Using The Memphis Scale Page 3


Improvisation Practice (~5 minutes)
 Now the student understands how the Memphis Scale is used in music they can learn how to
 Explain that the student can simply start of moving up and down the positions changing how
they pluck the notes. For example: some positions they can pluck both strings together while
other times they can pluck each string one after another.
 Ask the student to start off by simply playing the positions shown up and down the neck.
 Ask the student to do this again but instead of simply playing up and down the positions, they
should try to change direction as they go and just play around with the shapes.
 Next, the student can start sliding between the positions and introducing single notes as well
as the positions shown.
 Let the student continue to experiment with improvising using the Memphis Scale and remind
them to think about the feel by adjusting how they pluck the notes and using staccato and other
Memphis Scale Overview (~2 minutes)
 It should be pretty obvious to the student that the Memphis Scale is very easy to use to create
something that sounds like music. Sometimes students get stuck when improvising using the
Pentatonic Scale because they have trouble creating something that sounds musical. With the
Memphis Scale, almost everything sounds very musical straight away.
 Mention that the student can choose to improvise using the Memphis Scale whenever they feel
appropriate. As long as they figure out the right notes, they can easily use this idea to create a
different style of improvisation.
 Explain that the student can blend this idea together while improvising using the Pentatonic
Scale and can easily alternate between the two. They should practice using the Pentatonic Scale
for eight bars then switch to the Memphis Scale and continue alternating back and forth to get
used to each.
Suggested Practice Plan for student
1. First, the student should practice the In the Gallery lick shown to practice how the Memphis
Scale is used by other players
2. Next, the student should practice improvising using the C Major Scale as shown
3. Finally, the student should figure out other scales and improvise in new positions
Other uses for this lesson content
 This content works very well if the student is struggling to create musical phrases using the
Pentatonic Scale


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