Thanks for your reply Bill and for that technique.
But to be a bit more precise, my problem is not remembering the scales on the piano and how to play them - with some practice, I managed to remember all.
My problem is being able to find any number on any scale by heart. Lesson 1 says:
Test yourself whilst away from the piano. Ask yourself: “what’s the 4th of Ab Major” or “what’s the 6th of D Major”… if it take you longer than a second or 2 to get the answer, then you don’t know your scales numerically!
And that is nearly impossible for me - I can play them, but can’t give any interval on any scale in less than 2seconds - especially without a piano.
The first step is to be able to play and visualise the scales, and learning them numerically is the next step.
Once we have learnt each scale numerically it allows us to quickly find voicings in any key. We can construct common progressions such as 251s and 1625s, and it also helps with our ability to construct melodies and improvised phrases.
Each major scale contains 7 notes, not 6 notes.
Instead of “72 combinations”, try to look at the task as learning 12 sets of 7 notes.
I would recommend breaking this down further and just focusing on 3 scales at a time.
For example, learn and memorise the C Major Scale, the F Major Scale, and the Bb Major Scale.
Once you can play and visualise those scales perfectly, then move onto the Eb Major Scale, Ab Major Scale, and the Db Major Scale.
The major scales really are the foundation for learning jazz harmony, and so time spent here is time well spent. You will not regret it later down the line!
I recommend that students split their practice time in half, the first half on theory drills, and the second half working on jazz standards.
Mastering scales, chords, and progressions in all 12 keys takes time and so learning the jazz standard arrangements will give you a quicker sense of progression and improvement and make learning jazz piano more enjoyable for you.
In particular spend some time on these beginner jazz standard lessons:
I recommend that students study multiple jazz standard lessons at the same time. Perhaps start with 2 or 3 tunes and then gradually build out your repertoire.
I’m here to help if you need any further guidance. Cheers!