How Many Scales Are There, Really?

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One thing my students often ask about is “scales” and which ones to learn. In an effort to clarify this, here are some permutational ways to look at this question. Keep in mind, I’m not really talking about which ones are most useful, or how to practice and apply them. What we will do here is do a little surveying, to see what’s out there. First, let’s establish some boundaries:

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Gotcha! (off-topic)

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It seems that being insincere, criticizing something that you actually do yourself, hiding your “true” purpose or painting yourself as righteous when you are not, is the worst possible sin.
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Creativity: You’re Doing it Wrong (Part I)

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Well, not necessarily, but you probably could be doing it better. What is “creativity” and how do we make it happen? Continue Reading…

Each of Us is a Universe

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When we close our eyes, we still sense all our surroundings; this is because we live in a virtual reality inside our mind. Our raw sensory input would be overwhelming and confusing, so we filter and process it into our own private 3D film, with surround sound. These internal constructs are really the only way we interact with the “real” world. The reason our dreams seem so real is that the same “hardware” we use to process what happens around us can be run as a simulator during our downtime.

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I Have a Subjection, Your Honor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subjective (adj.)

modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background <a subjective account of the incident>

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Empty the Cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do we have so much trouble growing, improving, and learning? One reason is that our “cup” is already full, and because of that, there is not enough room for what needs to go in. If we already know something, have a skill, or even have a certain thought, it doesn’t need to occupy space in our learning time.

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What About Jam Sessions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most common methods of networking for musicians is to go to jam sessions. These gatherings are often not what they appear, and often caution is advised…

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The Big Lie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the world changes and information is available everywhere instantly, it appears that there is a casualty: the truth.

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Not All Bullies are Loud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we think of bullying, the aggressive, noisy, overbearing personality comes to mind. While these types certainly make themselves known, (especially during childhood) there is an arguably more dangerous bully that appears in adult situations: the soft-spoken one. Continue Reading…

It’s gotta be bad (or it ain’t gonna be good)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(With apologies to Duke Ellington!)

In recent years, I’ve seen  lots videos of performers triggering clips, sounds and phrases while tempo-locked to a groove in a static harmony; while the result sounds OK, it’s the lack of possibility for it to fail that makes me dubious.

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