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Jazz Sax Lessons: Play Your Scales with Me in All Keys: Harmonic Minor

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Now let's play the first
of our four minor scales.
Okay, so we have four well,
I was gonna say four choices,
but we can't choose between all four.
We have to know all four of them,
harmonic, melodic, natural and Dorian.
So the Dorian minor scale is
gonna be found in the modes and
that is going to have its own lesson for
Actually, I realized it's a hefty one, so
you're gonna get a lot of good
work out of the mode exercises.
But for this lesson, I'm gonna focus
in on the harmonic minor scale.
Every minor scale, the difference between
that there are four different scales.
Different minor scales,
because it's four different options
between the sixth and the seventh.
Either being natural six or flat six or
flat seventh or natural seventh.
So, in the case of
the harmonic minor scale,
you have a natural seventh and
a flat sixth.
So, it sounds like this.
Very common sound.
Cool, so we wanna turn that into its own
exercise, just like all the other scales.
So here we are, harmonic minor scales.
So play them with me.
I of course,
encourage you to play them on your own.
I encourage you to play them at your own
tempo to learn them if you're not
familiar with any particular key.
But absolutely,
once you have things close enough
to be under your fingers to play them
consistently, fire up that metronome.
Absolutely, as I have on
my trusty iPhone [LAUGH].
I realized that an app is much
lighter to carry around than
a big old heavy metronome, so
I have the metronome here called Tempo.
If it wasn't free it was close to it,
it wasn't expensive at all.
So just like all the other exercises,
I put repeats on each scale, each key.
So you play them each twice and
end up on that whole at the end, and
then move on to the next one.
I'm playing them on my alto and
so I'm starting on C.
If you're playing tenor or
soprano, start on the next key, so
that we can play together.
And then when I get down to my last one,
you loop back up to C.
So I'll be playing G, you'll be playing C
and we'll be playing in unison together.
Okay, my metronome is ready to go.
I've got it set at 150.
Another side note before we begin,
I've got these set at 150.
It's really great to change tempos when
you're practicing and you know what?
There have been a lot of teachers that
I've heard over the years that prescribe.
That gaining technique, the better way
to gain technique and to play faster.
Is just to speed up your metronome and
speed it up and speed it up until
you can play it crazy fast.
That is wrong.
And if anybody has a differing opinion,
let me know and I'll state my case,
I'll hold my ground.
It's more important to
practice things slowly and
in control, than it is to speed things up.
When you speed things up, you're always
gonna be kind of on the edge and
invariably, you're gonna
be skipping little details.
Maybe this won't be quite right,
maybe that won't be quite right.
You're a little bit sloppy here,
you're sloppy there, your articulation
may not be quite right here and there.
But if you play them, and
if you play them fast,
you don't notice those little issues,
little problems.
When you slow things down,
you can hear where those problems are and
you can correct them.
So, and how often have you
been in a band for instance,
maybe you're reading band music.
And suddenly, or you're playing some
sort of practice thing, whatever and
you decide to play a little slower.
And you realize wow!
It's hard,
it's hard to slow it down to that tempo.
It's because playing slower is not easier.
It's harder because you're
having to put the breaks on,
you're having to put weight on every note.
So make sure whenever you practice,
that you change the tempo not only
faster but slower as well, cool.
Okay, so we're set at 150 right now and
here we are at the beginning
of our harmonic minor scales.
[SOUND] One, two, one, two, hm.
Good job.
So we're gonna pick it up, A-flat for
me, C-sharp for B-flat folks.
Cool, so
let's change the articulation, okay.
We're gonna play three staccato and
one legato.
[SOUND] Okay, three staccato one legato.
Okay here we go.
[SOUND] One, two, one, two, go.
very good.
Okay, let's reverse that.
We'll play three legato, three slurred
in fact and the last one stacatto.
[SOUND] Okay, so
I left off on my E harmonic minor,
tenors and
alto are gonna play A harmonic minor.
And the very last one, you're gonna
go back to the top and play C.
Okay, here we go.
[SOUND] Three slurred one staccato.
One, two, one, two, go.
very good, those
are your harmonic
minor scales.
Don't forget that if you have any
questions about anything whatsoever,
music theory wise.
Whether you're unsure about a key
signature or time signatures, or staffs,
or clefs, or articulations, or whatever.
You're gonna be able to find your answer
at the Artist Works Music Theory Workshop.
All your information is there,
it's really great.
We've done a good job laying that out for
you, so refer to that.
If you have any questions that I
haven't covered, certainly and
have fun with your harmonic minor scales.
On to the next one.