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INTRODUCTION This series of books are for the student who desires to become a creative musician through the study of improvisation. Each book deals with a specific scale, or a specific chord progression. Scale application is at the heart of improvisation.

There are countless guitar players who only know one scale, the minor pentatonic. Every solo they play has the same sound. This of course will result when only one scale is used to the total exclusion of all others. Each scale creates its own unique tonality or colour. Application of all scales is vital to the art of improvisation, and it is that which defines a creative musician. This series of books teaches you several fingerings of each scale, and how to link them, so that when soloing you're able to move seamlessly from one position to the next. The most important and least understood aspect covered by these books is the application of the scales. This entails knowing over which chords the scales can be used. This particular text deals with the major and natural minor scales. Along with exercises to develop the scale, there are licks which you can insert into your own solos. There's an in depth discussion of the scales application to the blues, and the major and minor key II - V - I. There are several solos which demonstrate use of the scales. Audio files of all solos along with backing tracks for you to play along to are included. Tab is supplied along with music notation.

TUNING NOTES To be sure that you're in tune with the backing tracks, tune your guitar to the guitar tuning on track one.

This text was written by Joe Willis, a professional session guitarist of many years experience at the cutting edge of the music business. He has played and worked with many of the biggest names in the world of music including, Tom Jones, Ray Charles, Cilla Black, Lulu, Dusty Springfield, Rick Wakeman, Englebert Humperdink, The Everly Bros, Irene Cara, and jazz icons, Kurt Edelhagen, Jan Luc Ponty, Attila Zoller, Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Michel Colombier to name just a few.

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CONTENTS

Page

Audio Track

Introduction and Tuning Notes....................................................................2..................1 Chapter The Major Scale................................................................................................6 1 Examples 1.1 through 1.3..................................................................................6 Examples 1.4 through 1.6.................................................................................8..................2 Example 1.7....................................................................................................... 9..................2 Examples 1.8 1.9...............................................................................................10..................3 Examples 1.10 1.11...........................................................................................11.................3 Chapter 2

Examples 2.1 2.2..............................................................................................13.................4 Examples 2.3 2.4..............................................................................................14.................4 Example 2.5........................................................................................................15 Examples 2.6 through 2.8.................................................................................16.................5 Examples 2.9 through 2.11................................................................................18 Example 2.12 ...................................................................................................19.................6

Chapter 3

Examples 3.1 3.2..............................................................................................20 Example 3.3.......................................................................................................21.................7 Examples 3.4 3.5..............................................................................................22 Example 3.6.......................................................................................................23.................8 Linking Major Scale Forms.........................................................................24 Example 3.7.......................................................................................................24 Example 3.8.......................................................................................................25.................9

Chapter 4 The Cycle Of Fourths.....................................................................................28 Major Scale Over The Cycle Of Fourths .................................................28 Example 4.1.......................................................................................................28.................10 Soloing Devices.................................................................................................32 Example 4.2......................................................................................................32.................11 Sequence patterns..............................................................................................32 Example 4.3.......................................................................................................33.................11 Example 4.4.......................................................................................................34.................11 Example 4.5.......................................................................................................35.................11 Examples 4.6 4.7...............................................................................................36.................11 Example 4.8......................................................................................................37.................11

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Page

Audio Track

Chapter 5 Major Scale Harmony....................................................................................38 Diatonic chords.................................................................................................38 Example 5.1.......................................................................................................39 Diatonic triads...................................................................................................39 Example 5.2......................................................................................................39 Diatonic seventh chords....................................................................................39 Example 5.3......................................................................................................39 Example 5.4......................................................................................................40 Diatonic Chord Patterns................................................................................41 Example 5.5.......................................................................................................41 Example 5.6.......................................................................................................42.................12 Example 5.7.......................................................................................................43.................12 Major Scale Application.................................................................................43 Major Scale Pentatonics.................................................................................44 Examples 5.8 through 5.10................................................................................45 Major Scale And The Blues...........................................................................46 Examples 5.11 5.12...........................................................................................47

Chapter Harmonic Inversion.........................................................................................48 6 Examples 6.1 6.2...............................................................................................48 Modes Of The Major Scale............................................................................48 The seven modes of C major..............................................................................49 Example 6.3.......................................................................................................50 Practising modes...............................................................................................51 Major Scale Licks......................................................................................52 Country licks.....................................................................................................52.................13 Jazz licks...........................................................................................................55.................14 Examples 6.4 through 6.6..................................................................................57 Rock licks..........................................................................................................58.................15 Chapter The II - V - I Progression...............................................................................60 7 Examples 7.1 through 7.3..................................................................................61 Modes Over II - V - I.......................................................................................62 Examples 7.4 7.5..............................................................................................62.................16 Licks Over II- -V - I.........................................................................................65 Licks 1 through 10.............................................................................................66.................17 Soloing With The Major Scale.....................................................................68 Major seventh solo No.1....................................................................................69.................18 Major seventh solo No.1 analysis......................................................................70

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Audio Page Track Major seventh solo No.2....................................................................................71.................18 Major seventh solo No.2 analysis.....................................................................73 You And I..........................................................................................................74.................19 You And I analysis.............................................................................................78 Chapter The Natural Minor Scale...............................................................................79 8 Example 8.1......................................................................................................79 Minor scale harmony.........................................................................................79 Diatonic triads...................................................................................................79 Example 8.2 ......................................................................................................79 Diatonic seventh chords.....................................................................................79 Example 8.3......................................................................................................79 Example 8.4......................................................................................................80 Relative Minor To Major...............................................................................80 Examples 8.5 8.6..............................................................................................80 Examples 8.7 8.8..............................................................................................81 Minor Key Sinatures.......................................................................................82 Natural Minor Scale Forms .........................................................................83 Soloing With Natural Minor.........................................................................85 Natural Minor Diatonic Chord Forms.....................................................85 Example 8.9......................................................................................................85.................20 Example 8.10....................................................................................................86.................20 The Minor Blues...............................................................................................86 Example 8.11.....................................................................................................86.................21 Minor Blues Solo..............................................................................................87.................22 Chapter 9 Minor Key Cadence.........................................................................................91 Example 9.1......................................................................................................91 V7 - Im..................................................................................................................91 Example 9.2......................................................................................................91 Minor II - V - I..................................................................................................92 Example 9.3......................................................................................................92 Licks Over Minor II - V - I...........................................................................92 Licks 1 through 10............................................................................................93................ 23 Example 9.4......................................................................................................96 Coda......................................................................................................................97

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CHAPTER ONE

THE MAJOR SCALE

The major scale (as with all scales) is constructed upon its own unique set of fixed intervals. An interval is the distance in pitch between two notes. The arrangment of a scale's intervals is referred to as the scale's "intervalic definition". The intervalic definition of the major scale is as follows. TONE

TONE

SEMITONE

TONE

TONE

TONE

SEMITONE

The intervalic definition of the scale remains the same in all keys. The key in which the scale is based is determined by its first note (the tonic). Let us construct the major scale on the tonic C. From C count up a tone to the second note D. From D count up a tone to the third note E. From E count up a semitone to the fourth note F. From F count up a tone to the fifth note G. From G count up a tone to the sixth note A. From A count up a tone to the seventh note B. From B count up a semitone to the octave C. C major scale Ex1.1

Let us now construct G major scale by applying the same intervalic definition.

Ex1.2

G major scale

You will note that the major scale consists of seven different notes, one on each successive line and space of the stave and each having a different letter name. The eighth note (octave) is added since this note gives a feeling of resolution and completion when the scale is played. Just to be sure that the foregoing is perfectly clear, here is the scale constructed in the key of A b. Ex1.3

A_b major scale

The notes of the scale are referred to as scale degrees. Note that the fourth degree of this scale must be D b rather than C # since the third degree has the letter name C. The definition of the major scale stipulates that each degree of the scale must fall on the next successive line or space and receive the next successive letter name. On page 7 there's a fingerboard diagram of the major scale in the key of C, placed in the second position. 6


Chapter One

Left hand position is governed by the first finger. For example, when the first finger is behind the third fret, the left hand is in the third position. As a general rule, this means the first finger will play whatever notes are required from the third fret. The second finger plays whatever notes are required from the fourth fret. The third finger plays the notes at the fifth fret and the fourth finger plays the notes at the sixth fret.

This type of fingering where each finger is assigned to its own fret creates a four fret grid. Notes that are one fret outside the grid are played with either the first or fourth finger. The C major scale in the following diagram is in the second position because the first finger is at the second fret, while the remaining fingers complete the grid. The two F notes outside the grid on the sixth and first strings are played with the first finger. The tonic is indicated with a bracket. This scale fingering is referred to as major scale form one.

Ex1.1 shows C major scale over one octave, i.e. the scale starts on C and ends on C one octave higher. These notes are in the above fingerboard diagram starting on the tonic on the fifth string through to the octave/tonic on the third string. The notes below the tonic and above the octave/tonic are the same notes repeated in different octaves. When using the major scale as an improvising tool the scale notes are available all over the fingerboard in different octaves. The above diagram shows all of the available notes of C major scale when the scale is used in the second position.

Scales are the tools we use when playing improvised solos. Obviously, the player must have control of the scales before improvised soloing can be achieved. With dedicated practise of the following exercises your technical skills will improve while learning the major scale. Repeat Ex1.4 continually, and use alternate pick strokes. Use your metronome when practising these exercises. 7


Ex1.4

C major

Chapter One track 2

Since the improviser must be able to connect from one scale to another in a logical manner while soloing, it follows that the player must be able to ascend or descend the scale from any one of its notes. If you only practise playing from the low tonic, that's all you'll be able to do with the scale. Ex1.5 starts on the tonic but, from an octave higher and descends and ascends the scale. Ex1.6 also starts from the octave but this time ascends then descends the scale. With practise of these two exercises you'll soon be able to identify the scale from a different start point. Repeat the exercises continually. Also try them in different positions. Playing the scale in different positions will obviously mean a change of key. If you play the scale in the fourth position you will be playing D major scale, in the seventh position F major scale. Ex1.5

track 2

Ex1.6

track 2

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Chapter One Ex1.7 plays through C major scale then moves up one semitone and plays through D b major scale, followed by D and E b major scales. Continue this chromatic movement of the scale and be aware of exactly which scale you are playing at all times. Play Ex1.5 and 1.6 in the same chromatic manner as 1.7. track 2 Ex1.7

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Chapter One The following fingerboard diagram shows C major scale in the third position. This fingering is referred to as form two major scale.

Note, one finger per fret doesn't apply to all scale fingerings, form two fingering is played over a five fret span. The following exercises appeared earlier, here they've been modified to work with form two. Use alternate pick strokes. track 3

Ex1.8

track 3

Ex1.9

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Chapter One Ex1.10

track 3

Ex1.11

track 3

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Ex1.11 cont'd

Chapter One

Continue chromatically up to those high positions and then descend chromatically, and be aware of exactly which scale you are playing at all times. Play Ex1.9 and 1.10 in the same chromatic manner as in Ex1.11. =========================================

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SOLOING With The Major & Natural Minor Scale  

This text delivers an in depth analysis of the major and natural minor scales. Since music is based in major and minor key tonality, it is e...

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