Sunday Scales 8: A musical riddle

What number comes next in this series: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, ?

So far so good… How about this one: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ?

At this point you’re either enjoying yourself or having terrifying flashbacks to grade-school math. Are you ready for this week’s scale pattern? It’s a musical riddle:

VIII - a - circle of fifths 1

The solution is after the jump…

Scales are just musical patterns, and pattern recognition is key to reading, understanding and performing music. In this case, it’s a circle of fifths exercise. Each measure outlines a new scale, working through the circle fifths: up a fourth (C, F, Bb) or down a fifth (Eb, Ab, Db).

So, recognizing the pattern (or if you’re lazy, just transposing mm. 1-5 up a semitone) we can continue the exercise – we can get to 25 measures before we start repeating ourselves:

VIII - b - circle of fifths 2
Of course, if you’ve been following along since the beginning, you can probably predict my advice: don’t bother with the “answer” and try to figure it out for yourself, in your head and on your instrument. If you end up creating your own, slightly different exercise, that’s great too!

Happy practicing.


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