A few weeks back we talked about pentatonic scales and some of the various uses we can get from them (and how they’re additional tools to target a note). Digital patterns are similar to pentatonic scales because they are mathematical in structure and remain constant for that pattern. Digital patterns can be based on any scale type and can be used for many different tonalities (major, minor, diminished, etc). For example, the digital pattern below is based off of the root, 2nd, 3rd and 5th major scale degrees.
The example above is one note short of being a pentatonic scale (shown below), which is why they are so closely related.
Digital patterns, which can be used to define a harmony, can also be used as a tool or vehicle to connect musical ideas in your improvisation. Since I’m a big proponent of targeting, let’s look at how we can use a few of the above digital patterns to target the note “C.” The examples below do not have any stated harmony above them as they can be used in a multiple of harmonic settings.
These are just a few brief ways we can use digital patterns to creatively target notes. If you’ve never used them before, I would suggest that you start learning major scale patterns by taking a pattern or two a week and playing them through every key. Once you gain a level of familiarity, start expanding to other digital patterns as well as digital patterns in other harmonic areas (minor, diminished, other modes, etc).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s tip. Please remember to share this tip (and blog) with your friends/colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any other site that you’re a contributor. I know these tips have been helping many of you and I would love to continue to see them helping others as this community grows. There are a few additional reviews up on my book’s store site (mentioned above) if you’d like to check those out. Thanks again and we’ll see you next week!