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If you thought "Scales" was good!!!

Chris

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No tin hat just a suit of Armour this time. :))):)))

The next question, is why learn minor scales( nat, mel,har)??? :w00t::w00t:

Before you say the guys gone nuts think on this.. :confused:If you have learned to play in a Key center, Cmaj as an example. Then you already know all the notes from A min. If you understand the next point it will all become a little clearer..:confused: The chords you are playing over colour the lines you are playing!! eg Bm7b5,E7(alt),Am7.. a 251 in a min key. All your lines that you play over those chords if they contain just the notes from the Key of Cmaj, will always sound minor. If you take the progression Dm7,G7,Cmaj7, if you only use notes form the Key of Cmaj it will sound Maj. Once again the chords colour the lines you play.

C maj is all the white notes on a piano. Then you have the 5 black keys. Why not just learn how to play using the key center and then learn how to play using the " Outside " notes.
Take them one at a time and use them on each chord of the 251, start your line on different beats, play across the bar line. As your ear develops then you will know what sounds you want to play. Then do this in all 12 Keys.

Next and this is another question, when you learn scales on the sax do you learn them from root to root?? No, its not a trick question, just an observation. If you do then is you play for eg, A maj from root to root, you won't play the bottom notes of your instrument. If you do play from the bottom note of the instrument then sorry but you are not playing the scale of Amaj. You will be playing in the key centre but not the scale nor one of the modes( I don't like that word) If you play the full range of the sax.If this is the case then how can you get the sound of the scale in your ear? :confused::confused:

So by the time you have all 12 keys and the outside notes plus chord tones in your ear and fingers.Why oh why do you need anything else to make music.:) See no minor scales involved.

Before you all jump in take a step back and think about the theory of what I have posted, hopefully it will help make music easier
 

old git

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Most amused by the Clark jazz programme on BBC Radio 4 today and available on iPlayer. Was about Zoot Simms, who is still fondly remembered playing "Willow weep for me" on a JATP tour. He was swinging so hard, the rest of the tour could have gone home and would not have been missed. They quoted a concert where the juice had flowed a little too liberally and he started in what some claimed to be the wrong key. Any decent rhythm section would have changed but they had imbibed too, so refused. Zoot, as the frontman also refused. They completed that number in different keys. >:)

Well, if different keys are good enough for Zoot, I aint gonna quarrel with him.:welldone
 

BigMartin

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I really don't want to get in too deep this time, so I'll just say:

It's not only a matter of which notes are "in" or "out", it's whch one to play when, and what will they sound like. A C in an A natural minor context will not have the same effect as a C in a C major context.

Oh, and one other (but related) thing >:). I tend to practice scales over the full (non-altissimo 'cause i can't do that yet) range of the instrument but starting form the root and turning round at the appropriate places. I also like to supplement that by playing diatonic seventh chords, noodling around on the tonality in question using a varying number of diatonic and/or chromatic passing tones, etc. Really trying to get the sound of A major or Bb mixolydian or whatever into my thick head.
 
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TomMapfumo

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C'mon Nick Double U, take the boy outside and give 'im a slap! (or a Vodka soaked smack on the lips)......:w00t:>:):w00t:>:);}

So what is this all about, young Chris, you can tell your Uncle Tom :confused2::lb:

I must admit your approach sounds far too complicated - much easier just to learn different ways of playing these notes, including modes and what not so that they are just committed to (muscle) memory and you can just get on with playing "what comes naturally" (or what has been absorbed into your muscle memory and is available for instant subconscious recall.

....over to you, Nick.............>:)
 

bariandyf

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Hi - your question "why learn minor scales", and subsequent reasoning, to me, proposes the overlooking, or omission of one of the most common occurring and most powerful of the minor scales - the Harmonic Minor scale.
You can take any 251, major or minor, and use the Harmonic Minor scale of the 1 chord. My friend pointed it out to me, and when I started transcribing, and looking at the notes used over 251's, it's everywhere, and the sound of it is instantly recognisable when your ear tunes in to it.
For example, the use of it in a tune :-
If you take Charlie Parker's Donna Lee, the 3rd to last bar, for alto, the chords are A7/D7 and the next bar starts on a Gm chord.
The tune notes are (descending) :-
C Bb A G over the 2 beats of A7, then F# Eb D C over the 2 beats of D7, ending on a Bb on the first beat of the Gm chord in the next bar. These notes are the scale of the G minor Harmonic. Their relevance to the chords underneath them is :-
C Bb A G over the 2 beats of A7 - C is the minor 3rd of A, Bb is the b9, A is the root, and G is the b7.
F# Eb D C over the 2 beats of D7 - F# is the 3rd of D, Eb is the b9, D is the root, C is the b7, taking the line to a chord tone of the Gm chord, Bb, in the next bar.
It's a beautifully simple line, but I think in that two bars you have such a commonly used phrase, feel or sound, whatever one wants to call it, and a scale that can be used to such a powerful effect, to just play major scales and forget minor scales misses out a big chunk of the jazz vocabulary.
 

Nick Wyver

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to just play major scales and forget minor scales misses out a big chunk of any musical vocabulary.
That (with a slight alteration).

What have people got against scales and arps? Easy to learn. The more you learn the easier new ones get. Once you've learned them they require virtually no thought to practise them. Great way of building technique.

Just good old laziness?

<edit> I see the "Scales" thread has kicked off. I think I'll just shut up on this topic. Do what you like.
 
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Chris

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I think you missed a point Nick no is against arps!! But scales yes, as it is easier to think of them as a key? You still end up with 12 keys Nick. The example from Bariandyf's post, is just the Key of Bb with an added F#. So all I was asking is which is easier thinking G harmonic minor or Bb Maj with an F#. You can learn a new scale if you want or learn how to use the F#. You already know the notes for Bb so why do you need another scale.btw if you did think harmonic minor you would probably not play the Fnat? the flat 3rd of D7???

You are still going to commit Keys to muscle memory, if you already now all your scales from a traditional stand point all well and good. But this is just another way of looking at it.
It's not an argument just another way of looking at improv. The traditional way will always work. These are just thoughts of 1, a beginner to the sax 2, a relative newcomer to jazz.
 

jazzdoh

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Hi - your question "why learn minor scales", and subsequent reasoning, to me, proposes the overlooking, or omission of one of the most common occurring and most powerful of the minor scales - the Harmonic Minor scale.
You can take any 251, major or minor, and use the Harmonic Minor scale of the 1 chord.
Yes i learned this from a jazz teacher some years ago and still use it,gets you out of trouble if your brain stops working during a improv.
Also Chris the 251 minor altered chord your example on Amin would normally be B half diminished E7+9 diminished whole tone and Amin
The E7 +9 contains a Ab and Bb to be aware of so its not just a matter playing Amin and thinking of Cmaj
 

bariandyf

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...btw if you did think harmonic minor you would probably not play the Fnat? the flat 3rd of D7???
er.. no coz what I said was to use the harmonic minor of the 1 chord, in the example I quoted that's G min harmonic, over the 2 and 5 chords (and the 1 as well), and therefore not the harmonic minor of each of the 2 5 chords, so resulting in F sharp rather than F nat.
At the end of the day, what's important is how the line sounds against chords underneath, and that a pleasing (to the listener) blend of tension and release are built into the solo, so that you make a statement, develop a theme, tell a story. It doesn't really matter that much (and this is a massively sweeping statement I know) whether it's called this chord or that scale.
I read somewhere once that Charlie Parker just thought there was one scale, with 12 chromatic steps, and that at any one time he'd just be using different elements of it.
 

Chris

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Hi Brian, I thought E7(alt) was kind of ambiguous, or that's what I had written anyway. Thinking E G# B D. With and altered tone. As you can see the only note not diatonic to C is G#. As you pointed out out the correct chord should be E7#5#9. Think " BlueBossa" but in a different key for example. To ask a question though, even if you played in C, with #5 which would be B# enharmonic C , and F# raised to G there wouldn't be a clash would there just a thought. Stuck for time now will continue later..


Andy you are quite right you will not play the Fnat just like I said. I was just pointing out and asking why you wouldn't want to play the 2nd note of the D Blues scale over D7. This whole idea of reducing the number of scales you have to learn is just to make things easier. It's not about right and wrong.

If a certain way of thinking makes the joy of jazz improv easier then surely it can't be wrong!!! I do understand that if you have been using traditional thinking for any length of time this all might sound somewhat strange.
 
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jazzdoh

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Hi Brian, I thought E7(alt) was kind of ambiguous, or that's what I had written anyway. Thinking E G# B D. With and altered tone. As you can see the only note not diatonic to C is G#. As you pointed out out the correct chord should be E7#5#9. Think " BlueBossa" but in a different key for example. To ask a question though, even if you played in C, with #5 which would be B# enharmonic C , and F# raised to G there wouldn't be a clash would there just a thought. Stuck for time now will continue later..
Chris you are right the altered chord is ambiguous,it depends on the school of thought used by the rhythm section,but its not that important as the diminished whole tone's first 4 notes are what give the tension so on E7+9 or E7#5#9 you would only have to put in the G#,after all you will only be playing the chord for normally one bar at a time.

Brian
 

TomMapfumo

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If I was a Beginner I would want this thread moved to the "Breakfast Room" as it does not feel that enlightening apart from the contribution from NickW............................;}

Come on, Kev, work your magic!
 

Jeanette

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If I was a Beginner I would want this thread moved to the "Breakfast Room" as it does not feel that enlightening apart from the contribution from NickW............................;}
Couldn't agree more, as a beginner it's all another language and quite frightening:shocked::)))

There's enough to think about as it is;}

Jx
 

kevgermany

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If I was a Beginner I would want this thread moved to the "Breakfast Room" as it does not feel that enlightening apart from the contribution from NickW............................;}

Come on, Kev, work your magic!
It started in the right place, but has drifted. But it's not a breakfast room topic. Teaching/learning or maybe playing may suit better.
 

TomMapfumo

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I somehow knew you would make the right call - that was my reflection as it is probably more about playing than teaching/learning.

Have a good day
Tom
 

Pete C

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just one observation - if you think major scales are sufficient, what are you going to play over a minor chord with a major 7th ie a tonic minor? There is a whole other world out there called minor harmony!

Pete
 

Tenor Viol

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If I was a Beginner I would want this thread moved to the "Breakfast Room" as it does not feel that enlightening apart from the contribution from NickW............................;}

Come on, Kev, work your magic!
I'm with you on this one!
 

Saxade

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That (with a slight alteration).

What have people got against scales and arps? Easy to learn. The more you learn the easier new ones get. Once you've learned them they require virtually no thought to practise them. Great way of building technique.

Just good old laziness?
Yes Nick ... You are correct in my early years took all the shortcuts ...had a great time... but my musical Skills were Not enhanced...
Now in my senior years... I see the value... No longer fear anything in more than 3 sharps or flats... :shocked:
 
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