What Colors are on Your Palate?

Tuesday, July 11, 2023 by Andrew Hatfield | Uncategorized

An artist has a palate, which has the colors he is going to use for this particular painting. Think about what you need for each painting. Imagine a painting of a sunset—you’ll need reds, oranges, and pinks, and blue for the sky. Now think about a forest scene where you’ll need deep greens and browns.

Each painting will have a particular mood.

In music, our palate is a scale. Improvising with a major scale creates a very different mood than a minor scale.

When you think about how you want to sound, think about the mood you want to create. Do you want to sound bluesy and edgy? There are notes in a blues scale that will give you that edgy sound. Do you want to sound like bluegrass? The notes in the bluegrass G-run become a scale that you can use over each chord. Do you want to sound dark and mysterious? The dorian mode might give you what you're looking for.

There are many more examples of musical palates that change the mood of what you’re playing. In fact, some scales are called modes. Remember this—when you say mode, you’re really just saying mood—each mode creates a different mood.