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learn guitar  | jazz scales | guitar scales

  

               Major Jazz Guitar Scales                  


   
  There seems to be an endless array of scales to learn for jazz
  guitar. What are the major jazz guitar scales to learn, if we can
  define the major jazz guitar scales that are commonly used, we'd
  reduce our workload significantly.

  Jazz scales are used by improvisers to convey complex harmonies
  common in Jazz. The jazz guitarist must start with the basic
  scales, too often the guitarists dives headlong into the more
  advanced scales without having a good working knowledge of the
  basic scales used in rock, country, bluegrass etc., these scales
  are as follows:

  * minor pentatonic
  * blues scale
  * major pentatonic


  Once the guitarist can play these scales in every key the next
  scale to learn would be the major diatonic scale and it's
  associated modes based on the major scale.

  How the modes work:

  If we were looking at a piano keyboard we would notice that
  without the black keys there are 8 octaves of the C major scale.
  If you run your finger left to right along the white keys you
  will be playing , the scale of C major even though you happen to
  start on a note other than C. This musical fact is the essence of
  the modes. A scale can be played from any of it’s notes to any
  other of it’s without moving into another key. Actually if you
  were to play the scale of C major from F to F an octave higher
  you would be playing a nodal scale based on the key of C and the
  scale would be called F Lydian.

  In every major scale there 7 modes; one for each degree.

  Learn the following table -

  Play a major scale from note 1 to note 1 above = IONIAN MODE

  Play a major scale from note 2 to note 2 above = DORIAN MODE

  Play a major scale from note 3 to note 3 above = PHRYGIAN MODE

  Play a major scale from note 4 to note 4 above = LYDIAN MODE

  Play a major scale from note 5 to note 5 above = MIXO-LYDIAN MODE

  Play a major scale from note 6 to note 6 above = AEOLIAN MODE

  Play a major scale from note 7 to note 7 above = LOCRIAN MODE

  Play a major scale from note 8 to note 8 above = note 1 to 1

  All examples above are shown in the key of C major however the
  advancing guitarist should practice the modes in every key. The
  same formula works for each key:

  note 1 to 1 always = IONIAN

  note 2 to 2 always = DORIAN

  note 3 to 3 always = PHRYGIAN

  note 4 to 4 always = LYDIAN

  note 5 to 5 always = MIXO-LYDIAN

  note 6 to 6 always = AEOLIAN

  note 7 to 7 always = LOCRIAN

  note 8 to 8 always = note 1 to 1

  Each modes unique sequence of intervals creates a mode’s unique
  musical (quality) or flavor.

  The main thing to keep in mind is that it's not how many scales
  you know but rather how many to "own", by that I mean how much
  you control you have over your scales both intellectually as well
  as physically.

  The next major jazz guitar scale of importance to learn would be
  the harmonic minor scale. Like the modes of major scale the
  Harmonic minor scale also has modes built on the different
  degrees of the scale.

  Here are the names of the modes of the Harmonic minor scale:
  the following examples are all derived from the C harmonic minor
  scale.


  C Harmonic Minor : C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-B-C

  2- D Locrian #6: D-Eb-F-G-Ab-B-C-D

  3- Eb Harmonic Major: Eb-F-G-Ab-B-C-D-Eb

  4- F Spanish Phrygian: F-G-Ab-B-C-D-Eb-F

  5- G Double Harmonic Major: G-Ab-B-C-D-Eb-F-G

  6- Ab Lydian b3: Ab-B-C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab

  7-  B Diminished : B-C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-B

  The real jazz minor scale is the next major jazz guitar scale to
  learn. The real jazz minor scale is the jazz variation  of the
  classical melodic minor scale. An easy way to remember this scale
  would be to think of it as a major scale with a flatted third
  note.

  The real jazz minor scale with it's various modes. Again, the
  real jazz minor scale is presented in the key of C real jazz
  minor.

  C melodic minor :C-D-Eb-F-G-A-B-C

  2- D phrygian (w natural 6th) : D-Eb-F-G-A-B-C-D

  3- Eb lydian augmented: Eb-F-G-A-B-C-D-Eb

  4- F lydian dominant: F-G-A-B-C-D-Eb-F

  5- G mixolydian (w b6th): G-A-B-C-D-Eb-F-G

  6- A aeolian (w b5): A-B-C-D-Eb-F-G-A

  7- B altered dominant: B-C-D-Eb-F-G-A-B

  I would also include the whole tone scale in our list of major
  jazz guitar scales to learn.

  The note of the C whole tone scale are as follows:

  C-D-E-F#-G#-A#-C

  There's a lot of study and practice to gain control of the scales
  described so far, particularly to know each scale or mode on all
  keys, for many guitarists these are the major jazz guitar scales
  to know.


   

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