A spectogram of a one octave D arpeggio on the...

You can slice or dice technique study all kinds of ways. One way we often do it is to take a scale or arpeggio and practice it in all keys.

For the next two weeks, let’s do it a bit differently. Instead of going through all keys of a scale, arpeggio, pattern, let’s focus one key a day and run through various drills/exercises, i.e. let’s get to know that key a little better.

Each day for the next two weeks (i.e. once through all keys), do the following exercises in each key (all and always without looking at any ink – always by heart so that the learning is in you, not on the page) in your most comfortable register:

1. Major power scale (1 2 3 4 5)

2. Minor power scale (1 2 b3 4 5)

3. Phrygian power scale (1 b2 b3 4 5)

4. Octave major arpeggio (1 3 5 8 5 3)

5. Octave minor arpeggio (1 b3 5 8 5 b3)

6. Octave chromatic scale

7. Optional (or alternate with major PS): major scale to the 9th (= 2 major power scales, stacked)

8. Optional but highly recommended: do a free jam in that key. Try everything/anything you can think of. Steps, leaps, go all over the place.

Do each at 3 or 4 speeds, from deliberate to lickedy-split. You may record your fastest times to compare your speeds among varies scales or keys.

Vary articulation: all slurred, 2+2, all tongued. Double-tongued – two notes per pitch

Optional, but fun: add accents, e.g. duple, triple, or odd meter

We’ll start with C today. Then: Tuesday – F, Wednesday Bb, Thursday Eb, Friday Ab, Saturday Db, Sunday – review all or improv in all scale types and/or keys. We’ll give you a reminder of where we are for the next two weeks.

Optional but fun: do any of this with a partner – make it into a duet. You can add fun stuff like accents that are different (they do duple, you do triple, e.g.). Or you do scale while they do arpeggio.

Idea: We’ll stop this game after two weeks, but you could continue it. You could 1) repeat it, going for faster times 2) repeat it, adding more scale and arpeggio types 3) learning the material in higher and/or lower registers.

Have fun! C today! Start!