Saxophone Forum

by altocbrute
(9 posts)
4 years ago

perspective on scales

Hey what's up jazz people,

For those who know their scales thru and thru, do you have a preferred
way to think about the scales, like a C#major as opposed to a Dflat major?
Because the way I practice scales and jazz licks is I go C, G, D, A, E, B, F#, C#, then 
F, Bflat, Eflat, Aflat, and I'm done. That's a sequence to make sure I'm practicing all
twelve. Because of that, I don't really do anything flat beyond Aflat. First of all,
in my mind, it isn't necessary, and second, why go through all the trouble of thinking 
in a different way to accomplish the same thing? 

But a counter to that argument would be what if I encounter a Dflat maj7 chord in a progression. Well, in that case, I just think of it as a C#maj7 chord, problem solved. 
But the question is would that work effectively in a live or group setting? Am I putting myself at a disadvantage for not thoroughly practicing in the Dflat perspective?

And please, not just a reply saying I need to practice and listen. Because I've heard that too many times and it makes sense but it isn't a constructive way of learning. The whole point of this forum is to start discussions. If you just tell me to go find out for myself, what's the value in that? 

I appreciate any input and advice. 

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  1. by swedsaxteacher
    (1 post)

    4 years ago

    Re: perspective on scales

    When you play a solo you probably shouldn´t think about all the notes, scales, arpeggios and other stuff while doing it. The only thing that matters at this moment is the feeling, the sound and ideas etc. Maybe you play your licks during a solo and you are aware of what scale they are in and what chords there are, but it isn´t your main thought, is it? In my opinion it doesn´t matter what do you call them when you´re improvizing. But you might be in a situation when somebody throws a score at you and ask you to take a solo over a written chord progression that goes in Db major or Bb minor. Then it might get suddenly more difficult to rethink/transpose all these chords and scales into C# major or A#minor. But maybe you´re fast and can rename even all these tritone substitutes and more complex stuff superfast. But the right way might be to practice reading both Db and C# keys (even if they are exactly the same one) so there´s no surprizes while reading/playing over all the chord changes.

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    1. by historicsaxwhisperer
      (644 posts)

      4 years ago

      Re: perspective on scales

      When I practce a specific scale situation, you truly just have to turn each one inside out.

      Top to bottom. Arpeggios, 4ths. ect.

      Then I move up chromatically to the next of the 12 keys. I dont necessarily do all 12 at one sitting, but the goal is to just get the sound in your head, dont worry about the intricate parts of soloing, play what sounds good over the given chord progressions and then look after listening WHY it does or doesn't work.


      In todays world of COVID, every musician should have plenty of alone time. Time to work on a progession and own it. Turn on you tube and play along.


      It is so nice to FINALLY see a post about playing and not "what kind of horn you play and what is it worth"?

       Just play the horn and make some expression.

      PLEASE, more posts like this!!

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  2. by gerrikirby
    (1 post)

    3 years ago

    Re: perspective on scales

    by learning them slope game

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