Modal

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modal_main_ipadiImprov – Modal provides the tools for confidently playing over modal tunes. The main focus of the app is playing over minor modal tunes, however the app also covers playing over 7sus4 modal tunes and Lydian/Major7#4 tunes. Exercises and JAM-A-longs specific to each of these types of tunes are included.

The features of the app include:

  • Full explanation of the concepts involved.modal_scale_iphone
  • Detailed theory of note to chord relations and use of modal scales.
  • Detailed theory of how to use pentatonic scales, including how to play “outside.”
  • Audio and visual representation of the related scales.
  • Audio playback of the scales played over the appropriate chords.
  • Exercises that include audio examples.

modal_ex_ipadThe JAM-A-longs included in the app are:

  • Swing style minor modal
  • Funk style minor modal
  • 7sus4
  • Lydian / Major7#4

As with all of the apps in the iImprov series, Modal has the following general features:

  • Individual JAM-A-longs for each key for variety.
  • Mixer control for the JAM-A-long instruments.
  • Tempo control for each JAM-A-long.
  • Music notation available in either treble or bass clef.

Demo Videos

Below is a video demonstrating iImprov – Modal on the iPad:

Videos demonstrating Minor Modal Exercise 1:

Another video demonstrating sideslipping with a pentatonic scale:

2 Comments

willie J Barrow on January 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm.

Hi My Name is Willie Barrow I play blues guitar but i want to learn jazz how can i get material to help me learn .

sightmonkey on February 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm.

Hello Willie,

This is a good question and the answer may seem a bit long but it’s really not too complicated. The short answer is study the fundamentals (our apps mentioned below) and get hold of some jazz for blues guitarists things you can find on the net.
Jazz harmonies fall mainly into a few fundamental chord progressions that usually last one or two measures. These progressions include the minor ii-V, the major ii-V and the so called turnaround. To play jazz you have to be able to improvize over these fundamental progressions. Dealing with these progressions is the focus of our Fundamentals app and the Minor ii-V app. To give you an example that relates to the basic blues, think of a blues written out with 4 measures per line. Jazz blues differs from the basic blues in that it has a ii-V at the end of line 1, a minor ii-V at the end of line 2, and a turnaround in the last two bars of line 3. This is all explained in the Fundamentals app. Using that app and the minor ii-V app you can get a good handle on playing over a jazz blues which covers all of the real fundamental stuff you need to play jazz. If you get that part down you’ll have no trouble at all with the jazz literature in general.

A word on chords is in order since you’re a guitarist. If you aren’t familiar with “shell voicings”, meaning just playing three specific notes for each cord you should get that under your fingers immediately. Just play the root, the three and the seven for each chord you come across. So for C7 play a C a Bb and an E on the strings 6, 4 and 3. You can also play a C7 as C, E, Bb on strings 5, 4 and 3. Now you can play a C7 in two places, depending on where you put the root – string 6 or string 5. If you then observe that to make this a Cm7 you just flat the E to an Eb, and to make it a Cmaj7 you raise the Bb to a B you can come up with a three note voicing that covers every basic chord you’ll find in jazz. Look up shell voicings and learn these shapes and you will sound twice as good.

Finally it’s worth searching for things like “jazz blues guitar” and “jazz guitar” and then trying to relate specific licks and such to things you already know. Don’t fall into the trap of just trying to memorize licks without understanding what’s going on in the harmony. If you look into the harmony a bit the licks and other examples you can find will make a lot more sense and you’ll be able to make them up on the fly, which is the real point after all.

Regards, JAM