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  1. #1

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    I'm working my way through a jazz book (happy to provide details if allowed?) but I'm stuck on an exercise and wonder of anyone could help me (have knowledge of scales, modes etc.)?

    Question: "Write a scale beginning on the fifth degree on the root of the seventh chords C7, F7, G7, Bb7, ..."

    I don't need all the answers, just to understand the question. Any help appreciated.

    Easy Scale Question-c7-png

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by tickmatrix
    I'm working my way through a jazz book (happy to provide details if allowed?) but I'm stuck on an exercise and wonder of anyone could help me (have knowledge of scales, modes etc.)?

    Question: "Write a scale beginning on the fifth degree on the root of the seventh chords C7, F7, G7, Bb7, ..."

    I don't need all the answers, just to understand the question. Any help appreciated.

    Easy Scale Question-c7-png
    What you have here is the major scale and the concept of modes. Your example is in the key of F (which has one flat, Bb).

    The fifth degree in the key of F, is the chord of C7 (V7). The chord is made up of C (I), E (III), G (V) and Bb (b7).

    So instead of starting the scale on the one (I - first degree), F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, one is starting it on C, D, E, F, G, A, Bb

    This exercise is playing the Mixolydian mode. This is a useful mode to utilize for playing songs that feature Dominant 7th chords.
    Last edited by jameslovestal; 12-30-2020 at 04:36 PM.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by tickmatrix
    I'm working my way through a jazz book (happy to provide details if allowed?) but I'm stuck on an exercise and wonder of anyone could help me (have knowledge of scales, modes etc.)?

    Question: "Write a scale beginning on the fifth degree on the root of the seventh chords C7, F7, G7, Bb7, ..."

    I don't need all the answers, just to understand the question. Any help appreciated.

    Easy Scale Question-c7-png

  5. #4

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    I hope it's not important because I don't understand the question either.

    Maybe it means to start the scale on G, but use the notes that apply to C7?

    That's C Mixolydian starting on G. AKA G Dorian.

    Also, what one of my teachers called a "C7 scale".

    After reading James' post, I agree that his interpretation makes the most sense. But, the question, as written, without additional context, is gibberish.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 12-30-2020 at 05:48 AM.

  6. #5

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    James’ post is on the money. The question is just asking you to write mixolydian modes for those 7th chords. I agree the question is not written very clearly.

  7. #6

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    "Write a scale beginning on the fifth degree on the root of the seventh chords C7, F7, G7, Bb7, ..."
    Uh?

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Uh?

    IOW... spell out the major scale in which the 5th degree is C, F, G, and Bb, respectively.

    .

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tickmatrix
    I'm working my way through a jazz book (happy to provide details if allowed?) but I'm stuck on an exercise and wonder of anyone could help me (have knowledge of scales, modes etc.)?

    Question: "Write a scale beginning on the fifth degree on the root of the seventh chords C7, F7, G7, Bb7, ..."

    I don't need all the answers, just to understand the question. Any help appreciated.

    Easy Scale Question-c7-png
    What an awkward, pain in the bottom way of putting it! Basically they mean C7 is the fifth of F, so we use the F scale starting on C.

    so for F7, Bb major starting on F
    Bb7, Eb major starting on Bb
    and so on

    I would tend (I suspect like most here) to view that scale as C dominant (which many people call C mixolydian) which is is like a major scale with a flat seventh. So in this case C major but with a Bb.

    This is a lot easier to use for coming up with bop lines etc.

    What is this book so I can avoid recommending it?

  10. #9

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    thanks for all your replies, much appreciated.


    The question was from Jerry Coker, an American jazz saxophonist and James' post is very much "on the money", the book is Improvising Jazz and is (or was) part of the curricula at the Royal College of Music.


    I should add that I started playing the guitar 40+ years back and had most of this nailed but recently had a stroke which took away a lot of stuff I took for granted. I'm now trying to slowly rebuild, so please be patient.


    Scales & modes previously made perfect sense to me and its important to me to at least know I can get this back but at the moment I'm struggling and my questions may not be best put e.g.


    if C Dorian starts on the second degree of the C major scale C,D,E,F,G,A,B


    how come the C Dorian formula is 1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7 and why is C Dorian the same as Bb major?

  11. #10

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    as posted

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tickmatrix
    thanks for all your replies, much appreciated.


    The question was from Jerry Coker, an American jazz saxophonist and James' post is very much "on the money", the book is Improvising Jazz and is (or was) part of the curricula at the Royal College of Music.
    Oh is it ‘Improvising Jazz’? A rather old book... the sort of thing I can imagine RCM still having on its syllabus lol.

    Does RCM have a jazz course? I play with a quite a few RCM grads and while they play jazz (I wouldn’t be playing with them if they didn’t obv), they all did classical music degrees. I think did some modules in like big band or commercial music or something. Most of them are active in the big band, show and concert orchestra worlds rather than jazzy jazz. (Which is say they can sight read fly shit and actually get paid money.)

    I should add that I started playing the guitar 40+ years back and had most of this nailed but recently had a stroke which took away a lot of stuff I took for granted. I'm now trying to slowly rebuild, so please be patient.


    Scales & modes previously made perfect sense to me and its important to me to at least know I can get this back but at the moment I'm struggling and my questions may not be best put e.g.


    if C Dorian starts on the second degree of the C major scale C,D,E,F,G,A,B


    how come the C Dorian formula is 1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7 and why is C Dorian the same as Bb major?
    There’s two ways to understand modes. Using Mick Goodrick’s terminology. One is Parallel - you construct each mode from a root
    C D E F G A B C (Ionian)
    C D E F G A Bb C (mixolydian)
    C D Eb F G A Bb C (dorian)
    etc

    or Derivative you think in the parent scale and move the scale, so:
    C D E F G A B C (C major)
    F G A Bb C D E (F major)
    Bb C D Eb F G A Bb (Bb major)
    Same accidentals right? But you play the scales over the relevant chord (Cmaj7, C7 and Cm7 respectively in this case) and that gives you the mode.

    So you it’s like you never play modes at all, just the parent scale (major or melodic minor normally)

    So the latter - derivative thinking - is what Coker is using obviously

    Now I actually don’t mind the latter approach - it helps you get the most out of familiar things like the major scale.

    However, I don’t like it for dominant. It had the wrong weight and emphasis to it. Influenced by Barry Harris, I actually think there are only three scale you need for jazz, major, minor (melodic & harmonic) and dominant. It’s worth having dominant (mixolydian) as it’s own thing because bop and straightahead jazz is mostly about dominant chords. Other than that you can convert. so, C minor or F dominant on Am7b5, D dominant on Gm7, that type of thing.

    Hope that makes some sort of sense...
    Last edited by christianm77; 12-30-2020 at 03:36 PM.

  13. #12

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    Thanks, that helps.

    Yes an old book and I'm an old guy, had it for years. Any recommendations welcome.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by tickmatrix
    how come the C Dorian formula is 1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7 and why is C Dorian the same as Bb major?
    This question is often asked by inexperienced modal players but it’s a great question to revisit! The magic is that when you play the exact same notes in the same order but start on a different note (like c major scale but start on a d instead of the c) you get a totally different sound. Now when you listen to a piece of music it is usually based on not just the chord but actually the the chord and the scale. Hotel California is Dorian, let’s say D Dorian ( I’m not sure which key but you can always play it in D Dorian). Compare that to playing Happy Birthday in C, which is Ionian. You use the exact same scale-notes and the sound is totally different. So while they are the same note for note they are really different.

    Best of luck with your rebuilding!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #14

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    It can help to play the modes against a drone.

    So, on a piano, you play a low C with your left hand and then play C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phrygian etc

    Or play C Ionion, D Dorian, E Phrygian, this time keeping the notes the same in your right hand and changing the bass note.

    Then, listen to So What to hear Dorian. Listen to flamenco to hear phrygian, and so forth.