The Large Scale Project
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How it works

Why I developed The Large Scale Project
The idea dates back to 1992 when I first recorded some sequenced tracks purely for my own use in the practice room. To create those early tracks I had to simplify each particular SCALE and its associated CHORDS and ARPEGGIOS into a manageable format that could easily be replicated in all 12 KEYS.

Since there are 12 KEYS,(each with its own 7 MODES and 7 CHORDS) there is a total of 84 different MODES and 84 different CHORD derivations. All of these are covered in The Large Scale Project – The Seven Modes of the Major Scale. Details of the content of each MODULE are HERE.

What does that mean for you?
The result is this systematic approach to practising which provides BACKING TRACKS for each SCALE and ARPEGGIO plus WARM-UPS and GROOVES so that you can really nail each SCALE/MODE and its application. Then you can use the MULTI downloads in EACH KEY for MULTI-SCALE/ARPEGGIO and SOLO practice.

The SCALE presents a rhythmic “DRONE” over which a clean rendition of a 7 NOTE SCALE is played. You will very easily hear when you have the right or wrong note! The capitals MEM written above the stave indicate that this EXERCISE should be MEMORISED. Learning from MEMORY, I think, will allow the PLAYER/SINGER to work from the base of MEMORY KNOWLEDGE rather than only READING KNOWLEDGE - the MEMORY KNOWLEDGE is the real KEY to long term results for the IMPROVISING musician. This EXERCISE is good for breathing and tuning for wind players and singers (if not all instruments) and is a good way to warm up. DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS EXERCISE!

The FOUR NOTE ARPEGGIO “spells” the BASIC CHORD for that particular MODE. It contains root (R) (or 1st), 3rd, 5th, and 7th. These notes can be “stacked” as a CHORD for piano or other chordal instruments thus enabling you to HEAR the UNDERLYING HARMONY for that particular MODE. There are of course hundreds of voicings for these CHORDS as well as many extensions that can be added to create interesting harmonic colouring. To explore this further, have a look at some piano or guitar voicing books or videos.

The WARM-UP EXERCISE should be used to the full extent of your INSTRUMENT/ VOICE. All of the suggested patterns within this WARM UP can be extended and developed. The GROOVE track (see below) will serve as a perfect host for this work. There is an infinite amount of patterns available and waiting to be discovered by the inquisitive musician. Experiment! Get some books on patterns and scale exercises. Transcribe some solos.

The GROOVE is designed for you to be able to play the SAME TUNE in ALL 12 KEYS, but primarily to promote your facility in IMPROVISING freely over your chosen KEY/MODE. I have composed each GROOVE with a very different feel and style. I feel this helps to emphasise a flavour for that MODE with a stylised musical genre. For example, TRACK 20, the MIXOLYDIAN (Dominant 7th) MODE is a bluesy Hammond organ shuffle groove, whereas the DORIAN (TRACK 8) is given a Latin style GROOVE. This, I hope, will also help to pinpoint the SOUND of that MODE through association with the suggested musical style. Once again there is a myriad of applications for all of these CHORDS and SCALES. There is an INTERMEDIATE set of GROOVE TUNES available as an addition to the WORKBOOK/CD set that can be purchased from this WEBSITE (they are already included in each module downloaded from this WEBSITE). The INTERMEDIATE GROOVE TUNES will be suited to musicians with less technical ability when dealing with WRITTEN NOTATION. The ADVANCED and INTERMEDIATE GROOVE TUNES can be played together. The INTERMEDIATE GROOVE TUNE can also be used for backing figures behind a soloist. It is a COUNTER MELODY to the ADVANCED GROOVE TUNE found in the WORKBOOKS.

Because The Large Scale Project – The Seven Modes of the Major Scale is built in manageable ‘bite-size’ MODULES, you can stick to the principle of ‘little and often’. And when you need to “blitz” any KEY - maybe one in which you’re a little rusty - you can play through one ENTIRE KEY, a total of 78 minutes.

If you would like to see a little more about how SCALES and their CHORDS are derived in each MAJOR KEY, take a look at the SCALE/MODE STRUCTURE page.

Please note that GUITAR and BASS TAB CHARTS are available as DOWNLOADS. Please see SHOP or WHAT’S AVAILABLE for the various products.


The Large Scle Project - The Seven Modes of the Major Scale.

Great book, fab quality! Not expensive when you realise the content including the 13 CDs which are marvellous backing tracks/groove examples created by the author (the finest jazz educator in Wales). All you need in one book to become a great improviser and player.

Colin Michell -1st alto (Monmouth Big Band). South Wales, UK.