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Exotic Scales

Exotic Scales - New Horizons for Jazz Improvisation

As a performing guitarist I’m always on the lookout for ways to separate my playing from the countless others who are milking the usual pentatonic minors,majors,and blues scales for all they’re worth. Exotic scales always seemed like an intriguing way to add some spice to my solos,but every time I’d try one,it just seemed to sound so . . . outside. I knew enough theory to be able to design solos ahead of time and make them fit just about any set of changes,but having grown up on improvisation,I favored an approach that would allow me to simply doodle over a progression,let the creativity flow,and sound good..

Several years ago I encountered a series of books that purported to present just about every exotic scale there is. These,unfortunately,simply presented tables of intervals,leaving the reader to make what sense of them they could;an approach that seemed somewhat less than helpful. Even knowing some theory,it took a good deal of effort to sit down,analyze these scales,and come up with harmonic environments within which they could be melodically applied. It was precisely that effort,in fact,that led to the creation of this book.

Even with an appropriate progression in hand,my initial attempts to turn these scales into something resembling music proved to be a rather tedious and frustrating exercise. By recording the steps that I followed,and the compositions that ultimately emerged,this book not only allows others to reproduce my results,but also provides a methodology through which readers can approach novel harmonic territories on their own.