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Have Little to do With Fish
Music scales, fish scales; there’s no connection.
Or is there? Scales provide fish with protection. Scales also provide
composers with protection from ridicule. If you know how to play
and write scales, you have more resources for composing. You are
protected from comments like:
Edna, look at the composer with no scale expertise. That’s
like a butcher with no cutting skills.”
don’t know how to write a scale? Do you know how to breathe?”
go up and down. Now go learn them before I make you go down!”
get busy learning scales before someone gets hurt. Here are three
scales to start with:
F major has a
Bb and uses a completely different right hand fingering. Proceed
with caution and fear... actually, just proceed with concentration.
Now let's add an F# into the key signature, rather than a Bb:
Of course, writing and playing these and other scales is an indispensable
part of being a composer. Try copying the above notation on manuscript
paper and playing some of the above scales using your right
hand. Incidentally, the left-hand fingerings (one octave) for all
three scales are 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2 and 1.
Metamorphic Major Scales
it be fun to turn a major scale into a completely different sounding
scale by simply adjusting a couple of notes? I know it would not
be as much fun as winning a free house or a free car, but that’s
this. Take a C major ascending right hand scale, and play Eb and
Bb (rather than E and B natural) on all of your third and fourth
fingers respectively. In other words, play the scale using the following
C1, D2, Eb3, F1, G2, A3, Bb4, C1, D2, Eb3, F1, G2, A3, Bb4 and
try the same formula for the left hand, playing Eb and Bb on all
your third and second fingers:
C5, D4, Eb3, F2, G1, A3, Bb2, C1, D4, Eb3, F2, G1, A3, Bb2 and
You’ve just converted a C major scale into a C Dorian scale
Remember that flattening the third and seventh note of any major
scale gives an instant Dorian scale. This type of converting
is kind of like instant coffee. The coffee grind is the major scale,
the boiling water is the two note adjustment, and the boiling hot
cup of coffee is the Dorian scale. I know what you're thinking.
I need a cup of coffee, but fast. You're right...
I'm off to plug in the kettle.
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