The first thing that you will need to learn is how to make a really good cup of coffee because you’re going to be drinking a lot of it before you get to the end of this. But don’t let that put you off. Brew up a really good mug of Blue Mountain and settle in for the night.
The second thing that thing you will need to learn is where the notes are on your instrument. Memorising note after note is no fun when you just want to get on and play, so roll the twelve sided dice to pick a note, then the four side dice to pick a scale. Now you only have to find eight notes (there are only seven notes in a scale plus the octave) and you can start to play. When you have got the hang of that then spin Jam again and learn a new scale and eight more notes.
Basic background stuff
There are twelve different notes in the traditional western music sequence:
C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, and B.
After the B comes the C, an octave higher than the first C, and the cycle repeats. You could picture it as a helix or spring. You could also picture it as a small furry animal but this wouldn’t get you very far.
This sequence is called the chromatic scale or the Twelve Tone Scale.
Each step in this scale is separated by a semitone the smallest musical distance or interval. Well talk more about intervals later. First we need to get some of the meaty stuff under our belts.
Not all of these notes sound good together, in fact one arrangement of notes is so unpleasant that it was considered ‘diabolic’ in the middle ages and playing it could get you burnt for heresy. These days the same arrangement can get you a pretty decent review in NME. Not even Jam can save you from the whims of the music critics.
It is standard musical practice, before beginning to play or compose, to decide to use only a selection of notes that do work well together. These pre-determined selections of notes are called Scales.
Scales are usually made up of seven notes; each separated from its neighbour by a semitone (half step) or a tone (whole step). These interval variations create a pattern with a beginning and end, known as the keynote.
Now go on and look at the different SCALES