Saxophone Forum


by lkd_grinch
(2 posts)
9 years ago

Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

Will somebody please tell me the Bb concert alto saxophone jazz scale? I cannot find it anywhere.

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  1. by tmgaus51
    (16 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

    If you're talking about bebop scales, then the concert Bb major bebob scale is G A B C D D# E F# G with D# as the bebop note, and the concert Bb dominant seventh scale is G A B C D E F F# G with F# as the bebop note.

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    1. by bookymo_86
      (1 post)

      7 years ago

      Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

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    2. by tsax_player
      (76 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

      There seems to be a little confusion with these scales. The scale you have named the "concert Bb dominant seventh" is actually the traditional be bop scale. Take the G major scale {G A B C D E F# G} now we are going to add another note. We use this scale over dominant chords (G7 A7 D7 you may have seen them notated like so) G7 is G B D F if you notice the F in the chord is not # so we will add this lowered or dominant 7th scale degree. So here is the be bop scale {G A B C D E F F# G}. Another standard jazz scale is the mixolydian scale. Based off the Greek mode this scale has only one note different than the major (ionian) scale. {G A B C D E F G} again we lower the 7th to accommodate the chord. An altered version of the be bop scale (I will spare you all the theory lesson in this one and just give you the freaking scale) descending-G F# F Eb D C B Ab G. This works great on alt dominant chords. Hope This Helps ps learn them in a 12 keys Tracy

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      1. by tmgaus51
        (16 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

        The f-natural is not the note that is added though, since concert Bb dominant seventh means concert Bb mixolydian. It is the f-sharp that is added to the scale, not the f-nautral. Dominant seventh and mixolydian both imply that you should flat the seventh, making the natural seventh (f-sharp in this case) the bebop note.

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        1. by tsax_player
          (76 posts)

          9 years ago

          Why not learn from being corrected instead of debating your wrong answers?

          tmgaus, I am sorry if my instruction has offended you. I do not understand what you are trying to debate. Your theory lingo is lacking and you are not making much sense, other than stating the obvious "Dominant seventh and mixolydian both imply that you should flat the seventh" yes I am aware that a dominant seventh and flat seven are the same thing. You should say lowered seventh because not all dominant sevens will be flat. I would first like to point out that your original post suggested a G be bop scale would have a D# in it. Which is incorrect. There is an altered version of the be bop scale that I posted that has the enharmonic of D#-Eb in it. The note may be the same but the signifigance is huge. D is the fifth of the chord and will not be altered in this form of the scale. I have never heard the term ("be bop note") it is a be bop scale there are 8 be bop notes in it. My pedagogical approach is to add the lowered seventh scale degree to the major scale. If you have a young player (such as the one asking this question) the chances of him knowing what the Greek mode mixolydian is, its scale, and function in harmony are very slim. But the chances of him knowing a major scale are very high so adding the dominant note is easier to comprehend. I am not trying to scold you just offer some friendly advice. You are new to saxquest and that is great. This is a wonderful resource with a many different talented and educated musicians who love giving instruction. Please do something I did not do very well as a younger player and embrace your mistakes, learn from them, and take instruction when it is presented to you. We are here so that you may pick our brains and learn from those who have more experience than you. There is nothing wrong with this, I do the same thing every day with my instructors. tracy

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        2. by knorter
          (205 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Why not learn from being corrected instead of debating your wrong answers?

          Tracy, Your did a nice job of explaining the theory of these scales, but I do need to correct one thing. There is such a thing as the "major bebop scale" in addition to the dominant and altered dominant ones listed before. The chromatic passing tone of the major bebop scale is placed between the 5th and 6th scale degree of a major scale. Check out David Baker's writings on the theory of bebop. I love the theory discussions. Keep it up. Kristy

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        3. by knorter
          (205 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Why not learn from being corrected instead of debating your wrong answers?

          ps-sorry about the typo guys, it's late.

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        4. by tsax_player
          (76 posts)

          9 years ago

          thanks for the new scale name

          I have always heard that referred to as the augmented be bop scale, but that would clear up 'some' of the confusion if that was the scale being mentioned.

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        5. by tsax_player
          (76 posts)

          9 years ago

          Apologies for being a little harsh.

          Upon reviewing the former posts I do see the point you were trying to make (although still hard for a beginner to understand). I apologize for my rash (and maybe harsh) comments above. I guess I proved my own point about learning from more experienced players by Knorter enlightening me on another name for that scale. I hope there are no hard feelings. I flip into defensive teacher mode very easy. Tracy

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        6. by knorter
          (205 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          Tracy, The extra notes in a bebop scale are passing tones. So you don't really think of the #5 as an augmented fifth. The point of bebop scales is to have an 8 note scale by adding a passing tone. In the major bebop scale the #5 occurs on an upbeat. When you really start dissecting bebop solos you'll see that harmonically strong bebop solos emphasize chord tones on downbeat. (Although most lines start on upbeats) The bebop scale then enables a musician to run eighth note lines beyond one measure and still maintain chord tones on downbeats. By adding the #5 to the major scale it creates a passing tone but you still have the regular 5th and 6th on downbeats. The problem that most musicians have when learning to use these scales is that they don't understand that the chord tones have to line up on the downbeat. You can change direction at any chord tone but if you get off by an eighth note it changes the sound entirely. Kristy

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        7. by jamterry
          (573 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          test

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        8. by jamterry
          (573 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          Any scale can be a bebop scale. As long as you have the 8 notes you're good. The articulation is very important. If you off on your downbeats, the bebop effect is lost. As far as the standard bebop scales go, I think of 4 scales. Those are Major, Dom.7, Minor, and Half Diminished. If you can play in one key , you can play in all keys. The passing tones are Major=#5 Dom.7=7 Minor=3 Half Dim.=#5 Articulation is important !!!! Kristy I hope that I didn't mess this up :) Terry

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        9. by tmgaus51
          (16 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          Also, as I have learned it from a professional jazz instructor, and graduate of the University of Indiana jazz program, the added passing tone to balance out the scale is called the "bebop note." This may be his own terminology, but it does make sence, considering that this extra note makes the scale a "bebop scale." In the case of a G7 chord for example, the F# is the bepop note, because that is the passing tone that is added to the mixolydian scale which normally only has F-natural in it.

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        10. by peter090
          (155 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          That seems like as logical terminology as any and I would guess an Indiana grad would have probably picked that up from David Baker or one of his students. I think the important point that is too often overlooked (and has been pointed out earlier in this thread) is that the bebop note is a chromatic passing tone. It's placement in relation to the downbeats is important. You can't simply plug the bebop scale in over a Dom7 chord if you want it to sound stylistically correct. This is the critical point in making the bebop scale work. All the other "rules" about how to start the phrase and when you can change direction all stem from that.

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        11. by knorter
          (205 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          Terry, It took me a minute to think about the minor one that way. I guess I see it in my head as a dominant bebop scale that starts on the fifth. For example the bebop scale that works over "a" minor would be: a b c c# d e f# g a which is the D7 bebop scale. I usually pair the ii and V chords together in my head and think of it as one scale that works over either but the way you explained it gets us to the same answer (you don't have to show your work like in math class right:) Explain the half diminished one to me because I'm not immediately following you. Again we may be thinking of it differently. Give me a specific situation. Absolutely, articulation and note placement is important. Kristy

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        12. by jamterry
          (573 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          Kristy, You know I'm not good at explaining stuff. I just know that a #5 is added to the half diminished and also the major scale. I can play over major and dom 7 chords with it. When I play I usually fly by the seat of my pants. I don't have much education. Kristy I got out a horn and tried to give an exanple. Here goes. Bear in mind this is crude. Pretend I am playing up tempo eight notes. I'm adding a #5 to the major scale. I play over the tonic chord now #5,6,3, 5 2,3,1,2 over the tonic chord and i am descending. now I play over the Dom 7 and ascending. 3,2,4,5 5,3,4,5 #5,6,1,b7 #5 is the added note. Kristy I wish that I knew more theory :(

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        13. by peter090
          (155 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          Maybe I'm not following the explanation (though it seems clear it could be me reading it wrong) The #5 over a half dim acts/sounds like the #7 over a Dom7. It is sort of an extension of thinking of ii and V7 as one scale. V7 and vii7 are similarly linked. Even if you are using the half dim in some other way the sound is still similar enough to the related V7 minus the root for the pattern to "work" Again sorry if I misunderstood Terry.

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        14. by jamterry
          (573 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          I was responding to Kristy. I don't know much about theory, and I can't really explain what I play. I can say that when I get in a jam, nobody makes fun of me. Also I don't really have to read a book to tell me what I like to hear. I wish that I knew all that V ii and what works stuff, but I can I lay it down in a real situation. I got in a jam awhile back with some people that wanted to hang me out to dry. The chord progression was real switchy changey and i was lost for a bit. I used stepping stones (benchmark notes) to cover me until I could figure out the changes. After about three passes they told me to take it. Then I just launched it. I didn't have a clue as to what i was doing like ii V 7 or bingo. I'm sorry that I don't have the musical knowledge that most of you do. Never the less, when I play nobody makes fun of me. And I still say that no matter how many books and teachers you have, technique is what brings it to fruition :)

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        15. by peter090
          (155 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          I didn't mean to butt in, I was just following the thread and I thought you made a really good point about another way to think of the added tones. My feeling is if you can play what you like you "know theory". All that matters is the music not how you explain it. I try to learn from everyone I play with and have found that terminology can get in the way. The clearest thing is always just showing someone what you are doing but that doesn't work in email (or over a cup of coffee) so sometimes the ii V stuff is convenient.You sure don't need it to be able to play! I agree with the technique comment. All the theory in the world isn't worth an hour in the woodshed. Last night thanks to your comment I practiced half dims thinking about the added #5 as a passing tone and wrote that one down in my book of stuff to practice. For me theory is a way to keep it all straight in my head. Giving something a name lets me write it down so I can practice it and learn to hear it. I personally think anyone who puts down someone for playing "by ear" doesn't get it. Playing by ear is the whole point. I've had to do a lot of work to get to the point where what I play by ear is what I want to play and am still working on it. If I said anything that seemed like a dig I am really sorry.

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        16. by jamterry
          (573 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          You didn't butt in Peter. You contribute valuable input to the threads. We all can learn from each other. I'm taking music fundamentals in school and we are learning about the I ii iii IV V vi viiio etc. and M m m M M m D. Eventually I will be able to better explain what I play. I haven't been in school for almost 40 years and the technology is amazing. They have a room full of Yamaha digital pianos and my teacher is a violinist. I think that I will take Theory next. I blew out of the piano class and was put in the applied study program. I have a pvt lesson from some classical dude, and I have to play in piano ensemble, and a recital. This is really giving me some serious licks on my horns. Don't be sorry about giving your input. It's all good, :)

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        17. by knorter
          (205 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Apologies for being a little harsh.

          Terry, I think I figured out what you mean-There are several ways to use the bebop scale over half-dimished. The first is to use the dominant that it is paired with in a ii-V like for "D half-diminished" G7 then use the G7 bebop (I'd maybe use an altered bebop but I'll get to that in a second) The other option is what I think you were describing: play the Bb bebop scale starting on a d the first example gives you "d e f f# g a b c d " I would use an altered bebop scale based off the dominant here which is: G7 alt bebop starting on D 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7 7 8 "D Eb F F# G Ab B C D" because now you have included the b5 for the D half diminished. the 2nd gives you "D Eb E F G Ab A Bb C D" Check 'em both out Also David Baker has a series of 3 books called "How to Play Bebop" They are very informative. Good Luck. I start getting nervous when people refer to playing by ear. I think that aural training is the best however you need to study the progressions and learn why notes sound good. This can be achieved without written study. Some people see "play by ear" a feel that it gives them a license to just play anything because they can't hear anything wrong. With the current lack of jazz education in schools and more current music being simplified I encounter way too many people at clinics and camps who are "jazz tone deaf" They sit on the major seventh of a dominant chord or the major third of a minor chord and don't realize that it doesn't sound good. I'm not talking about people who understand how to manipulate and resolve notes outside of the key area I am referring to people who just can't hear. Terry there is a difference between the way we have studied but it sounds like we ended up in the same place. Who cares what it's called as long as we both speak the same musical language. Peace, Kristy

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      2. by sam lleeahn
        (1 post)

        7 years ago

        Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

        alskdjf

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      3. by Qj Boy
        (1 post)

        6 years ago

        Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

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      4. by valerie
        (1 post)

        6 years ago

        Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

        i need to make a solo.....so i need to find a d minor seven scale!!

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    3. by a.p
      (1 post)

      8 years ago

      Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

      alto saxophone jazz scales

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      1. by korpi23
        (1 post)

        8 years ago

        Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

        I want someone to list me all 12 blues scales please

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        1. by bluestreak
          (1 post)

          7 years ago

          Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

          C Db C Eb F Gb G Bb C Db Fb Gb G Ab Cb Db D Eb D F G G# A C D Eb Gb Ab A Bb Db Eb E F E G A A# B D E F Ab Bb B C Eb F Gb G Gb A B C Db E Gb G Bb C C# D F G Ab A Ab Cb Db D Eb Gb Ab A C D D# E G A Bb B Bb Db Eb E F Ab Bb B D E F F# A B -hope this helps=)

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          1. by viking1277
            (1 post)

            6 years ago

            Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

            I played saxophone for a few years (9yrs) in grade school and high school and, unfortunately, haven't played much for the last 12 yrs. I am picking it back up again just for fun. So, my knowledge in music theory is VERY limited and this may be a simple and stupid question... BUT, what is an Fb, and how do I play it on my saxophone? I know an Fb would also be an E#, but I have never heard or played either an Fb or E# on an alto sax. I am confused with your first scale that contains an Fb???

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          2. by cuber
            (653 posts)

            6 years ago

            Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

            well, Fb=E and E#=F

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        2. by miamifoox12
          (1 post)

          8 years ago

          Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

          what are the scales

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        3. by WD
          (1 post)

          8 years ago

          Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

          Will someone please give me each of the alto saxophone jazz scales?

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          1. by Sax Mom
            (964 posts)

            8 years ago

            Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

            They are listed earlier in this thread. Read through it and you should find them.

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        4. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: Alto Saxophone Jazz Scales

          if you buy the jamey abersold book #1, it has alot of scales in there

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