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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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June 20, 2006 | August Watters Four Note Patterns

From the desk of Berklee Professor of Ear Training, August Watters, a free page of materials for internalizing theory principles. We are especially fond of his "Four Note Patterns" although there is plenty of juicy stuff on his site.

In drilling scales, there comes a point when you need to abandon the step-by-step consecutive construction of the basic scale, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1, etc. as you practice. Think about it, when was the last time you heard improvisation and noted to yourself, "Hmm, terrific two-octave G scale, there."

A scale run is simply not "real-world" music, and varying the patterns you use to conquer scales, like 1 3 2 4 3 5 4 6, etc., will get you out of the rut of sounding like you're just blowing scales. Read these variations and incorporate this approach to practicing scales. You'll inject new life and creativity into your soloing, as well as gain better insight into fretboard structure and note relationships.

Check out the scale pattern primer: Four Note Patterns.

August Watters Free Music Theory Materials

Posted by Ted at June 20, 2006 6:06 AM

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