Last month, we discussed constructing Iines with different intervals. This month I want to show you some ways to practice scales with different intervals to inspire new ideas. Practicing this may seem really technical, but over time you will be able to better visualize the neck and be able to create fresh, new sounds. This type of practice is also great for your technique, especially your right hand. As the intervals get wider, it becomes trickier to pick. You can use this practice method in all scales and keys. For this lesson we will be working out of the major scale and some common modes.
Lets start off with 3rd intervals in the A major scale (A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#). Basically, you start on the root, move up to the 3rd note in the scale, go back down a scale tone, up a 3rd, etc. Continue up the scale in the same fashion – your ear should pick up on this. Be sure to think of the notes when working this out.
Here is an A Dorian scale (A, B, C, D, E, F#, G) played in 4th intervals. The concept is pretty simple – start on a scale tone, go up the interval (which is a 4th), go back three scale tones, then back up a 4th and so on. You will be playing 4th intervals off of each scale tone. The intervals are not all perfect – you will hit a tritone along the way.
This is an A Phrygian scale (A, Bb, C, D, E, F, G) played in 5th intervals. I really love using 5th intervals in my playing – some of my favorite lines are derived from 5ths. Try this with an array of different scales; you can create some neat sounds using pentatonics.
The intervals are getting wider – here is an A Mixolydian scale (A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G) played in 6th intervals This is a little tricky to pick, but it sounds really cool and can be very bluesy when played across the neck. Be sure to practice this slowly and precisely, then gradually build up speed.
Now let me show you a couple of intervals played across the neck, two strings at a time. Here is an A major scale played across the neck using 3rd intervals. Try this on all strings – you can really get your neck down if you practice this a lot and it can inspire new ideas. Also experiment using slides.
Here is the same idea as our last example, but now we are playing 5th intervals in A major across the neck. Again, experiment with adding slides to this one and be sure to move it around the neck. You will notice an Egyptian flavor here, especially on the higher strings.
Those are just some examples of how to practice scales with intervals. Again, it is a technical way to practice but very helpful in many ways. Be sure to check out mikecampese.com.