“The Scale Omnibus” Free PDF Book!!

I found this great resource on the internet a few weeks ago and I wanted to share it with all of you.  It’s called “The Scale Omnibus” by Francesco Balena and it is FREE. Yes, you read that right.  It’s FREE!


When I first heard of the free “Scale Omnibus”, my first thought was “OK, what’s the catch?”  My second thought was “It’s probably just some lame PDF with a few scales in it”.   I hesitantly clicked on the link and was taken to the Saxopedia website which I had never been to before.  On that page was a link to download the FREE zip file of the book.   I was still a bit cautious but clicked on the link anyways as my curiosity was peaked.  The file downloaded and when I opened it my computer didn’t crash or show any signs of a virus.  Whew! Instead, I was looking at a 430 page PDF.  “Holy Cow!”.  This book looked serious and substantial.

“The Scale Omnibus” takes you through every scale I have ever heard of and hundreds more that I have never heard of.  Each scale is written out in all 12 keys.  There is a description of the scale, some chord suggestions in C that the scale could be used on, the intervals the scale is made of and even in some cases some interesting facts and info about the scales use.  For example, as I type this, I have the page for the Augmented scale open on my computer:

ScaleOSampleI love the detailed information “The Scale Omnibus” gives on the scale and even the small gems about it being used by Liszt, Shostakovitch, Coltrane and Brecker.   Pretty cool!

The book is full of all sorts of scales you have probably never heard of also.  Check these out:

Raga Neelangi, Messiaen 2nd Mode Truncated, Messiaen 4th Mode, Van Der Host, Blues Hepatonic, Blues Enneatonic, Man Gong, etc…………..(What the heck are all these?)

That’s just the tip of the iceberg here!  The Scale Omnibus has approximately 423 pages of scales after the intro and the description of the book says there are 392 scales in the book.  That’s 4704 scales to learn if you learn them in every key……….(and you were overwhelmed with learning your 12 major scales………sorry!!)

The cool world of possibilities that can be accessed by this book are endless.  What I would suggest doing,  is experimenting with the different scales in the book to a static play along (Jamey Aebersold Volume 24 works great for major and minor chords and Aebersold Volume 84 is great for Dominant chords…….) or while at the piano.  Play some of the suggested chords on the piano while holding down the sustain pedal and then improvise with the scale.  Some of  the sounds and intervals might be new to your ears but try to get acclimated to their sounds. Listen for how the different notes of the scale sound against each chord.  Certain notes will sound consonant and certain notes will sound dissonant.  Experiment with those tensions and releases and try to hear where the notes want to go melodically. After some experimentation and improvisation, it’s just a matter of deciding if you like the sound or not.  If you do, you have just discovered a new tool and sound to use over those chords.

Special thanks to Francesco Balena who is the author of this great resource.   Check out “The Scale Omnibus”  and be sure to give a donation.  There is directions to donate on page 6 of the PDF and a link that takes you back to saxopedia but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out where to donate on that page.  If anyone can figure that out please let me know…………..  Anyways,  I’m off to practice my Mela Shankarabharanam scale in all 12 keys……………(I’ll never be able to leave the practice room now……..)





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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.


  1. Yes i need the scale omnibus thanks alot steve….:……….

  2. And thanks alot too for the 40 michael breacker licks im realy enjoyed

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