# Fortnight Theory Lesson #3 "The Major Scale" Part 1. (11-18-2003)

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casualty01
11-18-2003, 09:58 AM
<center>The Major Scale</center>

and WHY do I need to learn this !?

What a wondrous device the Major scale is. So vitally important, yet often neglected and overlooked by beginners as being ?hokey?, too ?happy? or frankly just downright dull. What?s often not realized, is how important the Major scale, in fact, really is. In fact, without a proper understanding of the major scale; it?s construct, intervals and chord patterns, you?ll never fully understanding musical theory. You might think you do, but there will be huge gaps.

Let?s liken the Major scale to, oh, I don?t know??. Reading. In order to read, you must first know your alphabet, as everything is based off of the alphabet. In science, one NEEDS to know math, in order to know math, one needs to know how to count lol??. So, in science and math, our base (the thing you ultimately need to know before you can fully understand anything else) is numbers.

As with science, math and reading/writing?? music also has it?s ?go to guy?. The thing that everything else you ever encounter will be based off of in some form or another. This is The Major Scale that we speak of ;)

So, let?s get started shall we?

Um, So, Like??. What Exactly IS A Scale ?

Simply put, a Scale is - any series of notes arranged in a certain order (Pattern or formula). There are tons of scales out there and there are tons of different ways to use each scale. But, to re-iterate my earlier point, all scales can be related back to the Major Scale.

Ok, so lets get down to the nitty gritty. The Formula for the Major Scale.

E=MC?? Scale?

Well, to be honest, it (the Pattern or Formula) can be given in 2 ways..

1. Whole Step / Half Step pattern

&

2. Numeric Pattern

BUT?.. In order to understand the numeric pattern, you must first already know the major scale, and intervals, and everything we?re going to learn over the next few weeks?..

So, of course, we shall start with the most basic of the two ways of learning/communicating the Major scale???? The Whole Step/Half Step Pattern.

Now, if you read, or re-read the last 2 lessons, you should have

1. all the notes on the neck MEMORIZED?.(it?s been 6 months people!!)
2. Know what accidentals are and how to locate them,
3. and you should know the 6 different shapes of Whole Steps and ½ Steps. (2 on any single string, 2 for adjacent strings, and 2 more for the adjacent strings G & B )

Now of course, there are other things from those lessons you?re going to need to know, not only for this lesson, but for others as well, and of course for everyday use in the music world. But, for now, those 3 are of the most vital. Especially the Whole & ½ step shapes.

I know I know?.. Onto the ****ing scale already. Ok??

The Major Scale Pattern

fig. 1a

W - W - ½ - W - W - W - ½

There. There is your Holy Grail of western* music. The pattern of whole steps and ½ steps for the major scale.

fig. 1b

Whole Step - Whole Step - ½ Step - Whole Step - Whole Step - Whole Step - ½ Step.

Now, for Alphabetical sake, we?re going to apply this to, you guessed it, the key of C.
Why? Well, in the key of C Major, there are no #?s or b?s (sharps (#'s) or flats (b's) for you slackers ;) )

If we take that Whole Step - ½ Step Pattern that was just presented in fig. 1a & fig. 1b, and Build off of the C, you?re going to get the C Major scale. And, just the same, if you build that pattern off of ANY note, you?re going to get THAT notes Major scale. (i.e. if you build the pattern off of F, you get the F Major scale, if you build it off of A, you get the A Major scale?? hopefully, you get the point).

Now, what exactly do I mean by ?build the pattern off of? any given note?

Well, as I stated earlier that Scales are just a series of notes arranged in a specific pattern. To get the actual notes within the scale, we take the pattern and start working our way up the alphabet from the starting note.
In this case, C.

Musical Term -
<ul><li>The musical term for the Note that any given scale is based off of or on, is called a Root Note. </ul><br /><br />

So, let?s take the root note C.

C

What the Pattern tells us, is where to start going FROM that first note. So? from that note, we move UP a Whole Step. Which would give us ? ??.. Come on now??.
?D!?
Right, D. so now, we have the first 2 notes of the C major scale.

C-D-

From there (the D), we know must go UP one more Whole Step. Which would bring us tooooooooo? ??? Johnny?
?E??
good job Johnny?? E. now we have the first 3 notes of the C major scale.

C-D-E-

Still got a bit to go Johnny, so tell me. What do we have to move up now?
?another whole step! :D ? ?..
haha, no Johnny you dumb bastard?? we need to go up a ½ Step. Seeing as how we?re moving from the 3rd to the 4th note, that requires a ½ step. Our 3rd note was E, so a ½ Step from there would be an ?
?F??
correct! You?re not as stupid as you look Johnny.

Now we have

C-D-E-F-

From the 4th note, we have to move UP by how much?
*silence*
Come on you pussies?..
?Whole step to G??
?Absolutely Johnny!!?
Now, on the 5th note, we?re up to G?..

C-D-E-F-G-

From the 5th note, we need to move up a Whole Step from G to A??

C-D-E-F-G-A-

From the A, the 6th note, we need to go up yet another Whole Step to ???
?B?
Atta-girl Johnny!!???? stop crying.

C-D-E-F-G-A-B-

One more Johnny??. Can you tell me where we need to move and what kind of step?
?a whole step up to C??
Get out??..

As you clearly see, Johnny wasn?t paying attention at all, and now must work the mines for the rest of the day. Too bad for him.

As I was saying, the last and final movement from the 7th note to the 8th note. Is that of a ½ Step. And that brings us back to C.

There is your full C major scale as presented in fig. 1c

fig. 1c

W-W-½-W-W-W-½
C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

Ok, starting to understand? Or understand better than you did? I hope so.

Good, now how about actually learning the scales?

A Cautionary Note On Patterns

Before I begin the area on Fretboard Patterns, I can?t stress enough, the importance of learning the actual notes within each key.
Why do I say this with such urgency? Because there?s something about the guitar that is very convenient and beneficial. yet at the same time, that convenience can be one of your worst enemies when it comes to learning music theory.

The convenience?

Patterns.

The Guitar, as I?m sure you well know by now, is VERY pattern and shape oriented??.you learn one shape/pattern , you know all the other 12 because you can move it up and down the neck.

Not patterns in the sense of intervallic patterns for scales, but actual physical patterns. Patterns that remain constant wherever you play them on the neck. You know, like bar chords. You learn one shape for say, a Major bar chord, and all of a sudden you can play that one shape all over the neck and get a bunch of different Major chords.

Same idea, learn a Major Scale shape, move the same shape to a different area on the neck, and *BOOM* you have a new key.

(yes, they (physical and intervallic patterns) coincide since the physical patterns are what they are beCAUSE of the intervallic patterns, but, well, you?ll understand what I mean.)

However, like most people that learn chords and everything else in this fashion (only learning patterns) on the guitar, you are SEVERELY limiting yourself. Whether you learn them by note names or intervallic relationship (we?ll get to that in a couple of weeks) is really up to you. But learn them in at LEAST one of those 2 vanes. Most people who are worth anything in their playing know and fully understand them in both contexts. As neither one is mutually exclusive and both go hand in hand. However, most people use one as their preferred method of ?thinking about it?. anyways?.. We?ll get to that. My point is??. In learning these patterns???... DON?T JUST LEARN THE FUCKING PATTERNS. Learn WHY the patterns are what they are, and HOW the patterns fit in with the formula of the Major scale shown in fig.1a & b

Once again, I can?t stress that enough.

Well, now that I?ve hopefully scared you into wanting to know what and why these patterns are what they are, let?s get moving onto the patterns.

casualty01
11-18-2003, 10:03 AM
Patterns and Shapes and Fingerings OH MY! :eek:

The 2 Schools

there are 2 schools of learning and teaching scalar patterns. One involves 5 patterns that can be applied all over the neck to achieve any major scale (or mode??.that will be later in the lesson series) anywhere on the neck.

And the other one involves 7 patterns to achieve the same result.

Me, I follow and teach the 7 pattern method. Now, remember, this is just a method for learning, applying and absorbing scales and patterns on the fretboard. Eventually you will reach the point (through diligent practice mind you) where you see all 7 forms of the scale as one large shape (or more importantly, on large available pool of notes) that spans the entire neck.

Why would I, and many other people, choose to follow a system that has 2 more shapes to learn than the other?

Well, it?s simple really. In actuality, you?re not learning any more than the person who studies the 5 pattern method. Every guitar has the same exact notes and possible scale shapes. What you?re actually doing with the 7 form method, is eliminating unwanted and at the time, unnecessary clutter in your brain. You see, the 5 form method, often referred to as the CAGED Method (as it coincides with the CAGED system of learning chords) doesn?t start on the root notes of each scale, therefore, it can be very confusing to a beginner learning his or her scales, and being told ?this is your root, this is the beginning of the scale? yet they look at a scale shape that starts on a completely different not than the root can be very frustrating at first.

The 7 form method has 2 more shapes because it offers every possible shape starting from the 3 lowest points you can have your root on. (i.e. 4th string, 5th string and 6th string) . With the 7 forms, there are no more, or no less shapes that can be presented, that aren?t already present by one of the other patterns. You?ll see what I mean once you get going ;)

The 5 forms however. Over laps certain shapes, doesn?t start on the root notes, can be broken down into more shapes, etc? it can be a little overwhelming and downright confusing for a lot of beginners.

Mind you, I?m not trying to downplay the 5 forms method at all, it?s worked and works for a great deal of many players, and great ones at that. Like I said, it?s merely preference.

With that in mind. Lets get going learning these patterns.?

I know you?re sick of me talking by now, but, a couple of things you should know.

1. First and foremost. If you have never read neck paper, this is how you do it.
<ul><li>The Numbers represent your fingers. (1 = index, 2= middle, 3 = ring, 4 = pinky)
<li>You read in the same direction that you read anything else (left to right).
<li>You START at the absolute lowest note (furthest to the bottom and furthest to the left on the diagram)
<li>You read UP to the next line rather than down to the next line like in normal reading.
<li>when you get to the top of the scale, read it in reverse and come back down.</ul><br /><br />

2. The Major scale patterns presented to you in the next section are all in the key of A Major. We?re doing these in A Major and not C major for 2 reasons
<ul><li>In A Major, all the shapes line up on the neck from the lowest to highest, while presenting all the string groups right next to each other (i.e. we start with all three 6th string forms, then the one 4th string form is next, followed by the three 5th string forms.) <li>All the shapes can be moved, so therefore learning them in this fashion (in A Major) you can see more clearly how they repeat after you get to the last one. And therefore more easily move them to other keys. </ul><br /><br />

3. You?ll see in the diagrams, that they have numbers (i.e. 4.??.. 2,4.?. Or 1,2,4) written above the scale pattern

These numbers coincide with the fingers that you use on the lowest string in the scale pattern.
For example, in the first pattern you?ll see (4) above the pattern, that means the finger you begin with on the lowest string is 4 lol?? simple
Above the next pattern, you?ll see (2,4) that means, the fingers you?re starting with on the lowest string are the 2nd, then the 4th finger.
Etc??

We?ll use these at later times to designate a specific scale to play (i.e. ?play the 2,4 scale? )

4. Pay attention to what string the scale is starting on. Any given pattern is unique to the string it?s starting on. As you?ll notice, several of the scales share the same numbers above the pattern??. Like (4) (2,4) (1,2,4) in fact, as you?ll notice, those are the only 3 that you?ll see above any of the patterns, so you?ll have to know ?am I playing the 6th string (1,2,4) ? Or the 4th string (1,2,4) ??

So pay attention to what string the pattern belongs to. So, like I said before, at later times in lessons, I might say ?now, in the key of G, play the 5th string (2,4), and notice how etc.. etc..? ?.. which means you need to play THAT pattern and start it on and only on the 5th string.

5. Circled notes. The circled notes are the root notes within the scale. So in this instance, since we?re in the key of A, all the root notes are A?s. which in turn means all the circled notes are A?s.
<ul><li>The root notes are always located in the same place in a scale shape. If you move a scale shape to another area, the root note is going to be in the same exact place WITHIN that shape, as it was before.</ul><br /><br />

6.The examples will be presented to you on Neck Paper AND in Tab. Each 2 images will be the same exact scale presented in both formats. DO NOT SKIP OVER THE ONE TO GET TO THE OTHER!!
Don?t puss out and just read the tab because you?re comfy with it. If you visualize the shape as written on the neck paper it?ll absorb much better.
<ul><li>Each Tab is of the scale shape being played up and down. (just like you should practice it.) </ul><br /><br />

Where Do My Fingers Go?

The following are the 7 Forms of Major

A Major. 6th String (4)
fig. 2a
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_4_6th_Str.jpg

A Major. 6th String (4) Tabbed
fig. 2b
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_4_6th_Str_Tab.jpg

A Major. 6th String (2,4)
fig. 3a
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_24_6th_Str.jpg

A Major. 6th String (2,4) Tabbed
fig. 3b
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_24_6th_Str_Tab.jpg

A Major. 6th String (1,2,4)
fig. 4a
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_124_6th_Str.jpg

A Major. 6th String (1,2,4) Tabbed
fig. 4b
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_124_6th_Str_Tab.jpg

A Major. 4th String (1,2,4)
fig. 5a
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_124_4th_Str.jpg

(continued in next post)

casualty01
11-18-2003, 10:08 AM
A Major. 4th String (1,2,4) Tabbed
fig. 5b
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_124_4th_Str_Tab.jpg

A Major. 5th String (4)
fig. 6a
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_4_5th_Str.jpg

A Major. 5th String (4) Tabbed
fig. 6b
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_4_5th_Str_Tab.jpg

A Major. 5th String (2,4)
fig. 7a
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_24_5th_Str.jpg

A Major. 5th String (2,4) Tabbed
fig. 7b
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_24_5th_Str_Tab.jpg

A Major. 5th String (1,2,4)
fig. 8a
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_124_5th_Str.jpg

A Major. 5th String (1,2,4) Tabbed
fig. 8b
http://stw.ryerson.ca/~gmicieli/A_Major_124_5th_Str_Tab.jpg

well, there you go. The 7 Forms Of Major.

with these, you can play any Major Scale in any key anywhere on the neck. learn them, love them, appreciate them. they'll be your greatest friends.

Curtain Call

well my friends, this is the end of this weeks lesson, and again, just like the first 2 lessons, you have some assignments. ;)

1.) memorize the various definitions and explanations throughout the lesson.
<ul><li>Scale<li>Root Note<li>Basic Rule Alerts </ul><br /><br />

2.) Memorize the Major Scale Pattern
<ul><li>order of Whole and ½ Steps<li>know that there are 2 ways to learn/teach/know a Major Scale
(Intervallic and Numeric)
</ul><br /><br />

4.) Play and MEMORIZE ALL the patterns in A Major (do not play any other keys yet)
<ul><li>6th string<li>5th String<li>4th String </ul><br /><br />

5.) Write Out the A Major scale
<ul><li>on paper<li>actually write out the notes. Figure out what the notes are using the Whole Step/½ step formula.<li>Then Write it out 10 more times. GET THE NOTES MEMORIZED.</ul><br /><br />

That?s all for this week. The next lesson will continue to build upon what was presented here.
So don?t slack. Get writing, get memorizing and above all get playing.

Later On in the week I?ll be submitting a small test that you can take and PM me the answers.
You know, give you some motivation to actually learn and practice the material ;).

As with everything else I post, if there are any questions on ANY of what I?ve posted, feel free to
ask the questions here and I will answer it as soon as possible.

Cas-:peace:

The Theory has you........

casualty01
11-18-2003, 10:38 AM
p.s. I have put a diliberate mistake in one of the Tabs.

kind of a "did you really read it?" test. ;)

if anyone finds it, PM me with the answer. shouldn't be that hard if you pay attention and understand the material.

:cheers:

Cas-:peace:

ohdarn323
11-18-2003, 10:41 AM
AAAAAAHHHHHHHH

Do you have any pictures of the Neck Paper in lefty? It's so confusing to read it backwards :(

casualty01
11-18-2003, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by ohdarn323
AAAAAAHHHHHHHH

Do you have any pictures of the Neck Paper in lefty? It's so confusing to read it backwards :(

i don't have any written out now, but i'll be going to the studio later and i'll pick up some new paper for ya,

:cheers:

Cas-:peace:

ohdarn323
11-18-2003, 10:46 AM
Cheers man, that'd be really helpful :cheers:

beatallica_fan
11-18-2003, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by casualty01
p.s. I have put a diliberate mistake in one of the Tabs.

kind of a "did you really read it?" test. ;)

if anyone finds it, PM me with the answer. shouldn't be that hard if you pay attention and understand the material.

:cheers:

Cas-:peace:

I know doug, i know, lol, ;)

i recorded all the 7 positions, they can be found here A major scale (http://beatallica.dmusic.com/) along with some other oddities. Ive played them farely sedately, ideally you should use a metronome, start slowly and master all positions at slow speeds, then radually raise the tempo, i couldnt get my metronome to work on my recording software so its a bit higgeldy piggeldy.

thebassmaster
11-18-2003, 02:27 PM
im happy to say i got the error, though it took me longer than it should have

and also, brilliant lesson doug.

garett
11-18-2003, 09:16 PM
Bah, the major scale is overrated. If you actually wanna get to PLAYING your guitar instead of just prancing around bored out of your shell with all the intervalatic whole step half step E = MC wah? nonsense then just learn the minor pentatonic shape and move it around depending on the key (ie: the root of the first note played in a chord progresssion) being played by your rythm guitarist.

If you want to be especially good make sure to tell your rythm guitarist to play only powerchords so you don't have to watch out for a minor 3rd clashing with a natural 3rd when you're playing the minor pentatonic over marry had a little lamb. That one took me a while to get right.

:cheers:

Daveo
11-19-2003, 09:55 AM
^
he's lying :)

I haven't got time to look through all that right now, but I'll give it a look-see tonight. Looks pretty good.

dave

Zamboni
11-19-2003, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by garett
Bah, the major scale is overrated. If you actually wanna get to PLAYING your guitar instead of just prancing around bored out of your shell with all the intervalatic whole step half step E = MC wah? nonsense then just learn the minor pentatonic shape and move it around depending on the key (ie: the root of the first note played in a chord progresssion) being played by your rythm guitarist.

If you want to be especially good make sure to tell your rythm guitarist to play only powerchords so you don't have to watch out for a minor 3rd clashing with a natural 3rd when you're playing the minor pentatonic over marry had a little lamb. That one took me a while to get right.

:cheers:

i really hope you were joking...

beatallica_fan
11-20-2003, 04:41 AM
Yeah hes joking, hilarious, :rolleyes:

Slurgi
11-20-2003, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by garett
Bah, the major scale is overrated. If you actually wanna get to PLAYING your guitar instead of just prancing around bored out of your shell with all the intervalatic whole step half step E = MC wah? nonsense then just learn the minor pentatonic shape and move it around depending on the key (ie: the root of the first note played in a chord progresssion) being played by your rythm guitarist.

If you want to be especially good make sure to tell your rythm guitarist to play only powerchords so you don't have to watch out for a minor 3rd clashing with a natural 3rd when you're playing the minor pentatonic over marry had a little lamb. That one took me a while to get right.

:cheers:

Hah... garett you are an odd-ball :)

And i agree man, i think we should all just go back to minor pentatonics and power-chords! If it sounds bad just turn the distortion up until the notes are so muffled that they arent even 'notes' any more, just noise! :P

beatallica_fan
11-21-2003, 07:24 AM
jesus christ people you go on for ages about when Cas is gonna post another lesson. Then he comes up with this fab lesson, with tabs and neck diagrams and yet gars 'comedy' post gets ore responses. I imagine it will be a good few months before the next lesson after this rather underwhelming response.

Slurgi
11-21-2003, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by beatallica_fan
jesus christ people you go on for ages about when Cas is gonna post another lesson. Then he comes up with this fab lesson, with tabs and neck diagrams and yet gars 'comedy' post gets ore responses. I imagine it will be a good few months before the next lesson after this rather underwhelming response.

Well... what was i supposed to say to cas? It was a great lesson... thankfully most of which i had a good grasp of.

I didnt have any questions or anything... i just found garetts post funny.

So, for the record, your theory posts are VERY useful Cas... :)

Also, i have read and appreciated all the theory lessons. Including yours, beat, about reharmonization (although i didnt entirely understand it...) that was in the "best threads" section.

So, :cheers: to all those helping out the little guy :)

beatallica_fan
11-21-2003, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by Slurgi
Well... what was i supposed to say to cas? It was a great lesson... thankfully most of which i had a good grasp of.

I didnt have any questions or anything... i just found garetts post funny.

So, for the record, your theory posts are VERY useful Cas... :)

Also, i have read and appreciated all the theory lessons. Including yours, beat, about reharmonization (although i didnt entirely understand it...) that was in the "best threads" section.

So, :cheers: to all those helping out the little guy :)

youd be surprised what a difference simply posting saying it was a good lesson and you found it useful can help. I always appreciate critiques of my lessons, so if you didnt understand something in my reharmonisation thread you should have posted and i possibly couldve helped, because chances are if you dont get it, a lot of others are struggling as well. All im saying is it can be slightly demoralising spending a good few hours doing stuff like this and then have them stickied at the top of a forum with barely a reply.

Slurgi
11-21-2003, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by beatallica_fan
youd be surprised what a difference simply posting saying it was a good lesson and you found it useful can help. I always appreciate critiques of my lessons, so if you didnt understand something in my reharmonisation thread you should have posted and i possibly couldve helped, because chances are if you dont get it, a lot of others are struggling as well. All im saying is it can be slightly demoralising spending a good few hours doing stuff like this and then have them stickied at the top of a forum with barely a reply.

Yea, i imagine.

I only saw your thread in the archives though, i dont ever remember seeing it here :(

(I dont think i was even around yet... Hey, i may not have even had a guitar yet...)

Daveo
11-21-2003, 08:18 PM
Maybe some threads in the archves should be opened......hmmm.....I mean, leave the pic thread closed, but threads like these lessons could maybe be left opened and monitored for spam. It's an idea.....but a bit risky....

dave

Snyper
11-21-2003, 08:48 PM
if the pictures do not appear, wait an hour, or possibly a day
i'm letting cas use my webspace at my school to host the pics, i got no clue what the bandwidth limit is, so if they're not there, just wait
:cheers:

cold_static544
11-22-2003, 10:39 AM
Way cool lesson cas............way cool......

:cheers:

NicktheGreek
11-26-2003, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by ohdarn323
AAAAAAHHHHHHHH

Do you have any pictures of the Neck Paper in lefty? It's so confusing to read it backwards :(

Yeah, same here! Us lefties are always forgotten.... :(

Btw fantastic lesson Cas.......

redwing_suck
11-30-2003, 02:01 AM
que bueno cas, que bueno.

this has made me brush up on those minor little parts we all need to know.

and i also loved garret's complete mock in satire form of those "musicians" who play them powerchords for a living.

redwing:cheers:

12-08-2003, 09:56 AM
Very good lesson cas, and I could not stop laughing at poor little johnny...dumb bastard :haha

~Andrew :bounce:

Snyper
12-12-2003, 06:53 PM
its been a bit past 2 weeks mr.cas ;)
:cheers:

casualty01
12-12-2003, 07:26 PM
oh, good.. you wanna be a dick? fine. then you can help me grade the rest of these tests.

ass.......

Cas-:peace:

casualty01
12-13-2003, 03:56 PM
*moved to archive forum*

Cas-:peace: