Sunday, December 11, 2005

Scales? Why? How?

A short post tonight...
Scales: love 'em, hate 'em ..can't live without 'em.
But why, exactly, do we do them?

I think it boils down to two main things..
  1. Develop the ability to "get around" the horn quickly and well (relaxed, in-tune, good sound...)
  2. Develop the ability to learn new music more quickly by quickly spotting familiar patterns.
Most people stick with a limited number of patterns.
How well does this translate to new material?

I like to think of a scale as a template.
Instead of one specific pattern, apply a wide variety of patterns to the same set of notes.
Something like this..

So, by mastering a variety all based on the same scale, you learn the template instead of one pattern.

Thus, when you encounter a new pattern, you can more quickly spot the template and master the new pattern.