This exercise comes in 3 flavors, and I don't mean your standard vanilla-chocolate-strawberry, either.
I'd even venture to claim, from my own biased point of view, that it's even more yummy, and certainly less fattening.
It could even help you sweat off a few pounds in the process, plus it'll most definitely keep your cholesterol in check..
Having gotten those preliminary points out of the way, what I'm really trying to say here is............
This is a basic exercise, written out in Tenor Key, which I recently developed for several of my Skype students which I thought I'd share here (hope they don't mind). It utilizes 2 Melodic Minor scales, D & Bb Melodic Minor to be exact, alternating over a tonic minor (i) chord (D-6, D- Maj7), and an altered dominant (V7) chord (A7alt), each chord lasting a measure apiece.
This is also a simplified version of an exercise found in "The Melodic Minor Handbook" by yours truly and published by Jamey Aebersold. The exercise in the book consists a 4 bar minor ii-V7-i using 3 different Melodic Minor scales. Both exercises are "continuous scale' types, where the inherent first note of each new scale picks up where the last note of the previous one left off.
For example: measure #1, (D- = D Mel. Min. = D-E-F-G-A-B-C#-D).
measure #2, (A7alt = Bb Mel. Min = Eb-F-G-A-Bb-C-Db-Eb)
measure #3, (D- = D Mel. Min. = E-F-G-A-B-C#-D-E).
And so on. Get the drift?
I remember the first time I ever heard about Carolyn Breuer (pronounced Broy - er). I was sharing a quiet taxi ride in Munich, Germany with her father, trombonist / pianist Hermann Breuer.
As I recall, I was about to doze off in the back seat, when Hermann remarked suddenly, “Saxophone players tend to practice a lot of patterns, don’t they?”
I must have answered something like “Yeah, I guess so. Why?”
“Well my daughter, who’s 12, started playing alto and she practices a lot of patterns.”, he replied.
I mentioned to him that I had a few students at the time and that I’d be glad to give her some lessons.
That, however, never happened, as I left Germany a short time later.
She doesn't seem to have suffered in the least because of it.
Quite to the contrary.
As "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree", so the saying goes, saxophonist / composer Carolyn Breuer has gone on to become one of the most recognizable and respected Jazz Artists on the European scene.
I caught up with her recently via Alexander Graham Bell's 140 year old invention.
This somewhat Monkish, four bar line, is based on the premise of my previous post, which uses pairs of Perfect Fourths a tritone apart, as part of a Diminished Scale application.
This time, we can work it over a biii - bVI7 - ii - V7 - i progression, which is most commonly found in the last four bars of a typical "Mr. PC" type Minor Blues.
The P4th pair from measure #1 (of line 1) represents one half of the C# (E, G, Bb) half tone / whole tone diminished scale, while the P4th pair in measure #2 is half of the ht / wt diminished scale a half step below that, i.e. C (Eb, F#, A). It resolves neatly into a D tonic minor; D Melodic Minor being the scale of choice.
Dodo, the Dodecagon
On the heels of my last posted exercise, which was inspired by Walter Bishop's "A Study in 4ths", and which ended with an ascending figure of a diminished scale in Perfect 4ths, I thought it could be cool to further investigate some of the possibilities of P4th relationships within a diminished scale.
I had considerably diminished the use of the diminished scale in my own playing for quite a while now, since I've felt that the modes of Melodic Minor (which is 2 notes shy of being a diminished scale), primarily the "altered scale" (seventh mode, diminished / whole tone) is a more interesting and flexible scale choice for most of the mutually applicable harmonic situations.
Plus, the diminished scale being a synthetic, symmetrical scale, can sound so...................diminished, synthetic & symmetrical.
Then there is that handful of cliche licks, probably less than ten of them, that have been "regurgitated ad nauseam" (or is it the other way around?) since their introduction into the jazz vocabulary sometime in the mid 1950's (I think) when they were actually hip.
This is the second post dealing with ideas from Walter Bishop, Jr's "A Study in Fourths". It might not be a bad idea to check out Part 1 for some background, including the all informative YouTube vid of Mr. Bishop demonstrating his concepts at the piano.
The link to Part 1 should open in a separate tab, so you can have them side by side for easy access.
The 4 bar line presented here is based on the first bar of ex. 8 on p. 13 of "A Study in Fourths" (a 2 bar phrase), of which both first measures are identical.
Actually, your honor, I ain't stole nuthin'! I just borrowed a little bit, which I'm tryin' to return, by way of the Universe!
Hey, I hadn't even heard of Master Guitarist & Educator, John Stowell until a few months ago, when my long time buddy, Prof. Dave King of the University of Music & Performing Arts in Mannheim, Germany (see post from 5/29/2013), took part in one of John's master classes which was given at the school and sent me some video links.
Needless to say, I was intrigued by Stowell's harmonic and scalar concepts; especially his ideas of mixing and integrating modes of Melodic Minor with modes of Major (e.g. C Dorian with Bb Melodic Minor), not necessarily a measure at a time, but fusing them together as one scale.
I find this to be an excellent warm-up type exercise and an aid for gaining facility with the Pentatonic b2 scale. The Pentatonic b2, as advertised, is a Major Pentatonic scale with a lowered 2nd degree (in C: C-Db-E-G-A). It can be considered to be derived from the diminished scale, which generates four distinct Penta b2's.
The "soul" of this scale, however, is in its fifth mode, which in C, would start on A (A-C-Db-E-G). Hearing A` as the root then gives us a Maj / min 3rd inherent Blues quality. It can also spell out an A7 #9 (C#-E-G-C, with A in the bass), the "Funk Man's delight".
As a 2 measure exercise, Jerry Bergonzi's formulas (from his book "Vol 2 - Pentatonics" - Advance Music) #5 (ascending) or #1 (descending) are used for the first bar, with the scale moving, in the second measure, back in the opposite direction in diatonic 3rds.
Each 2 bar segment represents one of the 5 pentatonic "modes".
The repeat signs should definitely be put into effect here, as the idea of this exercise is to loop each 2 bar phrase ad infinitum at a tempo that is comfortable, gradually increasing the speed as the phrase becomes part of your nervous system.
This scheme can be used with any pentatonic scale.
Happy New Year, everybody!
I've been absent from these pages for over a month now, mainly due to the time it's taken me to complete and release my new eBook, "Slick Licks That Stick! Vol. 2" available for download right here.
Anyway, I couldn't let December go by and 2013 go out by posting "0" for the month, soooo..............
Here's is an etude, re-titled "Instigation" based on the changes of yet another popular standard "Invitation", by Bronislaw Kaper, from the 1952 film of the same name.
Kaper, who emigrated from Poland in the mid 1930's, was a prolific composer for Hollywood films and Broadway theater, and is also best known as the composer of another standard and improvisational vehicle which we all know and love (don't we?), "On Green Dolphin Street".
The tune "Invitation" makes an excellent study in Melodic Minor usage. Some form of MM can be organically utilized on virtually every chord of the tune.
MM elements Pentatonic b3 & b6, altered scale, triad pairs, etc. abound throughout the etude.
Hopefully, this etude will "instigate" your curiosity to isolate and identify them.
So here's your "invitation to instigation". Enjoy!
Ubop Chabang & the Klukumops
Here's a hot bowl of fresh noodles in the form of a recipe I discovered on a recent "trip" to Tiang, a remote and peaceful place, somewhere over the rainbow, where "g's" become "t's" and vice versa.
Tiang has a musically rich and ancient cultural tradition, which is in evidence everywhere.
This particular composition was inspired by an archaic scale based on a six note row, which divides the octave into three equal parts, representing the sun, the moon and the stars., something which the people of Tiang have been given the opportunity to ponder endlessly throughout the ages.
The scale's inception is credited by historians to the legendary Tiangian musician and sage, Chun Culutran, who is considered a deity almost, and dates back to antiquity, approximately to the year 1959 BC (Before Computers).