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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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February 3, 2013 | Understanding Minor

In the December 2011 issue of Mandolin Sessions, we took a closer look at the often confusing variation of the Minor Scale. Natural, Harmonic, Melodic, we've always maintained students (more, their teachers) get too hung up on knowing the differences and pounding them out in needless repetition. Understand, this is all theory--it's more lab than field work.

Yes, you should know what these are, but to be able to quote them in all twelve keys is like learning to speak fluent Latin. It will help you understand languages, but it won't help you explain to your 16 year-old how to change a tire.

We prefer to approach the minor scale variations in terms of harmonic function, and to practice them that way. Knowing what the 7th scale degree does (not just what it is) will help you drive your music. Knowing viscerally the variation of color in the 6th helps you paint your improv in techinolor.

See what we mean...

Read article. Minor League: Making the most of Minor Keys


Posted by Ted at February 3, 2013 6:30 AM

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