Scale Analysis by Bruce Arnold for Muse Eek Publishing Company
Scale Analysis

Scale Analysis

Scale Analysis is a mega course that melds your aural comprehension with your intellectual understanding of scales, keys and chords into one unified whole.

700 Page PDF, 36 Videos: Over 4 hours of video, 108 MP3s and 72 Midifiles.

Scale Analysis

Scale Analysis is hands down the most comprehensive course on the subject of ear training and how it applies to hearing chord progressions and scales. It will teach you to hear multiple scales and chords all within a key center. This skill will revolutionize your improvisations and compositions and change your whole approach when working with chords and scales.

Please Note: We recommend that all guitarist work with the Guitar Technique and Physiology Course so that you learn with proper scale technique. This course gives you a comprehensive approach to playing guitar and includes a videos on all aspects of guitar technique.

Overarching Goal

As stated, the overarching goal behind the Scale Analysis course is to teach you how to hear multiple chords all in one key center. By honing this ability you will find improvising over chords to be much simpler and more musical at the same time. Initially, this course presents a way to understand how you should hear chords and their associated chord scales. Secondly, it develops your ear so that you are truly hearing and playing using these concepts.

The Key is the Key

This idea of hearing entire chord progressions within a key center is not new. Take a look at any jazz standard or pop tune and you will find a melody that is largely diatonic to a key center while multiple chords are present. Unfortunately, most educational systems use a cookie cutter approach to understanding and playing over chord changes, wherein each chord is its own key center. In other words, the root of each chord is thought of as the new key center.

Simplify but at the same time Expand Your Improvisation

This concept of playing leads to a very vertical conception of “playing over the changes” and makes creating a key-based, melodic solo very difficult, if not impossible. This vertical approach also goes against how you ultimately hear music and will become apparent as your ear progresses with the “Contextual Ear Training” courses that I’ve created. Working with “Scale Analysis” will speed up your ability to hear scales and chords in one key center. Targeted exercises instill both an intellectual understanding of these musical elements, as well as strengthening your aural skills so that you actually start to hear the correct way.

Each Chord influences the Next Chord

The second major premise is that when you have multiple chords within a chord progression each successive chord and the scale chosen for that chord will affect which scale you use for the next chord. This is because your ear tends to want to hold on to any sound it hears until it is canceled out by another sound. This canceling sound is usually a chord tone on the next chord. A quick example: If you have a C Dominant 7th chord and you play a C Mixolydian scale over it, if you then hear an F7 chord the “Eb” in the F7 chord will cancel out the “E” in the Mixolydian scale, creating a C Dorian scale. So you can see that we are thinking of both chords in the key of C.

Example of Chord Following Chord

There will of course be exceptions to this; for example, if you play the C Dominant chord for a couple of measures and then play the F7 chord for eight measure at some point you stand a good chance of modulating to the key of F. This is completely fine! The idea is that the longer you hear a chord the more chances you have to modulate to the root of that chord. And the faster the chords are presented, the more you stand the chance of hearing all the chords in one key center. In most cases musicians need work on hearing a group of chords and their chord scales in one key center and that is the backbone of this course.

Additional Information Found in Scale Analysis

The above video gives you examples of different parts of the book, but besides the worksheet where you write out the scales, there are many other aspects of the course that give you extremely valuable information about chord scale relationships, such as:

  • A list showing you which chords tend to be used with specific scales when you relate them to one key center.
  • A index showing you the location of the scales and their related chords within 36 chord progressions so you can see patterns.
  • A list showing you all possible chord scale relationships for each scale used in the 36 chord progressions.
  • A index showing you all possible subsets for the scales used in the chord progressions.
  • A list showing the South Indian “Melakarta” scales and their relationship to the scales used in this course.
  • A index of all alternate names used for the scales found in this course.
  • Additional ear training exercises which help you apply the techniques you have learned to popular tunes or your own compositions.

Dig Deeper into Scale Analysis

“Scale Analysis” covers the subsets for 109 scales. These subsets are very useful for applying other techniques of improvisation, instead of playing the scale as we normally do when improvising. Here are some concepts that you could use to apply these subsets.

Two Notes:

The two note combinations help you see different interval combinations that you can use to represent the scale.

Here is a partial list of dyads from the C Major Scale:

Major Scale [ C, D, E, F, G, A, B ]

Partial List of 2 Note Subsets of Major Scale

     Interval     Names      PrimeForm

  • 0,2,         C,D,           0,2
  • 0,4,         C,E,            0,4
  • 0,5,         C,F,            0,5
  • 0,7,        C,G,            0,5
  • 0,9,        C,A,            0,3
  • 0,11,      C,B,            0,1
  • 2,4,        D,E,            0,2
  • 2,5,        D,F,            0,3
  • 2,7,        D,G,           0,5
  • 2,9,        D,A,           0,5
  • 2,11,      D,B,           0,3
  • 4,5,        E,F,             0,1

Many improvisational concepts can be derived from dyads. For instance if you took all 1/2 steps (i.e. 0,1 PrimeForm) and combined them with all fifths (i.e. 0,5 PrimeForm) you will get a very modern intervallic sounding C Major scale melody.

Three Notes:

Use any of the three note combinations to represent a chord (make sure there are no avoid notes in the three note chord) or an arpeggio (this could contain an avoid note). Then use two 3 note combinations to create an alternating sound of moving back and forth between these two 3 note groups.  Use them as chords or melody.  In the book “Time Transformation” I use 1,2,5 and b3,4,b7 as the two 3 note groups and provide études to apply this sound over a minor chord vamp.  It’s a very modern, hip sound!

Use the two 3 note combinations without any repeated notes and do the same as above. This creates a Hexatonic scale. Create chord progressions with these 3 note chords. These 3 note chords work really beautifully in modal situations.  You can hear examples of this concept on many of my recordings.  For instance, I use these ideas in a jazz setting in Art of the Blues and in a Rock/Heavy Metal setting in Vanishing Point. You can also hear the use of a Hexatonic Scale 027-027 during my solo on the jazz standard “Invitation” on Two Guys from South Dakota.

Three note combinations open up a whole world of improvisational concepts. Below is a partial list of Trichords (3 note chords) from the C Major Scale.

Major Scale [ C, D, E, F, G, A, B ]

Partial List of 3 Note Subsets of Major Scale:

       Interval       Note Names         Prime Form

  • 0,7,11,          C,G,B,                  0,1,5
  • 0,9,11,          C,A,B,                  0,1,3
  • 2,4,5,            D,E,F,                   0,1,3
  • 2,4,7,            D,E,G,                  0,2,5
  • 2,4,9,            D,E,A,                  0,2,7
  • 2,4,11,          D,E,B,                  0,2,5
  • 2,5,7,            D,F,G,                  0,2,5
  • 2,5,9,            D,F,A,                  0,3,7
  • 2,5,11,          D,F,B,                  0,3,6

There are too many improvisational concepts that can be derived from trichords to list here. But here is a great combination for chords or melodies. Take the C,G,B (0,1,5 PrimeForm) and combine it with D,E,A (0,2,7 Primeform). Pivot back and forth between these two groups and you have a wonderful sound that can literally be used in any idiom. You can hear this two trichord concept used in many ways on the following recordings:

  • Use this two triad concept to create compositions: Listen to Duets
  • It is used to improvise over modern classical music on the Webern CD.
  • To hear examples of using 025-025 trichords to create down home blues compositions; check out Tarnation, Widow Maker, Windies, Wagtail, Dakota Train Blues and Asher from Great Houdini.
  • Hear it used in a free improvisational setting with 014-014 trichords on “Remembrances” from “Listen to This”.
  • 013-013 as a lyrical counterpoint on the composition “Blue Lotus” from the same titled CD.
  • Check out “Tools for Modern Improvisation” for many more examples
  • I should also mention “Symmetrical Trichord Pairs” which is a very useful method book for exploring this concept.

Four Notes:

Four note combination again have many uses. Here is an abbreviated list:

Use any of the four note combinations to represent a chord (make sure there are no avoid notes in the four note chord) or an arpeggio (this could contain an avoid note.) Use two four note combinations to create an alternating sound of moving back and forth between these two four note chords or melody. See the “Tertial Octatonics” course for examples of this concept.

Use the two 4 note combinations without any repeated notes and do the same as above. This creates an Octatonic scale. See the “Tertial Octatonics” course for examples of this concept. Create chord progressions with these four note chords. These four note chords work really well in modal situations.

Here is a partial list of Tetrads (4 note chords) from the C Major Scale

Major Scale[ C, D, E, F, G, A, B ]

Partial List of 4 Note Subsets of Major Scale:

        Interval           Note Names            PrimeForm

  • 0,2,4,5,             C,D,E,F,                    0,1,3,5
  • 0,2,4,7,             C,D,E,G,                  0,2,4,7
  • 0,2,4,9,             C,D,E,A,                   0,2,4,7
  • 0,2,4,11,           C,D,E,B,                  0,1,3,5
  • 0,2,5,7,             C,D,F,G,                  0,2,5,7
  • 0,2,5,9,             C,D,F,A,                  0,3,5,8
  • 0,2,5,11,           C,D,F,B,                  0,1,3,6
  • 0,2,7,9,             C,D,G,A,                 0,2,5,7
  • 0,2,7,11,           C,D,G,B,                  0,2,3,7
  • 0,2,9,11,           C,D,A,B,                  0,2,3,5
  • 0,4,5,7,             C,E,F,G,                   0,2,3,7
  • 0,4,5,9,             C,E,F,A,                   0,1,5,8
  • 0,4,5,11,           C,E,F,B,                   0,1,5,6
  • 0,4,7,9,             C,E,G,A,                  0,3,5,8

Again there are too many improvisational concepts that can be derived from Tetrads to list here. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Use the C,D,E,G, (0,2,4,7 PrimeForm) to outline chords as John Coltrane did in “Giant Steps.” But why not use C,D,E,A, C,D,E,B, C,D,G,A, C,D,G,B, etc… to create other ways of arpeggiating through a song?
  • You could also use a three tetrad concept called “23rd chords.” In this concept you use three 4 note chords to represent a chord. (which creates a 12 tone aggregrate) I use this idea on the composition “Blue Eleven” from the same titled CD. You can find a full list of 23rd chords in the book “Tools for Modern Improvisation.”

Five Notes:

Five notes is a Pentatonic scale. In the Scale Analysis course you can see all Pentatonic scales that could be used rather than the larger six, seven or eight note scale. Applying modal sequencing on these Pentatonic scales can create some very engaging sounds. (See the “Two Note Modal Sequencing” and “Three Note Modal Sequencing” courses for more information on using these type of patterns.)

Here is a partial list of Pentads (5 note chords) from the C Major Scale

Major Scale [ C, D, E, F, G, A, B ]

Partial List of 5 Note Subsets of Major Scale:

         Interval               Names             PrimeForm

  • 0,2,4,5,7,         C,D,E,F,G,             0,2,3,5,7
  • 0,2,4,5,9,         C,D,E,F,A,             0,1,3,5,8
  • 0,2,4,5,11,       C,D,E,F,B,             0,1,3,5,6
  • 0,2,4,7,9,         C,D,E,G,A,            0,2,4,7,9
  • 0,2,4,7,11,       C,D,E,G,B,            0,1,3,5,8
  • 0,2,4,9,11,       C,D,E,A,B,             0,2,3,5,7
  • 0,2,5,7,9,          C,D,F,G,A,            0,2,4,7,9

You can think of Scale Analysis as your ultimate guide for pentatonic scales. It is of course common to use a C,D,E,G,A Pentatonic scale as a replacement for a C Major Scale. But why not use some of the other combinations from this list like:

  • C,D,E,G,B, (0,1,3,5,8 PrimeForm)
  • C,D,E,A,B, (0,2,3,5,7 PrimeForm)

Six Notes:

This shows you all the Hexatonic scales that can be created from the parent scale. This  is very useful for creating alternative melodies. Again, sequencing these Hexatonic scales creates very interesting melodies. Pick a Hexatonic scale with no avoid notes, and you have a super useful scale because you never have to worry about which note you are stopping on.

Here is a partial list of Hexads (6 note chords) from the C Major Scale:

Major Scale [ C, D, E, F, G, A, B ]

Partial List of 6 Note Subsets of Major Scale:

          Interval              Names              PrimeForm

  • 0,2,4,5,7,9,      C,D,E,F,G,A,         0,2,4,5,7,9
  • 0,2,4,5,7,11,    C,D,E,F,G,B,         0,1,3,5,6,8
  • 0,2,4,5,9,11,    C,D,E,F,A,B,         0,1,3,5,6,8
  • 0,2,4,7,9,11,    C,D,E,G,A,B,        0,2,4,5,7,9
  • 0,2,5,7,9,11,    C,D,F,G,A,B,         0,2,3,5,7,9
  • 0,4,5,7,9,11,    C,E,F,G,A,B,         0,1,3,5,7,8
  • 2,4,5,7,9,11,    D,E,F,G,A,B,         0,2,3,5,7,9

Hexatonic scales are used widely in contemporary improvisation. C,D,E,G,A,B, (0,2,4,5,7,9 PrimeForm) is used often. But why not borrow C,D,E,F#,A,B, (0,2,3,5,7,9 PrimeForm) and use that in the many ways you can organize a hexad?

Seven Notes:

These scales only exist where there is an Octatonic scale. Using a 7 note subset often creates a most intriguing sound. It helps to find melodies that are not as symmetrical, particularly when you are playing an eight note symmetrical scale.

Don’t overlook the use of heptads as a replacement for an Octatonic scale. For instance instead of a C Symmetrical Diminished Scale: C,Db,Eb,E,Gb,G,A,Bb  (0,1,3,4,6,7,9,10 PrimeForm) use this heptad: Db,Eb,E,Gb,G,A,Bb  (0,1,3,4,6,7,9 PrimeForm)

Just a Few Examples from Scale Analysis

The lists and ideas above are taken from only two scales: Major and Symmetrical Diminished. Scale Analysis contains 109 different scales which will provide you with a lifetime of investigating and applying awesome alternative ideas with scales and their subsets.

Get Scale Analysis Today!

Scale Analysis

ISBN: 978-1-59489-431-2

700 Page PDF, 36 Videos: Over 4 hours of video, 341 MP3s and 72 Midi files.

What people are saying:

  • This is an fantastic course! It’s a simple concept but after working with it, it has really changed the way I hear and think about music. C. Franks
  • The most enlightening book on music that I’ve ever read. I now understand how to hear scales within chord progressions. This is awesome! Thanks! W. Kim
  • Hearing all scales in one key is an entirely new approach for me and it’s really working. Why doesn’t everyone teach this? A. Rosenthal
  • I’ll be referencing this book for a long time. Amazing amount of information! Thanks for including the list showing all the subsets of the scales that is super valuable.  F. Nathan

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