Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

  1. #1

    Default Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    I've been running through these exercises. I'm trying to think of a practical application. But I think first I need to bridge the theory (running the scales) with practice (jamming live) with an in-between so I can internalize the value.

    Anyone have ideas? Existing backing tracks? My best idea is just to record some backing chord progressions on piano/guitar and then play over them... tinker with them, etc.

    Maybe some models/exemplars of the approach in use?

    Your testimonials would be helpful on how/if you found value and how you've implemented it.

    I have to be honest, I didn't search the forums for an answer. Gotta' run, didn't want to forget, so I am throwing this out there.
    ---
    Cheap Craigslist Guitar | Mandolin Made of Wood | Upright Bass with Strings

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Brian Harris For This Useful Post:


  3. #2

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Oops... I just noticed that I only printed the first few pages. The end of the PDF does address this. I'm still interested in the collective wisdom here.
    ---
    Cheap Craigslist Guitar | Mandolin Made of Wood | Upright Bass with Strings

  4. #3
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Near Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Brian, thanks for linking to Pete's e-book, I'm finding it very interesting and helpful
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Galway, Ireland
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    I've somehow never come across or I've misunderstood the title Chord Tone Scales in my musical journey. Thanks for this, very interesting.

  6. The following members say thank you to Posterboy for this post:


  7. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine USA
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    IMO the practical application would be in creating practice exercises. Using common chord progressions and getting used to the sound of playing chord tone solos through them. Playing notes which best define how the chords change. The exercises could be used to develop fluency in playing generally, or, as a way to examine a tune you'll be performing. Pete's book is very good.

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Joel Glassman For This Useful Post:


  9. #6
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,836
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Well ..... working with a rhythm track is always a good way to get those scales and arpeggios under your fingers. Jamming alone and working from key to key will teach you the bones of what you want to learn. Add to that playing with a radio or streaming station where you have to figure the key chord structure and melody "on the fly" is the best practice for a jam or an audition as the case may be. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  10. #7

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    If you're new to scale work, I recommend learning the pentatonic scale first in all keys. Check out Niles Hakkonane's pentatonic mandolin book. IMO it is easier to use in a jam vs. pete's method. Both methods are similar with recommending different scale patterns.

  11. The following members say thank you to Relio for this post:


  12. #8

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Relio View Post
    If you're new to scale work, I recommend learning the pentatonic scale first in all keys.
    I was coming here to quote the same thing. I think if you aren't blessed with a good ear, or intuition, this Chord Tone may have value. But it struck me as just an overly complicated pentatonic + a note approach.

    Furthermore, his scales are open so you're not generalizing the patterns, unlike closed scales.

    Yup... I'm glad you validated my take-away. I was excited to mess around with this but it's complicated and rather uninspiring.
    ---
    Cheap Craigslist Guitar | Mandolin Made of Wood | Upright Bass with Strings

  13. #9

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    What's the different between a Chord Tone Scale, and a Chord Arpeggio?

    In my simple head there's two ways to play a chord, all at once (strum) or broken into an arpeggio. Never forsaking the rhythm. The chord in question is whatever chord is in play in a given tune/song. Chord improvisation is deciding this. Melodic improvisation is deciding what and how to embellish, or augment a melody line. While many songs/tunes have the same chord progression, the melody is what makes a song/tune more unique. I say more, because many vocal songs can share a melody. So it's arguable, chord improvisation should be more easily employed. All one needs, is to stay in time and make the chord changes in a timely manner.

    Maybe I take it for granted, this is all treatment of a known song/tune that's been decided ahead of time.

  14. The following members say thank you to farmerjones for this post:


  15. #10
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,435

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Glassman View Post
    IMO the practical application would be in creating practice exercises. Using common chord progressions and getting used to the sound of playing chord tone solos through them. Playing notes which best define how the chords change. The exercises could be used to develop fluency in playing generally, or, as a way to examine a tune you'll be performing. Pete's book is very good.
    This is a backdoor way to learn to play jazz the way I was taught, before Abersold and the "chord/scale" method gained ground.

    It used to be called the "chord arpeggio" method, because you learned the chord arpeggios of each chord in a tune and used them as the "chord tones" (hence the name) in soloing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Relio View Post
    If you're new to scale work, I recommend learning the pentatonic scale first in all keys. Check out Niles Hakkonane's pentatonic mandolin book. IMO it is easier to use in a jam vs. pete's method. Both methods are similar with recommending different scale patterns.
    I do NOT.

    Learn the chord arpeggios, then the major and minor and other scales you need, and you'll have the tools you need to play jazz.

    Learning pentatonics is useful later for many musical effects, but is not a good way to learn to play through chord changes.

    However, if you are not going to play jazz, maybe skip ahead to the pentatonics.

    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjones View Post
    What's the different between a Chord Tone Scale, and a Chord Arpeggio?
    It seems not much.

    As opposed to the current jazz school "chord/scale" method, where you see a chord and play some particular scale, you play through the actual chords, and use whatever scales may help hitting chord tones at the right places in your solos.

    The OP's book does not seem to be geared to the jazz player, though; this is a useful thing because many folk musicians I have met do not understand chord arpeggios and chord changes the way jazz players do.

  16. The following members say thank you to DavidKOS for this post:


  17. #11
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Near Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    A "chord tone scale" differs from an arpeggio in that it is a scale based on the diatonic scale, but altered in such a way so that when you play the scale in eighth notes, the first note in each pair of eighths (the note on the beat) will be a chord tone. To match a triad, you'd generally drop a note from the scale. See the e-book linked to in the OP.

    Also, you can add a note to the scale (the b7) in order to produce a scale where the four tones of the seventh chord will fall on the beat.

    As far as I know, I'm understanding this correctly. I've only read some of the ebook from Pete Martin and watched his video on the be-bop scale, so I don't know much about it.

    I think it is interesting and useful knowledge for anyone who is interested in playing multiple genre, adding new color to improv, and understanding more about "music theory". It's a bit complex, like learning to tie a shoelace.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  18. The following members say thank you to Mark Gunter for this post:


  19. #12
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Near Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    I think a chord tone scale could be understood as an arpeggio with an extra note between each arpeggiated note.

    Others in this discussion have described it as the pentatonic with an added note, since one form of a chord tone scale has six notes.

    I would think of it as a standard eight note scale (7 notes + octave) that drops one note to match a triad chord, or adds one note to match the seventh chord.

    Again, I could be wrong, just trying to learn this stuff.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  20. #13
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,435

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    A "chord tone scale" differs from an arpeggio in that it is a scale based on the diatonic scale, but altered in such a way so that when you play the scale in eighth notes, the first note in each pair of eighths (the note on the beat) will be a chord tone.
    Ah, similar to the various so-called "bebop" scales that put those tones on the strong beats by adding a note or so here and there.

  21. #14
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Near Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Ah, similar to the various so-called "bebop" scales that put those tones on the strong beats by adding a note or so here and there.
    David, that's my understanding from browsing the first few pages of the e-book mentioned in the OP
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  22. The following members say thank you to Mark Gunter for this post:


  23. #15
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,435

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    David, that's my understanding from browsing the first few pages of the e-book mentioned in the OP
    And applied to stuff that most mandolinists would be playing. It's a pretty cool booklet.

  24. The following members say thank you to DavidKOS for this post:


  25. #16

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    I have to hand it to Pete for taking the time to create some great content. He's up for Sainthood in my book.

    It just shows how I could never teach or instruct. I'm notorious for under-explaining, and taking for granted concepts are understood. Few things are more confusing to somebody else than to over-simplify. Beware, chord theory is a rabbit hole.

  26. #17

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Learning pentatonics is useful later for many musical effects, but is not a good way to learn to play through chord changes.
    You can play a pentatonic scale over any diatonic chord in a key. IMO it's the ultimate cheat to play through chord changes.

  27. The following members say thank you to Relio for this post:


  28. #18
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Near Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Relio View Post
    You can play a pentatonic scale over any diatonic chord in a key. IMO it's the ultimate cheat to play through chord changes.
    Hi Relio! Well, that's true, but the topic is about chord tone scales, and the post you quoted from David is about playing through chord changes. The pentatonic can fit pretty well over the standard diatonic harmony of key chords, but that's not the same as playing through the changing chord tones with the changes. You and Brian have already mentioned the value of the pentatonic, and stated preference for that - but it's incorrect IMO to infer that what Pete is teaching is too complicated and amounts to adding a note to the pentatonic. That might be a way of looking at it, but the method there is to take the scale associated with each chord of the progression and dropping an appropriate note so that the chord tones are played on the beat. In the end, it's not really that complicated IMO, but it does require a knowledge of the scales and scale degrees and plenty of pratice to implement. It's just a neat way to move beyond using the pentatonic scale of the key, and instead, using more available notes to fit with each chord change.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  29. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mark Gunter For This Useful Post:


  30. #19
    Dave Sheets
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Buffalo NY Area
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    If one is really interested in this, some of the Aebersold CDs and Books go into a lot of detail and depth on these issues, of how one can fit different scale forms to different chords. You can really stretch matters quite a ways, as long as you have the chord triad within the scale. Works in a jazz setting, and in many hybrid or fusion settings. Maybe not so much in more trad situations. Your mileage way vary...

    Just have fun, and grow.
    -Dave
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

  31. The following members say thank you to sheets for this post:


  32. #20
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,614
    Blog Entries
    51

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    ... because many folk musicians I have met do not understand chord arpeggios and chord changes the way jazz players do.
    I think, of all genres, jazz folks seem to have, and use effectively, the most music theory. I would not go so far as to say that more music theory is needed to play jazz, I am not informed enough. But if you ever want something explained from the music theory standpoint, I have found it always useful to talk to a jazz player.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  33. The following members say thank you to JeffD for this post:


  34. #21
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,435

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Relio View Post
    You can play a pentatonic scale over any diatonic chord in a key. IMO it's the ultimate cheat to play through chord changes.
    Exactly - it can provide many a cool lick, but somewhat of a cheat if it's all you can do.

  35. The following members say thank you to DavidKOS for this post:

    Relio 

  36. #22
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,435

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I think, of all genres, jazz folks seem to have, and use effectively, the most music theory. I would not go so far as to say that more music theory is needed to play jazz, I am not informed enough. But if you ever want something explained from the music theory standpoint, I have found it always useful to talk to a jazz player.
    Most of the jazz players I know are also classically trained and have a lot of years of study behind their musicianship.

    As we play though complex chords, we need to know our stuff.

    It's not better than 3 chord rock or simple folk tunes, but it does require a different musical skill set.

  37. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine USA
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Chord Tone Scales: Bridge to Practical Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Relio View Post
    If you're new to scale work, I recommend learning the pentatonic scale first in all keys. Check out Niles Hakkonane's pentatonic mandolin book. IMO it is easier to use in a jam vs. pete's method. Both methods are similar with recommending different scale patterns.
    Yes, but here's the problem. One can play a song in G and use only the G pentatonic scale. The result IMO are notes which aren't wrong, but don't really highlight the chord changes. Some very famous players do this, playing the same pentatonic licks under all chords. Call it harmonic vagueness...or The Great Pentatonic Fake Out. Pentatonics are fine, but not to the exclusion of featuring 3rds and 7ths of upcoming chords as they change when soloing.

  38. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Joel Glassman For This Useful Post:


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •