The Whole-Tone Truth, and Nothing But…Part I
Howdy! Jimmy Pitts from The Fractured Dimension here with a few whole-tone lessons for adventurous keyboardists—or other musicians—to try their hands at. The first is an example of breaking a scale pattern up between two hands for a very smooth glissando-like effect. With these initial runs being an exercise in getting both hands to work together in a flowing, monophonic fashion, I have placed above the staff the proper fingerings and RH (right hand) or LH (left hand) indications. Also, there are many ways to notate whole-tone scales enharmonically, so don't be worried about the intermingling of flats and sharps—if it worked for Debussy, it can work for us. If you do need an enharmonic guide, thinks in terms of chords. The first example could have it's root in B flat, giving you an F sharp (augmented 5th) and an A flat (dominant) 7th. We'll commence with a descending two-octave whole-tone scale beginning with and ending on Bb, and split into three notes per hand in alternation, and then ascending from F#(Gb) keeping a similar three finger per hand pattern. Now the same idea with the other whole-tone scale, this time broken into 2 fingers in one hand and 4 in the other. Enharmonically the root could be E flat, with an A (augmented 5th) and a D flat (dominant 7th). Check my fingering guides for ascending and descending patterns. Here is a video with both examples strung together, sorry the quality is somewhat poor on the video, my camera was on the fritz so I had to use a lesser one. Anyway, check this out:
Here is the notation with both examples put together:
These are just the basic two octave whole-tone patterns to get us started. Lesson two and three will escalate in technicality by creating runs utilizing the techniques learned here and more. So practice these simple versions until they are effortlessly executed and move forward. Thanks for checking out Lesson 1. To be continued…
Jimmy Pitts has performed and/or composed for Scholomance, Super String Theory, and Spastic Ink, among many other bands and projects. Currently, he is a member of The Fractured Dimension and S.K. Krow, and recently scored an interactive dvd-rom entitled Darkstar. His immediate plans also include an instructional video focusing on complex rhythmic and theoretical ideas, as applied to modern progressive music, which should see the light of day in mid-late 2007.