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#1863311 - 03/16/12 06:38 PM What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me"
Jazz+ Offline
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Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Here's a little quiz. What scales would you chose for each chord of "All Of Me" . I find all of my students and many professionals do not really realize what the most ideal scale type is for each chord in "All Of Me" :

| C maj7 | Cmaj7 | "E7" | "E7"|
| "A7" | "A7" | D-7 | D-7 |
| "E7" | "E7" | A-7 | A-7 |
| "D7" | "D7" | D-7 | "G7" |

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#1863365 - 03/16/12 08:22 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
RUSS SHETTLE Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 301
Loc: Brandywine, Maryland
I don't get it? What are they?
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#1863539 - 03/17/12 07:50 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
Chromatic scale works equally well on all chords;-)

Seriously though I don't think there can be such a think as an 'ideal scale type', the scale choice is determined by factors like what extensions you include in the chord and how much tension you want to add, and many others.
I would be interested why you think many professionals are wrong about their scale choice though.
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#1863610 - 03/17/12 11:02 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
Strange question. All of Me is a fun piece to play becuase it has a relatively simple progression, but with lots of dominant chords. I can't think of a scale that you couldn't use.

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#1863612 - 03/17/12 11:03 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 794
Loc: Northern, Northern California
I'm either unhip or I just like to keep it simple, but I tend to use:

C: C major scale
E7: A major scale
A7: D major scale
Dm7: C major scale
Am7: G major scale

Of course I use tension notes, neighbor tones, etc, but I like the simple approach above.
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#1863640 - 03/17/12 12:14 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
what you need is a hip replacement

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#1863710 - 03/17/12 02:30 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Olly Wedgwood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 51
Loc: UK - London
I agree with beeboss - there is never a one-size-fits-all killer scale for jazz standards such as All of Me... However, there are useful 'framework' scales and arpeggios to understand, depending on the chord.

For example, the first chord of C (perhaps even C6)... a pentatonic scale framework could work well here with a couple of blues notes thrown in here and there.

But of course, that passes pretty quickly and you're then on to the E7, which you could consider an arpeggio of E7 with perhaps a flattened 9th F... which leads nicely on to the Am7...

Hope that helps a bit!
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#1863736 - 03/17/12 03:20 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Jazz+ Offline
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Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Interesting, nobody seems to get it. Use your ears and study the masters, they are not playing simple unaltered Mixolydian scales on E7 and A7 .

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#1863762 - 03/17/12 04:23 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
If you are playing b9 extensions for example then regular mixolydian is not going to sound so good.

If you think by key then A harmonic minor is the closest scale for the E7 chord - like a C major scale but with the G sharpened to fit the 3rd of the chord. You could follow this same approach through the other chords but there is no reason why an altered scale wouldn't work just as well over the E7 imo, F melodic minor ascending or E diminished (1/2,1). These will all work well depending on the context.
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#1863773 - 03/17/12 04:41 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Ed Zuccollo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 19
Loc: Wellington, New Zealand
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
Interesting, nobody seems to get it. Use your ears and study the masters, they are not playing simple unaltered Mixolydian scales on E7 and A7 .


I think people do get it though. What they're saying is that there is a choice. You could use a super-locrian scale on the A7 but you could also go old-school and use a straight mixolydian. Or you could mix it up a bit. I think it's great to learn a bunch of scales, practice with them all individually until they become part of your playing, and then eventually forget them and pick the notes you want to hear. Then if you hear a recording of someone playing a certain sound and you like it, most probably you will be able to go to the piano and replicate it. I mean, it takes a long long time but that's ideal for me - rather than your 'correct answer'. It's a matter of taste.

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#1863908 - 03/17/12 09:55 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
For those that are curious, here's a transcription of a Sarah Vaughn solo: http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/jazz/Transcriptions/ALL%20of%20Me%20SARAH.pdf

Looks like pretty standard scales to me, albiet with quite a few enclosures and chromatic passing tones.

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#1863909 - 03/17/12 09:57 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
For those that are curious, here's a transcription of a Sarah Vaughn solo: http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/jazz/Transcriptions/ALL%20of%20Me%20SARAH.pdf

Looks like pretty traditional scales, albiet with a nice use of enclosures and chromatic passing tones.

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#1863924 - 03/17/12 11:01 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Old timer Lester Young using altered scales on E7 and A7. It's such an obviously better choice than awkward sounding mixolydian. The mixolydian on E7 and A7 sound so "out of key" for a tune in C, where as the altered scales sound at home in the key of C on E7 and A7 because they are much closer to the key of C !
http://www.scribd.com/doc/55169612/Lester-Young-All-Of-Me-Sax-Solo

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#1863931 - 03/17/12 11:27 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
"Hippest" as in what would Herbie Hancock play on the E7 A7 changes as compared to what the Lawrence Welk band would play. I have heard Herbioe play All Of Me and he played an alt every time.

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#1863943 - 03/18/12 12:10 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Ilion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 27
Loc: United States
imho, the improviser who plays the most interesting music over ANY changes is he who plays good melodies. I don't understand why people get so wrapped up in scales. If you know them all then your ear will provide you with good melodic material. Chet Baker could play great bop and then play totally diatonic, but he was a master at melody and phrasing.

You can play C major over the entire form of All of Me and it will work extensions, alterations, and all. If you develop the ideas, use good phrasing and time, it's a great solo.

No need to claim any one approach is superior. Again, my opinion, and I may be in the minority haha.

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#1863952 - 03/18/12 12:54 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Ilion]
Ed Zuccollo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 19
Loc: Wellington, New Zealand
I agree ilion. Singable solos are awesome. Simple stuff with good time and phrasing bangs it. I think it's easier and quicker to get stuck into strange scales than it is to gain the other stuff like time and phrasing, solo structure, and melodic interesting development. That stuff takes a long time and a lot of playing and listening.

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#1864032 - 03/18/12 08:51 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1203
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
Here's a little quiz. What scales would you chose for each chord of "All Of Me" .


And I guess it's a trick answer? None. I wouldn't be thinking "chord = scale". That's a teaching method that allows inexperienced students to come up with a passable imitation of a jazz solo. It's great for educators because it's testable - much easier to grade a student on "are you fluent in F# mixolydian" than on "was that a good melodic solo?". But it's not a very good way to make good music.

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#1864047 - 03/18/12 09:33 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Exalted Wombat]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat

But it's not a very good way to make good music.



Every note has a relationship to the chord being played, to the melody, to the notes everyone else is playing - chord/scale theory is one way to think about these relationships. Obviously if somebody just uses chord/scale theory to choose what notes to play that is not going to work very well, but on the other hand we cannot make good music by ignoring the relationships either.
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#1864117 - 03/18/12 12:01 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
It's only a matter of time before the thread becomes a scale vs chord vs ear debate. There's a good chapter on metaphors for the musician about that.

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#1864131 - 03/18/12 12:20 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Same old arguments to avoid simply answering the question...

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#1864162 - 03/18/12 01:14 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Steve Nixon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/10
Posts: 216
Loc: Chicago
I think it depends on what a player wants to sound like.

For me it all starts w/ bebop. Bebop is sort of the basic and most fundamental vocabulary of jazz.

So, if a player want to sound more like a bebop player they won't be thinking scales as much as they will be thinking chords. Chord tone placement in relation to strong beats are everything.

Now, not every note is an arpeggio/chord tone note. Mixed in w/ the chord tones are chromatic and diatonic enclosures of chord tones and sometimes passing scale notes. It all revolves around chords though smile

Some people would say, well scales and chords are the same thing and I agree in theory. The approach and thought process behind the lines you come up with though are different.


Just my 1.3 cents.....


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#1864217 - 03/18/12 03:20 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
Someone help me. I've looked at the first page of the Lester Young solo and I'm not seeing much of the altered scale. Here are the dominant chords:
E7: just a few notes, can't tell anything.
A7: Flat nine, but you also f natural (sharp 5), which is not in the alt scale.
E7: you could call this alt because of the flat and sharp nine.
D7: regular nine so no alt here.
G7: one note
E7: It has a D#, which is not part of the alt scale

I didn't bother with the second page, but am I missing something? I'm not seeing much of the alt scale.

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#1864228 - 03/18/12 03:45 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
I think you are right, I don't think Prez is using any altered scales there, not once is there a b5 against the chord. I think he is using harmonic minors exclusively - A minor harmonic for the E7 chord, and D minor harmonic for the A7 chord - which are suggested by the b9 alternations I mentioned. He uses the sharp9 a couple of times in triplets but I think that is more of a melodic minor embellishment than a fragment from an altered scale. I am not sure the altered scale existed in 1956.
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#1864342 - 03/18/12 07:55 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Note that for both the E7 and A7 chords you are playing a F and a C from the original key of C major. Those are alterations.

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#1864626 - 03/19/12 10:04 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1219
Loc: uk south
If you are in the key of C and play an F over an E7 chord what exactly is that an alteration of?
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#1864630 - 03/19/12 10:11 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2999
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
i would have also concluded that E7 resolving to A- was plain old A harmonic minor.

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#1864799 - 03/19/12 03:31 PM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
Ilion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 27
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
Here's a little quiz. What scales would you chose for each chord of "All Of Me" . I find all of my students and many professionals do not really realize what the most ideal scale type is for each chord in "All Of Me" :

| C maj7 | Cmaj7 | "E7" | "E7"|
| "A7" | "A7" | D-7 | D-7 |
| "E7" | "E7" | A-7 | A-7 |
| "D7" | "D7" | D-7 | "G7" |


Maybe another way to start this thread could've been:

"Hey guys, I've been thinking about the changes to All of Me and have a pretty cool idea about using a "hyper-mixo-phrygialydian dodecatonic" scale on the A7 chord. I think it's pretty hip... What do you think?"

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#1864971 - 03/19/12 08:39 PM What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me [Re: jjo]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Perhaps overly romantic, but I believe that Old Lester was playing what he HEARD, not what he THOUGHT.

Not suggesting that we should not analyze it - that's what theory is for, after all - to systematize something that already is. But once we have some facility, we should be playing what we hear, and not what we think.

Ed
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#1868668 - 03/26/12 10:42 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
+1 thumb Golfers, ever try to think your way during a swing? Same with baseball players, and fishing casts!
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David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1868676 - 03/26/12 11:02 AM Re: What are the hippest scales to improv with on "All Of Me" [Re: Jazz+]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I used to think about these stuff when I was learning, but nowdays I try to get away from thinking and just playing what I hear/feel at the moment. It's great to analyze and think about scales, and what kind of ideas work over changes, but at one point, you should just "Learn the changes, then forget them", like Bird once said. Hopefully these ideas just becomes naturally part of what you say in your music.

I also think it's important not to get too carried away with chord-scale theory stuff, and you have no business doing different exotic scales when you can't play a simple inside solo and make it sound melodic. There are plenty of people out there who can tell you all sorts of exotic scales that work over a chord(much more obscure than this one), and yet when they play, their ideas don't make whole lot of sense musically.

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