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Jam To The Modes (1)

Jam Along Modal 1 Album for Fun and Learning

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Modal harmony is created directly from diatonic major scales. This gives you a great starting point for jamming, as this is a basic scale that all musicians learn and work with. The well-known pentatonic scales are perfect for adding to your modal jamming tool kit. All of these scales are included in the PDF materials in the appropriate keys.

The Ionian mode is the diatonic major scale, and Ionian harmony is diatonic harmony. The first three tracks of the Jam Along Modal 1 Album use Ionian harmony to generate a ballad, a reggae groove, and two sections from Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven.

Slow tempos and simple, diatonic progressions on tracks 1 & 2 get you ready to use two major scales together on track 3. This song requires a switching between the keys of A Major and G Major, each key lasting roughly the same amount of time.

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Jam Materials in PDF Format

Dorian has become one of the most commonly-used modes for jamming, partially because of its use in the blues. The remaining six tracks use this mode to generate the harmony. The Dorian Mode occurs when the tonal center of a major scale is shifted by its use in a progression to the second degree of that major scale. Thus, the fingerings for the major scales remain the same, but the whole feeling of the sound is very different.

Along with this minor mode goes the minor pentatonic scale and the blues scale. For those familiar with the Jam Along Blues Album, these scales will be the same types as used to solo by key on the first 8 progressions.

The Jam Along Modal 1 Album is a fun learning tool that provides the opportunity to play along, or sing along, with clear, well-balanced backing tracks that have rock-steady time. With nine instrumental modal progressions at your disposal, you can jam along any time you want to. These tracks can really help you get the feel of playing with modes, and make the time spent learning fun and easy.

Jam Along Albums are easy to use

Simply play the tracks and jam along. There are no solos, vocals or melodies, just background tracks, so you can really stretch out. Each track lasts at least five or six minutes, so there is lots of solo time for you to try out new ideas and work on improving old ones.

Teachers can use the Jam Along Modal 1 Album in private lessons

Frank Singer playing Guitar with Cat's A Bear Frank Singer, Jam Along Album creator and music instructor with over thirty years of experience, uses the Albums in private lessons, as well as recommending the use of the Album at home to students. "I created these Albums so that my students had the chance to practice their jamming every day, instead of once a week during the lesson. I found that they were fun to use in the lessons as well, particularly with drummers. I have used pre-recorded music in the past, but find the Jam Along Modal 1 Album much more focused and easy to direct."

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Jam Materials in PDF Format

The Modes of Ionian and Dorian are a great place to begin

American music exploits the use of modes in Blues, Funk, Reggae, Latin, Rock, Folk, Country...virtually every style. The Ionian mode, or Diatonic Scale, generates the typical Folk, Country and simple Blues and Pop harmony sounds of Americana. Reggae also makes common use of this scale for many classic songs.

The Dorian mode is the Modal Scale most commonly used with the Blues. This music form is so pervasive it has, at times, dominated the American Music scene. Hard Rock is the lastest example of music that is saturated with the Blues. The sound is so strong, it even works over Mixolydian progressions which are actually Major in tonality. Mixolydian progressions will be included in the Modal 2 Album.

The inclusion of the Pentatonic and Blues Scale variations helps focus the sound on notes that are easily melodic. Jamming with these scales is very satisfying, producing a good sound by just relaxing and playing to the music. At the same time, the most comprehensive collection of techniques can be applied, including the use of the Modes included in the materials, Jazz Line Techniques and modern, Multi-Tonic or "out" techniques.

Progressions and Scales

The chord progressions and recommended scales are provided here in PDF form on this web site to anyone. Materials are provided for concert pitch (C), Bb, and Eb instruments. The chord progressions on the Album are provided, as well as solo materials for playing by modally. The type of feel is listed with the title, and sample rhythms are provided in the PDF materials.

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Jam Materials in PDF Format

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Jam Along Modal 1 Album:

Keys of C, G and A (including sections from Tears in Heaven)
Key of C (in Natural Mystic style)
Key of Am Dorian (Moondance open solo section)
Key of Am Dorian (Oye Como Va vamp; Salsa Cha-Cha)
Key of Gm Dorian (Evil Ways vamp; Latin-Rock)
Key of Cm Dorian (Mr. Magic solo vamp section)
Key of Bbm Dorian (Chameleon vamp section)
Key of Em Dorian (My Favorite Things open solo section)

More fun than a metronome!
Highly portable!
Variable tempos, keys and forms.

© Frank Singer
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