Suttam
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2009
468 IQ
#1
Hi there, guys!


I have a question for you all, which is about playing scales on guitar. I know the concept of scales and intervals and how they use notes that fits into your playing when playing over chords and so. But I'm a bit confused on how to learn to apply these over the fretboard.


How do you learn scales properly? Should I make up shapes from the notes of each individual scale and just play these as I like, or should I learn the formulas of the scales and play them from the root note?


Are there any ways to divide and conquer this mess of notes?
steven seagull
not really a seagull
Join date: Oct 2006
1,064 IQ
#2
You should listen
Actually called Mark!

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skilly1
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2008
2,031 IQ
#3
Learn the minor pentatonic scale in A to start with, then apply the same patterns in any key...
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
191 IQ
#4
Quote by Suttam

How do you learn scales properly? Should I make up shapes from the notes of each individual scale and just play these as I like, or should I learn the formulas of the scales and play them from the root note?


Your long term goal is to be able to make music with these scales.

Most people start with some sort of "shape" on the fretboard. However, it's very important to note that you don't just "play them as you like," - all notes in a scale are not created equal. They all do different things - they all are words with different meanings, so to speak.

So it's fine if you learn them as box shapes so long as you work on your ear and develop your ability to hear the relationship of each individual note to the tonal center.
King Of Suede
UG's Unicycling Bassist
Join date: Mar 2007
873 IQ
#5
Quote by steven seagull
You should listen

Not sure what you're trying to say with this reply. But thanks for contributing?

To the OP:
Sure, write up shapes. But know the relationships between the notes and which notes they are. You don't want to be stuck in the "I'm playing in A, so I'm going to put my 1st finger on the 5th fret and that is where I will be."

You want to be able to play the scales up and back using any combination of notes on a string.
For the sake of not writing up tabs to show you... You should be able to play an A scale with 3 notes on the E string, 3 notes on the A string and 2 notes on the D string (3, 3, 2) Then be able to play 4, 4, 1. Maybe even all 8 on the E string. Then all 8 on the A string.
You see what I'm saying?

Don't get stuck in one position, thats what makes players scale grinders and stops them from making music. Being able to see the whole fretboard as a way to use the notes of a scale rather than some 1 or 2 octave locked-in position is what helps you to see things differently and create music. Learning scales the way I described is just one way to do just that.
Quote by Banjocal
sht up u flthy librl foogit stfu u soo mad n butthurdt ur ass is an analpocolypse cuz ur so gay "my ass hrts so mcuh" - u. your rectally vexed n anlly angushed lolo go bck 2 asslnd lolol
Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
288 IQ
#6
Quote by Suttam
How do you learn scales properly? Should I make up shapes from the notes of each individual scale and just play these as I like, or should I learn the formulas of the scales and play them from the root note?
Every scale makes a "shape" on the fret board. But if you move the shape up or down, the "scale" is in a different key.

So, the mistake that many people make, is only learning the scale "shape". It's a shortcut that can spell disaster for an overarching fluent understanding of music.

If say I , (arbitrarily), wanted to learn the scale for the key of E major, I could only learn the "shape" in a given position, and I suppose, get away with it. But, I should learn the name of the notes in the key, the names of every note under every finger in the shape, and how to recognize the "key signature", on a written piece of music.

Delve into basic musical theory, by learning the chromatic scale, the note spacing patterns for forming a major or minor key, why a note is termed sharp or flat, and what chords are generated by the scale.

The easiest way to learn a key, is to start from the root, and go with the "do, re, mi, fa ,so, la, ti, do. But, keep in mind every key has a relative minor, and its scale starts on the 6th note of the major scale. Musical melodies don't always simply encompass, "do to do", but can start, and possibly end, on any note within the key. So, if you know the names of notes in the key, you could start on any note in the key, and end on, or extend to any octave of the key, not just the basic shape of a scale.

Training by playing "shapes" attends to the physical side of playing, and it shouldn't be disregarded. But, when you know the names of the notes on the board, and the notes of the key you're playing, you won't be forced into playing shapes, you can play all over the fret board, and know why you're doing it.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Oct 20, 2012,
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
3,411 IQ
#7
^ I don't think it's necessary to know the names of the notes but you have to know how different notes sound. On guitar it's easier to think: "I put my fingers here and it sounds like this." I mean, of course you must know the intervals but the note names aren't necessary for improvisation. When you play fast, you can't think in note names. Of course you must know the note names when you play chords, but when you improvise... It's more important to know what sound you get when you fret a note. And by playing scale shapes and listening at the same time makes you remember different sounds easier.

You will always play in a scale "shape" even though you weren't thinking it as a shape. They are just the easiest positions to find the notes.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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metalmetalhead
Panterica
Join date: May 2007
517 IQ
#8
I use the mode patterns to navigate. Theres 7 patterns they span the whole fret board. All 5 pentoinc patterns are there. just take out the B and F =M2 & m6 you get pentonic minor. arpeggiating chords in these scales really helped me navigate better.

A B C D E F G A
B C D E F G A B
C D E F G A B C and so on very simple easy to remember.

this can be applied to any key

And its very helpful once you've learned all the note names.
Last edited by metalmetalhead at Oct 20, 2012,
Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
431 IQ
#9
Quote by King Of Suede
Not sure what you're trying to say with this reply.


he's saying

Sure, write up shapes. But know the relationships between the notes and which notes they are. You don't want to be stuck in the "I'm playing in A, so I'm going to put my 1st finger on the 5th fret and that is where I will be."

You want to be able to play the scales up and back using any combination of notes on a string.
For the sake of not writing up tabs to show you... You should be able to play an A scale with 3 notes on the E string, 3 notes on the A string and 2 notes on the D string (3, 3, 2) Then be able to play 4, 4, 1. Maybe even all 8 on the E string. Then all 8 on the A string.
You see what I'm saying?

Don't get stuck in one position, thats what makes players scale grinders and stops them from making music. Being able to see the whole fretboard as a way to use the notes of a scale rather than some 1 or 2 octave locked-in position is what helps you to see things differently and create music. Learning scales the way I described is just one way to do just that.
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King Of Suede
UG's Unicycling Bassist
Join date: Mar 2007
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#10
No. You said that. He made a snarky 3 word reply to someone who was asking a legitimate question and contributed nothing to the thread.
Quote by Banjocal
sht up u flthy librl foogit stfu u soo mad n butthurdt ur ass is an analpocolypse cuz ur so gay "my ass hrts so mcuh" - u. your rectally vexed n anlly angushed lolo go bck 2 asslnd lolol
Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
288 IQ
#12
Quote by King Of Suede
No. You said that. He made a snarky 3 word reply to someone who was asking a legitimate question and contributed nothing to the thread.
Are you even allowed to use the term,
"snarky, 3 word reply"
in reference to a moderator?
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
3,411 IQ
#13
Quote by King Of Suede
No. You said that. He made a snarky 3 word reply to someone who was asking a legitimate question and contributed nothing to the thread.

Actually "You should listen" is the correct answer to the question. By listening to the notes you play you'll learn to use them well. If you have no idea about how different notes sound, you really can't play what you hear in your head.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Yamaha FG720S-12
Tokai TB48
Laney VC30
Hartke HyDrive 210c
King Of Suede
UG's Unicycling Bassist
Join date: Mar 2007
873 IQ
#14
Sure, that works if you're able to learn in a vacuum.

But for normal people, learning scales helps to center around the "right" notes and gives a launching point into what you're talking about.
Quote by Banjocal
sht up u flthy librl foogit stfu u soo mad n butthurdt ur ass is an analpocolypse cuz ur so gay "my ass hrts so mcuh" - u. your rectally vexed n anlly angushed lolo go bck 2 asslnd lolol
steven seagull
not really a seagull
Join date: Oct 2006
1,064 IQ
#15
Quote by King Of Suede
No. You said that. He made a snarky 3 word reply to someone who was asking a legitimate question and contributed nothing to the thread.

It was an efficient reply, aimed at getting the thread starter to look at what he was doing and try to identify his mistakes for himself... If someone is struggling with scales but only references shapes and formulas but doesn't once mention sound it's pretty clear where the problem lies - too much reading, too much playing, not enough listening. However I find there's much more of a sense of achievement of you manage to answer your own question after a bit of gentle prodding rather than have someone spoon feed you an answer.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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Hydra150
cutebutt mcsexyface
Join date: Nov 2006
1,793 IQ
#16
Quote by :-D
who declared you the king of suede anyway

I know man. The Kind of suede is clearly Mr Perkins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zDUGc6YB6E
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
431 IQ
#18
hey suede you need to change your name it's causing discussion that's irrelevant to the thread and useless
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Hail killed MT

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I want to be Hail when I grow up.
jazz_rock_feel
UG Resident
Join date: Jun 2006
2,342 IQ
#19
I always read his name as Kind of Suede, and that opens up a whole new can of worms. Is he a different type of suede, or is he sort of like suede, you just don't know.
Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
431 IQ
#20
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I always read his name as Kind of Suede, and that opens up a whole new can of worms. Is he a different type of suede, or is he sort of like suede, you just don't know.


like pleather?

puede?
Quote by theogonia777
Hail killed MT

Quote by jongtr
I want to be Hail when I grow up.
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
3,411 IQ
#21
Quote by King Of Suede
Sure, that works if you're able to learn in a vacuum.

But for normal people, learning scales helps to center around the "right" notes and gives a launching point into what you're talking about.

You should listen when you play those scale "shapes", not just play them up and down. That's the main point. You learn the "right" notes and also how they sound like. That way you won't end up just pointlessly running the scale up and down.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Ibanez Blazer
Yamaha FG720S-12
Tokai TB48
Laney VC30
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
431 IQ
#23
Quote by metalmetalhead
I use scales, You should learn scales. If you don't know scales your prolly not very good..


Quote by theogonia777
Hail killed MT

Quote by jongtr
I want to be Hail when I grow up.
Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
288 IQ
#25
Quote by metalmetalhead
I use scales, You should learn scales. If you don't know scales your prolly not very good..
If you can't spell, "probably", you're prolly not any good...
King Of Suede
UG's Unicycling Bassist
Join date: Mar 2007
873 IQ
#27
Quote by MaggaraMarine
You should listen when you play those scale "shapes", not just play them up and down. That's the main point. You learn the "right" notes and also how they sound like. That way you won't end up just pointlessly running the scale up and down.

Ok. Point being, that is a more adequate and helpful response than 3 words that give hardly any sense of direction.
Words are good. Use them to convey your ideas and opinions.
If someone asks me for directions and I say "That way" and point, that's not nearly as helpful as "Down this road about a quarter mile on your right. There's a blue sign in front."

Get it?
Quote by Banjocal
sht up u flthy librl foogit stfu u soo mad n butthurdt ur ass is an analpocolypse cuz ur so gay "my ass hrts so mcuh" - u. your rectally vexed n anlly angushed lolo go bck 2 asslnd lolol
macashmack
Maskcashmack
Join date: May 2011
3,359 IQ
#28
Why does other post have to be derailed into an argument in these forums?
King Of Suede
UG's Unicycling Bassist
Join date: Mar 2007
873 IQ
#29
At least this is a some-what on topic argument as opposed to the posts made concerning my name like 10 posts above e.o
Quote by Banjocal
sht up u flthy librl foogit stfu u soo mad n butthurdt ur ass is an analpocolypse cuz ur so gay "my ass hrts so mcuh" - u. your rectally vexed n anlly angushed lolo go bck 2 asslnd lolol
Last edited by King Of Suede at Oct 21, 2012,
Hydra150
cutebutt mcsexyface
Join date: Nov 2006
1,793 IQ
#30
Quote by King Of Suede
on the last page e.o

now we have to have an argument about how you don't use 40ppp and therefore your opinions are inferior
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
431 IQ
#32
yeah go live in your state with your potential voter id laws and ratchet ass chocolate you stinky
Quote by theogonia777
Hail killed MT

Quote by jongtr
I want to be Hail when I grow up.
steven seagull
not really a seagull
Join date: Oct 2006
1,064 IQ
#33
Quote by King Of Suede
Ok. Point being, that is a more adequate and helpful response than 3 words that give hardly any sense of direction.
Words are good. Use them to convey your ideas and opinions.
If someone asks me for directions and I say "That way" and point, that's not nearly as helpful as "Down this road about a quarter mile on your right. There's a blue sign in front."

Get it?

Here's the clever thing about forums...if you ask a question and don't fully understand a reply you get, you can actually ask ANOTHER question. If this happens a few times then it becomes what we call a discussion whereby posts are traded back and forth on the subject in question.

The threadstarter may have read my post and had an epiphany, realising "shit, y'know in amongst all this theory I haven't really been listening to what it is I'm trying to learn, and that's the whole point of this exercise isn't it...learning to recognise, classify and ultimately recall the sounds I'm trying to use when I play"

Equally he may not have, in which case he could have posted asking for clarification, and myself and others would have continued gently nudging him towards discovering the answer to his question.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
91RG350
At least Microsoft cared
Join date: May 2011
281 IQ
#34
Quote by steven seagull
.....The threadstarter may have read my post and had an epiphany......

True...he may have.... or he may have thought; "Wow thanks a bunch for that putdown"

Gotta side with Prince of Flannel or whatever-his-name-is here..... the original reply could have included another sentence or two so that TS would be statistically more likely to reach said epiphany..and thats said with a great deal of respect Seagull....

...and it comes mainly from having to answer the same questions over and over again mate...so I'm not invoking the curse of the mummys tomb on you...
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.