Pip Eastop, Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Posts tagged “half-diminished

The modes of the melodic minor

Long gap since the last post here. Still practising, though!

Here’s an excersise I’m working on a bit now. The idea of it is to get me right into the feel, into the nitty-gritty, of the melodic minor by getting used to some awkward angular intervals contained within it. The melodic minor (up) or MinorMajor scale is so useful because its modes yield a lot of common jazz scales, such as the altered “Alt” scale (7th mode) or the half-diminished scale with a raised 2nd (Locrian #2).

I’m going to try to learn this in all twelve mM scales. It’s very awkward, particularly in the keys furthest away from C.



Holiday practice – half diminished

Yesterday I didn’t do very much blowing and I was worried that I’d burnt myself out with too much practice in the few previous days, but on the other hand my energy might have been low due perhaps to the double dosing of antihistamine I’ve been taking each day because of the close proximity of grass pollen all around our holiday cottage.
Today was better, though. We drove up from Essex to north Norfolk – moving to a different cottage for another week of holiday. On the way I did quite a lot of work in the Locrian mode, trying to familiarise myself with its sound. I had a small breakthrough in discovering that it has both a perfect fourth and a flattened fifth. With this I discovered that if I sung (in my head) the root, then the fourth, then a semitone higher (the flat fifth) I could then sing the scale up or down with all the right notes. Locrian is easy to check as you work on it – simply start on its second note and you should have a major scale. If you don’t then that wasn’t locrian.
Then, when we got to the Norfolk cottage, I tried it out on the cornet and found that with those three notes preceding each scale I could play all my locrians without fumbling around for the notes. All I need to do now is plenty of this, every day for a week or so, and then I should have freedom to improvise in all the locrians, which I believe covers the chords known as half-diminished.