As the semester settles in for most of the college students out there, I wanted to throw out a few thoughts about major scales that might go above and beyond what you normally do with them. Most of us are familiar with all 12 major scales, but are we really comfortable with all the permutations of that key center? Especially as improvisers we strive for fluency in and around all the key centers we might come across while improvising over all sorts of tunes. 


When I was teaching at Florida State, we would choose one key per week and do all of the exercises that I talk about in this video, and then move onto another key the following week. After a few times around the circle of 4ths/5ths you’ll be amazed at how much more fluent you are while improvising! Besides getting familiar with the tonal material, it is very important to focus on the details of your trombone playing (or whatever instrument you’re playing these exercises on). Focus on achieving great attacks on each note (and that they’re exactly the same on note regardless of register), having a great sound, and playing with accurate pitch/rhythm! Metronomes, Tuners, and Drone tracks are our friends! 

To get all of this in hard copy, you can check out the links below the video to get a copy of “GET AHEAD: a Practical Guide for the Developing Jazz Trombonist"

Until next time, please enjoy! See you next week -