Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Phrasing with Scales and Modes (part 1)

I've had no end of requests about modes since I first started the phrasing module.

Am I going to be covering modes/phrasing with modes?

While I've had some really good, supportive feedback about the first 2 videos, I probably didn't make it clear enough in the post "New Year, New Ideas" that the first 2 videos are supposed to serve as an example of what can be done with a scale. It happened to be a Bb major scale that I used in the example, but in truth it could have been any scale, any mode. Pentatonic, blues scales, even arpeggios can be practiced using this principle of breaking up the rhythm, and experimenting with different note values and rests between them but remaining within the restricted framework of completing the scale (or arpeggio) over however many octaves as you wish. It was meant to serve as an example of a principle rather than just as a major scale exercise.

If building familiarity with different scales and modes is necessary, then I would suggest that is done before attempting to explore different rhythms while playing them in their ascending and descending forms. Scale diagrams and information about what (and where) all the modes are can be found all over the internet. A quick google search will offer you all the information you will ever need, and some clear scale diagrams are well presented on a lot of good education websites.

Getting back to the phrasing module, there are two directions that I can go in from those first videos. The first is to explore different scales, modes, arpeggios, pentatonic and blues scale choices etc... and thoroughly go through a lot of different sounds and effects that these tonalities can bring. The other direction I could go in is to explore the dynamics of movement within a scale more thoroughly. Maybe changing direction once or twice over a 2 octave scale instead of always needing to complete it over 2 octaves before either ascending or descending once more. Maybe explore intervals? The list of options here is immense.

What I had planned to do next was to explore more 'melodic movement choices' rather than tonalities, although since I've been asked about this a lot, I'm probably going to explore both of these things.

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