What scales do I need for advanced high-school-age jazz combo?

I’m auditioning for a jazz combo, and the requirements say that we may be asked for scales along with our pieces. I’m not sure what scales I should be expecting, what I should prepare… I’m in 9th grade, but the combo is said to be “reserved mainly for 10-12 graders.” But I’m trying out anyways. If you could help me on this, I’d appreciate it a bunch!

5 thoughts on “What scales do I need for advanced high-school-age jazz combo?

  1. ~~

    MAJOR 7TH Chords
    MINOR 7THS Chords

    as far as playing 7ths as scales learn the Arpeggios (broken up chords) in different positions.

    Did I mention 7THS!!??!! really focus on Major and Minor 7ths in all key signatures. C, A, G, D, E, B, F, ect…

    Major and Minor Pentatonic
    Lydian Modes
    Mixolydian Mode
    Dorian Mode

  2. Sparky

    I might add the following scales to the list above:

    Whole tone/Half tone
    Half tone/Whole tone
    Melodic Minor
    Harmonic Minor

    In addition to 7ths listed above, emphasize 3rds as well

    3rds and 7ths really determine the “sound” of the chord.

    And don’t forget, chord = scale(s), scale = chords.

    Good luck with your audition.

  3. Danzeluver

    I was in this exact situation a while ago so I completely relate:)
    Make sure you know…
    – All Major Scales (ascending, descending, converse)
    -All Minor Scales (“)
    – Harmonic Minor (Minor with a major 7th)
    -Melodic Minor (Major scale with a minor third, both up and down unlike classical)
    -Altered Scale (Half step up from starting note- play a melodic minor scale. For example a C Altered scale would start with C, and then proceed up the melodic D flat scale)
    -Diminished Scale
    -Blues Scale (Be prepared to do a blues solo with a typical 12 bar blues)
    -Chromatic Scale
    – Whole Tone Scale (this is unlikely, but be prepared just in case)

    Also prepare a jazz standard and perhaps a prescribed solo. Play through the head-and then after you play through that, solo through it once or twice. They might stop you- they might not- but practice all the way through. After your solo play the head again. I had to do two standards, so just be ready. And try implementing the blues scale, altered scale, and diminished sale into your solo to show variety. Also, if you’re a piano player, make sure you have good left hand voicings. And… of course, practice with a metronome, but swing your playing (play the main beats on time, but the other ones just a tiny bit later- listen to some recordings if you don’t know what I’m saying). Play with conviction, listen to the original recording of your song, and practice practice practice!
    Be confident at your audition and make sure you’re completely prepared for anything they might ask you. Don’t forget to prepare for a sight reading test as well. Hope this helps- I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you! Best wishes- and good luck!


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