One of my biggest problems as a composer is finishing pieces; coming up with ideas is easy, but expanding them into actual interesting compositions is where it becomes complicated. Every time an idea is born it seems to have infinite potential; it could grow up to become president of the united states or ceo of […]

And so we proceed: a crippling bout of laziness has kept me from finally finishing these fingerboard diagrams, but it’s about time to wrap things up. Here is the sixth mode, with all of its transpositions. Sixth MLT, First transposition: Sixth MLT, Second transposition: Sixth MLT, Third transposition: Sixth MLT, Fourth transposition: Sixth MLT, Fifth […]

Meet the fifth mode of limited transposition – a “truncated” version of the fourth mode. This one is also interesting – I kind of like it better than the fourth… the two consecutive semitones remind me of the blues pentatonic scale. Here they are: all six transpositions! Fifth MLT, first transposition: Fifth MLT, second transposition: […]

I took my first crack at writing micropolyphonic music in the sixth (and perhaps my favorite) ouroboros miniature, Swell. It’s a cool little piece for guitar duet in which various chords played as very rapid ad-lib arpeggios begin pianissimo and slowly swell to forte, before returning to pianissimo, at which point the figure repeats itself […]

It has been a while, but I have returned, dear reader. No need to skip another beat – the remaining modes of limited transposition (modes 4, 5, 6 and 7) each have six transpositions – more than the first three modes, but less than your usual major/minor scale. To quote the master himself: “One point […]

The octatonic scale is not new to guitarists, in jazz it’s commonly known as the diminished scale because it is essentially two diminished seventh chords superimposed to form an 8-note scale. Like the whole-tone scale, Messiaen did not invent it, but he categorized it as the second mode of limited transposition. The scale simply alternates […]