Two Triad Pairs found in The Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series

If you look in the Sonic Resource Guide you will find that there is 50 possible hexatonic scales and 10 possible three note pairs for any hexatonic scale.  So now you see why there are 500 possible combinations.   Think of the 10 possible three note pairs for any hexatonic scale as a blueprint for the different types of melodies and chords that you can create using this two pair principle.

Here’s an Analogy

To give you an analogy learning only a single two 3 note combination for a common scale would be like learning a C major scale but only playing it C,D,E,F,G,A,B and never any of the other possible combinations like C,E,G,F,A,C,B.  Obviously you are missing out on a whole world of other melodic ideas not to mention the cool chords that you get from the non-tertial combinations.  Of course I also haven’t even mentioned the awesome harmonic progressions that certain two three note pairs create.   I hope that helps you understand why each of these combinations is important and gives you more ideas on how to use them in your compositions and improvisations.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

I thought I’d do a post giving a better idea on how many two triad pairs are found in the The Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series and why I’ve given more than one 2 triad pair for any traditional scale.

How many books are going to be in this Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series

First, if I was to do all possible two triad pair combinations there would be 500 books in the The Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series.  I’m not doing anything close to that number.  Here is a break down of the books I’m doing.

• 1. All two triad combinations based on tertial possibilities which is 32 combinations.
• 2  All symmetrical combinations of non-tertial two three note pair of which would be approximately 24 books.
• 3. Finally I’m doing books that explore the non-tertial non-symmetrical combinations that I have found useful.  There will be approximately 10 books in that series.

If you look in the Sonic Resource Guide you will find that there is 50 possible hexatonic scales and 10 possible three note pairs for any hexatonic scale.  So now you see why there are 500 possible combinations.   Think of the 10 possible three note pairs for any hexatonic scale as a blueprint for the different types of melodies and chords that you can create using this two pair principle.

Here’s an Analogy

To give you an analogy learning only a single two 3 note combination for a common scale would be like learning a C major scale but only playing it C,D,E,F,G,A,B and never any of the other possible combinations like C,E,G,F,A,C,B.  Obviously you are missing out on a whole world of other melodic ideas not to mention the cool chords that you get from the non-tertial combinations.  Of course I also haven’t even mentioned the awesome harmonic progressions that certain two three note pairs create.   I hope that helps you understand why each of these combinations is important and gives you more ideas on how to use them in your compositions and improvisations.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

The Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series

The Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series

The Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series contains over 40 courses that explore three note pairs. These three note pairs form a hexatonic scale and can be used to make interesting melodies as well as being great 3 note chords. Two different types of three note pairs are explored in these courses. Tertial pairs are constructed with Major, Minor, Diminished and Augmented triads while the non-tertial pairs are constructed using various combinations of the 12 possible three note structures those are:

• 012
• 013
• 014
• 015
• 016
• 024
• 025
• 026
• 027
• 036 which is a diminished triad.
• 037 which is a major or minor triad.
• 048 which is an augmented triad.

This blog post will look at two important courses from the Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series. These are Volumes Seven and Eight which look at combining two 016s. The 016 is one of the most important three note combinations in music. This pitch class set has a tritone within its structure which is the backbone of dominant chords, and one of the most used intervals in music. The Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series looks at the possible applications of a single 016 as well as two 016s played together to form a hexatonic scale.

Exploring Two of the Courses from the Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series

As I just mentioned, the Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series has two courses that explore two 016-016 three note pairs. But that really is just the tip of a massive iceberg of sound. Let’s look at one of the most used scales in improvisation, the symmetrical diminished scale (1, b2, b3, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7). There are eight 016s found in this scale and 12 016-016 combinations:

• [C Db Gb] [A E Eb] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C Db Gb] [Bb E Eb] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C Db Gb] [A Bb Eb] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C Db Gb] [A Bb E] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C Db G] [A E Eb] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C Db G] [Bb E Eb] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C Db G] [A Bb Eb] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C Db G] [A Bb E] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C G Gb] [A E Eb] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C G Gb] [Bb E Eb] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C G Gb] [A Bb Eb] 0 1 6 0 1 6
• [C G Gb] [A Bb E] 0 1 6 0 1 6

That’s a lifetime of work right there –just to master all these combinations in all keys. The good news is, once your learn one 016-016 combination it is much easier to master the next because of the built-in symmetry of the structure.

The Nature of a Dominant Sound

One of the reasons I say that this 016-016 combination is a lifetime of work is because of the nature of a dominant sound. If you explore the reharmonization principles presented in Chord Workbook for Guitar Volume One you will see that there are 3 ways a dominant chord can resolve so in a way that triples the list above because remember, you want to think of all these relationships in the overall key center of the moment. Then if you look at the reharmonization principle presented in Chord Workbook for Guitar Volume Two which presents the idea of using reharmonizing chords based combining chord tones and tensions you exponentially increase the size of the list of possibilities. Overwhelming? Yes, but I find it more exciting that I can learn one combination on my instrument and have a plethora of applications for that one combination. And that makes practicing 016 very rewarding because by learning one thing you find multiple uses that will mushroom your sound palette.

Finding the Important Two Three Note Combinations

The Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series does not cover all the three note pairs that are found in music, but it does cover the combinations that I’ve found the most useful. It explores the common triadic combinations that most people have discussed in other books, but more importantly, it looks at the non-triadic combinations that have been very neglected, which is crazy because these sounds not only work wonderfully as melodic lines, but also create awesome chordal sounds. In the case of the 016 as both a melodic and chordal sound it’s a sound you are used to hearing. The common drop two C13 chord C, Bb, E, A has an 016 in its top three notes so many musicians are already using 016 –they just don’t realize it!

By exploring the 016 and all the books in the The Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series you will open up a whole new world of fresh sounds and a new way to look at things you commonly play. It all cases it will expand your knowledge and make you a better musician by showing you new ways to perceive and work with music.

Need Help Understanding what an 016 is?

I’ve written a book called the Sonic Resource Guide which explains pitch class set theory in very easy to understand terms. Think of pitch class set theory as a way to organize all possible scales (of which there are 220.) Using this method you can really wrap your head around all melodic and harmonic possibilities in music. Check in out it will change your whole musical life!

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence

Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence

Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence

The Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series looks at the twelve possible groupings of 3 notes in various configurations. Most volumes concentrate on symmetrical pairs such as two 027’s, but there are exceptions, such as where interesting combinations the 016-027 combination for a blues scale are explored. Overall, this series as presents alternate melodic and harmonic ideas that can be substituted for the regular scales or melodies that you use in common musical situations. It’s sure to open you up to some unique sounds and put a modern spin on your improvisation.

There are many ways you could approach playing the exercises in these books, and I’d like to present some ideas that I’ve used over the years to master the exercises –and more importantly, get these sounds into my playing. Here is a list of the general categories that I’ve explored when practicing these exercises.:

• Singing
• Segmenting the exercise into single measure of octave displacement
• Memorization
• Sound Production
• For Stringed Instruments:
• 1. Use String Sets
• 2. Tremolo picking
• 3. Fingering choices
• 4. Other techniques

Singing:

I put singing first because getting these melodies deep into your musical memory and making sure you actually hear how each note is functioning within the key center is crucial to making real music with these melodies. I would take at least one exercise a day (usually 12 measures) and sing through it over a drone. Singing these exercises in time would be the ultimate goal but at least get started by singing them over a MetroDrone® out of time to get you hearing each melody.

Segmenting the exercise:

I think it’s a great start to just read through each exercise in full, to find physical barriers that need adjustment within your technique. At the same time, I would also recommend taking smaller segments and applying them to real music. I often use a single measure, and look at different ways to apply this idea to multiple musical situations. In general, it is better to work on fewer exercises and spend time applying the insights you get from them to real music.

It is also a good idea to take parts of the exercise and try to play and apply these melodic fragments in different octaves on your instrument.

Adding embellishments to each melody or fragment is crucial to making it sound like music. All great melodies have embellishments so think about adding these to each example:

• Slides
• Bends
• Accents
• Different dynamic levels
• For Stringed Instruments:
• Hammer-ons
• Pull-offs
• Tapping

These books are great for sight reading. Each course presents a different challenge both physically and mentally. Some of these melodies can be very angular or use unusual melodic shapes; therefore they are great for developing your sight reading skills.

Memorization:

I would use smaller melodic fragments, like a measure, and memorize this sound so you can get your eye and mind away from the printed page. Once memorized, start applying this fragment to real music

Sound Production:

These exercises are great for developing a “sound” on your instrument. When working on this aspect try to keep the following in mind:

• Play each note at the same dynamic level
• Try to give each note a beautiful sound (timbre, texture, etc) and have that sound consistent through the rest of the notes
• Accents
• Have each note be the same length in time
• For Stringed Instruments:
• Make sure you connecting each note as seamlessly as possible so that you have a legato —but precise–sound

For Stringed Instruments:

There are some specific characteristics that a stringed instrument possesses that will facilitate the playing of each exercise, and help broaden the ways you can express each idea. Here are some suggestions for playing each exercise

• Use string sets to play linearly up and down the neck
• Try tremolo picking to develop picking technique
• Look at different ways to finger each exercise or segment
• Explore other techniques such as different bowing, tapping or other extended techniques specific to your instrument

Final Considerations

You don’t have to make the Harmonic and Melodic Equivalence Series your sole practice tool. I would just take a few of these ideas and spend a few minutes each day with them to develop the areas where you are the weakest. That said, if you want incredible musical technique, this series of books is excellent for developing amazing chops on your instrument… which of course will require hours of practice each day.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

Practicing Music in the Time of Covid-19

Practicing Music in the Time of Covid-19

Practicing Music in the Time of Covid-19

Practicing music in the time of Covid-19 is challenging, to say the least. I’ve spoken with many of you via email and Skype lessons over the past few weeks and it is painfully apparent that musicians are struggling in so many ways during this time. I’ll be sending out some emails to give moral support and some suggestions on how to get through this tough time and still improve your musicianship.

One of the first things to understand is that when you are upset, your body tends to release chemical reactions to make you not remember. So if you are finding it hard to remember, that is normal. Of course remembering is fundamental to improving your musical ability — so how do you work around this?

If you are finding this to be true and you are cutting back on practicing because it seems fruitless, then try these things:

• Switch from mentally difficult things and spend more time just playing music. Concentrate not on the stuff you don’t know, but on the stuff you do know, and try to make that a little better, which it will, because you are concentrating on it.
• Improvise, Improvise, Improvise… Take some of the Jam Tracks and just improvise over the tracks. Don’t judge what you are doing just play and let the music heal you for a few minutes each day.
• Don’t beat yourself up about not improving. Now is not the time for that. Now is the time to remember how much you love music and how it makes you feel.
• If practicing is just not happening then listen to music. I find that to be a major weak point with many musicians. They just don’t listen to music. Make this a time where you pull out your old favorites or get into something new.

Finally, stay in touch. I’m here to help. If you are having issues let me know. I’ve been around the block a few times and have learned a lot about music and practicing. I can probably help you through this time– and I would be happy to.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

Pitch Class Set Theory and Practice Courses

Pitch Class Set Theory and Practice Courses

Pitch Class Set Theory and Practice Courses

Here’s what’s covered in the Pitch Class Set Theory and Practice Courses.  The three courses combine étude-like exercises with a theory section explaining how these études were created.   That is what sets them apart from the Pitch Class Set Improvisation Études Courses which basically just give you études without any theory attached.

Organizing Pitches in New Ways

One of the main ingredients of pitch class set improvisation is organizing pitches in new ways to create a unique sounding melodic line.  The three courses (described below) within the Pitch Class Set Theory and Practice Course Bundle do this by either combining a hexatonic scale (6 notes) into two groups of three notes and pivoting back and forth between these two groups or using an octatonic scale (8 notes) and pivoting back and forth between two groups of four notes.

Historic Background of Pitch Class Set Theory and Practice Courses

Pivoting back and forth between two groups of three notes was one of McCoy Tyner’s favorite melodic tools, and he used it for improvisation as well as composition.  If you check out “Passion Dance” in the Real Book you will see McCoy pivoting back and forth between two major triads a whole step apart.  This creates a great sound and can be done with any two groups of three notes whether they are tertial triads or not.

Three Courses in the Pitch Class Set Theory and Practice Course Bundle

Symmetrical Trichord Pairs looks at all the combinations of two groups of three notes that are identical in their structure.  For a student learning this new way of improvising, having two symmetrical groups of three notes makes it easier to physically get these ideas under your fingers but also makes it easier to remember these combinations because both group of notes are identical in structure.

Trichord Sweep Pairs looks at all possible combinations of two three note groups and make these combinations into a six note arpeggio.  These six note arpeggios or sweeps as guitarists usually call them create very intriguing sounds.  For guitarists, these six note arpeggios can be played very fast because you are basically just strumming across six strings which can be played very quickly.  In order to properly develop this sweep technique I would recommend guitarists also take a look at the Guitar Technique and Physiology course to make sure they are developing the proper way to do this.

The last is the Tertial Octatonics Course which looks at all the eight note scales that can be created with two 7th chords.  This is a really great course because if you already know how to play 7th chords you can quickly put two of them together to create a very cool sound.  The book again gives you the theory behind each combination and the chord types that you can superimpose this sound over.

All three of these courses found in the Pitch Class Set Theory and Practice Course Bundle really give you some unique ways of combining three and four note groups of notes to create some new sounding melodic lines.  I personally like these courses because they allow me to be very compositional in my playing over any piece of music.  What I do, is look at the interval content of the melody of a song and then use that interval content to solo with the ideas presented in all of the books in the Pitch Class Set Improvisation Courses.

Making Your Improvisation Relate More to a Composition

You could think of this approach as playing off a melody of a piece of music, but on steroids.  You can do this both melodically and harmonically which can really take a piece of music to a very interesting place.  Just a quick example.  If you took the Jazz Standard “Stella By Starlight” and analyze the melody you would find that it is made up of mostly half steps and minor third movements.  That is an 013 in pitch class set theory.  Playing all the chords as 013’s really creates a very modern sounding version of this tune.

But you can do this with any style from Heavy Metal to Classical to Jazz! It works great and is one of the major reasons I got so involved in this Pitch Class Set Improvisation idea in the first place.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

Charlie Banacos Mushrooms Concept

Charlie Banacos Mushrooms Concept

Charlie Banacos Mushrooms Concept

I studied with the inspiring music guru Charlie Banacos for 5 intense years. He introduced me to so many concepts of improvisation and composition, I could easily spend many lifetimes working on all of it. Because I wanted to pass along his teaching legacy, many of his concepts have been included in my books in way or another.     Charlie called one of his approaches “Mushrooms” and they became part of many courses that are now available on the muse-eek.com website.  The overall idea of Charlie Banacos Mushrooms Concept is to take any group of notes and figure out everywhere that you could play those notes as a melodic line or a harmony.  This concept will “Mushroom” your playing because anything you learn can be used in a multitude of ways. Let’s take as an example the notes of a C Major 7 chord C, E, G, and B.  Then let’s look at some of the places where you could use those notes.  In order to do this we have to know the possible chord tones and tensions that are available for any chord type.

Chord Tones and Available Tensions

From looking at the information in these books you would find for instance that a dominant chord can have:

• Chord Tones: 1,3,5,b7
• Tensions: b2, 2, b3, b5, b6, and 6

Charlie Banacos Mushrooms Concept appears in many courses on the muse-eek.com website here are some of those courses:

Applying Charlie Banacos Mushrooms Concept

Let’s now look at some possible places where C, E, G, and B would work as a chord replacement or for that matter a melodic line.  Playing the C, E, G, and B over the following chords would work because those four notes are either chord tones or available tensions on the following 7th chords:

• D7
• Eb7
• Bb7
• A7

There would be more possibilities if we included avoid notes in our calculations but believe me the list is large enough without this information.  Charlie would add one more step to the “Mushrooms.”  You then add in Approach Notes to the new superimposed notes.  You will find a detailed explanation of this in the Approach Note Course.

An Easy Way to Apply Charlie Banacos Mushrooms Concept

Coming up with a list of every chord that C, E, G, and B will work over is time consuming and it’s easy to miss some relationships.  To solve this I created the Sonic Resource Guide which lists every possible combination of two to eleven notes and which chord each of those pitch class sets can be used over.  That list is something I access daily (although I pretty much have it memorized at this point) as I work with various note combinations. But think of the Sonic Resource Guide as Charlie Banacos Mushrooms Concept on steroids.

The Sonic Resource Guide is part of the Pitch Class Theory Course Bundle which also comes with the Tools for Modern Improvisation and the Bruce Arnold Composition Companion.  So think of the Sonic Resource Guide as your reference book for every combination of notes and the Tools for Modern Improvisation as a book that shows you some common uses of many improvisational techniques derived from the Sonic Resource Guide. Finally, the Composition Companion shows you examples of real music using these ideas.

Conclusion

Hopefully you can see the powerful uses of a book like Sonic Resource Guide because through the listing of every possible way to combine a group of notes within a octave you can easily take any group of notes and look up all its relationships.  This is why I recommend that all students have the Sonic Resource Guide.  It is the key to finding all the relationships such as the Charlie Banacos Mushrooms Concept and many others.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

Études

Études to teach music

Études To Teach Music

The use of études to teach music goes back hundreds of years. One of the most famous ones was the Chopin Études but there are also books by:

Igor Stravinsky
Heitor Villa-Lobos
Darius Milhaud
Andres Segovia
Olivier Messiaen
John Cage
Pierre Boulez
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Brian Ferneyhough
Claude Debussy

The list goes on and on throughout the history of music. These études do two main things. They teach technique and they present new ideas for the music lexicon. But there is no better way to integrate new things into your playing, and that’s why I have created the Pitch Class Series and the études within it.

Pitch Class Set Études

Using Pitch Class Sets for composition and improvisation will present you with new ideas on combining pitches, but this takes time. Your ear needs to grow accustomed to the sound, and you need to get some muscle memory by doing each exercise.

Pitch Class Set Improvisation methods often use other ways of combining pitches to create new sounds. Below are some of the ways they do this:

• The use of hexatonic scales (6 note groups) which are often divided in trichords (two groups of three notes.) McCoy Tyner was one of the first musicians to use this in improvisation.
• The use of three 7th chords to make up a 12 tone grouping such as 23rd chords, invented by Charlie Banacos.
• Sweep arpeggios that move through multiple octaves. The Tertial Octatonics course is a good example of this, which is available in the Pitch Class Set Theory and Practice Courses.
• Collections of diads which can be used both in a Chord Tone and Tension superimposition or as a harmonic progression. The Sonic Resource Guide (which is part of the Pitch Class Set Theory Courses Bundle) lists these for every possible scale. Again, a technique often employed by McCoy Tyner and every modern piano play since.
• The use of non-tertial (not built in thirds) trichords and tetratonics (four note groupings). Musicians from Pop, Rock, Jazz and other idioms use these chords all the time.

Pitch Class Set Improvisation Études Courses

All of these techniques are further explored in the Pitch Class Set Improvisation Étude Courses. By the way, these études are also excellent for ear training because they help your ear hear more advanced types of key centers. Just use the MetroDrone to create your key center and jump right in singing these études. They will do wonders to help you hear new kinds of key centers which will help you to be a more creative musician.

I created all of the étude courses for myself, to help me get these advanced concepts into my ear while developing the technique needed to improvise freely with each new idea. This is an idea that Charlie Banacos drilled into me by making me write so many exercises by hand in all keys and then using them as étude books.

As you can see from my list of the composers above, this goes back through the ages and you are part of this history. Just take a look at the Music Education Genealogy chart to see how the very things that you are studying from my various courses goes all the way back to Scarlatti and includes musicians such as Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn to name a few. But it also includes contemporary musicians such as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

Applying Pitch Class Set Course

Applying Pitch Class Set Course

Applying Pitch Class Set Course Reorganization

I’ve written a lot of books on Pitch Class Set Improvisation, 32 books to be exact. It was time to organize these books into groups to help people see understand each type of book in the series. The Pitch Class Set Improvisation Series has been divided up into four different types of books:

I’ll write about each type in different blog posts. This post will talk about the Applying Pitch Class Set Courses.

Who Uses Pitch Class Set Improvisation?

One question I get about pitch class set improvisation is “who is using this stuff?”  Recent research into the late recordings of John Coltrane is showing that he used the 013 pitch class set in abundance.  013 would be a three note grouping and would contain a 1/2 step and a minor 3rd.  It’s not surprising to me that Coltrane gravitated to 013.  013 is the most flexible pitch class set, it can be substituted for any chord type which can’t be said of any of the other 11 three note possibilities.

I’ve written over 30 compositions using 013, it kinda gets under your skin after you start working with it.  An excellent way to dabble with 013 and some of the other pitch class sets that I find the most useful is to work with the Applying Pitch Class Set Courses. These four books don’t require that you know anything about Pitch Class Sets. These books just give you application directly to real music. This is an excellent way to see how to use these sounds and then later you can dig deeper into understanding Pitch Class Sets at a deeper level.

How To Get Started With Pitch Class Sets

If you were just starting out with Pitch Class Set Improvisation I don’t know if I’d recommend starting with 013 unless you are a pretty advanced musician.  Pitch Class Sets like 027, 015 or 016 would be much easier to apply right off the bat.  For instance, if you take a easy three chord folk tune that uses major and minor chords and change the chords to an 015s you will have a super cool sounding progression.  If it’s a G chord play the chord voicing F#, G and D.  Then let’s say you have a D major chord make that into C#, D, A and finally an A minor chord make that B, C, G.  Now you have 3 chords that are all 015’s and check it out, they sound beautiful, rich and fresh.

Applying Pitch Class Set Course Work

This is the type of work you will do with the Applying Pitch Class Set Course Bundle.  It contains four courses that work with simple chord progressions, Jazz Standards, 013 and finally how to move pitch class set chords chromatically.  Since these four books work with three note chords they are probably more useful to a guitarist, pianist or composer BUT if you arpeggiate any of these chords in any of those books you are going to have some pretty hip melodic lines.  I use them all the time!

Check Out These Links for Applying Pitch Class Set Course

Check out the videos and audio files found at the links below to see examples of how these four courses can give you a lot of new sounds and new applications of harmonic and through arpeggiation new melodic lines.

I hope this little glimpse into the Applying Pitch Class Set Course Bundle helps you to understand that Pitch Class Sets aren’t some hard thing to understand and use.  Take little chunks of the ideas presented and you can enrich your melodic and harmonic palette instantly.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

Importance of Modal Sequencing

Importance of Modal Sequencing

Importance of Modal Sequencing

The Importance of Modal Sequencing is something that is overlooked by many musicians. The ideas and techniques that are used within Modal Sequencing are the foundation of many of the musical concepts used in the creation of melody and the rearranging of melodies to make up motifs and other patterns that create structure and meaning within music. I’ll cover some of these ideas in this blog post as well as helping musicians understand modal sequencing.    Many courses that I have published contain the basic elements found in the Modal Sequencing Bundle.    Just to name a few:

All of these use the ideas of Modal Sequencing on a macro level as a way to organize and see all possible ways to use any group of pitches.  This helps you organize sound in your mind so that you can make educated choices on how to:

• Work with motifs when composing or soloing.
• Build natural melodies that interrelate as you improvise.
• Organize your practice so that you can see your goals clearly.
• Alter a melody both rhythmically and melodically to give yourself more bang for your buck with each new phrase of music that you learn.
• Understand what great improvisors are doing when they play .

On a micro level, be aware that any group of two notes has two possible combinations and 4 combinations when doing transposition within one octave.   So three note groups have 6 possible combinations and 18 possible permutations when using them within one octave.  Understanding this information and knowing how to use it to your benefit is crucial when working within a musical environment.  Just this basic knowledge gives you:

• New ways to form melodies and chords.
• Ways to change a super simple rock progression into new chord voicings.
• New ways to find the simple building blocks of more difficult music.
• Ways to change more advanced structures like slash chords or 3 note pitch class set into new chords and melodies.

So you can see that knowing the basics of modal sequencing is a crucial aspect on understanding music on a macro level and working with it on a micro level.

Essential Scales has a truncated version of Two and Three Note Modal Sequencing and for some students it might be all they need.  On the other hand, one of the reasons I created Two and Three Note Modal Sequencing was because so many students were having a hard time figuring out a complete modal sequence from only seeing the few note patterns that are used in the Essential Scales course.  For instance, if you want to play a Symmetrical Diminished scale ascending and descending in 4ths how do you do that?  Well it’s a bit tricky, especially if you don’t know the scale very well yet.  So with the Modal Sequencing Bundle all sequences are written out ascending and descending so there is no confusion.  That can save you a lot of frustration, believe me!

Some students are not great readers of written music and fear that the Modal Sequencing Bundle will require them to read.  The answer is yes, it will require you to read but only until you understand the sequence being used, and then you are encouraged to stop looking at the written notes, and just learn the modal sequence everywhere on your instrument and in every key.  So you would be better off thinking of the Modal Sequencing Bundle as a reference book where you get your ideas, and then go off working on them on your instrument and applying them to Jam Tracks.  This is the best approach for this course.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

Common Building Blocks of Melodies

Common Building Blocks of Melodies.

Common Building Blocks of Melodies.

What in the Modal Sequencing Bundle and how can you use this course?   We tend to think of melodies as magical….they can catch our ears or penetrate our heart. They are the reason we remember certain songs or solos for years. But it is important to approach melodies as structures or sequences, and once you have that perspective, you will be amazed at what you can do in this area.

A total beginner usually doesn’t know about the common building blocks of melodies. One of the most used is a modal sequence or melodic pattern, so I often recommend that students learn a few modal sequences to help spur their creativity. When using this approach the Two Note Modal Sequencing course becomes more of a reference guide, rather than a technique exercise or singing method.

Steps to Making the Common Building Blocks of Melodies

So the first step is to open the course and just randomly pick a modal sequence. Next, you want to figure out how to play the modal sequence on your instrument. Last, you want to add some embellishment to the melodic pattern. Some common embellishment are:

• Sliding up into a note.
• Sliding down into a note.
• Bending up to a note on a stringed instrument.
• Pre-Bending and releasing down into the note on a stringed instrument.
• Hammering on, or pulling off of a note on a stringed instrument.
• Using any of the 12 chromatic or diatonic approach note figures.

By adding these embellishments you will make your sequence sound much more musical.  Different idioms use certain types of embellishments more than others.  For instance if you are a budding blues guitar player, using bends is indispensable.

Altering the Common Building Blocks of Melodies

Next thing you want to do is decide where rhythmically within the measure you want to play your modal sequence.  Usually I just have students improvise, placing the notes where they don’t have too much to think about initially.  But eventually you need to vary your phrasing in as many ways as you can think of, otherwise you may fall into the trap of always placing those notes in the same place –which creates boredom for you and the listener.

That is why I recommend the One Minute Lessons for Phrasing because it gives you many ideas on how to change a musical phrase to create a new sounding melody. Some of phrasing changes can be as simple as changing where that melody starts within a measure, or very complex as you combine multiple phrasing concepts.

See Progress Quickly

The nice thing about modal sequencing is that it comes out in your playing quickly.  Other music techniques such as approach notes into chord tones on beats one and three (which is one of the cornerstones of the Approach Note course) can take months of work because you need to play specific notes at a specific place within a measure, and to put it simply, it’s a lot harder.

So if you you are a beginner or you don’t have time to add modal sequencing into your practice schedule, then just grabbing a few melodic ideas from the course is a great way to find some new melodies quickly.  If you are a beginner you will also begin to see the logic that is used with many melodies and how to change them easily to make new ideas.

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!