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John McNeil discusses the C Major and Minor and D scales and how these scales are incorporated into jazz.
Tags:The Major Scales in Jazz,C Major,C Minor,D scales,dorian,jazz,masterjazz,mode,scales
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First of all, most of the scales we improvise with can be found within two seven note scales, the Major scale and the Minor Major seventh scale.
Here is what these two scales look like. Notice that there is a difference of only one note between them.
Let us start with the more familiar of the two, the C Major scale. It is possible to make seven different scales out of this one major scale.
All you have to do is start a scale on each pitch of the C Major scale. I will show you what I mean.
Let us start a scale on the second degree, notice how we are remaining in the key of C no flats or sharps. This is called the “Dorian Scale”.
Sometimes we use the word mode instead of scale but it really does not matter which one you use. Mode makes you sound smarter which is unusual for a short word.
Usually long words make this sound smarter. Anyway, if you want to impress your friends, say mode, otherwise scale is just by.
In jazz we often use the Dorian Minor scale when improvising in a minor key. You can see that it is different from a regular minor and that it has a major sixth. In other words, it has a B natural rather than a B flat.
Now, people have long associated the Dorian scale with the model tune, so John Coltrane or the tune “So What” made popular by Miles Davis. Here is what it sounds like in an improvised sole.
My friends here Ron Vincent on drums, Dean Johnson on Bass, Carlo Homes on Piano and Billy Henry on Tenor Saxophone.
We will play a tune that is composed entirely of Dorian scales and the changes will appear across the bottom of the screen.