#1
I know how to play scales and how they can be played up and down the guitar, etc. Yet, I've never grasped what exactly the root note is and the importance of it. I've read and from what I see people have said it is the root note is what the scale is based on. You should start and end on a root note, it sounds better. The root note is generally the lowest note in the scale.
Can someone explain what a root note is beyond the standard definition? Thanks.
Thrashing is my business and business is good
#2
its what key the piece of music is in. its the most important note in a scale. you dont have to start and end with it, but it does sound good when you do.

example - the root note of 'purple haze' is an E. therefore you would stay in the key of E when playing, and would generally solo in E scales.
Quote by monkeysintheday
I have trained a live tarantula to calm and sit on my guitar due to the awesome powers of my rocking. When I am not playing it angrily bounces about my room hitting everything that isn't me.



Quote by stef123

rageagainst64 you are a legend!
#3
Honestly, I think everything you've already mentioned is a feasible answer. It is important to know about how scales are formulated and how they function. When playing in a certain key, you observe this directly, and if you transpose the piece into another key, these note relationships stay the same. It's really important to understand the relationship between the root note and key signature. I can't say much more beyond that on this (maybe others can), but like all things musically, it's better to see it (well hear it) in practice than to try to dissect it analytically and without any example. But as it was mentioned before me, it is not totally necessary to start and end with the root note of the scale. Later on, when you feel confident with basic music theory, read about the modes of scales, this covers that topic directly.
Last edited by silvadolla at Dec 3, 2008,
#4
It's the first note of it's corresponding scale:

A is the root of A Major/Minor

When you make triads on each, A is in the I, IV, and VI chord:

A C# E
D F# A
F# A C#

The root note - because of it's centrality within the scale - always feels like your have to end or begin on it. It's not important on what the root note is but what it's relation is with the key's chords and harmonies.
#5
that's all it is, what the scale is based on, the starting point, the "root" of the scale
it's a simple concept
Warning: The above post may contain lethal levels of radiation, sharp objects and sexiness.
Proceed with extreme caution!
#6
Quote by GL1564
I know how to play scales and how they can be played up and down the guitar, etc. Yet, I've never grasped what exactly the root note is and the importance of it. I've read and from what I see people have said it is the root note is what the scale is based on. You should start and end on a root note, it sounds better. The root note is generally the lowest note in the scale.
Can someone explain what a root note is beyond the standard definition? Thanks.

Knowing how to play a scale isn't all that important, understanding and knowing how to use a scale is. The root note is the tonal centre of your scale, the note you resolve to - strictly speaking in scale terms its the note from which you follow its pattern of intervals. For example, the pattern of intervals for the major scale is WWHWWWH , so for C major you'd pick a C note then follow that pattern to give you the scale, and that works for any note to give you any major scale.

Scales don't really exist in isolation though, they're dependent on the chords you're playing over. Your backing establishes a tonal centre, one note that everything is kind of pulling back towards - that's what your progression resolves to and that note suggests what scale you'd use, that's your root note.

In a scale pattern the root note is often the first note of the pattern, but it's not the first note of the scale as such - when you're using the scale you can play the notes of the scale in any order.
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
#7
I'll give you the simplest answer I can:

The root note is the note from its scale that is a reference for all the other notes. For example when you play an E scale, all the notes relate to that first E. As you learn more and more about scales, you'll notice patterns all over the fretboard and how to connect scales, so when people say it sounds good to end at the root, it doesn't necassarily mean you'll end at E on the open string everytime, every note appears several times on the neck.
Quote by Zero-Hartman

If I can't masturbate to childrens cartoons then this country isn't great.
#8
silvadolla mentioned knowing basic music theory. I'm guessing that it is necessary in order to know if a scale is in E or A or any other note the scale is based off of? I'm also thinking the key way to figuring this out is by practicing them I will eventually memorize if the scale is an E scale or whatever. Right now playing the scales isn't a problem, it's just a matter of using them.
Thrashing is my business and business is good