Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I made this PDF as a practice guide for jazz scales improvisation. For all 12 keys, it has the major and minor scales, Mixolydian and Dorian modes, and the bebop, pentatonic minor, and blues scales. All the scales are purposely written in C with accidentals so the player can focus on the notes and muscle memory instead of the key signature. If it's not too much trouble, could a few people look through it and make sure I haven't made any glaring errors? I proofread a couple times, but "measure twice, cut once" and all that. It's good to have other people check it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
I'm not sure if it's just my PDF reader or something, but the flats are coming up for me...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Maybe I am incorrect, but the 6th and 7th aren't flatted in the minor scale. I know soloing over, you sometimes raise the 6 and 7, but then you shouldn't call it the minor scale. Am I incorrect?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
What you have here is an ascending melodic minor, you could also write the descending melodic (=natural minor) because I suspect you're practicing up and down, right?
You may also want to write the harmonic minor although it's not used much in jazz, I think.
I like that you have highlighted the chordal notes in another color on the first scales. It's a nice ref. chart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Yeah, what you list as "minor scales" are actually melodic minors. Since you only write out the scale ascending and not descending I'm assuming you're playing this scale the same way descending as ascending, which is the way it is usually practiced in jazz (the 'classical' way to do it is to play the "descending form", ie with a flattened 7th and 6th, on the way down.) [EDIT: cross posted with above post]

Other than that, the only other thing I can see that's wrong is some of the enharmonics. A major should have a C#, an F# and a G# instead of Db, Gb and Ab, for example (C# minor is another one I noticed).
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,788 Posts
Just a comment on what scale to play over what chord: Your bebop C scale would be played over C7 (you spelled out the C dominant bebop scale). C minor pentatonic can be played over C7, as you say, but also over Cm7.

nateberly, it's still a minor scale with the maj6 & maj7. It's the min3rd that makes it a minor scale. There are several different minor scales; what they all have in common is the min3rd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Several people have already pointed out that some sharps and flats are mixed up.

You can think like this: When notating a major or minor scale, start with all "white" notes, then add accidentals. In A major, begin with A B C D E F G. Then add sharps: A B C# D E F# G#

For Ab major, start with A B C D E F G. Then add flats: Ab Bb C Db Eb F G.

I hope this doesn't confuse you :)

(By the way, a good way to practice scales is to do it without written notation.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
nateberly, it's still a minor scale with the maj6 & maj7. It's the min3rd that makes it a minor scale. There are several different minor scales; what they all have in common is the min3rd.
Yes, I know, when I said minor, I meant natural minor. I just assumed natural minor, which I shouldn't have done :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, I did use the melodic instead of natural minor because it's used more in jazz playing.

Thanks for pointing out the enharmonics, everyone! I made all the scales in C and then just copied-pasted-transposed them, and I just worked with the accidentals it gave me without double-checking whether they were right for the scale or not... oops.

And I see where you're coming from Perry, but I figured this would be a good jumping off point/reference, at least.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,788 Posts
theguy2, I would take Perry's advice here:

You can think like this: When notating a major or minor scale, start with all "white" notes, then add accidentals. In A major, begin with A B C D E F G. Then add sharps: A B C# D E F# G#

For Ab major, start with A B C D E F G. Then add flats: Ab Bb C Db Eb F G.

(By the way, a good way to practice scales is to do it without written notation.)
When notating scales, the convention is to not repeat a letter name (except in some special cases where it can't be helped, like the diminished scale). So for example, your C# major scale should read: C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C# (no F or C nat). One way to do this of course is to use a key signature, then just spell the notes out on the staff in order.

There are some good reasons for doing this which we don't need to go into at the moment.

Having said that, and to emphasize Perry's second point, the best way to learn these scales is not to read them off the sheet music. Or you could, for a start, read the scales in C, then transpose each of them by ear to the other keys. This might seem difficult, but actually it's not so hard if you take them one at a time, starting with the major scale. Once you can play the major scale by ear/memory in all 12 keys, it is simply a matter of learning how to derive each of the other scales from the major scale (i.e. for C mel minor, take C maj scale and flat the 3rd, for C dominant, flat the 3rd & 7th, etc).

It's fine to write them all out as an exercise and actually is a very good idea if you are just learning the various keys, etc (do it properly, as noted above), but the value of doing it by ear is you will learn the sound of each scale type and imprint those scales more deeply into your mind and fingers.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top