~ anything from anywhere ~

~ in 2 parts ~

~ arpeggio chord evolution ~


~ G 6 B-7 D7 why is G 6 = to E-7~


'creating any musical element from any of our 12 pitches'

the theory of 'atfaw'
a shedding perspective
a syllabus of musical colors
mostly a jazz thing
a modern guitarist
any song in any key

'... the whole theoretical tamale from any one pitch becomes the theoretical basis for the evolving modern Americana guitarist ...'


Theory rule of thumb. 'Think from the root and you'll never get lost.'

In a nutshell. That in theory any one pitch (anything) can become a tone within (anywhere) any interval, scale, arpeggio or chord; from being its root pitch right on through each half step up to the #15 position. In this 'anything from anywhere' we are simply working out what one pitch can be theorywise through our entire combined Americana pitch resource of 'just' and 'equal temper' tuned pitches; so notes with a 'blues hue' and the 'blue hue' notes and pitches for making the chords.

'just' tuning
'equal temper tuning'
Americana style spectrum

This approach is very solid for scales, modes, licks, riffs and ditties. Works fine for the most part with arpeggios but struggles when it gets to the chords, which are probably better presented in their major / minor diatonic progressions. That said, watch for the movable forms in these examples as they form a key component of the learning with this 'anything from anywhere' approach.

movable forms

Into the wayback. Decades ago now I heard a horn player shedding their scales in the following order; major, then natural minor and then Mixolydian. Termed here a 'shedding cycle', running the scales. Example 1.

running the scales / changes

So from our chosen root pitch 'C' this shedding cycle covers the major and natural minor scale then to Mixolydian, which a sets up the common modulation by perfect fourth to our next key center 'F', where the process starts over again to get us to 'Bb.' Cool ? Run this through all 12 keys? Sure why not, all 12 keys.

shedding cycles
perfect 4th
12 keys

Overview. So the basis of this last idea is this 'anything from anywhere' concept. In this thought process we want to theorize the ability to create any of our resources from any one pitch. Once in place we then tailor make our own exercises based on the challenges we create for ourselves. While surely a jazz practice all players of all styles looking for a bit more 'through the changes' in their lines will probably dig the theory which follows.

through the changes

That from any one of our 12 pitches we can generate each of our scales and their modes, their arpeggios and chords. Sounds familiar? Good, this historically is a valid approach to getting the resources under our fingers and knowing the theory of the process creates a big view.


While surely a way to organize our practice and ear training together, some cats just want to get to the bottom of it all, exhausting the possibilities and in doing so shine a light, strengthen up and relieve the boredom by conjuring and discovering their own 'new.'

ear training
discover your own new

The academic cycles. So what follows is the basis of the musical above idea. We create set groups of pitchers from the 12 and base them all off one root note. For more shedding cycles follow the link.

For guitar. In evolving this theory for guitar, we can take full advantage of two built in 'guitar' theory features; that the open low 'E' string gives us a bass note for support which we can sound and let ring out. We can be our own bass player in this approach.


Second, since we've well over an octave range per string (mostly) we get to play most melodies on one string; in this case the high 'E' string. This single string approach clarifies our connect with the pitches, their location and nuancing, it gets us comfortable moving up and down the fingerboard sounding pitches, scales and melodies all over a totally solid root bass note.


In following in the ancient traditions of melodies, all of these colors are run high to low, as descending lines with some rhythms creating melodies, like we think the ancient Greeks did with their modes? Yep. So eight, '8' in the following numerics, is the upper octave of our tonic pitch and starting point? Sure is. Examine the numbers and scale degrees in a descending 'E' major scale. Example 3.

ancient Greeks
tonic pitch
scale degrees
scale degrees
major scale pitches

A reminder. In our musings and labeling of the theory and its components throughout the local universe, if something is not designated in any special way, it is thought (assumed) to be 'major', thinking diatonically generated from the major, i.e., has a major 3rd in its construct. This is not uncommon with chord symbols. Sound the low 'E' and find each group of pitches on the high 'E.' Example 3a.

major perspective
chord symbols
E pentatonic major scale
8 6 5 3 2 1 core five pitches within an octave
E major scale / Ionian 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 a 'new' mode from Glareanus
E Dorian 8 b7 6 5 4 b3 2 1 ancient Greek mode
E Phrygian 8 b7 b6 5 4 b3 b2 1 ancient Greek mode
E Lydian 8 7 6 5 #4 3 2 1 ancient Greek mode
E Lydian b7 8 b7 6 5 #4 3 2 1 modern altered / mode of melodic minor
E Mixolydian 8 b7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ancient Greek mode
E Aeolian 8 b7 b6 5 4 b3 2 1 a 'new' mode from Glareanus
E Locrian 8 b7 b6 b5 4 b3 b2 1 ? ? ?
E whole tone scale 8 b7 b6 b5 3 2 1 all whole steps
E pentatonic minor scale 8 b7 5 4 b3 1 our five core pitches for minor
E blues 8 b7 5 b5 4 b3 1 minor pentatonic w/ tritone upgrade
E natural minor 8 b7 b6 5 4 b3 2 1 relative minor to G major
E harmonic minor 8 7 b6 5 4 b3 2 1 raised 7th
E Klezmer minor 8 b7 b6 5 4 3 b2 1 V mode of harmonic minor
E melodic minor 8 7 6 5 4 b3 2 1 raised 6th and 7th
E diminished 8 7 6 b6 b5 4 b3 2 1 whole tone / half tone
E altered dominant 8 b7 6 b5 4 b3 2 1 lower diminished upper whole tone
E chromatic scale 87b76b65b543b32b21 all half steps

Transpose to all 12 keys.


Second grouping / arpeggios. With arpeggios our tasking gets a wee bit more complicated ya see. For just what level of the arpeggio do we ascend too? In starting out, perhaps past the triad to the 7th, this way we're defining chord type as well. Example 4.

adding the 7th
chord type
E pentatonic major arpeggio
E major arpeggio / triad / maj 7th
E minor 7th and beyond
E min 7b5
E augmented
E diminished

Transpose to all 12 keys.


Third grouping / chords. As with the arpeggios so goes the chords. Namely, how far into the upper structure do we extend our voicings? Again the song (s) we're learning will help to give some guidance here. Find these chords from the C at the 8th fret of the lowest 6th string. Example 1b.

upper structure
E major and minor triads
E major 7th and beyond
E minor 7th and beyond
E min 7b5
E 7 and beyond
E 7b9
E 7+5

Transpose to all 12 keys.


Review. The idea of anything from anywhere is probably more about helping us get our arms around the resource that anything else. The idea of knowing where things are so that if we ever need a particular component, we have a way in to the resource to begin our search.

There's another way into this 'anything' perspective within Essentials. It is the flip side of it as we look to identify common elements that happen at certain points on our numerical backbone. The One through to sharp Fifteen. Called 'by the numbers', instead of projecting all of the theory from one pitch, we look at each numerical position in relation to a tonic pitch and look for the various aspects of tonal gravity and aural predictability; two elements of musical style that we might better understand through the theory.

by the numbers
tonal gravity
aural predictability

Cycles for shedding. In the first example up top we cycled select melodic groups into a sort of 'one after another' that, energized by their relationship to one another, created a sense of forward motion to the lines while getting some rote shedding done. The following suggestions are just that, suggestions to sift through the resources and find patterns that help to create the art in your heart.

forward motion
rote memorizing
interval studies
1 2 3 5
cycled by 4th's / chromatically / -3rd ~ 4th a la "Giant Steps"
1 3 5 / major triads cycled by 4th's / a One Four Five blues / chromatically / whole steps
1 b3 5 / minor triads cycled by 4th's / a One Four Five blues / chromatically / whole steps
major scales cycled by 4th's in one localized position
1 b3 b5 b7 / -7b5 as vii resolving to diatonic relatives major and minor
diminished scale into its four major and four minor key centers
blues scale cycled by 4th's / from One Four and Five as a blues

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Albert Einstein
Aebersold, Jamey and Slone, Ken. The Charlie Parker Omnibook, p. 143. New York: Atlantic Music Corp., 1978.