These revolutionary books are in-depth study guides for those who wish to further their understanding of scale fingerings on stringed instruments and sax in an intelligent and orderly manner.
The principles of Radial Symmetry in music and the interlocking relationships of the Chromatic Cube make it possible to map out on the fingerboard all the essential western scales in easy-to-remember patterns that are perfectly logical, and, most importantly, 100% practical for ease of execution in performance.
The descriptive use of color throughout enables the player to most clearly and graphically envision the differences and similarities between related scales and sections of scales. These are shown in various configurations designed to highlight the intervallic relationships and repetition of fragments between groups of strings.
The exposition of fingerboard systems presented in these books graphically demonstrate how simple mastery of all the occidental scales and modes can be via the internalization of just a few basic finger positions and their repeating combinations.
The Fingering Mastery Series:
better command of the language you have, the more eloquently you can
Why are colors associated with the scales of the Chromatic Cube?
The colors are simply descriptive labels (as are the letters of the alphabet for musical pitches). They are solely an aid towards visualization.
The system of the Chromatic Cube required a means of being able to combine two labels in order to create a third label which still contained the properties of both the original labels.
Color (it turns out) is the best and most intuitive system to satisfy these abovementioned requirements:
+ BLUE = PURPLE,
The Chromatic Cube is a closed system governed by rules which create inherent limiting factors, ie. it is unified, a unity.
Three elements must be present to constitute a field: Space, Energy and Matter. No one of these three elements may be absent.
In the chromatic cube, "space" is the Cube itself.
"Space" is the glue that holds things together. Or more accurately, space is the glue that holds things APART.
Space keeps Matter apart, yet still allows the flow of Energy
In the chromatic cube, "matter" is the points of the Cube. The eight occidental scales are the matter.
The flow of energy is the alterations effected that permit one scale to become another scale on any of the three points along its adjoining linear edges.
Energy is measured in the distance from the origin, where White (the origin / natural scale) is the the state of least energy ("ground state"), the most consonant.
- Red, Blue and Yellow have a distance of 1 level higher energy
- the next highest energy level: Green, Orange and Purple have a distance of 2 levels
- the highest energy state exhibited in the chromatic cube is Black, a distance of 3 levels.
12-tone equal temperament; type 1 radial symmetry; and the presence of the two tritone components (essential tones) in every one of the eight scales.
After having thoroughly explored the minor and major pentatonics and their usage, the instructor can then move on to the 7-note natural diatonic sets of scales and modes (which is the ur-pentatonic scale plus two "new" notes, ie. the 3rd level of radially symmetrical consonance).
In order to explore in detail the improvisational options inherent in the major scale and its modes, it is recommended for the teacher to play modal and tonal progressions on a rhythm instrument (piano, guitar) so that the student may improvise horizontally over them using the ionian/major, dorian, phrygian, mixolydian, aeolian and lydian modes.
This entails illustrating a huge number of licks and tricks common to these various "moods", but in so doing the student REALLY gets to know their scales inside-out. It's a fun and real-world way to become intimately familiar with these extremely common and useful melodic devices.
Having wrapped up the study of horizontal improvisational techniques over the pentatonics and ionian set modes, naturally brings us to a study of the "composite" minor(s).The harmonic minor and melodic minor are introduced at this point.
At the same time, the concept of borrowed parallel harmonies (both tonal and modal) can be covered.
This logical progression brings us to the study and use of non-tonal scales (wholetone, diminished, and modes of the ascending melodic minor, ie. the 4th, 5th and 6th levels of radially symmetrical consonance and the Chromatic Cube visualizations).
It is at this juncture that the concepts of vertical soloing can enter the picture. This also coincides with the introduction of altered 7th chords into progressions.
The authors discussed this issue at some length and decided that, for the purposes of the books on stringed instruments, it would be redundant to reiterate the same points already clearly explained, via either tablature or music staff notation; as well as unnecessary to reprint song sections to "legitimize" the principles illustrated within. In addition to copyright restrictions.
If there is a particular page or specific section of a Fingering Mastery Series stringed instrument book that you would personally like to see written out in either staff notation or tab, feel free to Ask Us and we'll gladly make it happen for you.
What do the triangles and squares indicate?
The triangles are the tritone components. If we were in the key of C, the upward pointing triangle is F (this triangle is pointing towards E, which is where the F of the B-F tritone normally resolves to), the downward pointing triangle is B (this triangle is pointing towards C, which is where the B of the B-F tritone normally resolves to).
The triangles are indicating the direction that the tritone resolves/collapses to in the major scale.
The triangles also act as landmarks: The upward pointing triangle is always the perfect fourth degree of the parent major scale, and the downward pointing triangle is always the major 7th of the parent major scale.
This same system of triangles is echoed throughout the book, except in the pentatonics (which do not contain a tritone). There, the triangles are used to differentiate the root of the major pentatonic from the root of the minor pentatonic.
The squares indicate roots of scales and modes.
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