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Piano for dummies - Blake N.

Blake N. Piano for dummies - IDG, 1996. - 353 p.
Download (direct link): pianofordummies1991.pdf
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Well, what happens is that you begin to form other scales, neither major nor minor. Some sound great, some sound horrible, and some sound sort of exotic. Creating your own scales is not only acceptable — it’s recommended. Fresh new scales inevitably give birth to fresh new melodies and harmonies.
People have experimented with scale patterns since the dawn of music. Although most experimental scales take a back seat to major and minor scales, some mu^ic styles use the inventions as the basis for captivating melodies.
Harmonic minor scales
The harmonic minor scale differs from the normal minor scale by only one half step, but in doing so you achieve a whole new sounding scale. To play the harmonic minor, follow these steps:
1. Start out playing a normal minor scale.
2. When you get to the seventh note, raise it one half-step (or sharp it).
This change makes the next to last step а l'/г step, but 1 think your fingers can handle it.
If you do this correctly, the resulting pattern for a harmonic minor scale will be the following:
Whole-Half-Whole-Whole-Half-1 '/2-Whole
Play and compare the normal minor scale in Figure 8-8 with the harmonic minor scale next to it. Sounds rather exotic, doesn’t it? You’ll encounter this scale in lots of classical piano music (which you can read more about in Chapter 15).
Figure 8-8:
The A minor A minor scale: ^ A harmonic minor scale:
and А У „ п о D
о о
F G» A
106 Part III: One Hand at a Time_____________
Melodic minor scales
Figure 8-9:
Make a decision. Are you sad or happy?
Another variation on the minor scale is the melodic minor scale, also commonly known as the jazz minor, because it seems to find its way into most of the jazz music you hear. Of course, long before the advent of jazz music, other composers like Bach and Mozart used this scale as a basis for their works of art.
Whether jazz, classical, or some other style of music, the following is the step pattern for a melodic minor scale:
I also like to call this scale the fickle scale, because it can’t decide whether to sound major or minor. Look at the step pattern again and notice that the first four steps are the same as in the minor scale pattern, while the last four steps are just like the major scale pattern. Whatever you call it, Figure 8-9 shows you how to play a melodic minor scale.
A minor scale: f) n n 0 A melodic minor scale: ., Ho it*-* 0
V n <1 0
/ n f» 0 A n u ^
rm <> n **
Blues scale
A scale that I personally love is the blues scale. You can hear it in rock, country, jazz, and of course .. . blues-style music.
This scale is a real rebel, practically throwing the rules of scale building out the window. Of course, there aren’t really any hard-and-fast “rules” to scale building, but this scale is rebellious anyway:
It begins with a 1V2 step.
• It has only seven notes.
* It favors one of the letter names of the notes, using the third note’s natural and sharp name.
The step pattern for this seditious little scale is:
172-Whole-Half-Half-l 72-Whole
To clear up this confusion, play the scale in Figure 8-10.
Chapters: Scaling to New Heights 105
Figure 8-10:
Getting the blues
Steps: W+H W H H W+H w

Where else have you seen a scale with two half steps in a row? Where else have you seen a scale using F and F-sharp? Not in this book, I tell you. But after you know the blues scale, playing it is as addictive as eating peanuts. You can use blues scale notes for all kinds of little riffs and melodies like the one in Figure 8-11.
1234 5 24321212 3 434
5242 1 2342 1 234 525 1
4" f J J 1 j-tJ
Using scales any which way you like
Okay, okay — scales are important, scales help you improve your playing, scales make you happy, scales make you rich, blah, blah, blah. But how can you use scales now — right now?
What are you waiting for? You don't need me to tell you to break all the rules, push the boundaries, and explore the mystical world of scale patterns. Make up your own scales with their own step patterns. Improvise melodies or left-hand bass patterns by using just a few notes of a scale (see Chapter 9 for more
information on bass patterns). Print out hundreds of scales and wallpaper your kitchen. Basically, just do what you want with scales.
The bottom line is this: Let scales help you in whatever way you need them. It doesn't matter how you use scales — limbering the fingers with some fast E-flat majors, discovering a cool left-hand groove through the inspiration of a G harmonic minor, or just impressing your friends with a rhythmic F-sharp blues scale. Scales are fun — get out there and play.
Chapter 9
Hey, Don't Forget Lefty!
In This Chapter
► Using the left hand ^ Playing notes from the bass clef
Accompanying a right-hand melody with the left hand
• » m m
Ê My &nt to know an industry secret? Many a pianist who plays with a ▼ ▼ band never even uses the left hand. Oh sure, you think the left hand is playing, because it’s moving up and down the left side of the keyboard and you’re hearing lots of bass lines and chords. But au contraire, mon frère. The bass player fills in the bass notes; the guitarist covers the chords. The not-so-good pianist just fakes it.
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