#1
I've come to the point in my guitar playing that I ought to be learning some theory.
I've noticed no matter where i look or search i can't get any sort of explanation of what a scale actually is or why they exist? Before I start things like this i need to know why i need them or how they can come in handy.

I'm not a guitar noob i'm a scale noob. Can anyone help me out from the RAW basics?
#2
A scale is a series of notes that "make sense" together, in its most basic form.

For example, C Major is C D E F G A B. If you are playing the C Major scale, you only play those notes.

EDIT: Check the musician talk forum. They have some threads that will help you out.
Last edited by Ninjamonkey767 at Jan 31, 2009,
#3
Ah yeah that's what i was thinking. And to write riffs etc you just change variables in a scale? or am i wrong?
#4
You don't need to change anything to play a riff in a scale. People go out of scale alot because they're experienced with what they're doing. But you can play a riff in a scale. For example, you could play C5, F5 and G5 (power chords) as a riff, along with others.
#5
you use the notes in a scale TO write riffs, etc.

like.. stair way to heaven is in A minor, you play the notes in A minor.
#6
you use a scale to write riffs or chord progressions
Quote by strq010
this guy, Nihil, is currently my hero.

Quote by clincher09
Why is Jesus a dinosaur?
#7
well a scale is a series of notes in a whole step whole step half step. (a whole step is two frets and half is one) basically most songs are written in some sense of a scale. Honestly if you want to write really cool riffs and even lead into solos search pentatonic scales under lessons. Scales only "kinda" matter with guitar or at least a hell of a lot less than on other instruments.
Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II(
"Epicaster" pimped out strat
Fender Blues Jr.
DeltaLab RD1 Rock distortion
Barber handmade USA Direct Drive Overdrive
DeltaLab Stereo chorus
MXR 6 band EQ
#8
Quote by Dextrose718
you use the notes in a scale TO write riffs, etc.

like.. stair way to heaven is in A minor, you play the notes in A minor.



Stairway to heaven solo is A minor pentatonic, difference.
Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II(
"Epicaster" pimped out strat
Fender Blues Jr.
DeltaLab RD1 Rock distortion
Barber handmade USA Direct Drive Overdrive
DeltaLab Stereo chorus
MXR 6 band EQ
#9
Quote by brownsfan456
Stairway to heaven solo is A minor pentatonic, difference.


sheesh, that wasnt the point, you elitist

and for the record, A minor pentatonic does not include the notes F and C. stairway to heaven does.
Last edited by Dextrose718 at Jan 31, 2009,
#10
I may have interpretated this wrong but if a guitarist is writing an intro for a band, let's use Stairway to Heaven as an example, they just find a scale to fit the mood/whatever and then just use that? If that's right (i'm sure it's not but ) isn't it like ripping or cheating?
#11
Scales only "kinda" matter with guitar or at least a hell of a lot less than on other instruments.


That's not true. Everybody should thoroughly learn how scales work before they start breaking the rules they have. It's fine to go out of scale, but you should practice first.

And this goes with any instrument. A C# is the same on any instrument.
#12
Quote by Sammm1
I may have interpretated this wrong but if a guitarist is writing an intro for a band, let's use Stairway to Heaven as an example, they just find a scale to fit the mood/whatever and then just use that? If that's right (i'm sure it's not but ) isn't it like ripping or cheating?


It's not cheating. There are a bunch of songs in A major, but that doesn't mean they sound anything like each other.
#13
Quote by Ninjamonkey767
No. There are a bunch of songs in A major, but that doesn't mean they sound anything like each other.



Aah yes this is what i was looking for. I'm starting to get a clearer view of this now.

If i was to learn this scale, A Major, and practised it in different ways/places would i find it easy to play songs with an A Major in them? or even notice them more?
#14
lets say you have a rhythm guitarist just strumming an A minor chord, what you could do as a lead guitarist is play a solo over it, you would use the notes in the A minor scale.
#15
Quote by Sammm1
Aah yes this is what i was looking for. I'm starting to get a clearer view of this now.

If i was to learn this scale, A Major, and practised it in different ways/places would i find it easy to play songs with an A Major in them? or even notice them more?


yeah you would

i would recommend learning the E minor scale first, because it uses all open strings, and starts on two open strings. learn some ACDC or something, alot of their songs use E minor scale

and then like, if you want to learn another scale, like say the F minor scale, what you could do is just move the patterns over a fret. F is after E, so you just move the notes down.
#16
Quote by Dextrose718
i would recommend learning the E minor scale first, because it uses all open strings, and starts on two open strings

No it doesn't. A scale is just a series of notes and is universal in all music. What if you play the E minor scale starting on the 7th fret of the A string?

TS, you shouldn't look at scales as patterns on the guitar. What you should do is learn the notes on the fretboard and then learn the major scale. I mean the major scale in general, not the A major or C major scale. Learn how to construct the major scale. Then you'll be able to play the major scale all over the fretboard. From there, you can learn how to construct other scales, as well as more theory. To start, go check out the Crusades articles in the columns section (search "crusade").
Josh Homme writes the greatest lyrics EVAR:
"I wish we could get away
Drink wine and screw"


"Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol
C-C-C-C-Cocaine!"


"I wanna lick you too much"



Own this Black Sabbath shirt?
#17
Thanks for the help. But what is the difference between a scale and the Major Scale?
#18
Quote by brownsfan456
well a scale is a series of notes in a whole step whole step half step. (a whole step is two frets and half is one) basically most songs are written in some sense of a scale. Honestly if you want to write really cool riffs and even lead into solos search pentatonic scales under lessons. Scales only "kinda" matter with guitar or at least a hell of a lot less than on other instruments.

That's exactly the kind of retarded attitude that gives us guitarists a bad name. The guitar is a musical instrument, you use it to make music - what exactly makes your instrument so magical that you think theory is somehow less valid when it comes to making that music?
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
#19
Quote by Sammm1
Thanks for the help. But what is the difference between a scale and the Major Scale?


A scale is a series of notes.

A major scale is THIS series of notes:

Whole step - whole step - half step - whole step - whole step - whole step - half step.

Take any root note, and follow those steps up, and you have that roots major scale.

EDIT: ^He's right^