Applied Melodic Sequences

Difficulty: Spectrum

Melodic Sequences are number games that can be applied to scales and help to open the scale up to new and creative ways to play them. They also create fingering challenges that must be overcome, increasing your technical ability.

These are not recommended for complete beginners but will be useful for all players of an Intermediate level or above.

You are what you eat

Practice scales a lot and when it comes time to make up a solo, guess what's gonna happen.... you're gonna play scales a lot. So to stop that from happening you should try to practice sequence studies as much or more than scales - it will really help your improvising and free up your mind.

To use them imagine that each scale note is numbered. Then play the notes in the order of the pattern.

You will find some work much easier with Pentatonic Scales and some with seven note scales - try them all and see what feels good for you - the super challenging ones can be very useful technique development tools too, so don't rule them out if you find them challenging!

Groups of four

1a-- 1234, 2345, 3456, etc.
1b-- 4321, 5432, 6543, etc.
1c-- 1243, 2354, 3465, etc.
1d-- 1321, 2432, 3543, etc.

Groups of three

2a-- 123, 234, 345, etc.
2b-- 321, 432, 543, etc.
2c-- 132, 243, 354, etc.
2d-- 312, 423, 534, etc.


3a-- 13, 24, 35, 46, etc. (thirds)
3b-- 31, 42, 53, 64, etc. (rev. thirds)
3c-- 13, 42, 35, 64, etc. (rev. every 2nd)

4a-- 14, 25, 36, 47, etc. (fourths)
4b-- 41, 52, 63, 74, etc. (rev. fourths)
4c-- 14, 52, 36, 74, etc. (rev. every 2nd)

5a-- 15, 26, 37, 48, etc. (fifths)
5b-- 51, 62, 73, 84, etc. (rev. fifths)
5c-- 15, 62, 37, 84, etc. (rev. every 2nd)

Scale Info for Intermediates


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