Tag Archives: exotic scales

The Philosophy of Fingering

Many moons have passed since I was last on speaking terms with film composers, so I was unable to ask John Williams if he was aware that his Imperial March for the latest Star Wars movie uses one of those … Continue reading

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Get your first scale free?

Remember all those collections they use to sell at the newsagents, offering you a free binder with the first instalment? As if you wouldn’t end up paying for it in the end! The idea was that once it was in … Continue reading

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The Science of Licks

Continuing from my recent post on the philosophy of licks, one of the measures of a good lick is how it messes with the listener’s cognition and fries his brain. It arrives too fast for you to take it all … Continue reading

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Ethiopian groove

Anyone interested in exotic scales should definitely listen to the Ethiopiques record collection, copiously shared on youTube. They were re-mastered from recordings rediscovered after being buried in the vaults during the 18 years of Ethiopia’s repressive Mengistu regime, which tried to … Continue reading

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What Boys Like

When I taught beginner’s sax to ten-year-olds I used to ask them what was the first tune they wanted to start work on right away. There was a clear sex divide in their preferences. “Doh, a deer” and “East Enders … Continue reading

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A (Random) Scale a Day

There are some 2048 possible interval arrays spanning one octave starting from a given note. Some of these are labeled arpeggios and others make up scales. The most numerous are the hexatonic and heptatonic scales with 462 types each. Next … Continue reading

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