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Old 02-07-2013, 06:38 AM   #1
rutle_me_this
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Learning HOW To Use Scales ... looking for book/DVD recommendations

Hi. I'm a new member. Briefly, I know the Major Scale, Minor Scale, Major Pentatonic and Minor Pentatonic Scales, and Blues Scale. I learned them up and down the fretboard.

But I don't know HOW TO USE the them.

Is there a good course (book/DVD) that teaches HOW to use the different kinds of scales over chord progressions?

Thank you

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Old 02-07-2013, 11:50 AM   #2
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To start : There are a lot of good lessons on youtube about this subject.

Second: Learn licks and solos from other guitarist. Take for example Angus Young from AC/DC.
Almost all his solo's are written in the pentatonic scale. To make it sound interesting he does little sale runs and uses all kind of tecniques, like bending, vibrato and slides.

And the final tip: Improvise. Improvise alot. If you did the second step well, you're able to play a little in the style of the guitarist you researched. Now it's time to make it your own! Ad little thinks and think up other licks. If you like it you could use a backingtrack.

Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sn@il!
To start : There are a lot of good lessons on youtube about this subject.

Second: Learn licks and solos from other guitarist. Take for example Angus Young from AC/DC.
Almost all his solo's are written in the pentatonic scale. To make it sound interesting he does little sale runs and uses all kind of tecniques, like bending, vibrato and slides.

And the final tip: Improvise. Improvise alot. If you did the second step well, you're able to play a little in the style of the guitarist you researched. Now it's time to make it your own! Ad little thinks and think up other licks. If you like it you could use a backingtrack.

Good luck!

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Old 02-07-2013, 04:11 PM   #4
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The ONLY way to learn how music works is to learn music (especially by ear). Scales and theory are just a way to explain what you're hearing.

God, I feel like a broken record.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:52 PM   #5
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TS, why did you start learning scales? What was your goal? Was it just for the sake of learning scales or something else?

Scales help you play some licks. They aren't random notes any more, the notes belong to a scale. So it's easier to play that lick. Also, it helps you when you want to play solos/write your own music. You might notice that if you come up with a melody in your head, the notes belong to a certain scale and it's much easier to find the melody on the fretboard. Scales kind of help you visualize the fretboard easier. They aren't just random frets any more.

But what you really need to do is to train your ear and learn about keys and harmony. When you recognize the key the song/chord progression belongs to, you know what scale you could use. For example if the key was C major, you would most likely use C major scale. Of course you need to learn to listen to the harmony behind your solo and you need to learn about consonance and dissonance (which notes fit the chords you are playing over well and which don't). But this all has to do with ear training. You need to listen to what you are playing and what you want to play, not just run up and down the scales randomly.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #6
Sean0913
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To answer that question, I think its good to note that you have only half of the picture.

There are three ways/phases that I generally see musicians come to learn HOW to use the scales they know.

The first is they dink about with them. They get some jam tracks and find their starting point of the scale, match things up (Jam track in A Minor, starting point on the neck A Pent Minor) and start playing and learning how their pitches sound against the backing track.

The second is they learn more about keys, and Diatonic harmony, and add Minor scales, Major scales, and they somewhat start to hear that sometimes there are off notes that you dont want to sit on and they further use their ear, and use scales to carpetbomb the progression, not really understanding how to control what they say, only how to make it passable and work.

The third is they start to learn and integrate theory into their playing so they can actually see scales and chords and such as notes that cause tension and notes that resolve tension. They also learn the value of chord tone soloing so that they can intentionally play within the chords as they change, so their playing sounds, and is, tighter. This can change your typical A Blues scale for example when it switches to the IV chord and the player can add the F# note and sound like a boss, for that chord, where the F# accents the major 3rd of the IV chord. Yes this requires some theory and knowledge. There are a few resources out there that "teach" it but in my opinion are lacking in areas:

Chord Tone Soloing by MI Press
Sweet Notes, from Robbie Calvo - off TrueFire - a Video series that will show you some ideas, vbut leave it to you to assemble your own theory. In my opinion, both resources are dumbed down.
Or you could get some theory and advanced lessons from a local teacher, class, or even online, if you don't have anyone local.

I don't know of any progressive methods taught from books. We do teach it at our site, and I suppose an online school like Berklee (costing thousands) might get you there as well. Self study is another option, except you have to be both teacher and student and hope you're doing it right.

Best,

Sean
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:22 PM   #7
rutle_me_this
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean0913
Chord Tone Soloing by MI Press
Sweet Notes, from Robbie Calvo - off TrueFire - a Video series that will show you some ideas, vbut leave it to you to assemble your own theory. In my opinion, both resources are dumbed down.
Or you could get some theory and advanced lessons from a local teacher, class, or even online, if you don't have anyone local.


I realize that pure memorization of scales is insufficient and I want to get beyond that. I'm just looking for some general rules, methods "to get started" ... as a sort of launching pad. I just feel more comfortable first learning things from a book, and then "taking off" from there.

You suggested Chord Tone Soloing by Barrett Tagliarino. That's one of four books/CDs of the hundreds that came up in a search I did online that seemed like it might be helpful.

There were three others that came up that looked interesting too but they offer no sample pages, though they got high recommendations in the comments sections from people who had bought and used them. Do you know anything about these three, so far as being helpful in "starting me out" and guiding me:

Guitarist's Guide To Scales Over Chords-The Foundation Of Melodic Guitar Soloing (Book & CD) by Chad Johnson

Scales Over Chords (Book and CD) by Wilbur Savidge

Contemporary Guitar Improvisation (Book and CD) by Mark Silver


thanks
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:30 PM   #8
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So... What do you know about functional harmony?
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The Byzantine scale was useful until the Ottoman scale came around and totally annihilated it.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by EmilGD
So... What do you know about functional harmony?


I had a couple of years of lessons where I learned my open chords, barre chords, how to read music. After I stopped, I went back to the guitar a few years later and read books to learn more theory: Peter Vogl's "The Guitarist Music Theory Book" and the sections 'The Melodic Guitarist' and 'The Harmonic Guitarist' in Ralph Denyer's "The Guitar Handbook." Then I learned the scales up and down the fretboard using the CAGED system. Then I stopped again for a while. A few months ago I started going back to the guitar, and was playing songs from anthology books (rock and pop groups, artists) and was also practicing my scales up and down the fretboard. And I realized I don't really know how to apply the scales (except that I could just rely on the pentatonic to get by) and I felt I was cheating myself, that having mere memorization of the major and minor scales is pointless and that I should learn how to actually use them over chord progressions.

So I still consider myself a beginner. I feel in the dark right now.

And that sums up where I'm at. (And having only some theory, I don't always get the argot. So you'd probably have to specify what you mean by "functional harmony" if what I summed up above didn't answer your question.)

edit: I mean, I know about intervals, I know the step patterns for scales, how to build chords from scales, the primary and secondary chords, and that's about where I'm at so far as theory.

Last edited by rutle_me_this : 02-08-2013 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:16 PM   #10
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Then I'll go ahead and recommend that you look at learning functional harmony before you ponder deeper into the world of scales, because I believe it will be much more useful to you - you might even find scales obsolete eventually.

I don't really know what's the "best" source in terms of book or sites. The lessons at musictheory.net is decent though, so have a look at those.

Maybe something here: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...d.php?t=1546858
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:58 PM   #11
rutle_me_this
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilGD
Then I'll go ahead and recommend that you look at learning functional harmony before you ponder deeper into the world of scales, because I believe it will be much more useful to you - you might even find scales obsolete eventually.

I don't really know what's the "best" source in terms of book or sites. The lessons at musictheory.net is decent though, so have a look at those.

Maybe something here: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...d.php?t=1546858


So I'm going to infer that by functional harmony we're talking about integrating chords and scales, that is, tying together what presently -- at my stage of understanding -- are the seemingly disparate pieces of theory I learned.

And thanks for the link ... I see lots of material to explore.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:16 PM   #12
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Functional harmony is basically how sounds interact with each other to create and resolve tension.
A scale is a collection of intervals.

The former offers possibly endless amounts of interesting studies, guided by your own desires.
The latter might seem magical to a beginner, but in the long term tends to be more limiting than helpful.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:52 PM   #13
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Musictheory.net is a GREAT source to get the basics down and fill in the gaps. Easy to read, navigate, and it proceeds in a logical sequence. I appreciated music more once I understood how it really work scientifically and why a perfect fifth sounds like it is vs a tritone. What to go for and what to avoid in the intervals of music will help. Next step is to see how it all relates on the fretboard. Like knowing that the guitar is tuned in perfect fourths, with an except of a major third for the B and G strings. That's why you learn those patterns. They map your scales.

Part of the art of music is imitating with others do and making it your own. Study other people's music and try to replicate that without tab.

Most of all listen very hard and concentrate on small parts of songs to train that ear.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:59 AM   #14
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If you have one of Apple's iDevices, I recommend an app called " iReal B ". It is a rather comprehensive yet easy to learn app designed around chord charts - tons available for free or just put in your own(whatever chords you want). The basic app cost me $7.99 but the add-on for a few more dollars that you'd want is the scales. For every chord that plays in your chart- an appropriate scale will display and you can even stop and peruse other scales that will go with that chord. As far as which scale to play with what chords, this is an excellent learning tool. This app has a ton of other features but I'm only focusing on your question. I can't remember if it is made for Android and desktop as well, I do not work for the company that sells it but it is worthy of checking out and for the price of a book on scales and modes - it's a good bargain as it also provides some decent jam along capabilities.

Hope this helps, stranger and enjoy learning.

teo22
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teo22
To Ruttle Me This

If you have one of Apple's iDevices, I recommend an app called " iReal B ". It is a rather comprehensive yet easy to learn app designed around chord charts - tons available for free or just put in your own(whatever chords you want). The basic app cost me $7.99 but the add-on for a few more dollars that you'd want is the scales. For every chord that plays in your chart- an appropriate scale will display and you can even stop and peruse other scales that will go with that chord. As far as which scale to play with what chords, this is an excellent learning tool. This app has a ton of other features but I'm only focusing on your question. I can't remember if it is made for Android and desktop as well, I do not work for the company that sells it but it is worthy of checking out and for the price of a book on scales and modes - it's a good bargain as it also provides some decent jam along capabilities.

Hope this helps, stranger and enjoy learning.

teo22

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Old 02-10-2013, 01:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teo22
If you have one of Apple's iDevices, I recommend an app called " iReal B ". It is a rather comprehensive yet easy to learn app designed around chord charts - tons available for free or just put in your own(whatever chords you want). The basic app cost me $7.99 but the add-on for a few more dollars that you'd want is the scales.


let me get this straight -- you mean people actually pay for a cheat for stuff that skilled musicians are expected to know offhand?

i think it's funny how often people try and get away with "resources" like this, think they're improving, and consider themselves even remotely knowledgeable about their craft.

but what's sad is that i've never seen anybody with any degree of success rely on anything like this, except as a learning tool (i.e. if you've never seen or heard of scales or chords before), and even then there are far better ways to learn your stuff. and still more and more people take this route.

you guys are welcome to disregard what i'm saying, but keep this in mind: i've proven myself to be extremely knowledgeable and capable in my craft, and i don't need (or even advocate the use of) a scale or chord chart. does it really make sense to go against the advice of someone with proven results (and to replace it with a cheap substitute for the skills you are expected to possess)?
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:05 PM   #17
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I'd buy an AeolianWolf app any day
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The Byzantine scale was useful until the Ottoman scale came around and totally annihilated it.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teo22
To Ruttle Me This

If you have one of Apple's iDevices, I recommend an app called " iReal B ". It is a rather comprehensive yet easy to learn app designed around chord charts - tons available for free or just put in your own(whatever chords you want). The basic app cost me $7.99 but the add-on for a few more dollars that you'd want is the scales. For every chord that plays in your chart- an appropriate scale will display and you can even stop and peruse other scales that will go with that chord. As far as which scale to play with what chords, this is an excellent learning tool. This app has a ton of other features but I'm only focusing on your question. I can't remember if it is made for Android and desktop as well, I do not work for the company that sells it but it is worthy of checking out and for the price of a book on scales and modes - it's a good bargain as it also provides some decent jam along capabilities.

Hope this helps, stranger and enjoy learning.

teo22

Wow, just... wow.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:51 PM   #19
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I'd buy an AeolianWolf app any day


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the only app i could ever write that would get anyone results would just be a giant red screen with the words "practice and study, you worthless shit"

you'll hate me but you'll become damn good at what you do

i know this because i hate me but i'm damn good at what i do
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:26 PM   #20
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If you wanna learn how to use scales.

1. Put on a song/backing track
2. Listen
3. Play

Don't just try to play a million notes a second because that will get you nowhere.
Don't just fiddle around with the scale because that will get you nowhere either.
Make MUSIC with the scale. Every scale sounds different. Every scale has a different emotional effect on a listener. Every chord tone and tension has an effect over a given chord.

Either what you played sounded like crap or it didn't. If it sounded like crap analyze what you did and figure out why it sounded like crap.

If you are thinking about where you are on the fretboard then you are doing it WRONG.
One of the greatest improvisers by the name of Guthrie Govan once said that when he improvises the fretboard becomes transparent.

What you can improvise is limited by your idea of what your ear believes to be possible on a guitar.

The only practice you need is training your ear to hear what is wrong and what is right and developing a technique that can play everything you need it to.
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