Etude 29-7/8 Over 4/4 Major Scale Pattern

There is so much music that can be found within the simplicity of a major scale. Here’s a nice,  sort of angular pattern that lends itself well to a swing feel:

7:8 Over 4:4 mj example

It’s actually a 7/8 pattern (seven eighth-notes) played over 4/4. I’ve put the accents in to mark the pattern and show how it displaces itself over the measures, and how it returns on the last two eighth notes (an octave lower than it started). The descending 7ths (e.g., “B down to “C” in the first measure) add to the bebop angularity of the line. I’ve put this pattern in all twelve keys, but in the last six keys (F# major through G major) I’ve displaced the pattern by a half a beat, starting it on the upbeat of beat one. I did this to change the feel and weight of the line. You can displace it further, if you like, once you get it in your ears and under your fingers. It’s important that you practice this with a metronome, so that you can feel the polymetric tension between 7/8 and 4/4. I suggest you do this in three different ways: with the click on beats one and three; with the click only on beat one; and with the click on beats two and four. The aim should be for you to always know exactly where beat one will fall relative to the pattern. If you’d like to explore polymeter more deeply, please consider my book, Essential Polymeter Studies in 4/4 for the Improvising Musician. Click below to download the pdf for this etude, and to hear a midi sound sample of it.

7/8 Over 4/4 Major Scale Pattern .pdf

7/8 Over 4/4 Major Scale Pattern midi sample