Posts Tagged ‘Scales’

Jazz Web site links

In Fun, Media, Scales, Technics on November 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm

from the SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE!  and from the Jazz resource

 Here are some other smooth jazz sites/links you may find informative, helpful, and/or enjoyable. This is a awesome new site to find musicians to jam with as well as gigs and other events. Covering all your smooth and contemporary jazz needs. Smooth jazz cd reviews and more. This is a great site with loads of information on basic music theory. Click on the 3 buttons on the left that say pitch, chords, and time. This is a website full of information about jazz history and jazz education. If you want to get serious about learning everything about the circle of fifths, this website is for you! This is one of the biggest jazz websites on the internet. It has loads of information regarding album reviews as well as a wonderful forum to ask all your jazz questions (but don’t be afraid to ask me first on my contact page!) This is a jazz community website This is a very handy website that has really improved my ear over the years This is a great site to listen to music for free! Basically you enter an artist you like and Pandora will create a customized station with similar artists for you to discover.

Media/Websites/Promotion Services/Publicists:

A Passion for Jazz! – Music history and education.

Beyond One Entertainment – Artist & Event Management

Café Jazz Radio (& JazzLynx) – Canada’s Smooth Jazz Connection

Coool Classic Artists Today – The Best Songs
Today…From Yesterday’s Top Artists

Dick Felix Music – Sophisticated Music For Your Special Occasion

GHP Radio – Your Independent Music Source

Jazz Quotations –The #1 Resource on the Web For
Quotes and Sayings About Jazz!

Jazz Smugglers – For jazz enthusiasts; includes The Bluffer’s Guide For
Playing Jazz

Jazz Trax

Jazzbeat — A site for self-publishers of jazz books, jazz education
jazz lessons, etc.

Jazzhouse — An official website of the Jazz Journalists Association: 
Promoting the interests of journalists covering jazz 

Jazznlight and FatJamzFree MP3s, CDs, and MP3 Albums.
Visit the Listening Room for Smooth Jazz, Ambient, Acid Jazz,
Instrumental Pop, Instrumental Rock, Techno, New Age, Electronica…

Jazzreview* – Your complete guide to jazz music on the web

Smooth & Soul – A comprehensive smooth jazz website
in Germany, offering reviews, news, and more

Smooth Jazz & More, Internet Radio on Live365 – This is the Place!

Smooth Jazz Art – Photos by Sherry Fisher

Smooth Jazz Therapy  The very best from the world
of smooth jazz and classic soul

Smooth Jazz Spot   An awesome network to discuss
Smooth Jazz, as well as the Smooth Jazz cruises that so
many of our members absolutely love.

Smoothjazzvibes* – The place to go if you are a fan of 
contemporary jazz or smooth jazz

SoulTracks — Tracking the Greatest Soul Music


Talking Smooth Jazz

The Indie Bible – Valuable information Source for Indie Artists

The Jazz Discography – Everything you need to know about
virtually any jazz record ever released.

The Jazz Resource – Everything from info on Best Jazz
Albums to Tutorials on ear training, etc.

The Source: Smooth Jazz and More – The Best Smooth
Jazz on the Internet

*TSJR’s Ronald Jackson is also a contributing writer/editor with these fine sites.

Scales for Cantaloupe Island

In Cantaloupe Island, Scales on June 3, 2013 at 9:25 am

The chords are:    4 x F- / 4 x Db7 / 4 x D- / 4 x F-cantaloupe Island

So, Cantaloupe island is only three chords, F- D- and Db7

  • For F- and D- , we can use the minor pentatonics or the dorian scales for each chord.
  • For Db7 , we can use Db mixolydian, or Ab minor pentatonic or Ab dorian.
  • For the solo, either use a straight Db7, or also a Db7+4 (lydian dominant) chord/scale (Db Eb F G Ab Bb Cb Db)


Here’s a 1-scale approach derived from the melody:

The entire melody of this song is made of the f-blues scale (F-Ab-Bb-B-C-Eb). consequently you might stay with it while improvising. of course there are certain ‘clashes’ with some of the chords if you do this:

  • When it comes to Db7, we need to skip the C note (being the ^7  of Db7) or replacing it with Db note
  • When it comes to D-, there is a certain tension if you continue to play the f-blues scale – but it might work (alternatively you might switch to the d-blues scale for these 4 bars).

Scale Substitution

In Scales on September 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm



Scale substitution is an interesting way to superimpose certain tonalities over certain chords. Remember in the Major Scale Modes page where it is written that you should play the scale that immediately corresponds to the chord, C major chord/ C major Scale, C lydian chord/ C lydian Scale, well, in this page we are going to contradict and have a little look at scale substitution.


Let´s imagine a C minor 7 one chord vamp, here are some scale choices :

  • C Dorian
  • C Jazz Melodic Minor
  • C Harmonic Minor
  • C Natural Minor
  • C Minor Pentatonic


These are the more consonant choices, however, if you wanted to play less consonant and create some dissonance and play “outside” you could try playing a C minor pentatonic then move it down a semitone to B minor pentatonic, you have to be careful how you do this but here is an example using some chromatic notes:



The reason for moving down to the B minor pentatonic is to create tension. One could analyse the notes of the B minor pentatonic scale in relation to the C minor 11 chord and find some strange note/chord relationships but it would probably be best to think of the scale as a temporary side step from the home key centre. The other option is to side step upwards and play the C# minor pentatonic and then resolve back to C minor pentatonic. 


This type of playing was introduced by John Coltrane, it is an extension of the idea of chordal ambiguity whereby the overall quality of a chord is implicit rather than explicit giving the improviser more freedom to express multiple tonalities in the improvisation. For example, if you play a basic C minor 7 chord C Eb G Bb, the chord structure is well defined and has more stability than if you were to play C F Bb. The C F Bb voicing is a 3 note chord built on fourths, and is less stable because there is no 3rd, as a result of this you have a lot more options in choosing the tonality you want to imply. 

Another option for tension is to treat the C minor 7 as a I chord and play a G altered scale, as if there was a G altered V chord present, and resolve to a C minor scale of your choice, this device is less dissonant than the previous example, but can imply forward motion, in your solo:


If we take a C7 chord and look at the possible scale applications, we have the more consonant choices :


  • C Mixolydian (Dominant 7 Scale)
  • C Major Pentatonic
  • C Lydian Dominant
  • G Dorian Minor
  • G Minor Pentatonic


Some dissonant choices maybe the C half/whole step diminished, C altered or G altered.




The notes of the C h/w diminished scale in relation to the C mixolydian:

















ROOT (from the bottom up)



The implication is the altered sound over the regular C7. With the G altered you can think of the C7 as being the modified I chord in a II V Iand imply the V chord tonality over the C7; this application can really lift a solo giving yet again a kind of forward motion, but be careful how you resolve, remember there is no point of going outside if you don’t know how to come back in.


A quick note about modal jazz…

The type of jazz harmony that revolves around one or few chords is modal jazz. The concept of modal jazz is that you use one mode per chord, this can be challenging since you are restricted to the 7 different notes that make up one mode. A classic example of modal jazz is the album, ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis; you will notice the recordings illustrate modal playing, but in the solos, the temporal rule is broken, ie. the rule of one chord one mode, as many of the solos particularly by Coltrane will testify. This leads to the idea of bending the rules of modal jazz slightly and using the type of outside playing devices we have looked at.

Playing Over Minor Guitar Chords

In Scales on September 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

In this tutorial we’ll have a look at the guitar scales, arpeggios and substitutions we can use to improvise over minor guitar chords, so we can make our guitar solos more interesting. Unless specified, we take a Dm chord as example. Here’s a roundup:

  1. The Dorian Scale

The 3 minor diatonic scales (Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian) are the obvious choice for playing over minor chords. Which of the 3 scales you play depends on the harmonic setting and the function of the chords you are playing over.

The Dorian mode is played over II chords, like in a II V I chord progression.

We’ll take a 2 5 1 in C major as an example:

|Dm7          |G7           |Cmaj7        |%             |
|II           |V            |I            |              |          

Over the Dm7 we play the D Dorian scale:

D Dorian D     E     F      G      A     B      C
Over Dm7 1     9     b3     11     5     6      b7

Here’s the scale chart for D Dorian mode in its root position:

The Dorian scale is also used to play over minor chords in modal tunes, like So What.

  1. The Phrygian Scale

The Phrygian scale is used to play over minor chords that have the function of a III in a harmony. An example is the 3rd bar of a Rhythm Changes:

|Cmaj7  Am7   |Dm7    G7    |Em7    A7    |Dm7    G7     |
|I      VI    |II     V     |III    VI7   |II     V      |

On the Em7 in the 3rd bar we can play the E Phrygian mode. As a side note I want to point out that although you theoretically play the Phrygian mode on the Em7 in a rhythm changes, you don’t think about the Phrygian mode, just think C major (did that make sense, if not, give me a shout).

E Phrygian Scale E      F     G      A      B     C      D
Over Em7 1      b9    b3     11     5    b6      b7

The E Phrygian scale in its root position:

  1. The Aeolian Scale

The Aeolian scale (aka relative minor scale) is used to play over minor chords that have a VI function or a I function in minor. An example of a VI is the second chord in a rhythm changes.

A Aeolian Mode A     B     C      D      E     F      G
Over Am7 1     9     b3     11     5     b6     b7

The chart for the A Aeolian scale in root position:

4) D Minor Pentatonic Scale or Blues Scale

It can’t get more obvious, very useful, also in a jazz context.

D Minor Pentatonic D     F     G      A      C
Over Dm7 1     b3    11     5      b7

5) A Minor Pentatonic Scale or Blues Scale

The A minor pentatonic scale sounds very nice over Dm7

A Minor Pentatonic A     C     D      E      G
Over Dm7 5     b7    1      9      11


6) E minor Pentatonic Scale

The E minor pentatonic works nice if you alternate it with D minor pentatonic (on modal tunes). It creates a tension/release kind of thing (see point 10 on this page)

E Minor Pentatonic E     G     A      B      D
Over Dm7 9     11    5      6      1

7) D Minor Arpeggio

Surprisingly the Dm7 arpeggio works very well over Dm7. See also: Arpeggio 101 

8) Fmaj7 Arpeggio

An Fmaj7 arpeggio over Dm adds the 9: nice sound.

Fmaj7 Arpeggio F   A   C    E
Over Dm7 b3  5   b7   9

9) Am7 Arpeggio

One step further is Am7, it adds the 11 to the sound.

Am7 Arpeggio A   C   E    G
Over Dm7 5   b7  9    11

10) Em7 Arpeggio

Em7 sounds a little more distant over Dm, but works fine if you alternate it with a Dm arpeggio. 

D   F   A   C   +   E   G   B   D = D Dorian Scale

Examples: Triads Over Minor Chords

Em7 Arpeggio E     G     B      D
Over Dm7 9     11    6      1

11) Dm6 or Bm7b5 Arpeggio

Emphasizing the 6 of a minor chord works nice if the minor chord has a tonic function and not a sub-tonic function (like in a II V). In other words, the minor chord should be the I, not the II. In other words, the minor chord should not be followed by the V (Dm7 should not be followed by G7).

Example of a minor chord with a tonic function:

| Dm7          | Em7b5    A7  |
| Im7           | IIm7b5   V    |

12) G7 Arpeggio

G7 sounds ok over Dm, especially when it has the tonic function. If you use it in a 2 5 1, you can make the b (6) on Dm7 go to #9 and b9 on G7, to the 5 of Cmaj7.

G7 Arpeggio G     B     D      F
Over Dm7 11    6     1      b3

13) The Line ClichéIn tunes where the minor chord spans a couple of bars, like in a minor blues, you can use this little device called the line cliché. This technique is as old as the street and is frequently used by gypsy jazz guitarists. The line cliché is a descending line going chromatically from the 1 of a minor chord to its 6:

1 » 7  » b7 » 6
d » c# » c  » b


Les gammes pentatoniques

In Scales, Theorie on March 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Back to theory…

fm Jacques de Lignières

Toute gamme de 5 notes est une pentatonique, il en existe un grand nombre. Nous aborderons seulement les plus couramment utilisées dans les musiques actuelles.

Une gamme majeure pentatonique est une gamme majeure dont on aurait ôté la quarte et la septième :

On peut extraire 3 gammes majeures pentatoniques de cette forme à partir d’une gamme majeure (du degré I, du degré IV et du degré V) :

Et, réciproquement, une gamme majeure pentatonique appartient à 3 gammes majeures. Ex : Do majeur pentatonique appartient aux gammes majeures de Fa, Do et Sol (Fa et Sol sont voisines qui entourent Do dans le cycle des quartes ) :

Les 5 modes de la gamme pentatonique de Do

Si on utilise le 5ème mode de la pentatonique majeure de Do, on l’appellera La mineur pentatonique et si on rajoute augmentée de La on obtient la gamme blues de La

Pour une cadence II V I Majeure, la pentatonique du degré V sonne bien, elle est riche et ne comporte pas de note à éviter Ex en Do : la pentatonique de sol

*On peut bien sûr choisir une pentatonique + ou – intérieure par accord c’est l’oreille qui apprécie le résultat ! Définition : intérieure = contient + de notes de l’accord extérieure = contient – de notes de l’accord

Quelques exemples des pentatoniques Maj les plus intérieures* sur les accords basiques (exemple en C)

Type d’accord                                                              Penta Maj

x7,x9,x13                                                                   (degré) I

Utilisation simple sur un blues maj. en C

Document pour impression Gammes pentatoniques

Voir également Har Gammes blues

A propos de la gamme Blues

In Scales, Theorie on March 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Fm Jacques de Lignières

Le Blues est le résultat de la rencontre des cultures musicales africaines (approche orale de la mélodie et du rythme) et de la tradition tonale européenne aux Etats-Unis. Cette confrontation a suscité un conflit sur certains degrés de la gamme majeure diatonique et des pentatoniques africaines non tempérées. Les “Blue notes” sont issues d’un compromis !

Ce sont les #9, #11 ou (b5) et b7.

Il existe plusieurs gammes blues. La plus commune a la forme suivante :

Fondamentale / Tierce mineure / Quarte / Quarte augmentée / Quinte / Septième mineure

Ex : Gamme de C Blues *

Ce sont les notes de la pentatonique mineure de C aux quelles est rajoutée la #11, ici F#

C’est une gamme qui permet de jouer de façon modale notamment sur le Blues

Sur un Blues majeur en C on peut utiliser C Blues*, l’utilisation de la tierce mineure sur un accord majeur est une des caractéristiques du Blues.

Mais on peut aussi utiliser la gamme Blues du relatif mineur, ici A Blues**

Gamme de A Blues **

Sur un Blues mineur en C on utilisera C Blues *

Il est aussi possible d’utiliser plusieurs gammes Blues relatives aux principaux degrés du Blues ( I – IV – V )

N.B. : Bien sûr d’autres options existent, notamment le mode myxolydien sur les accords x7 dans des Blues majeurs et le mode dorien sur les accords xm7 dans les Blues mineurs…

Le Blues a évolué de la forme la plus basique vers des formes plus sophistiquées

(par exemple le blues suédois sur lequel l’approche tonale est préférable)

Une forme basique du blues :

I I I I7
IV7 IV7 I (VI7)
Exemple en C:

C C C C7
F7 F7 C (A7)
Dm7 G7 C C

Pratique de la gamme de Blues en D: Pratique de la Gamme Blues (D)

Pour impression Har Gamme Blues

Tous les Arpèges

In Technics, Theorie on October 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Travailles tes arpèges, dans tous les sens, de haut en bas et de gauche à droite! Voici donc la recommendation de la semaine.

les Arpèges des gammes Majeures (partition)

et l’accompagnement mp3



en attendant, bonne semaine!

Générateur de Gammes BIAB

In Scales, Technics, Theorie on September 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Ci joint un petit programme pour générer toutes les gammes que vous souhaitez avec BIAB, Band In A Box

Scales generator, Bon practices

la Gamme Ethiopienne

In Mulatu, Scales, Tezetaye Antchi Lidj, Yekermo Sew on February 11, 2010 at 3:11 pm

The Ethiopian scale consists of 7 different notes. Notice how that when you ascend the scale Bb, Eb, and F natural notes are played, and when you descend the scale F#, E natural, and B natural notes are played. This concept is also seen in the Melodic Minor Scale.
Formula: WS, HS, WS, WS, HS, WS, WS

Aebersold Booklets

In Scales, Technics, Theorie on February 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm

From Jamay Aebersold, very valuable booklets to summaryze: chords, scales, tips, II-V-I, Blues & Jazz progressions…. These are the courtesy of Jamay and can be directly downloaded for free at Jamey’s web site.

Click the logo here-above

Aebersold Booklets

or go to The Aebersold Site here