Melodic Minor Scale Jazz Studies

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“Having studied Bill Plake’s Melodic Minor Scale Jazz Studies for the past year, I find it extremely helpful in terms of increasing my melodic language over Dominant 7th chords.  Bill presents his material in a way that is approachable, concise, yet extremely thorough. The concept of using 5 different melodic minor scales as a medium for developing improvisational language with different levels and colors of tonal contrasts is ingenious. Having come from a strict classical background, it makes learning new language based on these scales more familiar and recognizable, in that I spent much time in my early years practicing the melodic minor scales.  To be able to take this foundation and use it as a basis for improvisation is exciting and eye opening!  Looking forward to spending more time with it!”

-Mark Dover, clarinetist, Imani Winds

“I have been working with Melodic Minor Scale Jazz Studies for the last 5 months. During this time I’ve noticed that my improvisational melodic repertoire has significantly increased. I am not a beginning improviser, and besides knowing jazz theory, I have also worked through several other good books (Patterns for Jazz by Jerry Coker, Hip Licks by Greg Fishman, Oliver Nelson’s book and some more). But getting deeper into improvised music, I must say that Bill Plake’s melodic minor book, in my opinion, makes the most sense as a tool to develop one’s own melodic capabilities without thinking too much about which tone (or tensions) to use on which scale or chord. If you want to really grow as an improviser by learning how to create tension and release through melodic movement, start working from this book.”

– Günter Schelberger, professional saxophonist and conservatory woodwinds instructor, Waidhofen, Austria

“Plake’s Melodic Minor Scale Jazz Studies has opened up my fiddle playing to a whole new array of tonal colours. Now when improvising, I tend to explore harmony in a much more creative and engaging way, rather than relying on licks and muscle memory.”

– Mick O’Donnell, violinist, Sydney, Australia

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For all treble clef instruments. Downloadable in pdf format, 203 pages, plus 7 mp3 backing tracks. Price: $16.00

Perhaps one of the must useful scales in jazz improvisation, the ascending melodic minor is rich in color, contour and melodic possibilities. In this book you’ll learn how to draw on material from 5 different melodic minor scales for each dominant seventh chord, and how to resolve them to tonic. The approach is to conceive of and use each scale as upper partial harmony relative to the dominant chord. By doing so you can open up many melodic movement possibilities.

This is an extensive, methodical investigation into this concept, with nearly 200 pages of notated practical exercises, as well as clearly written instruction. With this book you’ll:

  • Develop a comprehensive mastery of the melodic minor scale and all its tonal colors
  • Practice and internalize every voice leading resolution possibility from dominant to tonic with each scale
  • Broaden your understanding of harmonic relationships and tonal contrasts
  • Gain experience with various harmonic applications in modern jazz, such as triad pairs, augmented scales, and altered pentatonic scales
  • Find entirely new ways to approach the ii7-V7-I chord progression
  • Increase your technique and fluency as an improviser
  • Improve your ears
  • Ignite your melodic imagination

I’ve also made available (for free) 7 different downloadable backing tracks (C instruments, Bb instruments and Eb instruments) for you to practice with the book click here.

For all treble clef instruments. Downloadable in pdf format, 203 pages, plus 7 mp3 backing tracks. Price: $16.00

Click the links below for a pdf  SAMPLE PAGE from the book, and for a midi sound file of the page for you to listen to:

Melodic Minor Scale Jazz Studies sample-pdf

Melodic Minor Scales Jazz Studies sample-midi

If you’d like to gain more of an idea about the concept, format, benefits and practice guidelines found in the book, click the link below for a pdf copy of the INTRODUCTION CHAPTER:

Melodic Minor Scale Jazz Studies Introduction Chapter-pdf

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If you have any questions about the material in this book, or are having problems downloading the pdf, please contact me. I’ll get back to you promptly. Thanks!