Lesson #3: Applying The Scales To Harmonic Situations

In this lesson I want to show how to practice the three scales and the exercises I wrote about in the previous posts over essential chord progressions.
One thing I believe in is that it is senseless to practice something without applying it to a almost real situation.
There are some basic situations I try to apply everything I’m practicing to:

  • modal in one key, various bars
  • modal in all keys, going down a fifth, 4 or 8 bars each
  • IIm7-V7alt-Imaj-VI7alt in all keys, 4 bars each and repeated once (skip the VI in the last x), going down a fifth
  • IIm7b5-V7alt-Im6-Im6 in all keys, 4 bars each and repeated once

for faster tempos (200+):

  • same modal situations as above
  • same II-V-I situations as above, but I don’t play the V7-Chords, I play the IIm7 or IIm7b5 over the V7 too

and last but not least I try to apply my exercises to every standard I know. For me it is also good tool to get know the changes of a new tune.
For the right scales over a chord go to lesson #1.

Here are some samples how these things could sound. I start on a random note of the scale, play a eight note line in a scalar or arpeggio fashion and try to link the scales together. As you’ll see this is actually improvising and no longer practicing. Or maybe something in between.

If you listen to the cats and compare these exercises with their improvisations you will notice that there are some notes that are good to take off and some good to land on. I’ll cover that in the next lesson.

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