Learning Minor Scales

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Ironman, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Ironman

    Ironman New Friend

    38
    0
    Dec 8, 2009
    Hey gang! I've been back at it for a few months and studying with a jazz man to learn jazz improvisation. I have my major scales down again and my instructor has me playing triads, major 7, dominant 7, etc off the major scales. He's introducing me to the Dorian mode as well. I'm planning to start getting the minor scales down. With three types of minor scales I'm feeling overwhelmed! Any advice on learning these quickly or am I just trying to get it all in my brain too fast?

    :-?:dontknow:
     
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    2,156
    15
    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    I would suggest a SPIT book. Sometimes you can find them used on ebay. It has all the stuff you're talking about but puts it in a format that allows you to learn while playing along with a play along or while the rhythm section plays. It makes learning more fun. Also if you know your major scales you can play the Dom, minor and Half Dim
    Remember, all you're playing is the major scale, just mutated a little.
    Dom= Major scale with a b7
    Minor=Major scale with b3 & b7
    Half-Dim=Major scale with b3 b5 b7
    ---------------
    As for the Dorian, there's an easy way to get this under your fingers and between your ears. Here's how:
    Can you play a C major scale starting on any note in the scale? Of course you can!
    Play the C maj scale but start on D and end on D
    That's the Dorian in D. The other modes are the same way.
    If you play in the key of C but start and end on these notes, here's what you'll get. This is an easy way to get your ears use to the sound.
    C to C ( in the Key of C) = Ionian in C
    D to D (in the key of C) = Dorian in D
    E to E ("" "") is the Phrygian in E
    F to F("" "") is the Lydian
    G to G ("" "") is the Myxolydian
    A to A ("" "") is the Aeolean
    B to B ("" "") is the Locrian
    -----------
    As for minors, there's relative minors (about as easy as pie). Just play your major scale but start 3 half steps down from C (or whatever the first note of the major scale is)
    If you're in the C maj scale, then start on A (which is 3 half steps down from C) and then proceed to play the C major scale.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  3. scaramanga

    scaramanga New Friend

    41
    0
    Feb 27, 2010
    London
    There are four types of minor scale - Dorian, Aeolian, Melodic and Harmonic. They are of course identical up to the 5th - its the type of 6th and 7th that gives them the different qualities. So Dorian has 6 and b7- (CDEbFGABb), Aeolian b6 and b7 - (CDEbFGAbBb), Melodic 6 and 7 - (CDEbFGAB) and Harmonic b6 and 7 - (CDEbFGAbB).
    Dont try to learn them all at once though - stick with the Dorian to begin with.
     
  4. hup_d_dup

    hup_d_dup Piano User

    339
    27
    May 28, 2009
    Tewksbury, NJ, USA
    Ironman, in my opinion the easiest minor scale to learn is the natural minor scale, also known as Aeolian. That's because the notes of every natural minor scale are the same as a relative major scale, but starting at a different note. So if you play the notes of a C scale, but start on A, you are playing an A (natural) minor scale.

    More to the point however; you say you have an instructor. Isn't he giving you a logical progression of material to work on? If you believe he's a good instructor, your question should should be directed to him (or her).
     
  5. hup_d_dup

    hup_d_dup Piano User

    339
    27
    May 28, 2009
    Tewksbury, NJ, USA
    Don't forget that this sequence is valid only for the ascending scale, not descending, which is C Bb Ab G F Eb D C.
     
  6. Ironman

    Ironman New Friend

    38
    0
    Dec 8, 2009
    Thanks guys! Great advice. My instructor is taking me through Dorian now. I'm just getting ahead of myself. I want to be able to know what I'm doing ASAP so I can improvise. Patience is not my strongest point. ROFL

    Hey hup, is there a trick to knowing which natural minor correlates with which major scale?
     
  7. scaramanga

    scaramanga New Friend

    41
    0
    Feb 27, 2010
    London
    The third note of the minor scale will be the root of the major. Or going the other way the sixth note of the major will be the start of the minor. So A minor = C major, C minor = Eb major etc. But remember in jazz the Dorian scale is used alot and that starts from the second note of the Major scale, so D minor (dorian) = C major. In other words C major, D dorian and A aeolian (or natural) all contain the same notes.
     
  8. The Kraken

    The Kraken Piano User

    271
    5
    Mar 28, 2007
    Gold Coast - 805
    So if they all contain the same notes, why so many names:dontknow:
     
  9. scaramanga

    scaramanga New Friend

    41
    0
    Feb 27, 2010
    London
    The most common chord sequence in jazz is IIm7 V7 IM7. In C this would be D min G7 Cmaj7. Over this sequence the first scale to get used to would be D dorian - all of its notes fit over the Dm7 and G7. When you get to the Cmaj7 its all the same notes but the F may clash a bit with the E in the Cmaj chord so you could think of C maj pentatonic.
    For this reason I think that the dorian is more useful to begin with, but eventually you should acquaint yourself with both. Theres only one note different between the two but it makes for a different mood.
     
  10. scaramanga

    scaramanga New Friend

    41
    0
    Feb 27, 2010
    London
    They may contain the same notes but that doesnt mean they are the same - the intervals in relation to the root are different. If you compare them on the same root you can see the differences:
    Major CDEFGAB (1234567)
    Dorian CDEbFGABb (12b3456b7)
    Aeolian CDEbFGAbBb (12b345b6b7)
     

Share This Page