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How Do YOU Approach Learning Scales??


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GizB
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jamey Aebersold has several useful & FREE jazz aids on his website. His scale syllabus shows you how to build scales and chords. There's a lot of info here which will probably overwhelm you.

Concentrate on mastering the major scales, and realize that the 2 other modes (scales) you will use most often (Dorian & Mixolydian) are built on the 2nd & 5th of the major scale. It's like getting 3 scales for the price of one.

When you are adept at playing major, Dorian (minor) and Mixolydian (dominant 7), tackle the melodic minor. If you have the major scales under your fingers, just flat the 3rd and you have the melodic minor. Rich Willey has a wealth of good jazz theory/technique books available.

As far as naming conventions, I like the Brandt-Roemer book "Standardized Chord Symbol Notation." There's nothing earth-shattering or novel here, just a consistent and clear approach to naming chords so as to avoid ambiguity. In some areas, a slash-7 (that is, a 7 with a slash through it) denotes a major seventh. In other areas, a dominant 7.
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mrhappy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ka BOOM!!! (That was my head exploding!!) Haha!
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Practice all scales and patterns both ascending and descending on the major, melodic minor, diminished, and whole-tone scales and in all keys." Mark Levine, 'The Jazz Theory Book"

"Learn the changes and then forget them and just play." Charlie Parker
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take2
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: How Do YOU Approach Learning Scales?? Reply with quote

mrhappy wrote:

When attempting to learn a new scale/ passage or whatever, do you…

Mentally name or think of what note it is that you’ll be playing next? (This really slows me down going up the scale and grinds me to a halt coming down!! I’m sure my lack of theory knowledge is no help here.)

Do you visualize the notes on the staff while playing?

Do you just hammer through without much thought to get the required coordination into your fingers until it just becomes second nature?

Just use ‘The Force’?

Some or all of the above?

I guess I’m wondering how you music scale wizards go about learning this type of stuff… how you MENTALLY approach it??

Thanks!


MH - You mention your "lack of theory knowledge". Does that include not knowing your key signatures and the notes that are sharp or flat for that major scale? When you are getting lost coming down scales is it because you are thinking of the whole and half steps from one note to the next and building the scale that way? If this is your "mental" approach, I see where you would grind to a halt. Are you memorizing fingering patterns? Probably not the best approach. You need to be keenly aware of the note you are on, not which fingering you are on.

Sorry if this is too basic, but memorizing the keys and knowing the number of # or b notes in each key signature will help. For example - The key signature of E major has 4 #'s - F#, G#, C# and D#. Playing those 4 notes with #'s starting on E builds the E major scale. Then you only have to remember to make those notes sharp going up and coming down and you stay in the E major scale. When I was struggling to learn scales on the piano I found myself getting real basic and thinking or singing to myself - the Do, Re, Mi's.... so I could get the sound in my head and associate the note I'm on with where I am in the scale and in the chord (Do Mi Sol - Major triad)

Another "mental" approach is to break the scale down and just play the first 5 notes up and down, then play 5 notes up and down from the 2nd step, then from the 3rd, then the 4th all with the same number of #'s or b's in that particular scale. In E Maj:

E - F# - G# - A - B up and down.
F# - G# - A - B - C# up and down.
G# - A - B - C# - D# up and down.
A - B - C# - D# - E up and down.

Then go down and up from the E, D#, C#, and B. This might help get the key in your ear and under your fingers.

I assume you have the Aebersold book? All of the "theory" is spelled out there as is the "nomenclature" (chord symbol notation he uses). The Aebersold Thread is the blueprint for how to work with the book. The thread tells you what pages to read and when to read them so you don't get overwhelmed. P. 62 has patterns you can use to practice Maj, Dom 7th, and minor (Dorian) scales. P. 10 has examples of Dorian scales starting with whole notes. You can also use the examples with major scales.

In sum, break it down into bite size pieces and stay with just a few keys / scales each week to burn them into your brain. Hopping around too much, especially at first, won't burn it in as effectively. Aebersold starts with just 3 Dorian scales for the first few weeks -

Good luck.
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Trumpet Herald was on fire this is the first thread I would try to save!
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another question for the OP. Can you reproduce what you hear? Hear the tune, play the tune?
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mrhappy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhatpro wrote:
If Trumpet Herald was on fire this is the first thread I would try to save!


Haha! That's funny Jim!!

Richard III wrote:
Another question for the OP. Can you reproduce what you hear? Hear the tune, play the tune?


Yeah, no problem with that... although I might have to hunt around for a note here or there but I can figure out lines/melodies fairly quickly.
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mrhappy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

take2 wrote:


MH - You mention your "lack of theory knowledge". Does that include not knowing your key signatures and the notes that are sharp or flat for that major scale?


Yes... that is one of the problems. Was working on that earlier today!
[
quote="take2"]

When you are getting lost coming down scales is it because you are thinking of the whole and half steps from one note to the next and building the scale that way? [/quote]

I'm usually not thinking in terms of whole step/half step... I think it's even more simple in that I have trouble thinking/saying the alphabet backwards!!! That in of itself is enough to make me stumble... I'm working on that too!

take2 wrote:


Are you memorizing fingering patterns?


Not quite sure... I'm not really consciously trying to remember a certain pattern but yet I AM trying (through repetition) to get my fingers to 'flap' in the proper order and develop the necessary coordination so it feels natural to do so!

take2 wrote:

Sorry if this is too basic, but memorizing the keys and knowing the number of # or b notes in each key signature will help.


Yes agreed... trying to work on that!


take2 wrote:


Another "mental" approach is to break the scale down and just play the first 5 notes up and down, then play 5 notes up and down from the 2nd step, then from the 3rd, then the 4th all with the same number of #'s or b's in that particular scale. In E Maj:

E - F# - G# - A - B up and down.
F# - G# - A - B - C# up and down.
G# - A - B - C# - D# up and down.
A - B - C# - D# - E up and down.

Then go down and up from the E, D#, C#, and B. This might help get the key in your ear and under your fingers.


Haven't tried it quite like that yet but will give it a shot!

take2 wrote:

I assume you have the Aebersold book? All of the "theory" is spelled out there as is the "nomenclature" (chord symbol notation he uses). The Aebersold Thread is the blueprint for how to work with the book. The thread tells you what pages to read and when to read them so you don't get overwhelmed. P. 62 has patterns you can use to practice Maj, Dom 7th, and minor (Dorian) scales. P. 10 has examples of Dorian scales starting with whole notes. You can also use the examples with major scales.

In sum, break it down into bite size pieces and stay with just a few keys / scales each week to burn them into your brain. Hopping around too much, especially at first, won't burn it in as effectively. Aebersold starts with just 3 Dorian scales for the first few weeks -

Good luck.


Yes have the Aebersold stuff and am about to jump back into the 'thread'. Was just trying to get a more solid basic scale foundation!

Thanks for all the tips!!
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrhappy wrote:
jhatpro wrote:
If Trumpet Herald was on fire this is the first thread I would try to save!


Haha! That's funny Jim!!

Richard III wrote:
Another question for the OP. Can you reproduce what you hear? Hear the tune, play the tune?


Yeah, no problem with that... although I might have to hunt around for a note here or there but I can figure out lines/melodies fairly quickly.


Excellent. As a part of learning the new stuff, playing along with favorite players can be a ton of fun. Learning happens and it is amazing how much becomes a part of your musical world.
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ultrapureoils.com has a lot of free stuff including scales!

https://ultrapureoils.com/media/23602/scales_and_arpeggios_for_trumpet.pdf
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take2
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhatpro wrote:
If Trumpet Herald was on fire this is the first thread I would try to save!


If there was a fire I'd save the entire Jazz Improvization Aebersold thread that JAZZ-PLAYER-COLLECTOR so generously provided.
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’d have that one under my other arm.
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mrhappy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhatpro wrote:
ultrapureoils.com has a lot of free stuff including scales!

https://ultrapureoils.com/media/23602/scales_and_arpeggios_for_trumpet.pdf


Hey nice find Jim!! That looks quite useful... I'll poke around with that tomorrow!
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mrhappy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard III wrote:

As a part of learning the new stuff, playing along with favorite players can be a ton of fun.


Yeah, I was just playing along with Maynard the other day!!
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gwood66
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am late to the party, but as a comeback player, here are the books/articles/information I have found the most useful with regard to learning scales over the last three years:

Clark Technical Studies. By the time you get done with exercise 5 you know you major and minor scales.

Arban - Eric Bolvin has a PDF of just the scales on his website

Lowell Little - Know Your trumpet

https://qpress.ca/product/know-your-trumpet-lowell-little-pdf/

Key of the Week. Not a book, but very useful material from Joe Dixon. Look in the trumpet section of his downloads page.

http://www.joedixonstudio.com/downloads.html

Some additional useful advice regarding scales and jazz improvisation:

https://www.jazzadvice.com/how-to-practice-scales-for-speed/
https://www.jazzadvice.com/practice-everything-in-all-four-directions/

Hope this helps, keep up the good fight.
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go here for enough to keep anyone busy for several lifetimes:

https://www.boptism.com
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mrhappy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gwood66 wrote:
I am late to the party, but as a comeback player, here are the books/articles/information I have found the most useful with regard to learning scales over the last three years:


Hey gwood66! As they say… Better late than never!!

[quote=“gwood66"]

Clark Technical Studies. By the time you get done with exercise 5 you know you major and minor scales.

Arban - Eric Bolvin has a PDF of just the scales on his website

Lowell Little - Know Your trumpet

https://qpress.ca/product/know-your-trumpet-lowell-little-pdf/

Key of the Week. Not a book, but very useful material from Joe Dixon. Look in the trumpet section of his downloads page.

http://www.joedixonstudio.com/downloads.html

Some additional useful advice regarding scales and jazz improvisation:

https://www.jazzadvice.com/how-to-practice-scales-for-speed/
https://www.jazzadvice.com/practice-everything-in-all-four-directions/

Hope this helps, keep up the good fight.[/quote]



Great stuff there thanks!!! Some VERY interesting viewpoints from ‘Jazzadvice’!!


jhatpro wrote:
Go here for enough to keep anyone busy for several lifetimes:

https://www.boptism.com


Yeah that Jazz study section seems to have quite a selection!
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mrhappy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again I’d like to thank everyone for the helpful advice, links, etc.

I’ve now completely reexamined how I’m going about this whole process with a much more focused path and feel I’m making some progress!!! Of coarse I still stop and yell out a ‘bad word’ now and again when I flub something up but whatcha gonna do?!

Well, I spent the day working with a DIFFERENT type of plumbing(not nearly as much fun!) and now everyone’s asleep… gotta love the ‘Sshhh Mute’!!
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