these diagrams will help you in at least three important ways:
Learning the scale’s notes throughout the entire instrument.
Providing easy visualization towards playing scale based
harmonies, specific inversions,
patterns, modes and ideas that can be played throughout the
understanding and value of how to think more creatively by using
for the purpose of creative composition, re-harmonization and
you flip through this material you will surely notice some
unfamiliar, uncommon visual elements
go beyond the standard chords or even scales charts that most
people are accustomed to.
you dismiss them, a bit of patience would be wise...
there is knowledge contained that once understood, will serve
you for life!
elements will be in the form of "cubes" and also in
analytical text as well.
idea behind them is to facilitate the unlimited use of the note
harmonically, melodically and modally throughout the entire
of the diagrams provided, including the integrated fingerboard
charts and MAMI Matrix Cubes are
of the MAMI Musical Scales Atlas series of books (and pages)
available at www.MAMIMUSIC.com.
my website I notice that many people throughout the world visit,
stay and eventually gain tremendous creative insight as well as
more productive use into the nature of both their instrument and
of musical scales for composition and improvisation using the
M.A.M.I. (Matrix Approach to Musical Improvisation) Concept.
Most have improved rapidly: instrumentally and theoretically
beyond their expectations!
I see many others who quickly dismiss M.A.M.I. Musical Scales
Atlases for the
basic...and very limiting...traditional chords and scales charts
this I say two things:
Reality says that you will get out of your music studies what
you put into them.
really wish that I could help you snap your fingers and become
"the greatest" overnight.
let's face it: you will have to study and apply yourself. You
will be wise to choose the best methods
instructors to help you maximize your efforts in getting there.
If you take shortcuts
engage in self-limiting thoughts, studies or
actions...ultimately it is you that will be stunted.
Musicians so often complain of boredom, ruts, monotony, etc.
with their studies.
creativity is very difficult to teach, it does begin with an
"open" mind. If you always
things the same way and view things the same way, what more can
on the instrument or in life in general, learn to take a moment
to change / expand
view and your vision. Until you do so, it will be difficult (at
best) to create anything.
will guarantee that if you do take the time to understand the
M.A.M.I. Concept, you will be rewarded for life with a system
that will help you to continually find creative ideas upon which
to base your playing!
As a developing musician, I bought books containing
1000's of little chord chart diagrams and they did help me...to
a point. Unfortunately, later on I realized that I was limited
to playing only those chord "shapes" that I'd learned
and practiced but still had no logical basis for creatively
expanding or connecting these little "shapes" into
extended musical ideas: let alone improvisations or
bought / studied "Real" books and not-so-real ... :-)
books. Great stuff: but someone else's ideas.
is good to study lines and "copy" on some level...as
this can assist learning...but care needs to be taken if one
wishes to develop their own musical ideas and identity. I've
always wished to play well,
just as important was (and is) to largely play creative ideas
and using an approach of my own.
you desire to do the same, take some time to experiment and
create ideas with these scale note diagrams. I've incorporated
the corresponding interval charts just below them as relational
intervallic guides to further your understanding when applying
these scales. Listen carefully and try to create your own ideas:
both chords and melodies that emphasize each interval with
relationship to the root. Always look for potential patterns
upon which to base your ideas then work your fingers and ears to
sure to try to play ideas throughout and using the entire range
of the instrument. You can also visit my website:
www.MAMIMUSIC.com for audio demos and play along using them as a
easy to see that there is much more musical potential within a
note grouping than is expressed with a "simple" little
chord diagram or even with a scale chart diagram that only
covers a single position.
what about those cubes? What do they mean...and what do they
have to do with music at all?
3 "Matrix Cubes" is what sets the M.A.M.I. Concept and
the M.A.M.I. Musical Scales Atlases head and shoulders above any
other musical chords / scales charts references. It makes them
one-of-a-kind, valuable and World-Famous! Using M.A.M.I. pages
with "Matrix Cubes” allows you to do something that no
other chord or scale chart diagram does: they give you the
ability to analyze, understand and utilize the musical potential
of any given scale immediately...at a glance. By using them you
can quickly know exactly what and all chords, inversions, as
well as modes or even potential cycle of 4ths movements are
available within the scale thus making it far easier to apply
any scale creatively!
you know and learn music theory, you’ll realize how this
becomes a critical and important benefit towards intelligent as
well as creative musical scales use. So while it is good to see
the scale’s notes on the instrument for several practical
reasons, it is far better to see any scale and know exactly what
musical harmonic and melodic inferences are as generated from
each scale degree: this dictates its use.
bottom line is that in order to correctly and logically use note
groupings (scales) you need to know the musical inferences
(whether there is a D Major chord or Eb7 chord or whatever) that
can be generated from each degree of that scale. Such a point
may seem trivial, but a brief example will help to underscore
the logic. Try this quick challenge: write down any random group
of over 4 notes on paper.
figure out how you could use this “scale” functionally to
make music. In other words, what are all of the chords and modes
that your scale generates by intervals from each of its degrees?
just say you wrote B-Db-E-G-Ab. What harmonies (chords) are
created by using B
the root note, then Db, then E, then G, then Ab? Yeah...I'll
point is that if you know what is "in" a scale…what
a scale contains / implies both harmonically
melodically…it is far easier to understand how to use, as well
as create with it!
is where the logic behind the unique, unusual M.A.M.I. Cubes
makes sense. On every M.A.M.I. Musical Scale Atlas page you get
a complete 8-way integrated visual and text analysis that helps
you see and understand the musical implications of the subject
scale for the purpose of creative process.
beauty of M.A.M.I. Musical Scale Atlases lies in that they
provide a system and the vision to allow you to find your own
unique paths for creating and playing music using any scale on
a Road Atlas, they do not tell you to “get in your car and
at 55 mph”…they simply diagram all of the possible roads to
get there from your starting point…including any potential
destination points along the way. You have a guide to all of the
roads…however the choice remains entirely yours.
this same logic to music, M.A.M.I. allows you to “see” all
harmonic as well as melodic destinations within a scale and then
chart your own creative paths using that scale. In this way you
are free to use that scales’ musical character in anyway that
you choose for the purpose of composition and improvisation. You
decide how to play through the scale as your creative instinct,
ears and fingers allow. All
potential note locations are represented, so you can visualize
and play more musically specific chord inversions plus melodic
scale fingerings on your axe. Creative limitations become a
thing of the past!
all scale chords are integrated within the M.A.M.I. scale chart
diagram so that you learn the musical connection between both
scales and chords. This is an important concept. Rather than
learning a single chord inversion in isolation…like you do
with an individual chord chart…you learn to connect chords (in
any inversion) to form musical ideas using the scale. This
allows you to think, hear and play much more musically. Instead
of being restricted, this system frees you to build infinitely
on your skills as well as past knowledge. Many chords that you
already know can be quickly harmonized to form harmonic motion
and beautiful movements that effectively extend “static”
chords in a very musical way.
M.A.M.I. music scale chart diagrams you can create your own
music or even re-compose / re-harmonize existing tunes. Say for
example you see a basic C Major 7 chord stated to be played on a
chart for 8-measures: you can logically use the M.A.M.I. C Major
“Arpeggio” chart to find various chord and melodic voicings
to quickly create your own musical substitutions and extensions
on the theme of that measure or tune. You can easily apply these
same concepts to melodies as well.
again, using M.A.M.I. Musical Scale Atlas analysis provides
are so many uses and ideas that are beyond the limitations of
this demo material.
in my books and on my website, I discuss many more concepts for
unlocking musical creative thought, as well as logical
approaches to playing your instrument. Please find the time to
check out www.MAMIMUSIC.com
to learn more…as well as to share your own knowledge!
that through the process of analysis and understanding, great
is this philosophy forms the unique basis of the MAMI “Matrix
one-of-a-kind 8-way integrated musical scale (chords) charts
diagrams from MAMI are conspicuously characterized by the
inclusion of three cubes like the one depicted below.
in mind that it is entirely possible to use any MAMI Musical
Scale Atlas page to full benefit without understanding the
Matrix Cubes (since I provide a complete text interpretation of
each cubes’ revelations on every page as part of each scalar
analysis) but it is necessary to explain their significance.
that they look really complex, using the cubes is actually quite
simple. Pictured on the following page is the MAMI “Harmonic
Matrix Cube” for the C Dominant 7b5 “Extended” Symmetrical
is a rather complex 9-note scale consisting of the following
complete instrument diagram and analysis is either included
within or available as a free M.A.M.I. Musical Scale Atlas Demo
Page (on www.MAMIMUSIC.com),
but for now let’s “start from scratch”.
Although it is difficult to tell right
now, this is one powerhouse scale for improvisational use!
general, symmetrical scales -those possessing repeating
intervallic relationships- can be very effectively used for
improvisation because they provide a strong sense of logic to
the ear. As you begin to analyze many various scales using
M.A.M.I., their strengths for use as compositional or
improvisational tools…sometimes even both…become much more
basic questions are: How can we use this scale and why is this
scale so great?
forget my opinion…let’s just do some analysis to see for
I’ve already given you a head start and hint as to the nature
and use of this scale. Had I just given you the notes without
the name (description) the task would be even more difficult and
time consuming. However by name alone, surely we can see that
the musical implication from its C root tone forms C Dominant
Seventh flatted 5th ideas and characteristics. So we
could logically use this scale both harmonically and melodically
in some way over a C7b5 chord. But this only scratches the
fact that this scale contains nine notes provides far more
options than just a basic C7b5 4-note chord. There are
effectively 5 more notes that can be used as extensions /
alterations to this basic chord.
from a modal standpoint, there are musical implications (chords)
that can be generated using the 8 remaining notes as chord root
tones. To fully use the musical potential of this scale
effectively as well as for the purpose of creativity, all of
these implications must be both discovered and understood.
this point you have a few choices:
You can completely
give up on this whole MAMI and “scale” thing in
You can spend a
few hours trying to figure out all of this scale’s
implications from each degree and then try to locate all of the
notes and chords locations on your instrument. Keep in mind that
you have yet to really begin any systematic musical creative
exploration after any of this time.
You can dig the
quick M.A.M.I. “Matrix Harmonic Cube” lesson below and be on
your merry way towards understanding, experimenting and playing
with this scale. If you check the free M.A.M.I. Musical Scales
Atlas analysis page you’ll be logically creating on your
instrument in minutes.
How to use the C7b5 “Extended”
Triple Symmetrical Scale MAMI “Matrix Harmonic Cube”
any M.A.M.I. “Matrix Cube”…to reveal a scale’s deep,
dark musical potential from each note)
Read and interpret each cube row from the left to right à
2: The uppermost (top) row is an intervallic reference that
shows the interval
relative to the notes listed in all columns below it.
The leftmost (1st) column is a modal reference column
that shows the
relationship of that row’s root note from the scale’s true
A “period”, “dot”, “.”,
within the cube means
that this note is not contained within the scale.
If any 2nd (from the left) column’s row begins with
a “period”, “dot”, “.”, that row is disregarded.
these rules, let’s use our “Matrix Harmonic Cube” to
determine all potential chords in this scale.
from the C note on row 2, column 2, (which is the chord root
from the 1st degree of the scale) we read across the
row and see that the next note at row 2, column 4 is an E (a
Major 3rd from the chord root). Continuing right
across row 2 the next chord note is a Gb (a flatted 5th
interval from the chord root).
further right, the next note is Bb (a flatted 7th
interval from the chord root). So now we know that our base
chord for this scale is a C7b5 chord. There are still five notes
left on the row: these notes represent potential extensions and
/ or alterations to the base C7b5 chord.
right along row 2 is there is a Db (flatted 9th
interval), a D (9th interval) an F (11th /
Ab (flatted 13th / b6th interval) and finally an A (a
13th / 6th interval). Therefore
given these 9 notes using C as our root tone, the base scale
application is a C7b5 chord with the following potential
extensions / alterations to the basic chord (b9,9,11,b13,13).
Through analysis, we have now begun to make logical sense out of
this scale for its use in composition, re-harmonization and
using the MAMI system and chord makes sense since there is much
more to be discovered!
a modal approach and thinking, there are still 8 more scale
tones that can serve as the potential scale “root”: all of
which we can build similar harmonic and melodic ideas upon. As
you begin to discover these modal harmonies, things get really
interesting. The true nature of this scales’ musical potential
explodes into a true creative tool. I actually learned of this
scale by studying one of my favorite players: guitarist Allan
Holdsworth: a tremendous improviser who frequently uses this
scale melodically as a handy device to modulate and transition
from one musical key center to another while improvising.
modal analysis of this scale begins to make sense of the power
of MAMI Musical Scales Atlases analytical capability.
Furthermore it provides a strong logical value for the use of
this scale as well as some insight into Holdsworth’s
methodology and the process of creating with scales from a
uniquely talented improviser. The beauty of studying scales in
this way is that you have a system: the Matrix Approach that can
guide you towards finding and creating music using any scale
that you choose. Unlike using traditional chord and scale
charts, the process and logic is completely transferable for use
on any of the 1000’s of scales that exist in the musical
world. Rather than studying, duplicating and playing someone
else’s “signature” lines, you become free to easily find
your own creative ideas.
is a proverb: give someone a fish…they eat for a day, teach
someone to fish…they eat for life. This is entirely true.
Using MAMI, you can “fish” in the musical scales “pond”
for creative ideas forever!
using our MAMI Harmonic Cube, the rules from above and the same
exact process you can see that beginning modally and reading
across our cube from the Db note (which is technically the b2 /
b9th note of our scale) but using it now as the “root” note
we discover the following odd harmonic implications of a
Minor triad that has the following extensions / alterations
(M7th, b9th, M3rd, 11th/4th, b13th/b6th
and 13th/6th). There is also a potential
Db Major triad with the following extensions (M7th, b9th, #9th
/b3rd, 11th/4th, b13th/b6th and 13th/6th)
Beware that some of these extensions generate a lot of musical
tension / dissonance and require careful application as well as
good judgment to sound musically “correct”.
this process beginning on the D and making it our modal
“root” a number of useful chords and interesting extensions
can be generated: D Minor 7 (9th, #9th/3rd
and b13th/b6th), D Minor 7b5 (9th, #9th/3rd
and b13th/b6th), D Major 7 (b9th/b3rd, 9th
and b13th/b6th), D Major 7b5 (b9th/b3rd, 9th
and b13th/b6th), most useful are the D7 (9th and
b13th/b6th) as well as the D7b5 (9th and b13th/b6th)
real treasures in this scale now really begin to reveal
themselves! If you complete the process using the rest of the
notes you will see that using the E as a modal “root” yield
the same interval formulas as those generated from the C root,
only a Major 3rd higher. Due to the symmetrical
nature of this scale the same interval formula repeats itself
using the Ab as a modal “root”. Indeed, all of the interval
formulas of this scale repeat themselves three times…each a
Major 3rd interval apart. With this discovery you can
create interesting chord and melodic fingerings based on all of
this scale’s notes and easily transpose them to make some
really amazing music as Holdsworth has done. MAMI make this
the M.A.M.I. logic and system for creating with music scales now
in hand, use the available free demos to expand your thinking,
ideas and playing. Although I analyzed a really complex scale,
the process is the same for all. If you begin with just the
basic 4 note scales (arpeggios) it becomes easy to see how you
can find many great musical ideas for extending, substituting
and playing over simple chords like C Major 7th, C
Minor 7th, C7th, etc. within tunes…on the way
towards composing your own.
you use MAMI Musical Scales Atlases and this same creative
process on every scale that you see your musical knowledge,
vocabulary and instrumental proficiency will increase easily as
well as exponentially.
long, you will be creating, improvising and playing ideas you
would have never dreamed of!