Clark JM Jazz Mandolin
Tips & Tricks Mel Bay Mandolin Sessions








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."


Dorian/Minor FFcP Studies

It happened even with the early introduction of the FFcP concept; readers would question, "Got the Major Scales, but what should I do about the Minor Scales?" It was a good question, and our response was usually the Major Scale can be found in all the other modes, no need to add to the confusion.

In rethinking this, keys and tonal centers in minor songs really are different. It doesn't hurt to establish some grounding in "Minor-ness" and we decided about five years later it was time to do something about it. Here's the dilemma in dealing with the more traditional approach to the Minor Scales, the inconsistent ambiguity of the treatment of 6th and 7th scale degree.

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Melodically, it makes sense to be comfortable with these variations. The horizontal logic is intuitive, but they betray contextual harmonic (chord) function in jazz. Vertically, it's all about context. Our solution is to take the most commonly used "minor-ish" mode, Dorian, and build a whole FFcP regimen around that. It works great until you start injecting the chord functions.

We combine the Dorian with these important arpeggios constructed around a harmonic function. We introduce 'i VI ii7b5 V7' to get you down that path, so in essence this exercise is a Dorian/Minor drill:

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This will be a workout, especially for the larger mandolin family, mandola, OM, mandocello, and Cittern, especially the 4ths exercises. If you've already come this far, you're a believer, and you know and investment of time in these will pay you back in strength, dexterity, and now an intuitive ability in Minor Tonalities.

Enjoy 4 page PDF: Dorian/Minor FFcP

More FFcP: FFcP Studies

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