FLS Live Mode For Learning Scales and Improv

I’m learning keys from scratch as a novice player with some improv and scale knowledge from years of guitar; but that does not help much with finger motor skills on the keyboard. For the last few days I’ve been learning the fingering sequences for scales from the amazing teacher Warren McPherson:

Using these patterns for a few days has helped a lot already with familiarity with the feel of the keys and moving around a scale more fluidly.

FLS can really help with this if you record a slow chord progression from the key/scale you wish to practice. I used a variation of his pretty sequences from Julian Bradbury’s video as a start in which the C natural minor scale notes can be played over, from here:

The scale against the chords sounds like;

I slowed it right down to a tempo I could play the chords/arpeggios without error live into the piano roll:

The chord sequence sounds like this:

You can drag this onto a track in the Song window if you are a beginner, and play along in C minor with it immediately, but I suggest recording you own simple, slow chord sequence so you have to think about the chord changes and corresponding scale notes that fit while you improvise.

You can paste that MP3 clip into the Song window for as many bars as you wish to improv too then record your improv into a Playlist track – maybe as a record of progress in a year’s time? How?

Choose Live Mode from the top left of the Playlist window:

Now you can add a 2nd plugin instrument to the Sequencer which will record the MIDI notes you play into the Playlist, but you need create a 2nd Pattern clip in the sequencer window so it can fill up and show in the Playlist and Piano Roll separate to the chords.

Right click the red record button and choose only the score option.

When ready, press record:

You now have a record of how bad you play as a beginner! Yay! Now that’s incentive to practice!

Here is my attempt with this new scale – with all the errors – so if you are a beginner like me you get an idea of what mistakes are made and what you need to work on – fingering, fluidity, ear training, thinking about changes, timing, best resolution for a phrase…etc.etc….

It’s interesting because I knew what I wanted to play in my head in many cases but my fingers and ear aren’t connected to the right keys yet! If this was playing guitar it would have been a totally different case obviously.

At this stage just keep it simple and slow and get the fingers, ear and brain trained properly with a strong foundation and build on it.

Use a chord sequence that the one scale fits over – Cminor in this case.


I never did that on guitar correctly coz I jammed for pleasure and didn’t keep a practice regime – not learning scales well and building good technique early wasted many years later and finally cripples further development without massive fingering re-training (I never learned 4 notes per string for scales).