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Scale book recommendations

Shorty

Member
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31
Hi - I'm looking for a scale book/s that will take me through all of the major/minor, pent and blues scales with exercises and extra pattern work. I'm around Grade 3 in technique and depth and so have found it frustrating when books give you a useful exercise in C and then say 'and repeat for the remaining 11 keys'. I'd rather be learning by playing than writing out an exercise for a scale at the bottom of the cycle, for example. I know that 'it won't kill you' and 'it will do your understanding of music the world of good' etc. but I'll benefit more by playing!
Thanks
 

Colin the Bear

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To be proficient you need to learn to play scales etc by ear.

Start with C, and A minor, C blues. Do the chord sequence too.

CEGB DFAC EGBD FACE GBDF ACEG BDFA
CMaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5

Once you've got the patterns under your fingers and in your ear go round the cycle of fifths and do the same. That should keep you busy for the next decade or so.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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I'd be inclined to agree with Colin - learn to play them all by memory / mind's eye rather than reading them.

Find yourself a circle of fifths and work your way around it - major scales first, then stepping anticlockwise round to mixolydian, dorian, natural minor (at which point you can divert to melodic, harmonic and jazz melodic minor). Then
Major pentatonic (1, 2, 3, 5, 6 of major scale) minor pentatonic (1, 3, 4, 5, 7 of natural minor scale) blues (= minor pentatonic plus a flattened 5), Chromatic.....that should keep you going for a while.

If you were to ever take exams, you'd need all of these from memory.
I have the most appalling memory, but somehow I've managed to embed these in my long-term memory.

I am just learning diminished and whole tone scales (mind, you, other than for my exam, I can't imagine that I am ever going to need them!)
 

ArtyLady

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..................

I am just learning diminished and whole tone scales (mind, you, other than for my exam, I can't imagine that I am ever going to need them!)

Mandy they're great for the occasional bit of playing "outside" - or you can just sideslip which I personally find quite tricky but I'm working on it!
 

fibracell

Senior Member
Messages
616
I really like the diminished scale on dominant 7th that resolves to a minor. Like G7 9b to Cm.

Also there are really cool patterns that pros play on dim scales. I keep working on them!

I don't like or use whole tone much...
 

ArtyLady

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I really like the diminished scale on dominant 7th that resolves to a minor. Like G7 9b to Cm.

Also there are really cool patterns that pros play on dim scales. I keep working on them!

I don't like or use whole tone much...

Yes I do a lot of diminished patterns also chromatic patterns that give a diminished tonality I use when I want a bit of discordance over Dominant 7th groove, I like and use whole tone patterns too. Mind you I try to keep my playing "outside" to a minimum - I personally think it gets tiresome when overdone. The other good one I've heard and have been practising over a minor groove is a minor arpeggio up, find the b5 and major arpeggio down in that key resolving back the minor key - sounds really cool :cool:
 

Pete Thomas

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Fraser Jarvis

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As well as Pete's book which is very good by the way you can get an ABRSM publication, "Scales and arpeggios for saxophone grades 1-8" costs about a fiver and most if not all music shops should have a copy.
 

davidk

Paints With Notes
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343
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Earth
Hi - I'm looking for a scale book/s that will take me through all of the major/minor, pent and blues scales with exercises and extra pattern work. I'm around Grade 3 in technique and depth and so have found it frustrating when books give you a useful exercise in C and then say 'and repeat for the remaining 11 keys'. I'd rather be learning by playing than writing out an exercise for a scale at the bottom of the cycle, for example. I know that 'it won't kill you' and 'it will do your understanding of music the world of good' etc. but I'll benefit more by playing!
Thanks
Hi Shorty

Scales for Jazz Improvision by Dan Haerle will provide all of the scales that you've asked for, and all of those required up to the advanced London College of Music diplomas. Pete's book will add practice patterns.

More suggestions can be found in Aebersold's scale syllabus:
http://www.jazzbooks.com/mm5/download/FREE-scale-syllabus.pdf

Regards

David
 

Shorty

Member
Messages
31
Thanks for all of the recommendations - I'm working through exams so am getting to grips with scales - but exercises using the scales I'm learning will really help with the improv sections of the set pieces and the aural tests. Pete's pattern book will be helpful -
 

Greg Strange

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You could also try Oliver Nelson's Patterns for Improvisation...

Greg S.
 

jbtsax

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In my experience it also helps to be able to write down the scales on staff paper from memory. Knowing them "intellectually" helps to know them "musically", and to better see relationships.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Thanks for all of the recommendations - I'm working through exams so am getting to grips with scales - but exercises using the scales I'm learning will really help with the improv sections of the set pieces and the aural tests. Pete's pattern book will be helpful -

Just as long as you realise it's knitting patterns :rofl:
 

littleplum

Member
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444
Locality
Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
I believe that you need to learn them by knowing whats involved with each scale (the formula) eg tones and semi tones patterns. This will allow you to work any scale that you need. Having said that, you also need to be able to read them, so that when a scale appears in a passage of music, you recognise what it is and that will help you play the piece better.

https://www.pianoworld.com/fun/vpc/piano_chords.htm

This sort of website will give you loads of scale formulas to work on.

If you are doing grades I find the layout of the ABRSM scale book one of the most awkward books ever written. Having to jump all over the book to find the ones you need for each grade.

I always use www.masquerade-music.co.uk go to the free resource tab, then scroll down until you find the section for saxophone scales and print off the level you need. They are extremely good resources for your grades.


An excercise I use is to pick a major scale,play it and then say play the minor scale starting on the 4th, play that then play a blues scale staring on the flattened 7th of that scale then just keep varying the type of scale and interval, a good challenge if there are two of you, see who can catch each other out.
 

Martin O

New Member
Messages
18
Scales and Arpeggios for Woodwind Instruments b Philip Sparke is laid out in grades and very good to use.
 

Little My

Practice makes better.
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401
Locality
Wiltshire, UK.
Hi Shorty

Scales for Jazz Improvision by Dan Haerle will provide all of the scales that you've asked for, and all of those required up to the advanced London College of Music diplomas. Pete's book will add practice patterns.

More suggestions can be found in Aebersold's scale syllabus:
http://www.jazzbooks.com/mm5/download/FREE-scale-syllabus.pdf

Regards

David

I find the Dan Haerle book invaluable. I think the Aebersold scale playalongs are good too, though I didn't find the layout immediately accessible. It's good to have backings that you can just play the scales against in whatever format/at whatever speed you want.

Writing the scales out helps me too.
 

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