Practicing scales


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Why practicing scales?

Admitting it is dull to practice scales. You don't have to. But it is good for you.

  • When you are practicing scales you are in a structured and repetitive way getting to know all the notes on your instrument.
  • When you are practicing scales while listening to the chord that goes with the scale. Your brain is connecting the scale notes to the chord, and you will later without having to think about which chord you are in automatically get "the right notes" for the chord you are listening to.
  • The scales are built over the II-V-I progression which is the most common progression in jazz music
  • The different II-V-I 's of the scale are individually followed in way that is very common (stepping one major tone downwards between the progression, so the I-chord you just left becomes the II-chord in the following progression. This is a very common way of linking II-V-I's in jazz standard tunes.
  • The scales areg oing up to the ninth note, and then going down over a ninth chord, this enables you to practice both the scale an the chord that goes with it.

How to practice scales

Start playing the scales slowly. If you are not confident on your instrument use the A and B buttons of the player to isolate just one scale at the time, use the minus button to slow it down so you can follow. Never press yourself. It is better to use one week too much on the basics than never learning it well. Practice the scales individually and slowly until you know it by heart. As soon as you know the scale by heart and you are confident to put the fingers right, and you feel that you releax while playing, you can easily put the speed up. If you try too soon to put the speed up, you will simply never learn it thoroughly.

If you train yourself rhythmically while practicing the scales, it can be quite fun to do the scale exersize.

There are two scale exercises that is because when you step two semitones between the scales you will only cover half the scales in one exercise.

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