Moving Motives Volume One - Six Scales

The primary objectives of this method book include ear training, development of insight and understanding, flexibility in all keys, and achieving a feel for how different scales work together.

Moving Motives Volume One - Six Scales

Moving Motives Volume One - Six Scales
Moving Motives Volume One - Six Scales

When improvising over jazz standards, adopting a mindset focused on degrees rather than absolute chords proves extremely beneficial. Thinking in degrees provides insight into the relationship between chords and keys, indicating how a chord feels in relation to a key. Moving motives through the degrees of basic tonal scales not only enhances your ability to play by ear but also fortifies your intuition, allowing you to think fluently in the language of music itself.

My advice is to practise these exercises slowly and precisely, listen carefully, and choose a tempo that allows you to hear each note, or group of notes, before you play them. Additionally, singing and mentally practising them away from the instrument can be immensely helpful.

Most exercises are notated in C major and C minor. The idea is to practise them, or even better, your own variations, by heart and through all keys. Transposing is where analysis and ear training come together, and is at the essence of Moving Motives.

Although I'm a jazz musician, the exercises in this book are not particularly idiomatic. While some carry a jazz flavour, most have a classical resonance. The fundamental melodic and harmonic elements of classical and jazz music are remarkably similar. Moving Motives can help jazz musicians as well as classical musicians to create their own appropriate exercises for scales and arpeggios.

The possibilities are infinite.

Simon Rigter
Simon Rigter is a fantastic improviser and teacher. He is one of the brightest minds I know when it comes to the application of theory. He has a deep and personal understanding of music and a very thorough yet creative approach to practising.
I started studying with Simon when I was only thirteen and his exercises are still part and parcel of my daily practice. But more importantly, Simon taught me a way of thinking. He offered an invitation to approach ideas from different angles and to find something personal within endlessly possible variations. It made me a much more flexible improviser and has also enhanced my compositional skills.
Moving Motives will help anyone who is interested and willing to put in the work to achieve clarity, precision and beauty.
Ben van Gelder (saxophone)
As a 76-year-old amateur jazz pianist I was fortunate enough to be able to study from Moving Motives while it was still work in progress. I was amazed by the results: my skills in improvising, the mastering of my instrument, and even my technical skills improved tremendously.
Han van der Rhee (piano)
The beauty of Moving Motives is that it is suitable for both beginner and professional. A number of unconscious unanswered questions and misunderstandings about things within tonality came up naturally as I worked through the exercises. It gave me new insights and helped to better structure old insights. It felt like I had thoroughly cleaned my house!
This book is not idiom bound. Nor is it a book for any specific instrument. An essential element of this study material is that you transpose and play everything in all twelve keys. The sooner you start, the better. You can also use the exercises as a springboard for developing your own study material. Moving Motives is an outstanding book that is complete in both scope and content. Since the beginning of its creation, it has been, and will continue to be an important place for me to return to for inspiration in my daily practice.
Ben van den Dungen (saxophone)

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