7 Exercises to Learn Any Scale

by | Jazz Theory

Learning and mastering scales is something we all must do before we can actually play jazz. After all, scales serve as our music alphabet! And so in this video, especially recommended for jazz newbies, I show you some of my favorite time tested exercises intended to help you learn and master ANY scale.

I have picked and adapted 7 exercises that have been used in classical music for over a few centuries. But the key for them to work lies in understanding how to practice them! This by the way, is something many teachers fail to explain. So how to get results, is the most important detail I share in this lesson.

In the video I go over 6 scales that are frequently used in jazz. For major II-V-Is: the dorian, mixolydian and ionian. And for minor II-V-Is: the locrian, super-locrian and natural minor. Of course, there are many more, but once you get these 6 down, you’ll find it fairly easy to learn others. And that’s due to the special strategy I’m going to show you!


The “7 Exercises To Learn & Master Any Scale” lesson files, can be downloaded for $9.50. The download includes the following files: A 38 page PDF including the 7 exercises for the ionian, mixolydian,dorian, aeolian, locrian & super locrian, featuring both regular notation and detailed TAB. Also Band in a Box files of each exercise for each scale, as well as Midi files if you rather practice using  “Guitar Pro” or the free downloadable notation app: “Muse Score”.

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  1. Eric Hansmeier

    Thanks so much for these exercises! I am working through the second volume of your Bebop Guitar Improvisation Series. I had already come to the conclusion that I really have to go back to basics and learn chords and scales, which I have been doing as I work through the Series. I expect these exercises will be super helpful, combined with the material you already provide in the Scale and Arpeggio Book.

    • Richie Zellon

      You’re welcome! However, if you do the bebop calisthenics in Workbook 1, it’ll be way more beneficial than any of these exercises!

  2. Duncan Herring

    As the title of this lesson indicates, the material within involves exercises. Thus, we are not simply going to be running the scales involved, we are going to do the associated exercises. Richie clearly spent some time putting together the 38-page PDF file, which is included in this lesson material. This is clearly some excellent stuff. Thank you, Richie.

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