Jump to content
Hey

Another easy question about scales

Recommended Posts

Ok, Im back, and have some more questions about scales...

Lets say your playing this scale, c major pentectoinc scale according to my terrible scale book...:

-------------

-----------1-

-------2-0---

---2-0------

-3----------

------------

then you play this:

------------

-----------2---

-------3-1----

---3-1---------

-4------------

-----------------

I moved it up one threat... so is this a c minor now? Im confused. And if I move it up again, then what will it be?(im useing the same position) Is there some kind of "order" of keys i need to go by, like after c its always D?im not sure... Please help, thanks...

And yes, Im planning to buy more books soon, but in the mean time I got some scales I want to learn and study first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No - it's not C minor pentatonic. It's C SHARP (C#) MAJOR pentatonic (also called D flat (Db) major pentatonic)

Yes - there IS an order of keys

A A# or Bb B C C# or Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab

Majors are majors and minors are minors. You can move minors exactly the same way as the major - but a major scale won't suddenly become minor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, thank you Fretsource... Im just really new to this music thero thing, always tryed to avoid it but now I'm curious. Now I think I finally got it, thanks:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok, thank you Fretsource... Im just really new to this music thero thing, always tryed to avoid it but now I'm curious. Now I think I finally got it, thanks:)

Hey!

There are two 'parts' to learning guitar: music theory and how that applies to the fretboard. So there's understanding the language of music and then there's physical shapes on the neck.

I see you've been playing for 5 years or more, so you probably know alot of chords. Learn the major scale and it's intervals and know that scales are found inside the chord formations and it will all start falling together for you.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And yes solidwalnut, Im not a beginner at guitar, but at music thero I am defently am. People say music thero is bad and blocks up your creativity... But what about the rev. gary davis, jimi hendrix, josph spence and blind blake... They all had SOME knoledge of music thero and there were some of the most creative and greatist guitarist of all time. Although none of them I dont think could read music(espshly the rev and blake(;) they all knew there keys and had some knoledge of scales or some form of it... Anyway, thats my take on it, but I could still be wrong.

But another question, what are the main scales I should learn... I know pentectonics are one of them... Any other important ones? And how about the minor key ones?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...But another question, what are the main scales I should learn... I know pentectonics are one of them... Any other important ones? And how about the minor key ones?

As far as the guitar heroes not necessarily knowing much theory, or enough to get them by anyway, you're right. I still don't think it's all that necessary. I guess it just depends on your goals.

Me, I only know the basics anyway. I guess after so much time I became interested in the stuff, but mainly only the stuff that was necessary as it was to speak the language of music as it relates to the neck.

As far as scales--another round of opinion coming up! Other than the major scale and intervals, if you know the basic minor scales (melodic and harmonic) and the blues scale and what the differences are to the major scale of each, you could play variations of these for years...

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi hey if i was you i would buy kirks pt book and dvd i studied scales for years but really found it hard to do much with them i have had pt about 4 months now ; which is more about numbers a lot easier than scales and can be used for any style of music all the best mel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But another question, what are the main scales I should learn... I know pentectonics are one of them... Any other important ones? And how about the minor key ones?

I've been wondering about the importance of learning scales myself. About a year or so ago, I tore out a page of "need-to-know" scales from Guitar Player, I believe it was, and they claim that gods such as Page, Slash, and Zakk Wylde use only three scales as the basis of all their solos. They stress the importance of learning these simple scales and then improvising on your own. I don't have the names of them handy right now, but I'll see if I can post them tomorrow.

Anyway, what I'm really asking is -- is the mastering of scales that critical to learning to play? I heard others say that they're really just a waste of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, LH V-2.

I reckon it's important to know what scales are ... and that's it. Most teachers advocate learning them in all positions and practicing them. I don't. The private PlaneTalkers' Forum (for people who have bought my book) is full of players who have learned and practiced them and are now desperate to forget them, to break out of the boring, restrictive, non-melodic traps they find themselves in. I personally haven't thought or worried about or wondered about scales since about 1975, and I've done a lot playing in that time, almost all of it improvised ... making it up as I go. If it's the art of soloing you're looking into, there is a better way, an easier way, a fool proof way of negotiating any tune, any chord progression.

So, no, it's not imperative that you practice scales endlessly, but at least know what they are. Despite their scary sounding Greek names, there's nothing complicated about them. They're just ways (too many ways) of organizing the 12 notes into batches. But don't be fooled into thinking that to play solos and improvise you need to know all your scales ... you don't. Chords are all you need to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So then how do you solo then with just chords? just make it up with the chord position?

You need to be able to see chords for what they really are: a selection of notes that stretch from one end of the fretboard to the other. Once you can do that, you can use those notes as primary melody notes. You also need to see that a piece of music comes one chord at a time, so if you can see those patterns of chord tones changing as the song progresses, then your melody notes will always be 'right' for that moment in time, no matter how tricky the progression may seem to someone trying to juggle half a dozen or more scales, modes and boxes.

PlaneTalk describes a very efficient way to 'see' the fretboard in order to achieve the above. :winkthumb:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as an aside, I spent a couple of hours jamming over Red House by Hendrix. I looked at the tab to see what was up. Basicly it is just playing around with the notes in 7th chords that gives it it's flavour. Pretty easy to get that vibe going once you can see it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
People say music thero is bad and blocks up your creativity...

Mate, that's complete rubbish. :(

You might as well say that a good racing driver should know nothing about chassis design or how engines work because it might interfere with his ability to drive. It's simply not true.

If anything is bad for creativity it's being afraid to go into new places, and just bashing through the same stuff over and over. At that applies whether you're talking badly taught formal schooling or just sticking in a narrow little style box only playing power chords or whatever.

It's actually very useful to know some theory. Far from 'blocking creativity' it should actually shine fresh light and open new doors. Only a player who didn't have any real creativity in the first place would be afraid of what new knowledge might do to them. And there's plenty of people like that around, who mistake playing sloppy trash for being 'creative'. Ignore them.

For anybody who does have a spark of creativity, music theory is a set of useful tools not a bunch of restrictive rules. Go for it. :winkthumb:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, LH V-2.

I reckon it's important to know what scales are ... and that's it. Most teachers advocate learning them in all positions and practicing them. I don't. The private PlaneTalkers' Forum (for people who have bought my book) is full of players who have learned and practiced them and are now desperate to forget them, to break out of the boring, restrictive, non-melodic traps they find themselves in. I personally haven't thought or worried about or wondered about scales since about 1975, and I've done a lot playing in that time, almost all of it improvised ... making it up as I go. If it's the art of soloing you're looking into, there is a better way, an easier way, a fool proof way of negotiating any tune, any chord progression.

So, no, it's not imperative that you practice scales endlessly, but at least know what they are. Despite their scary sounding Greek names, there's nothing complicated about them. They're just ways (too many ways) of organizing the 12 notes into batches. But don't be fooled into thinking that to play solos and improvise you need to know all your scales ... you don't. Chords are all you need to know.

Thanks, Kirk -- you've pretty much convinced me that the endless practicing of scales isn't all it's cracked up to be. I really don't know why so many people advocate this thoroughly boring routine to beginners for anyway; it seems a sure-fire way to get them to drop the guitar altogether.

But I did find it interesting that Guitar World (not Guitar Player, as I'd originally thought) claims that players like Page use just three simple scales as the basis of most of their solos. Under "Essential Scales", here's what they had to say:

"There are thousands of scales! GW has stripped away all of the advanced (and sometimes unnecessary) scales to leave you with a handful of truly useful examples. These scales have seen the most famous guitarists safely through their careers. Zakk Wylde, Slash and Jimmy Page use just the first three as the basis of most of their solos."

They then go on to list, in order of importance: A minor pentatonic, A major pentatonic, A blues, A major scale, and A natural minor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...They then go on to list, in order of importance: A minor pentatonic, A major pentatonic, A blues, A major scale, and A natural minor.

I can actually agree with that. But I also completely agree with Kirk. See the thing is that many guitarist tend to treat scales like they are the be-all of learning to be some sort of guitar god. They are really only tools in the tool box; a collection or a pool of tones from which to draw...

I agree with this assessment that these are the really best and basic scales to know in order to play some lead. This is how I basically learned. But this is not the end of the story...

The beginning of the story, imho, needs to be learning chords and the chord shapes that are available. This much is the mechanical aspect of learning. Then comes some theory, and it really needs to start with the major scale--all the other scales and all of music are written from this basic blueprint! When you understand the major scale and it's intervals you can see how all else is born from that mold.

This point of view of scales in itself should be viewed as tools in the tool box, but to lean on them only is very limiting. This is where Plane Talk and the view that the tones to use come from chords very much so complements the scale view!

Many players have only concentrated on playing scales and have gotten lost. Chord tone thinking is the ultimate complement to scales because of the way that the guitar fretboard is mapped. In our modern- western-musical world, the guitar is primarily a chordal instrument for the majority of us! The tones to play can easily be found from the chords.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can actually agree with that. But I also completely agree with Kirk. See the thing is that many guitarist tend to treat scales like they are the be-all of learning to be some sort of guitar god. They are really only tools in the tool box; a collection or a pool of tones from which to draw...

I agree with this assessment that these are the really best and basic scales to know in order to play some lead. This is how I basically learned. But this is not the end of the story...

The beginning of the story, imho, needs to be learning chords and the chord shapes that are available. This much is the mechanical aspect of learning. Then comes some theory, and it really needs to start with the major scale--all the other scales and all of music are written from this basic blueprint! When you understand the major scale and it's intervals you can see how all else is born from that mold.

This point of view of scales in itself should be viewed as tools in the tool box, but to lean on them only is very limiting. This is where Plane Talk and the view that the tones to use come from chords very much so complements the scale view!

Many players have only concentrated on playing scales and have gotten lost. Chord tone thinking is the ultimate complement to scales because of the way that the guitar fretboard is mapped. In our modern- western-musical world, the guitar is primarily a chordal instrument for the majority of us! The tones to play can easily be found from the chords.

Steve

Great advice. Maybe you should change your handle from solidwalnut to the walnutty professor (I mean that in a good way of course); you really seem to know your stuff. Instead of concentrating on learning a lot of scales, which might turn out to be a waste of precious time, maybe I'll just learn those few that GW recommends and take it from there. Another thing I need to do is spend more time learning chords. But in all honesty, I loathe trying to learn chords as I find it hard enough to get my fingers into position just to play one simple chord; never mind switching from one chord to another. Some folks seem to be able to do this effortlessly. Me? I can run my fingers up and down the fretboard picking notes at a pretty good clip, but chords frustrate the hell out of me. It may also be why I'm leaning towards learning blues as most of the players seem to pick notes almost exclusively and rarely, if ever, play chords. I mean, I can't ever recall seeing BB King (or that many other bluesmen for that matter) actually playing a chord...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet again a thread that has me thinking!

I actually enjoy learning music theory,sad as i might be, but after reading this thread i'm wondering if it is all really neccessary.there are so many different views on this that is difficult to know which path to follow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yet again a thread that has me thinking!

I actually enjoy learning music theory,sad as i might be, but after reading this thread i'm wondering if it is all really neccessary.there are so many different views on this that is difficult to know which path to follow.

Well whatever path you follow, the music theory won't change. If you enjoy learning theory, then learn it. You'll find it easy to learn (because you enjoy it) and you'll often find it very useful in a lot of situations. It's a huge subject, though, so my advice is that you keep it relevant and related to the type of guitarist you are. For example, if you're not into jazz, then memorising all those fancy sounding jazz modes, such as the "lydian dominant" or the "super locrian" would be pretty much a waste of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your answer fretsource,i certainly enjoy not only learning to read music, but the theory of how melodies are created and chord progressions,what i am a little unsure of is ,after reading this thread, do i actually need to learn scales or just how they work.

There are so many sites , and if like me you are continually searching for info, the advice on those sites differ greatly. For beginners it is a minefield of right or wrong.

Or is it, as i suspect, a matter of what you find easier for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know what you mean Black cat. The Internet is the greatest source of MISinformation ever invented.

So I'd say - Yes - you should learn ABOUT scales as part of your music theory study. That's useful because the more you understand how scales work, (either from theory or from experience) the more easily you can see through that swamp of misinformation that's out there and decide for yourself which direction to follow.

As for them being necessary to learn, there's no need to search the net for that, Kirk is living proof that you don't actually need scales to be a highly accomplished improviser. Case closed. ;)

As for them being useful to learn, I think everybody agrees that some of them certainly are. For example I can't see anyone advising not to learn the major scale. But to what extent all the others should be learned/ memorised/ practised is something each guitarist has to decide based on what they intend to do with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for your answer fretsource,i certainly enjoy not only learning to read music, but the theory of how melodies are created and chord progressions,what i am a little unsure of is ,after reading this thread, do i actually need to learn scales or just how they work.

There are so many sites , and if like me you are continually searching for info, the advice on those sites differ greatly. For beginners it is a minefield of right or wrong.

Or is it, as i suspect, a matter of what you find easier for you.

It's amazing that there is so much info out on the 'net. No doubt it's confusing. Being able to communicate how to play the git is one thing, but then there's the aspect that there's no right way to learn. There are paths, and to determine the 'correct' path is not going to happen. It's almost a matter of 'experimentation' and, dare I say it, some sort of trust.

I guess I'm a little biased, but I really believe that to avoid confusion we contributors here at GfB&B will give you all the info you need! If it's not there, please just ask. We'll get ya going in a good direction. Tell us what you want to learn!

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
.....do i actually need to learn scales or just how they work.

There are so many sites , and if like me you are continually searching for info, the advice on those sites differ greatly. For beginners it is a minefield of right or wrong.

Or is it, as i suspect, a matter of what you find easier for you.

+1 to what Fretsource said about learning scales. It certainly useful to understand what scales are and how they can be used musically, but there's certainly no need to bash your way through heaps of them just for the sake of it. (Unless you enjoy doing set exercises - and some people do, some don't. Some students work best with a very formal and structured approach and find it very off-putting if everything is too open ended and free-form, but others are the exact opposite and find too much structure oppressive. So it's probably good to try both and settle for something that suits our own individual character).

Drilling your fingers through scales and exercises is a bit like drilling a squad of soldiers. There can certainly be some disciplinary spin-offs in marching up and down a parade ground in formation, but the real work of soldiers is to go into battle. And battle doesn't bear much resemblance to parade ground drill - it doesn't happen neatly in line order.

My approach to scales is that I'm prepared to run through a few in 'line order' only for as long as it takes me to start getting a feel for where the notes in the group are located. Then I'm straight into experimenting with what I can actually DO with them - what they sound like in various arrangements or combinations, etc.

Scales are just another line of possible ingredients on a shelf. It's what you cook with them that matters. :guitardude:

Sorry, that's enough mixed metaphors for one post!

Cheers,

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drilling your fingers through scales and exercises is a bit like drilling a squad of soldiers. There can certainly be some disciplinary spin-offs in marching up and down a parade ground in formation, but the real work of soldiers is to go into battle. And battle doesn't bear much resemblance to parade ground drill - it doesn't happen neatly in line order.

That must be the best musical metaphor I've ever heard.:claping:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That must be the best musical metaphor I've ever heard.:claping:

Thanks for the kind words mate. :) I think my soldiers need to be dragged off the computer keyboard and marched up and down the fretboard a bit more instead though. Less dreaming up metaphors and more twanging of the strings. My resolution for this year was less posting and more practice. But I think I've used up a few months allowance in advance already though... :oops:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×