Tired of using the same old scales?? Challenge yourself!

If you answered YES to this question, this post is right for you. If you answered NO, then you are ready to take up the challenge! Keep on reading.

The whole thing started with a video of one of my songs and then with the decision to send a creative gift to the readers of my school newsletter. “Jingle a specchio” is an evocative song I composed for Specchio Asimmetrico a special audiovisual project for my stylus contrabass. Here I am playing it in Minsk, where I went with my electric bass due to some logistic reasons.

Start off 2013 challenging yourself!
On my school homepage you will find a free-to-download zipped folder containing the sheet music and the audio base (which I can’t add here) of this song. And this is the challenge: learn this song and make a video of you playing it on the bass or any other instrument you like, upload it on your YouTube channel and send us the link. The best videos will be picked up and shown in our school channel: http://www.youtube.com/youbasslab !!

Of course the solo is to be recreated from scratch, and to give you some ideas for improvisation (just in case…), I have written down a few tips and examples that you can use to make your solo really memorable!

TIP 1
Use the notes of the relative scale. For more details on this topic, please check directly this post: Belle queste scale! Ma sul basso e contrabbasso come e dove le suono? which specifically talks about this.

TIP 2
Play leaps of a third on the whole fingerboard, using the first two strings of the bass.

Figure 1
Figura 01

These leaps can be played in any combinations of figure 2.

Figure 2
Figura 02

TIP 3.
Play leaps of a fourth on the whole fingerboard, using the first two strings of the bass.

Figure 3
Figura 03

In this case too, the leaps can be played in any combinations summarised in figure 4.

Figure 4
Figura-04

TIP 4.
Play leaps of a fifth on the whole fingerboard, using the first two strings of the bass.

Figure 5
Figura 05

The leaps can be played in any combinations summarised in figure 4.

TIP 5.
Play leaps of a sixth transported on the whole fingerboard, using the first two strings of the bass. Figure 6 shows such leaps of a sixth on the I and II string or on the I and III string.

Figure 6
Figura 06

Such leaps can also be played in any combinations summarised in figure 4.

TIP 6.
Play the arpeggios from the chords of the scale. Figure 7 shows the arpeggios from quadriads of the Bb major scale chords.

Figure 7
Figura 07

These arpeggios can be played with the different combinations of figure 8.

Figure 8
Figura 08

TIP 7.
Finally, you can use triad arpeggios using fourths in Bb major scale.

Figure 9
Figura 09

Triads by fourths on the major scale harmonisation fall into three categories, or species.

I species: two perfect overlapping fourths, that are on the II, III, V, VI and VII grade of the scale

Figure 10
Figura 10

 II species: Perfect fourth and augmented fourth, on the I grade of the scale

Figure 11
Figura 11

 III species: augmented fourth and perfect fourth, on the IV grade of the scale.

Figure 12
Figura 12

Triads by fourths can be used as quadriads by thirds with these movements.

Figure 13
Figura 13

To conclude
Now, by using these seven tips, you have a great deal of material to experiment on such an easy diatonic structure as Jingle a Specchio.

I’m really looking forward to receiving your video!!

tiziano

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