#1
Hi there, Ive been playing guitar for a long time but never paid attention to theory because I had this notion that scales are meant for people who like to solo and want to speed up their hands. Over time I knew that was wrong and i'm looking to improve my playing. I'm not sure what scales to start with but I read an article here that said i should start with ones that are used in my musical style.
 

I feel in love with music truly after discovering nu metal, I know but it was fire man if you grew up to that. I've always been inlove with that sound and it really moves me still. Ive never liked soloing, ive never really "got it" and it was only until recent years that I've started to appreciate bands like Pearl Jam, Beatles, but still haven't reached a level where I can appreciate bands like Led Zepellin and such. 

These days my genre is more post-grunge and folk. My music style is I'd say somewhat like Tremonti without using open tunings. He always has that one chord where it's just like wow and his plucking is great too. I really like riffs by Sevendust and A Perfect Circle stuff. My favourite band is Revis and that would surmise the sound/style I love. Revis only had one album and to me it was the perfect album. 

I'd like to know what scales I should focus on to open up my post-grunge style writing and possibly also help with indie folk writing.

Thank you for reading
#2
Not sure I complete understand the question but the most commonly scale for popular music (except for jazz) is the minor pentatonic scale. There are five shape (excluding three notes per string) and shape number 1 is the most common used one. You'll find them all here: http://www.stuartbahn.com/free-stuff/scales-pentatonics-and-blues/

In terms of songwriting, learning about the chords found within the major scale is the first area to cover. It's not that the styles you mention operate exclusively within major scales - they don't - but *a lot* of music is underpinned by the basic relationships found within major scale harmony. Learning about minor harmony is important too, but it's a bit more complicated than major (because it tends to straddle two different minor scales) so starting with major is the right first step.

Really getting a teacher to cover this would be the best approach, but there are other approaches. I talk a little but about this in this article: http://www.stuartbahn.com/why-learn-music-theory/
#3
1) C major scale - you need to start there.  Learn the actual notes and learn the shape.  Learn the interval names ( major third, 5th etc.) - everything flows from that. learn the scale harmonized in triads ( i.e. one chord per note) and learn how progressions are named in relation to that using the roman numerla system ( II,V,I etc.) - this will help you analyse chord progressions.
2) A minor scale - same.
3)  A Minor pentatonic.
4) A minor blues scale

You need those basic scales as a foundation.  After that, given the styles you mentioned, I would suggest:

4) Dorian mode
5) Phrygian  mode
6) Harmonic Minor scale
7) Mixolydian mode
8) Lydian mode

Grunge often involves playing the note next to the one that normally works - Nirvana does this all the time.  It creates dissonance - so instead of playing the usual chord that sounds pretty ( according to one of these scales), you play chord one fret over. 
#4
StuartBahn reverb66 thanks for the info. Sorry if it's not clear my post but my limited knowledge makes it difficult to explain I guess. Will check out the links and start with the C major.
#6
C major is essentially all the white keys on a piano. Whole notes. No sharps or flats. Minor is really just a mode of major so A minor is exactly the same notes.

My problem with most music theory lessons is that it's really taught from the perspective of piano rather than guitar. On guitar, once you know one major scale you pretty much know them all. Just shift evething up and down the neck. Only exception is open strings. Memorizing which notes in the scale are flat or sharp is essential on piano cause that means you're hitting the black keys. From a guitar perspective it's pretty useless IMHO.
#7
Quote by risingforce1
On guitar, once you know one major scale you pretty much know them all. Just shift evething up and down the neck. Only exception is open strings. Memorizing which notes in the scale are flat or sharp is essential on piano cause that means you're hitting the black keys. From a guitar perspective it's pretty useless IMHO.

This is not good advice. You should learn the notes; that's the point of learning the scales in the first place. Failing to learn the notes means there's a good chance you're playing the wrong ones, and that you also have a really hard time dealing with non-diatonic chord changes. What's the point of doing all the work to memorize and practice those patterns if you don't even know what notes you're playing? It's not much more effort to get a ton of useful information out of the process.

In my experience "box shape" players are terrible. Melodies tend to all sound a like, they don't know which scale is actually appropriate, or which notes in the scale they need to use over which chords. There are a lot of people out there who are just playing the minor pentatonic over literally everything because they learned a box shape once and it sounded cool over some Jimi Hendrix song. I can't tell you how many amateur blues players stay on the 12th position Em pentatonic pattern and not even mix it up for the V.

Further, the tendency to remain in a single root position pattern means there is no need to develop the technique that would allow full use of the fretboard. That basic technical ability is only possible if you actually practice stuff all over the fretboard and know what you're playing. Getting the best tone out of every note requires moving up and down the fretboard, and that takes practiced technique.

This stuff is worth doing right. It's not much more effort, and if you can do it all at once you'll have actual really cool music within your grasp and will never have to deal with the frustration of not knowing what you're doing.
#8
cdgraves
You're probably right. I fall into this category myself. I did practice ALL the box shapes of minor pantatonic though so I don't stay in a single box shape and like having the freedom to move all over the fretboard but I did get into a rut where evething sounded the same. I need to get back into practicing scales again.
#9
I would suggest learning about major and minor keys. Most music can be explained with major and minor keys + accidentals.

What I mean with major and minor keys is of course major and minor scales, but also tension and resolution, intervals/scale degrees/scale construction and chord functions. Minor key also includes all the "different" minor scales (i.e., natural, harmonic and melodic minor, but I would call them different ways the minor key behaves rather than different scales - they are more like variations of the same thing rather than separate concepts).

I would say start with the major key first.

And if you want a scale, minor and major pentatonic are good starting points. They are useful scales because they will work over pretty much anything (they sound pretty "neutral" because they lack the tension that the half steps in diatonic scales create). Also, after you have learned the major and minor pentatonic scales, it's really not difficult to learn the full major and minor scales because you just need to add two notes to the major/minor pentatonic and it becomes the major/minor scale.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#11
I've been practicing well sort of. Tbh, im not sure what I'm doing. I practiced the C pentatonic which starts at 8th fret of the 6th string? Anyway it's pretty easy so is the E minor pentatonic but what do I do with it? I feel like my process of learning is wrong. Are there any good YouTubers that give a thorough lessons you guys can recommend? Something ain't right with my process.
#12
Scales are a way of navigating on the fretboard. If you play a song that is in the key of C for example, it's a lot easier to find the notes that you are looking for if you know where the notes of C major scale are located on the fretboard. The point is to have some kind of a reference point, even if you are not going to strictly stick with the notes in the scale. And this is why knowing scales is good.

You also need to understand scales if you want to learn some theory. They are a pretty basic concept. If you know the sound of different scale, it's also much easier to figure out melodies by ear.

And when it comes to playing music, scales are used in all music. For example if there is a solo that you are learning, it is much easier to understand the note choice if you know scales (well, understanding the relationship between the chords and the notes played in the solo also helps). It is also much easier to learn to play some fast runs because they are most of the time based on a scale.

So scales are about fretboard navigation, theory and muscle memory.

But yeah... I wouldn't really suggest learning scales for the sake of learning scales. You want to have a reason to learn them. Do you want to learn some theory? Do you want to learn to play by ear? Do you want to have a good knowledge of the fretboard? Do you want to improve your technique (you can use scales for this too, though I don't think the point of scales is to be a technical exercise)?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#13
MaggaraMarine thanks for the info. I think my main confusion is like the E minor pentatonic is basically the 2nd fret and third fret, how do folks shred from here into other frets when the key is E. That's what I have trouble understanding. I'm practicing C pentatonic which is pretty much muscle memory now but I'm sort of constrained to that when practicing with a backing track if you know what I mean? My other concern is learning the right way, some say the CAGED system isn't a good way to learn so I have stayed away from it, dont even know what it is. Then some stuff show the C major scale as just within a few frets starting from the third fret on the 6th string but then I have an app that shows the C major as all over the fret board till like 12th fret or something so that confuses me as well.

My main reason is to play better. I want to be able to translate the sound in my head into the guitar and know how to do it. I wanna discover new sounds and combinations. Know the notes, the fretboard better. I'm not insterested in speed or shredding although, I wouldnt mind being able to do solos by the end of it but it is the lowest priority. 
#14
The important thing to understand is that scales are not shapes on the fretboard. A scale is sounds, a set of notes that work well together - and those notes exist and work the same way on every instrument, even your voice.

The shapes? They're just how scales happen to work physically on your instrument of choice, the guitar. E minor pentatonic is the notes E G A B D - those are the pitches, the sounds that scale contains. Play any of those notes, anywhere on your fretboard, in any order,sequence or pattern, and you're using the E minor pentatonic scale.

When people move around the fretboard they aren't thinking in terms of positions or shapes. They're thinking in terms of sound. The shapes act as a guide to help you remember where those sounds sit on your fretboard, so when players move further up the fretboard it's simply because that was the most practical, convenient place for them to play the sound they wanted to hear next.
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#15
Quote by Aesthete18
MaggaraMarine thanks for the info. I think my main confusion is like the E minor pentatonic is basically the 2nd fret and third fret, how do folks shred from here into other frets when the key is E. That's what I have trouble understanding. I'm practicing C pentatonic which is pretty much muscle memory now but I'm sort of constrained to that when practicing with a backing track if you know what I mean? My other concern is learning the right way, some say the CAGED system isn't a good way to learn so I have stayed away from it, dont even know what it is. Then some stuff show the C major scale as just within a few frets starting from the third fret on the 6th string but then I have an app that shows the C major as all over the fret board till like 12th fret or something so that confuses me as well.

My main reason is to play better. I want to be able to translate the sound in my head into the guitar and know how to do it. I wanna discover new sounds and combinations. Know the notes, the fretboard better. I'm not insterested in speed or shredding although, I wouldnt mind being able to do solos by the end of it but it is the lowest priority. 

I would suggest learning about scale construction. That really helps you understand scales. The thing is, every major scale has the same intervals in it. So every major scale is basically exactly the same shape, just moved up or down the fretboard. Learn the intervals of the major scale.

A major scale in whole and half steps...

R whole 2 whole 3 half 4 whole 5 whole 6 whole 7 half R

A half step is one fret and a whole step is two frets.

Here's a visual representation of the same thing:

| R | | 2 | | 3 | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | R |

And the interval names (in relation to the root): root, major 2nd, major 3rd, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, major 6th, major 7th.

And as steven said, a scale is all over the fretboard. As long as you are playing the notes E G A D B, you are playing the Em pentatonic scale. It doesn't matter where those notes are located.

There are different ways you can learn scales. CAGED is one of them, and there are people who love it and people who hate it. I don't think it can do you any harm. Some people just argue that there are more efficient ways of learning scales than CAGED.

When it comes to CAGED, I think the pros are that the scale shapes are connected to chord shapes, and that if you already know the pentatonic shapes, you just need to add a couple of notes to them and you get the CAGED shapes. The cons are that in CAGED shapes on some strings you only have two notes and on some strings three notes, so they are kind of inconsistent. I guess the names of the shapes can be a bit confusing too. "E shape" doesn't really have anything to do with E major. The name comes from the open E chord shape. And because that shape is movable, it is called "E shape". (But I don't think the names of the shapes are that important.) And this is why some people suggest learning 3 note per string shapes instead of CAGED (and there are probably some other reasons too). But I don't think learning either can harm you in any way.

If you decide to learn the 3 note per string shapes, some people refer to them with mode names (Dorian, Phrygian, etc). It is important to understand that this is not what modes are, and I would suggest ignoring the mode names. I really don't see how the names of the CAGED shapes are any more confusing than the usual "modal" names the 3nps shapes get. The names of the shapes are not important, and I would suggest just ignoring them, unless you really find them helpful.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at May 17, 2017,
#16
steven seagull hold on a minute! Are you saying that folks know (and I don't mean the pros) where to move up the fret in terms of where the scale should take you because they know where that note is? Like in that split second, while shredding with an E minor pentatonic they can move to that higher octave B note? And this is achieved by practicing scales? I can't seem to put 2 and 2 together. I must be doing something wrong or at least inefficiently.
Last edited by Aesthete18 at May 17, 2017,
#17
MaggaraMarine first of all, thank you for taking the time to explain in detail. Stuff like this is really valuable since one is trying to learn a skill. when I learnt guitar over 10 years ago, my teacher would only teach me songs I wanted to know. Being a dumb kid, that was awesome and at one point, I had a jam session with another teacher and the band he was mentoring and fell on face when he asked me to solo. He ended up giving my teacher a piece of his mind for not educating me properly. It is only now that I've realized the value of these things as I've always had it planted in my head that practice scales = to solo. Being a riff kind of guy that never interested me but I see now where my mentality was severely wrong. 

Back to the topic, I'll be honest I had to read it a few times to comprehend. I think the first I'll do is learn the constructions like you said. Are there any reputable YouTube teachers you'd mind suggesting? theres so many out there, I get lost on which to follow.

ive seen a video on someone saying the shapes are the same moving just up/down the board but I was starting with pentatonic so ignored it. It's great that you repeated that concept to me so I can see the importance of it. Will use you visual aid as reference from now on.

im a little confused on the major 2nd, major 3rd, etc. I've heard things like the 5th and 7th but I don't really understand it.

i can totally see the confusion that CAGED can bring especially to someone as clueless like me.

ive heard of Dorian, etc. but those are more advanced scales yes? 3 note per string do you mean like, playing the same G note on the 6th string on higher octaves? Or within that scale playing the corresponding notes on that top string for example? 
#18
Quote by Aesthete18

Back to the topic, I'll be honest I had to read it a few times to comprehend. I think the first I'll do is learn the constructions like you said. Are there any reputable YouTube teachers you'd mind suggesting? theres so many out there, I get lost on which to follow.

I have heard good things about JustinGuitar.

im a little confused on the major 2nd, major 3rd, etc. I've heard things like the 5th and 7th but I don't really understand it.

They are intervals and I would suggest learning about them. The basic idea is that if you want to know what's a 5th from C, you just count five notes up from C. So C D E F G (determining the quality of the interval, i.e. major, minor, diminished, augmented, perfect, is a bit more complicated than that, though). This doesn't mean five frets, though, because one fret = a half step. The intervals are based on the diatonic scale (that has both whole and half steps in it) and they make more sense if you know the note names. Then again, on guitar it may be more beneficial to learn the interval shapes, because the same interval is always the same shape.

ive heard of Dorian, etc. but those are more advanced scales yes? 3 note per string do you mean like, playing the same G note on the 6th string on higher octaves? Or within that scale playing the corresponding notes on that top string for example?

I would say forget about Dorian and stuff like that for now and focus on major and minor. Dorian is really not any more advanced than major or minor, but too much information will just confuse you and it's more important to understand the basics first. Most music is based on the major and minor keys, so you want to learn them first. After you understand major and minor keys, then you can start learning about Dorian and other scales that have fancy names. After you know major and minor properly, you will most likely see most other scales as just variations of them.

3nps shapes:

http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/view/6

It just means that in each shape there are always 3 notes on each string.

CAGED shapes:

http://www.guitarhabits.com/the-5-major-scale-caged-shapes-positions/

They are the same notes, just different kinds of shapes.

For example if we compare the G major 3nps and CAGED shapes that start on the 2nd fret of the low E string, here's how they differ:

CAGED:

e|-----------------------------2-3-5-
B|-------------------------3-5-------
G|-------------------2-4-5-----------
D|-------------2-4-5-----------------
A|-------2-3-5-----------------------
E|-2-3-5-----------------------------


3nps:

e|-------------------------------3-5-7-
B|-------------------------3-5-7-------
G|-------------------2-4-5-------------
D|-------------2-4-5-------------------
A|-------2-3-5-------------------------
E|-2-3-5-------------------------------


As you may notice, the CAGED shape has only two notes on the B string, whereas the 3nps shape has 3 notes on every string.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#19
MaggaraMarine ah yes Justin! He's very charismatic and his enthusiasm is contagious! I was just trying to learn Don McLean's Vincent off him. Didn't even realize to check for theory lessons...

yeah i think  really gotta study the intervals to even understand the terminology. 5th from C is a G why not call it G? are we still playing the C Note with a finger on the 5th? It's this kind of newbie stuff, it'd be best if went through a proper lesson than have you waste more of your time trying to explain. Thanks for trying though, it helped a little.

okay i see the difference between the 3 Note and caged. 3 notes is way better I think, why would you not want to know 3 if you can? That site is perfect, just what I need to practice my scales. What kind of regiment would you suggest for practicing scales? I'll ignore the Dorian, etc until I've mastered the basics.

one last question, you know Tremonti he plays a lot in open D. Is his knowledge so great that even with everything jumbled up like that, the notes, he can apply his scales on it? Like imagine a piano, I know where the D is where the B is C sharp etc. because of the placement of white and black keys but if the notes change places, one would have to learn from scratch no? i don't understand how he does that, like how do you even learn chords in that tuning to you just apply theory and figure it out?

thanks again, for explaining with the diagrams and stuff and the links! It's been very helpful in narrowing down where I should focus on and what certain key beginner concepts are. Really helps put me on a straighter path.
#21
Quote by Aesthete18

yeah i think  really gotta study the intervals to even understand the terminology. 5th from C is a G why not call it G? are we still playing the C Note with a finger on the 5th? It's this kind of newbie stuff, it'd be best if went through a proper lesson than have you waste more of your time trying to explain. Thanks for trying though, it helped a little.

An interval means the distance between two notes, and why you want to know intervals is because the same interval has the same sound. The leap from C to G is a fifth and so is the leap from A to E. They will both sound basically the same. And they really help with understanding chords and scales. A major chord is always a root, a major third and a perfect fifth, regardless of which note your root is. So if you want to know the notes in the Ab major chord, you just need to count a major third and a perfect fifth up from Ab. Or if you want to know the notes in the Db major scale, you can just use the interval pattern for major scale (it is the same for all major scales) and figure out the notes in Db major scale.

okay i see the difference between the 3 Note and caged. 3 notes is way better I think, why would you not want to know 3 if you can?

Why do you think so? Have you tried playing both? You learn exactly the same scales regardless of which method you use. CAGED has 5 different shapes, 3nps has 7 different shapes (and both cover the whole fretboard). By learning 3nps you don't really know anything more than if you learn CAGED. They are just a bit different kind of shapes.


one last question, you know Tremonti he plays a lot in open D. Is his knowledge so great that even with everything jumbled up like that, the notes, he can apply his scales on it? Like imagine a piano, I know where the D is where the B is C sharp etc. because of the placement of white and black keys but if the notes change places, one would have to learn from scratch no? i don't understand how he does that, like how do you even learn chords in that tuning to you just apply theory and figure it out?

I really don't know much about Tremonti. I read that he uses an "open D5 tuning" which means that his strings are tuned to a D power chord. This means that he needs to memorize only two patterns - the A string and the D string pattern. His open D5 tuning only has strings tuned to D and A in it.

I'm not sure if he plays solos using that tuning, though. I guess it would be a better tuning for rock rhythm playing. You could easily play huge sounding power chords all over the neck. Then again, Paul Gilbert is also known for his "EEE" tuning (the other neck on his double neck guitar only has three strings that are all tuned to E in different octaves).



But alternate tunings like this only work for certain kind of playing.


When it comes to memorizing where the notes are in different tunings, I think that has to do with just playing in that tuning a lot. Usually alternate tunings are only used for a specific sound, and somebody that is good at playing in standard may not be good at playing in any other tuning. And it has little to do with theory and more to do with muscle memory. You can theorize all you want, but if your fingers are not familiar with the shapes, you can't really achieve the sounds that you are after. Sure, theory will help with memorizing the shapes, but fretboard knowledge has more to do with muscle memory than anything else. When it comes to playing scales, you just need to play them a lot and you will become more and more familiar with the fretboard. That's what scales are for.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#22
Can I just say that CAGED is really just what it says it is. It's not really a "system" as some say.

If I ask you to play a C chord, you probably start with an open C chord right? The next option further up the neck would be to play a C bar chord rooted on the 5th string 3rd fret using the "A shape" bar chord. The next option further up to play a C chord would be to play a "G shape" bar chord (difficult!) rooted on the 6th string 8th fret. The next option further up would be to play it as an "E shape" bar chord rooted in the same place - 6th string 8th fret. And lastly you could play a "D shape" chord rooted on the 4th string 10th fret. So spell it out and you get - CAGED (you could continue and play the C shape bar chord rooted on the 5th string 15th fret).

Now, all those notes you've just played are in the C major scale. And you've only actually played 3 notes - C E G. Every note was either a C, E, or G. This is just how the fretboard works in standard tuning. It's always these chord shapes CAGEDCAGEDCAGED forever (assuming the fretboard went on forever). You can use this as a guide to where you are on the fretboard. You can use these shapes as a home base. Hope this helps, even just from a theoretical standpoint.
Last edited by gweddle.nz at May 22, 2017,
#23
Quote by gweddle.nz
Can I just say that CAGED is really just what it says it is. It's not really a "system" as some say.



Just curious why you say that?

Most proponents of "Caged", seem to call it a system.

I am the same with 3NPS. It gets called a system, or method, to explain navigating the fretboard.
It is really just playing 3 notes of a scale on each string.

I use a 1 pattern system, everything is transposed both vertically and horizontally from there.
My basic "start" pattern is simply 7 notes stacked on top of each other.
A thorough knowledge of the major scale and intervals is needed.

If any one is interested, I will explain it.
#24
Quote by Vreid
Just curious why you say that?

Most proponents of  "Caged", seem to call it a system.

I am the same with 3NPS. It gets called a system, or method, to explain navigating the fretboard.
It is really just playing 3 notes of a scale on each string.

I use a 1 pattern system, everything is transposed both vertically and horizontally from there.
My basic "start" pattern is simply 7 notes stacked on top of each other.
A thorough knowledge of the major scale and intervals is needed.

If any one is interested, I will explain it.

CAGED shouldn't have proponents or opponents. It just is what it is, how the chord shapes follow each other. Now, if you break it down into boxes and build scales in those boxes, fine, that's a system, but it's not the CAGED system as many call it. It's just a system based off the CAGED chord shapes.

I'm guessing your pattern is the 6 7 R 2 intervals on one string, and the the 3 4 5 on the next. I personally see it on 3 strings 7 R 2, then 3 4 5, then 6 7 R. I might try your idea though (please elaborate). Good to see it multiple ways.
Last edited by gweddle.nz at May 24, 2017,
#25
Yep, that's what I found when exploring different methods of approaching the fretboard.
There are a lot of interpretations of the "Caged" method.

The pattern I use is 7 notes stacked vertically.
If you had a 7 string Guitar, and the top strings were tuned C and F, you would put your finger across one fret, play all 7 strings, and you would be playing a Major scale in 4ths.

Armed with a good knowledge of the major scale and intervals, you would know that the only way a major scale can be stacked in perfect 4ths, is from the 7th degree up. That's because from the 4th to the 7th degree is an augmented 4th.
So, stacking a G major scale this way would give
F#, B, E, A, D, G, C. The pattern continues from C to F#, by shifting up 1 semitone, because of the augmented 4th layed out on a perfect 4ths grid.

By also knowing that the semitones are a P4th apart, eg. B and C are a 4th above F# and G, that is one way you can build the entire scale pattern.
There are multiple ways to build this through referencing or transposition.

End result is that the same notes for the scales are played in the same way everyone else does, but I look at the formation of them differently to most.
There are no set position patterns, or Modes involved.

Continuing with this way of organizing allows you to see the E A D G C open chords as the same chord just transposed vertically, or pushed up in 4ths.
#26
Quote by gweddle.nz
CAGED shouldn't have proponents or opponents. It just is what it is, how the chord shapes follow each other..

Just because "that's the way it is" doesn't mean it's not a system. Calling the different barre chord shapes "C shape", "A shape", etc. is the way CAGED system names the shapes. You need some kind of a system to name the chord shapes (also, the barre chord shapes are not set in stone either), and you could name them in some other ways too, for example "A major position 1", "A major position 2", etc. (just something off top of my head.)

And I can see why somebody would be against naming a chord shape a "C shape", because that can be confusing - it really has nothing to do with C major or the note C. It's just a similar shape as the open C major chord.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at May 24, 2017,
#27
MaggaraMarine 

The shape names are based off the open chord positions.

I guess the confusion comes from the fact that CAGED is often used to refer to the 5 box system, and then some people are like "nah, CAGED sux" but what they mean is that using the 5 box system to learn scales (and to solo) sucks. CAGED can't "suck" because it is just how the chord shapes connect. I guess you are right in that it is a systematic way to label the chords by shapes, but in relation to the original post, it's not a system (rather the CAGED 5 box method is a system).

My 2c.
#28
Vreid That's an interesting way of looking at it. You obviously have to adjust for the B string being tuned a major 3rd above, but if you ignore that then I see what you mean. The notes stack on top of each other until you reach the 4th degree, after which point the pattern repeats one fret up on the next string. Thanks!
#29
gweddle.nz 
Yep, you've got it.

If you tune up the B and E to C and F, you can play the pattern straight with no adjustment. This is why some guys use this tuning.
I use standard tuning, and always adjust up one going up, and down one going down.

I have developed it into a complete, what I think is simple, system.

Within this main pattern of 7, is all the 3NPS, the Caged scales, the Pents, all Arps etc.
They all follow a specific repeatable pattern. It also give you the 3 ways of playing out from any note on a 4ths tuned instrument.

Seeing it as transposing helps. Push any pattern up a P4th vertically to the next string, then slide horizontally a P5th up, and you have transposed to the next octave. Push this vertically up a P4th, then horizontally down a P4th, and you have moved to the same octave on the next string up, through transposition.

It is looking at the fretboard as an Isomorphic instrument. I play the Bass using this same system. (check out a tapping instrument by Marcodi, called a Harpejji)

This one pattern works for all Diatonic scales in any key. If you want say a Harmonic minor, you build the one seven note pattern for this, and then you can play any key and starting from any note anywhere on the fretboard. 

This eliminates the need to learn multiple patterns, referencing confusion etc. The reference is the specific note on any string.
I started off referencing roots, then 5ths, then 3rds etc. I don't get lost anywhere near as often now.
It doesn't matter what note on what string being played with any finger, you can play out in the scale.

Another thing it helps with is splitting the strings into paired groups of 4. Anything played on the lower 4 strings, can be played using the same pattern on the higher 4 strings by just splitting it and shifting the top 1 fret up. Sound tricky, but is actually quite simple. 

For simple open chords like E A D G C, they follow a 1,5,1,3,5 structure that repeats. An E chord moved up a 4th goes from E (1,5,1,3,5,1) to (5,1,5,1,3,5) which is A. This pushed up a 4th becomes (3,5,1,5,1,3) which is D. This pushes up to (1,3,5,1,5,1) which is G. and finally up another 4th to (5,1,3,5,1,5) which is C. The next chord up becomes the F bar chord.
The open G and C are usually played with the high 5th dropped to a 3. This is because the tuning allows for it and places the 3rd higher.

Looking at the chords like this, and seeing how they push through, if you take into account the adjustment up a fret for the 3rd tuning, you can see they are inversions of the same chord voicing. I don't use the E shape or D shape etc. terminology anymore because of this. 
Of course, the scale patterns work exactly the same way.

I am actually in the middle of doing up a heap of diagrams and bla, to show how this system works.
I have scoured the Net, and there isn't a great deal of info on it, a few guys do variations, but not quite the same as how I look at it.

Cheers.
#30
Vreid Thanks. I think I get most of what you're saying. I'm pretty well versed in how the fretboard is constructed and how intervals work. I just haven't, as of yet, been able to visualize it effortlessly on the fly. In other words, I get lost easily. I really don't want to get stuck/trapped in box shapes either. I'm not really a lead player (I play solo fingerstyle) so I think it would be advantageous for me to see the scale across the whole fretboard and know which interval is where.

If you manage to get your system drawn up let me know.