Combining the Blues Scale With the Minor Scales

There is a lot of talk in improvisation texts about the three minor scales (which start on LA), the Dorian mode (which starts on RE), and the blues scale (which can begin on either one).   However, the reality is that master jazz improvisers glide freely between all five scales with additional nuances interspersed.  Below is a lick to illustrate this principle.  Listen to the mp3 recording while looking at the chart.  Try practicing this lick in all 12 keys.  If you have difficulty, try slowing it down or looping the hard section with the FREE DOWNLOAD  Best Practice.   Or contact me for a FREE chart of the lick in 12 keys by filling in your email below.  Your address will NOT be used for any other purpose, and it will NOT be saved.   Better yet, if you want to learn to play jazz by ear, download New Ears Resolution.

10-14-13 LICK

4 thoughts on “Combining the Blues Scale With the Minor Scales

  1. I thought some of Craig’s readers might be interested in a new instrument I’m making called the Saxinet (aka “Backpack Sax”). It’s a keyless instrument with the same basic fingering as saxophone.

    I’ve made a few videos of the Saxinet backed by other instruments. I apologize in advance for the imperfect playing, especially in intonation (the player’s main challenge on such a small instrument, but great for practice). You’ll see right away that I’m neither a horn player nor a jazz player, although I have played professionally on other instruments in other genres for about 21 years. The main point is to convey a rough idea of the instrument’s potential:

    The Saxinet It’s available in Bb and C, and in a choice of three colors, silver, gold and two-tone. I’m hoping that it will have uses for experienced players as a compact travelling instrument, as well as for kids to learn on a couple of years earlier than they could with sax or clarinet, or as an alternative to recorder. The Saxinet is my sincere attempt to make a better “pocket” instrument than any other on the market.

    I’d be glad to answer any questions or comments, either here or by email.

    All the best,

    Duncan Gillis


  2. Thank you for your work with this site…I think your suggestions are of much value…especially for this 64 year old who wishes to play a simple effective tune ……outside his closet!! 🙂


    1. Hi Bill, So glad to hear that our posts are helpful to you. We’ll continue to make some of the ideas available from the 300 or so we have gathered over the years that have been so useful in my own development as a player and as an improviser.


  3. Many Thanks for your great help! this should improve my skill!! I will suggest your website to all my italian friends. Ciaoo


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