The circle of fifths is the way the 12 musical notes of the chromatic scale are arranged following a sequence of perfect fifths (7 semitones). It helps visualizing relationships between notes and better understanding diatonic harmony.
Satin Doll by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, witten in 1953, is one of the most famous jazz tune. It has been recorded by many jazz musicians as Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, Mc Coy Tyner, Oscar Peterson and of course Duke Ellington himself. It has become a classic jazz standard, a must-hear, very popular at jam sessions.
This guitar lesson with chord shapes and scale charts explains how to play easy jazz chords and what basic scales to choose for improvising over Satin Doll.
This infographic with guitar shapes show the main 6 minor scales used in jazz as :
- Minor pentatonic
- Minor blues
- Dorian mode
- Aeolian mode
- Melodic minor
- Harmonic minor
This blog post contains free cheat sheets (infographics) for guitar players about the Dorian mode. You will find useful information on how to play chords, arpeggios and minor licks directly related to this minor scale.
Major Scale Aka Ionian Mode - YouTube Video - Cheat Sheets For Guitar - Scales, Chords, Patterns and Licks
Here are some free cheat sheets for guitar teachers and students about the Ionian mode aka The Major Scale. Here, you'll find chord and scale shapes with easy patterns and licks related to the Ionian mode.
This guitar lesson sheds light on the different types of minor modes and scales that can be used in jazz music. They are built with different combinations of intervals starting on different steps of several scales as the major scale, the melodic minor, the harmonic minor, the harmonic major, the pentatonic scale and the bebop scale.
Two new educational guitar posters are now availbale at Teespring.com. The first one contains 18 essential scale shapes used by guitarists. The second poster provides 63 common jazz guitar chord diagrams. They are both available in giant size, 24 x 60 inches 90 x 60 cm.
This lesson dedicated to the harmonic minor scale explains how to build drop 2 and drop 3 seventh chords from it. This action which consists in stacking notes in interval of thirds starting on each tone of a scale is commonly called "harmonization".
What Scale to Choose for Improvising?
One of the most common question a beginner asks when he wants to start improvising on guitar is : Which scale to choose over which chords? However, there is a lot of scale and a lot of chord, it is easy to get lost. That's why it is important to make the relation between them, trying to understand what is the appropriate scale that fit the chord and vice versa.
This guitar lesson provides the seventeen most important scales with shapes and formulas to know for improvising over the most used chord types in jazz music (major, minor, dominant and diminished).
Dominant 7 flat ninth chords (7b9) are generally related to the fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale known as Phrygian dominant scale, which makes it the most obvious choice for improvising over 7b9 chords. However, we will see in this article that there are many other options.
Pentatonic scales are scales with five notes per octave. They are frequently used in music all over the world. The word "pentatonic" comes from the Greek word "pente" meaning five and "tonic" meaning tone.
Talk of "the" pentatonic scale generally make reference to the major pentatonic scale and its relative minor. It's a mistake, indeed there are many types of pentatonic scales (Egyptian, Ritusen, Man gong, Altered, Locrian...).
Pentatonic scales are considered earlier than heptatonic scales (seven-note scales) and can be divided into two categories :
- Containing semitones (hemitonic)
- Without semitones (anhemitonic)
The purpose of this post is to propose some tips and ideas for practicing and develop pentatonic scales.
What's a Major Scale?
A major scale is a scale containing a major third (3) and a major seventh (7). There must be four half-steps between the root and the major third and one half-step between the major seventh and the root. The most known is the major scale spelled 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7.
What Are the Twelve Types of Major Scales?
When we think about major scales, the first that comes to mind is the Ionian mode, best know as THE major scale. However, there are several other types of major scales (Ionian #5, Lydian augmented #2, Ionian b6) which deserve a little more attention. Here they are listed with guitar shapes and formulas.
Locrian Mode Cheat Sheet For Guitar
The Locrian mode is the seventh mode of the major scale. It has a particular sound because of the b2, b3, b5, b6 and b7. It is probably the least used and the most misunderstood of all of the modes of the major scale. The Locrian mode is usually played over minor seventh flat ninth chords (m7b5).
The Aeolian mode is built with : root (1), minor second (b2), minor third (b3), perfect fourth (4), diminished fifth (b5), minor sixth (b6) and minor seventh (b7).
locrian-mode-guitar-cheat-sheet.pdf (145.18 Ko)
Mixolydian Scale Guitar Cheat Sheet - PDF / JPEG
The Mixolydian mode, also called dominant scale is the fifth mode of the major scale. It is a major type scale. This is the mode to know when you want to play over dominant chords (not altered). The Mixolydian mode is widely used in jazz and blues music and one of the most important to master.
The Mixolydian mode is built with : root (1), second (2), third (3), perfect fourth (4), perfect fifth (5), sixth (6) and minor seventh (b7).
mixolydian-mode-sheet-cheat-for-guitar.pdf (134.74 Ko)