Continuous Scale Exercise

Altered and Octatonic Scale over iiø7-V7-i and ii-V7-I

cont scale

Learning Objectives for the Continuous Scale Exercise

Different reference jazz improvisational1 methods list the continuous scale exercise as one of the main exercises to master. It can be adapted for beginners and more advanced students. The example listed above only uses 2 chord progressions with an altered chord resolution going to a minor or major chord. The preceding ii will give away the continuation of the exercise and could be left out.

Randomized Chord Progressions

When two progressions are randomized the student (intermediate to advanced in this case especially if played in thumb position) has to make minor adjustments on bar three when resolving. It will help him to rely on his ears to anticipate the resolution and to train him for differentiating altered chords and their respective resolutions.







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This exercise can be easily extended and the evaluation and learning points can be gradually integrated and checked by adding a larger number of chord progressions or more difficult chord progressions. The student can use the same exercise to train at home and during class.


  1. e.g. Levine, M. (1995). The Jazz Theory Book. Sher Music. ↩︎