that different digital paterns(1235, 2346, etc.) Until you can do that, you haven't truly internalized the scale. Rarely in improvisation is a scale played straight in a scalar fashion for more than a few beats.

Oh, and do them all full range of the horn. EX: C up to High F down to Low B and back up to C.

Don't saturate yourself too quickly. If you do, all you'll do is skim the surface and you won't REALLY learn what you're trying to. Take small steps. Get a solid foundation and build on that. It's better to know one scale thoroughly than to learn 20 half assed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i mean i would spend a each day of learning scales in each key, and keep on going in that cycle, i split my practice up

5 mins of long tones (i know it should be longer)
10 minutes of warming up
30 mins of different song playing
20 minutes of chord changes,
40 minutes of learning scales in a single key

agreed whole tone scales are very important
 

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Don't try to do too much in one practice session. Spend moer tiem on long tones and then spend the rest on one or two things, your time will be better spent.
 

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Adderleysfasthands said:
mean i would spend a each day of learning scales in each key, and keep on going in that cycle, i split my practice up

5 mins of long tones (i know it should be longer)
10 minutes of warming up
30 mins of different song playing
20 minutes of chord changes,
40 minutes of learning scales in a single key
You'd be better off spending a few minutes in each key and doing that everyday instead of spending a lot of time on one key and moving on to a different one the next day.

It's better to practice all keys 5 minutes each for 12 days than doing one key for 60 minutes and moving on to a different key the next day.

After 12 days both methods would have spent a total of an hour on each key. But the person who does it the first way is going to be better. That's just the way the body learns. It needs constant daily repetition to internalize the new skill. If you practice only one key a day, when you come back to it 12 days later, your body is going to forget a lot of what you learned the first time.
 

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The only scales you really need are major, minor, blues, symmetric diminished, and whole tone.
 

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jazzbluescat said:
The only scales you really need are major, minor, blues, symmetric diminished, and whole tone.
Union scale is pretty good.:D
 

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jazzbluescat said:
The only scales you really need are major, minor, blues, symmetric diminished, and whole tone.
I had a teacher, Dr. James Polk, who played bass with Lionel Hampton and organ/2nd piano/arranger for Ray Charles. He jokingly said: "There ain't but 2 scales you need to know. C and C#. Everything else is just variations." :D
 
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