The Practical (BEST?) Way to Think About Using Scales…

Throughout the course of many years, I’ve seen more than a few musicians comment that “learning scales is useless and a waste of time”.

Depending on your personal perspective, purpose and wish to approach music creatively… or even to create music at all… this may indeed be the case.

Much of the music we hear can be thought of in comparison to “languages”: with similarities in having their own common / basic distinct forms, structures, phrasings, instrumentation and styles.

As a practical matter it is always advisable… and best… to prioritize your study such that you master the EXACT music and styles that are your loves, goals and preferences.

So where does the point, case and pitch for the idea of scale “studies” come in?

Personally… I repeat personally… I love and enjoy so much music: encompassing the entire spectrum of this art.

I hear the potential beauty in every style and in the power of music as a whole.

I’m not locked into any one type, genre, or style of music.

Nor do I want my approach to musical artistry to be limited.

Beyond any one genre and / or style, the art that has always truly amazed me are the products of the “willful… and skillful… composers”: those talented people who create thematic, specifically purposeful music.

If you’ve ever really checked out and critically listened to a movie score, tv theme, commercial or any music that was written to specifically influence the emotions of listeners (especially the great compositions) perhaps you’ll understand the unlimited power of the art of music: beyond the limits of genre.

All of this said: I’ve realized that… FOR THE PURPOSE AND POINT OF CREATING “NEW” MUSIC… the power of studying, understanding, then using scales (for compositional tools) is actually, truly unlimited!

Moreover, instead of viewing scales from a singular, MELODIC perspective of influence (as most people who even attempt to explore scales do), I prioritize viewing / using scales primarily as palettes of notes from which to create fresh, interesting potential HARMONIC movements, plus ideas.


Furthermore, every scale uniquely has its OWN potential to create / generate musical compositions: when viewed in this regard.

The most direct and logical comparison that I can make is to literally correlate the potential from group of notes contained in any music scale… and the use thereof… with a group of paint colors that would reside on a visual artist / painter’s palette.

Just as any individual scale’s notes do, the visual colors selected on / by a painter’s palette influences the moods, tones and scope of the art produced.

Think about this for a moment.

So… in conclusion… (for me) the whole “scales thing” represents, plus reflects the fact that there is a world of musical art that is truly unlimited: unbound by genre, style, or even classification, if we wish to pursue this path as musical artists.

Herein lies the idea / purpose / point / intention, plus use of MAMI Musical Scales Atlas Instrument Chart Diagrams: to unlock the potential world of creating music, beyond what we have already heard and make it EASIER for those also interested in doing so.

In an upcoming blog, I’m going to address the important topic of “The logical differentiation of scale purposes.”

Yeah: ugh, I know… LOL!

But more simply put: there are indeed scales that are more for suitable for effective melodic function… what I call “scales for improvisation”… while the remaining others (which I call “scales for composition”, precisely because of their melodic disjoint) are much better thought of for creating harmonic movement / ideas.

Did anything here make sense, click, resonate with, or help you at all?

Please let me know what you think in our comments section, plus go below to quick register for all updates, along with free diagrams and tutorials, etc.

Enjoy fantastic, safe, prosperous, blessed days all, plus success in every endeavor!

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