Overlapping Transpositions

Every scale has twelve transpositions, some of which are modes and some hypermodes of the original one. Unless the scale has only one note in it (!) there will be some overlap between the original scale and at least some of its transposed copies. Indeed, for seven-note scales, one of the most common categories we work with, every transposition will share at least two notes in common with the original. Let's see if we can use this to our advantage.

Triple Diminished Ideas

Here are some ideas based on my very imperfect understanding of Yusef Lateef's "triple diminished" approach to 12-tone improvisation. I'm not sure how he improvised with it in real time (though it seems from what I've read that he did) but the results certainly sound interesting and usable.

Minor 3-Major 2 Patterns

The common pentatonic scale has only two kinds of interval between its notes: each pair is separated by either a minor third (three frets) or a major second (two frets). Of course, this scale counds very familiar, not only because of its use in rock music but also from its very different uses in music by the likes of Debussy and Ravel. So it's interesting to look at what happens when we navigate the total chromatic using those two intervals.

"Days of Wine and Roses" Variation

Yesterday I had a Cm7 vamp in my looper (I was practicing these) and happened to glance over at the music stand, where my repertoire book was open at "The Days of Wine and Roses" (I like opening the book at random and playing through something to get warmed up). As a consequence, this happened.

David Stern's 12-Tone Patterns

Here's one of those 10-page PDFs that will take you several lifetimes to explore, David Stern's "12-Tone Patterns". Being a Dropbox link, I recommend downloading it in case it disappears.

Modulation Staging

I think the next "big thing" in effects might be modulation stacking. At first it sounds crazy to have, say, a flanger and chorus going into each other because the overall result will probably be a big, seasickness-inducing mess. But the technique offers a way to create complex effects that can be quite subtle.

Building Vocabulary with Seventh Arpeggios

I revisited a past post on building vocabulary from scratch today and decided to extend it a bit. Here's what I came up with.

New Sounds from "Roomy" Pentatonics

This bit of analysis was prompted by an interesting question asked on the Music Theory forum on Reddit. It ended up as a question about which scales you can transpose and get a completely different set of notes from the set you started with, with no overlap.

Graphs of Scales... a Sneak Peek

I've been experimenting with drawing graphs of scales for a while now, and have a few ideas on the subject; maybe even enough for an ebook one day. I'm particularly pleased with my latest batch, some selections of which I thought I'd share with you here. Consider them your Christmas present, valued reader.

5 Myths about Modes

When I was writing the Scale and Arpeggio Resources I was aware that a lot of guitar students find the idea of modes very confusing. I spent a bit of time working out a sensible way for guitarists (and others) to think about them, and it wasn't that hard. It therefore continues to amaze me that lots of guitarists -- even experienced teachers -- often say things about modes that are either incorrect or very confusing.