Editors' reviewThis program quickly helps you find the right scale for improvisation over jazz tunes, but it only seems appropriate for those who already have a solid grounding in musical theory. Although Jazz Scale Suggester System's nonresizable interface couldn't be described as attractive, it is at least simple to use, thanks in part to instructions that line the bottom of the screen. Eight separate windows let you find scales by choosing key and type (such as E-minor 9th) from drop-down boxes. Once you've filled in the blanks, the program will ask you what key the song you want to vamp over is in, but it's not essential that you know for sure. After that, the program instantly returns suggestions as to what scales you might try. Also, though Jazz Scale Suggester System does offer brief explanations about the scale in question, it can't audibly play the notes for you or show you their locations on a scale or via tablature. Still, the help files do contain valuable information for those willing to invest the time to digest everything. All told, this application will better suit laptop-toting jazz musicians than less-experienced players looking for a learning tool.
Enter any typical jazz-chord chart into the JSSS program or use the Band-in-a-Box file-import utility. Next click the Suggest Jazz Scales button. JSSS will analyze your chord changes using artificial intelligence and suggest commonly used scales for your solos. You can click the ? button for each scale, and JSSS will explain its suggestion. The application shows how you can view a cluster of chords with a minimum of improvising scales, enabling you to quickly learn to play through the changes. Your entire jazz-chord chart, not just single chords in isolation, is evaluated. The program explains relationships among the scales, such as how one scale leads into another.
Version 3.4 includes unlimited chord chart evaluations.
What's new in this version:
The full version 3.5 has enhanced Band-in-a-Box import facility. The Lite version has an updated installer and low "nag" to buy to the full version.