Practice session: search for the melodic minor DNA

Scale studies

  • All Melodic minor scales
  • Imrpov in Mm / finding DNA
  • D Dorian b2 (Mm mode #2): dissection in groups of 3 over harmonised scale — sheet music soon 🤖
  • A Dorian b2 (A normal Dorian in descending motion) over harmonised scale

Left hand


Yes, ascending melodic minor is an extremely dissonant scale. I mean, it’s in the nature of it: it’s literally major and minor sewn together, how can it not be dissonant! But, as always, somewhere in the middle of all this harshness, there’s an undulating beauty, its DNA, so magnificent and fragile that it compensates all the clashing around it. I just have to find it 🤓

Session timing: 2h

Piano day (2h)

Left hand + shells

  • Descending major 10ths workout (10-5-1 + 6-7)
    • Only LH
    • With RH: 7-3-5 shells
    • With RH: alternating shells of same chord (7-3-5 to 3-6-9 or 3-7-9) — octave jump
    • With RH: connecting descending shells (cycling 7-3-5 to 3-7-9)

Left hand + modal studies

  • Lydian DNA (Imaj7 — II7) in all keys
    • Blocks
    • LH: 1-5-10-6’-7’ | 1-1’, RH: 7-3-5 shell | 1 octave scale run

Left hand + scale studies

  • Major blues scale recap (LH: broken 10ths, harmonic 5ths and 6ths)

Reading + analysis

  • Fascinating Rhythm by George Gershwin  (first 4 bars, then quick improv over LH pattern) — Exercise #14 from Jazz Piano: The Left Hand book

I haven’t been practicing too much bass during the last months, as I’m trying to focus in on left hand on piano, but recently I picked it up late at night and simply did some walking over a jazz standard. Then some inversions. Some permutations. Some arpeggios. All that stuff that I though I’ve had enough of. One big takeaway from that? Wanna get excited about seemingly boring material like scales, arpeggios and reading on your instrument? Simply practice another one for a month or so (completely ignoring the first one), and I swear you’ll start CRAVING it! 😂