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Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."



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September 30, 2012 | Minor Fun

The oft neglected Minor scale is a child that demands more attention than we think it deserves. It's easy to lump it in the broader category of the other seven modes, but harmonically, it behaves like a hungry toddler in a quiet restaurant. You know that the 3rd scale degree is lowered from the Major, but you just don't realize it until you start to nail down where to go with the 6th and 7th. They teach you Natural, Harmonic, and Minor modes, but that's all esoteric until you get into the nitty gritty of harmonic progression where the 7th has a specific function. Otherwise, it just doesn't know when and where to sit down in context.

Still it's great to practice exercises in Minor (and Dorian) modes to get the patterns into your fingertips, but it's the arpeggios of a chord progression where the rubber meets the road when it comes to pedagogy. We first introduced this exercise in the October 2009 Mandolin Sessions. The drill there is so good, it's worth repeating here in a PDF format for you to print out and spend some time on, especially if you want to jam away comfortably in any song in a minor key.

Have some fun working this through all twelve keys. Though quite comprehensive traveling the Circle of 5ths, it's only two pages:

Link: Minor Arpeggios
MinArp.jpg

Posted by Ted at September 30, 2012 7:40 AM


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