It’s not uncommon for us, as guitarists, to feel limited by our vocabulary of basic jazz scales and arpeggios. Sometimes, the colors and emotions we want to express demand something beyond these fundamentals. However, there’s an easy fix — design your own scales!
In her course, Scale Design for Improvisation, Jane Getter presents a few key concepts for crafting your own scales and arpeggios.
Here are three free video lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Jane Getter’s Scale Design for Improvisation on TrueFire!
Guitar Lesson – Altered Pentatonic: Scale Creation Concept
This is my altered pentatonic scale. It’s a pentatonic scale that I created out of the altered scale, which is 1, 2, b3, natural 3, b5, #5 or b6, b7. The altered pentatonic scale consists of 1, b2, 3, b6, b7. I created it because I wanted something unique and different to play over dominant 7th altered chords like A7b9, #9, b5, #5, b13. This scale actually came out of the arpeggio which I created first, which consists of a b7, b2, natural 3, b6. The order of the notes in the arpeggio is unusual in that it jumps around by skipping notes and repeating some – b7, 3, b6, b7, b2, 3, b6, 7, b2, 3. There is also no root in this arpeggio. This is all because I thought it just sounded better in this order and without a root.
You can do this with any scale you already know to create a new sound in your playing. Experiment with adding and subtracting notes from an existing scale until you come up with something you like. In this case, I just subtracted notes.
Again, there are no right or wrong notes. If it sounds good to you, it’s right. The sound is always the determining factor. This a fun and easy way to design your own scales and arpeggios.
Guitar Lesson – Altered Pentatonic: Performance: Scale Only
This is where I play the altered pentatonic scale and arpeggio straight up and down over the A7 and A7 altered chords with only rhythmic variations.
Guitar Lesson – Altered Pentatonic: Performance: Mixing It Up
In this video, I play a solo over the progression where I incorporate the altered pentatonic scale with other scales and articulations over the A7 and A7 altered chords, and the D altered pentatonic over the D7 chord.
Digging these free lessons? Check out Jane Getter’s full course, Scale Design for Improvisation.