Bass day (1h 30m)

  • Scales studies
    • Linking shapes (Scott exercise)
      • All Aeolian scales in V position
      • All Ionian scales in I position (recap)
    • Minor blues scale permutations
    • Scale dissection
      • Minor blues: R, b7 (above & below), b3, 4
      • Major blues: R, 2, 6 (above & below), 5
      • Lydian pentatonic: R, #4
    • Applying scale tones over I — VI7 — ii — V7 in all keys
  • Reading melodies
    • Afro Blue (from Real Book in bass clef)
    • Hrabe etude #4 (in Bb)

Observations

New exercise! I try to test different approaches to scale fluency, and this time I decided to take the scales that I’m currently actively working on on piano and focus on particular degrees, playing them above as well as below the root. In my opinion, it should really help to achieve fluency in any given scale regardless of the position on the fretboard where you happen to be when you need to apply it. It is especially cool with pentatonics, because their nature kind of encourages you to use pattens and it’s very easy to get caught in the box shapes slavery. I’m using Phil Mann’s permutation approach to twist the scale like a want and also Todd Johnson’s “above / below” trick. Also trying to sync my bass and piano routines to make practice overall more productive. How am I doing, Mr. Devine? Am I organised enough? :lol:

Bass day (1h 45m)

  • Scale studies
    • Linking shapes (Scott exercise)
      • All Dorian scales in I position
      • All Ionian scales in I position
    • Minor blues scale permutations + shapes in all keys
    • Same for major blues and Lydian pentatonic
    • Apply to Imaj7 — VI7 — ii — V7 (Lydian pentatonic over maj7, major blues over dominant and minor blues over m7)
  • Quick pick practice
  • Reading melodies
    • A Night In Tunisia (recap)

Bass day (1h)

  • Scale studies / piano catch-up / vocabulary
    • Minor blues scale starting with low b7 in all keys
    • Major blues scale (same)
    • Lydian pentatonic (same)
  • Walking bass
    • Applying pentatonics (major & minor blues for 7 & m7 chords respectively, Lyd pentatonic for maj7) to a jazz standard
    • When not able to find passing chord scale quick enough, playing a 2nd inversion (from root down, easy, right?)
    • “Scale permutations” — i. e. starting on minor blues on b7 or playing from 5th down when connecting chords
  • Reading melodies
    • A Night In Tunisia (several times, no click)

Piano day (2h 45m)

  • Improv / scales study
    • Locrian 2-octave scales in all keys with two hands
    • Improvisation: Locrian scale over m7b5 chords, all keys around the cycle (to the bass line and rhodes)
    • 2-octave Lydian pentatonic in all keys (major shells in LH)
    • 2-octave minor pentatonic in all keys (minor shells in LH)
    • 2-octave “Locrian pentatonic” (1-b2-b3-b5-b6) + m7b5 shells in LH
    • Hirajoshi scale (checked out in C)
  • Left hand
    • Intervallic patterns
      • 1-5-6 in major & minor (cycling)
      • Broken tenths (1-5-10 + 1-5-6 8va) in major & minor (cycling)
      • Broken chords (1-5 + 1-3-5 8va) in major & minor (cycling)
  • Interpreting pop tunes (wow!)
    • Muse — New Born
    • Damon Albarn — Hostiles (looked up chords on UltimateGuitar and adapted to piano using intervallic patterns in LH and shells in RH)

Observations

Moving towards 3-hour sessions on weekend. Taking breaks after each hour is essential! Also, 3 hours really feel awesome in terms of stuff you can cram into this time without rushing and messing up. Musical observations: I finally go to Locrian mode! I have been avoiding it for such a long time. Professors in music school only mentioned it briefly saying it is not that useful, we weren’t asked to compose in it, so I totally ignored it. Until lately. And man it’s beautiful!!! Don’t believe anyone who tells you that Locrian is “ugly” or “scary”. It’s sad, tragic, dramatic, incredibly touching, anything but ugly. Also I discovered a whole family of modal pentatonic scales that can be derived from normal heptatoic modal scales by applying major or minor pentatonic patterns to them. For example, you can take 1-3-4-5-7 and apply it to Lydian mode, which will give you 1-3-#4-5-7, which is BEAUTIFUL! Fun fact: most people on the internets tend to use major pentatonic pattern to derive modal pentatonics (1-2-3-5-6), but it’s definitely worth looking at minor as well.

Another cool practice routine I came up with is adapting pop songs to piano using patterns that I already learn (or am learning). That is, taking chords and breaking them down to shell voicings and intervallic patterns for the left hand. Makes any song sound immediately like a “piano version”.

Piano day (2h)

  • Modal studies
    • Harmonising Mixolydian mode with shells (3-7-9) — C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db
    • Harmonising Dorian mode with shells (3-7-9) — C, F, Bb, Eb
  • Improvisation
    • Lydian pentatonic in all keys over major chords in 7-3-6 shells
    • Recap minor blues scale
    • Harmonising Mixolydian mode with block chords & 7-3-5 shells in LH & runs starting on each new scale degree in RH (C-D-E-F…, D-E-F-G…, F-G-A-Bb…, etc.)
    • Same for Dorian
  • Comping
    • Free comping over “Worth the Wait” in Eb (just chords & focus on voice leading)
    • “Worth the Wait” in C — block chords in LH, chord scales in RH