Thorough Scale Practise

by James Stelling

Position 4

These 5 articles (split into 5 scale positions) are intended as a musical resource for you to practise scales to.

I have provided backing tracks for each of the 10 scales listed below and also one continuous backing track for you to practise them all to once you have learned them.

It can often be difficult to hear the correct tonality of scales when practising them (especially outside of root positions) so these backing tracks will really help.

Below are the ten scales that I think you should master in order to be able to appropriately play over most harmonic situations:

Lydian - Any Major chords acting as IV chords or as modal interchange chords (maj7, maj6, maj etc)

Major - Any Major chords acting as I chords (maj7, maj6, maj etc)

Lydian b7 - Any substitute dominant chord resolving down a semi town i.e. Db7 - Cmaj7 use Db Lydian b7 over the Db7 chord (this is an inversion of the altered scale).

Mixolydian - Any unaltered dominant chord that's either static, or functioning and resolving to major chords.

Phrygian Dominant - Dominant chords with b9s, #5s or unaltered and resolving to minor chords. Also any diminished 7th chord disguised as a functioning dominant chord i.e. Bdim7 - Cmaj7 play G Phrygian Dominant over the Bdim7 as Bdim7 = G7b9/B.

Dorian - Any minor chords acting as II chords or modal interchange chords.

Natural Minor - Any minor chords acting as Vi chords.

Phrygian - Any minor chords acting as III chords.

Locrian - Any Minor 7b5 chord acting as a Vii chord or a II chord in a minor key.

Whole Half Diminished - Any diminished 7 chord acting as I Dim i.e. I Dim, bIII Dim, #IV/bV Dim, VI Dim.


The key for the scales below is as follows

White circle = Root Note

White square = 7th arpeggio chord tone

Black circle = Scale Tone