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The Comprehensive Scale Catalog — PDF Files

The Comprehensive Scale Catalog is an extensive set of scales that can serve to inspire melodies in your flute playing. Many players use them to “get out of a rut” and expand their music.

The catalog is meant to be a tool for exploration of scales from world music traditions. Most players of Native American flutes use a very small number of alternate scales, so please do not feel compelled to try to learn the full set of scales in the catalog.

This page provides two versions of the scale catalog. One version provides 14 scales and the other provides 66 scales. Each of the version is available for a variety of fingerings. See the main Comprehensive Scale Catalog page for documentation and details.


Scale Catalogs with 14 Scales

Each of these PDF scale catalogs contains 14 scales on two pages:


Scale Catalogs with 66 Scales

Each of the PDF scale catalogs on the remainer of this page contains 66 scales on nine pages:

Core Scales

The first scale that most people teach is the pentatonic minor scale. However, I've found that a great alternative is the Bugle Scale. It is also a great scale to teach as a first alternate scale - after experimenting with the “pick up your fingers in a different order” approach.

Note that the root of the Bugle Scale is not Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed. If you improvise melodies in this scale, you will find yourself ending
on Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open — the root of this scale.

The great thing about the Bugle Scale is that it is a great lead-in to playing one of the core songs in the Native flute's repertoire: Amazing Grace.

Note that all the other scales on this first page that I am calling “Core Scales” also have a root that is above the fundamental Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed note on the instrument.

Pentatonic Major can be a revelation for many novice and intermediate players, because it opens the door to playing in a major key. Simply keeping the same notes as Pentatonic Minor, but moving the root note of your playing (where you begin and end your phrases and melodies) changes the key to major.

Three-Note and Four-Note Scales

These “sparse” scales follow the rule of dropping notes. They are typically easier to learn than the other scales because they have relatively few notes.

Note the fingerings in red: they are notes in the upper register of some (but not all) Native American flutes. I've added them to the charts to make them available if your flute happens to be able to play those notes.

Exotic Pentatonic Scales

These are often the best scales to begin with if you are exploring new scales. They provide a “sparse” feel that evokes Asian cultures.

The notes in orange are not recommended — I've added them to the scale catalog simply to show that these notes are in the scale, but playing them can be extremely difficult on most flutes. However, their corresponding notes in the second register, in particular the note typically played with the fingering Finger diagram open closed closed closed closed closed, can be excellent replacements.

Variants of Pentatonic Minor

These scales are all slight variations of the Pentatonic Minor scale. They differ by only one note from the core Pentatonic minor scale.

It is fun to explore how making just a small change in a well-known scale can dramatically change the feel of the scale.

Expanded Scales

These scales increase the number of notes from the five notes of Pentatonic Minor. The seven scales on this page are among the most versatile, although they take the feel of melodies in a whole different direction from the typical melodies played on this instrument.

Upper Major and High Major are two versions of the Diatonic Major scale. On these two scales, you can play many songs from the Western European tradition of music, especially those that stay within one octave (such as many hymns).

Diatonic Scales

These two pages show fingerings for a full set of seven diatonic scales.

Each one starts on Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed or Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open. If you can access three notes in the upper octave, gives you a full one octave in the scale.

Other Pentatonic Scales

And finally, the last two pages show an array of other five-note scales from world cultures.

Six-Hole Pentatonic Minor

Native American Flute Scale Catalog: Six-Hole Pentatonic Minor

Native American Flute Scale Catalog: Six-Hole Pentatonic Minor PDF Version

Northern Spirit Fingerings

Native American Flute Scale Catalog: Northern Spirit Fingerings

Native American Flute Scale Catalog: Northern Spirit Fingerings PDF Version

High Spirits Mid-Tone A Minor Fingerings

Native American Flute Scale Catalog: High Spirits Mid-Tone A Minor Fingerings

Native American Flute Scale Catalog: High Spirits Mid-Tone A Minor Fingerings PDF Version

 

 
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To cite this page on Wikipedia: <ref name="Goss_2017_scale_catalog_pdf"> {{cite web |last=Goss |first=Clint |title=The Comprehensive Scale Catalog - PDF Files |url=http://www.Flutopedia.com/scale_catalog_pdf.htm |date=3 February 2017 |website=Flutopedia |access-date=<YOUR RETRIEVAL DATE> }}</ref>