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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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January 13, 2015 | Free PDF: Augmented 11th FFcP


Augmented 11th FFcP

Of course, we are big on the Major Scale. Most of our FFcP entries have focused around this, with the exception of some entries in Pentatonic and Dorian/Minor.

We want to remind you of what we consider the 2nd most important scale or sequence of notes, one we've labeled the Augmented 11th Scale. We've written several articles in our Mandolin Sessions duties at Mel Bay, but for here (music theory geek alert...), we'll briefly mention it can be called a Lydian Dominant, Lydian b7 or a Mixolydian #4.

You can also envision it as a Major Scale with a raised 4th and a flatted 7th. Whatever works for you, but the purpose of this FFcP is you introduce you to the physical side of the sequence of notes.


The FFcP exercise is an extended version of one introduced over five years ago in the December 2009 Mandolin Sessions, and you can read more about it here: Something Old. Something New. What we've done is apply it to the other three fingerings, extending it from just the 1st FFcP below:


You'll do well to take this to the next level and apply it to all 12 keys and move it around the fretboard. Its application as improvisational fodder for improvisation on dominant functioning chords will become obvious to you, especially as it becomes intuitive. Keep in mind the note relationships are the same as what you will find in an Altered Scale and an ascending Melodic Minor Scale.

G Augmented 11th: G, A, B, C#, D, E, F G
C# Altered Scale: C#, D, E, F, G, A, B, C#
D Melodic Minor: D, E, F, G, A, B, C#, D

There's some pretty potent opportunities in this pattern of notes!

Download 2-page PDF: Aug11thExercises.pdf
More FFcP: FFcP Studies

Posted by Ted at January 13, 2015 9:43 PM

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