Recently I heard from Mike Kates in Florida, with a question about the book (Exercises for Jazz French Horn). Rather than paraphrase the whole thing, which would of course be easier for YOU, I decided to just copy & paste Mike’s question, along with my reply, which makes it easier for ME. See, it’s all about ME…just kidding, a little snarky New York humor….. Seriously, I think you’ll understand his question and the reply just fine this way. Any questions or further clarification, please reach out to me. Here it is:
I have been studying your book for a couple of years now and as a result of your exercise 1.1 I developed an interest in further studying the 7 modes. I recently wrote an article that has not yet been published or edited that attempts to simplify or at least facilitate the playing each of the modal scales starting on all 12 possible notes either on the piano, or the horn (more difficult to visualize). When I started practicing Exercise 1.1, I thought what you intended was for us to play the exercise using the Lydian mode scale in every key starting with C, C#, D, etc. When I went to Appendix A, I believe that the only example of Lydian mode was in the very first two lines. All of your examples start on the notes C or C#, not in any of the other keys. The subsequent two example lines are in Phrygian mode, the next two in Dorian, then only one in Ionian, Two in Locrian, Two in Aeolian and two in Mixolydian. I Don’t think any hornist following the instructions for 1.1 would end up playing what you presented in the Appendix which is the exercise in just two keys (C&C#) in 5 of the 7 modes (Lydian and Ionian were only in C with no example starting on C#).
Many of your illustrated Jazz excerpts improv examples are extremely difficult to play in every key, and others where the underlying patterns are simpler are less challenging, this is obvious. I had no problem memorizing Appendix B, but this was not so with Appendix A. Please let me know if I’m off base with my observation about this particular exercise and your illustration of what it looks like written out in its entirety. I don’t know if anyone else has brought up this issue, or if I’m just misinterpreting the instructions for 1.1. ??
Thanks… Mike Kates
Mike, here’s what I think:
You are just looking at it from a different angle than I was.
You’re absolutely right in your interpretation of it, but that’s if you look at it a certain way. The way I think of it, and that’s when I’m practicing it, is this: Every 2-system group is in the Lydian Mode, it just begins on a different scale degree. In other words, Staves 3-4 are in Db Lydian, beginning on the C, the 7th degree. Systems 4-5 are in D Lydian, also beginning on the 7th degree. Then 7-8 are in Eb Lydian beginning on C, the 6th degree of Eb Lydian.
It probably would have been helpful if I’d explained this at the top of page 21! Anyway, this is the way I always used to practice these because it kept me starting from my lowest notes. In more recent years, I enjoy just starting anywhere and playing them in any range, just maintaining the key signature and THINKING of the scale. Is this explanation helpful? click yes or no LOL