#1
I've been playing guitar for about a year and a half now. I have most of the techniques such as tremelo picking, pinch harmonics, etc.(even pick sweeping: im horrble at it but i have the general idea down and I am about to give up.


Mostly it's because of scales. I don't understand ANY of that crap. I've gone to like a million websites, had a friend help me(although all he did was give me a scale book and told me to look at it) and watched a ton of videos that people have told me will make it easier and I don't understand any of it. It's ****ing depressing me. I want to be a great guitarist but I can barely even get the pentatonics down(and that's only because someone told me i used it a lot after jamming with me). So I guess I'm just gonna quit guitar.


If anyone has any like super easy way to figure this **** out, it's help me soooo much. Because I'm at my wits end. I even went to guitar lessons for a few weeks and the guy gave a paper with every note on the guitar that's part of the blues scale or w/e. It was just a picture of a fret board with a bunch of numbers on it. I understand the whole like 1-7 thing(for instance in the C major scale the first note is C, second is D, and so on with the 7th being B(I think, as i said i dnt get this crap so it's either B or A or A#)) but it didn't even specify what key it was in, IT WAS A PIECE OF PAPER WITH NUMBERS!!! WTF!!!!!


so if anyone can tell me of a guide to scales that can help a ****ing retard, that would be great. Because I fear I may just give up playing guitar soon cuz I'm so sick of this crap.
#3
you know theres been alot of great guitarists that have no real knowledge of any scales or other music theory, but yer get a good teacher and you will pick it up in no time
#4
Quote by MalGanisWL
get a good teacher.

as well as that but take it slowly dont go a million miles and hour or you'll learn f all
#5
theres only 5 shapes you need to learn for the major scales, google the 5 major scale shapes and memorize them. Learn how they mesh together along the fretboard. then learn them in different keys. Its not that hard really.
#7
you won't. no balls.
Quote by nodice182
Denny Crane.

Quote by dmiwshicldply
touche vman, touche

mate. feed. kill. repeat.
#8
Calm down!

Scales are just a domain of musical notes that are used to compose. The piece of paper you got was simply showing you where the notes of that scale are placed on the fretboard.

Anyway, all sorts of guitar related questions are best answered by a good guitar teacher in person.
#9
music isnt about how many techniques you learn, but the amount of passion you put into songs. If you do strive to learn more techniques, make sure to do so for the right reasons: to serve the song, rather than to serve one's pride.

As far as scales are concerned, theyre a means to an end. Why sweat it if you feel roadblocked there? Just go learn tunes that you enjoy and licks and stuff and come back to it when you feel a bit more confident in your playing. Scales are only useful when you understand the context they come with with specific genres. Scales don't show the big picture. You're not gonna know where to bend and how to bend in Piedmont blues versus Psychedelic blues and so forth. You're not gonna understand that you have to swing notes versus straight 8ths depending on the song.

My suggestion is, instead of focusing on this academic outlook on guitar, rest for a bit. Then, instead of doing scales, find a genre you want to learn, find an artist that exemplifies the true qualities of that genre, and then transcribe (learn by ear) a song or two. If you've never done this before, pick songs that sound waaaaay simple.

The end.
My Gear:

82 Gibson Explorer
Ibanez '03 JEM7VWH

Greg Byers '01 Classical (Euro Spruce bent top)
Darren Hippner 8 String Classical (Engelmann Spruce)
Alhambra 4P
Taylor 614ce
Framus Texan se. # 5/196

Diezel Herbert 2007
Mesa Recto 2x12
#10
Quote by thepagesaretorn
music isnt about how many techniques you learn, but the amount of passion you put into songs. If you do strive to learn more techniques, make sure to do so for the right reasons: to serve the song, rather than to serve one's pride.

As far as scales are concerned, theyre a means to an end. Why sweat it if you feel roadblocked there? Just go learn tunes that you enjoy and licks and stuff and come back to it when you feel a bit more confident in your playing. Scales are only useful when you understand the context they come with with specific genres. Scales don't show the big picture. You're not gonna know where to bend and how to bend in Piedmont blues versus Psychedelic blues and so forth. You're not gonna understand that you have to swing notes versus straight 8ths depending on the song.

My suggestion is, instead of focusing on this academic outlook on guitar, rest for a bit. Then, instead of doing scales, find a genre you want to learn, find an artist that exemplifies the true qualities of that genre, and then transcribe (learn by ear) a song or two. If you've never done this before, pick songs that sound waaaaay simple.

The end.


Yeah but I want to learn Extreme Metal genres like thrash metal and death metal. I can play some metallica and slayer and other metal bands that have relatively simple guitar riffs but I can never figure out how to make a metal song. It always comes out sounding like ****. That's why I've been trying to learn scales: So I can make songs like Children of Bodom or Megadeth or Slayer's more complex stuff. But I can't seem to be able to do that. In fact I really can't make a song for any genre of music except punk. And I barely listen to punk music. :P
#11
Hey man i'm with you on that... I've been playing almost 3 years now and I don't know anything about keys of this and that or what notes are what... But i'm not trying to be Steve Vai or anything...

The guy that I talked to at my guitar shop said if you just take the Blues scale for starters and memorize the shape... the notes are not important unless you get into all that theory..

So thats what i did.. I play hard rock blues kinda stuff and I know just the blues scale which is just a pentatonic scale and I don't care about what notes are what . But i know what sounds good and thats all i care about... I mainly just use power chords any way and throw in some riffs here and there...

I am a big Dimebag fan and i've seen and read all his articles and he says he only knows maybe 3 scales but he never sat there with a book and tried to memorize scales ... he just learned from different songs and got the feel for it that way ... So thats my approach as well... I'm just jammin... Thats all i want to do..

Hope this helps..
GETCHA PULL MUTHAFUKA!!
#12
Quote by thepagesaretorn
music isnt about how many techniques you learn, but the amount of passion you put into songs. If you do strive to learn more techniques, make sure to do so for the right reasons: to serve the song, rather than to serve one's pride.

As far as scales are concerned, theyre a means to an end. Why sweat it if you feel roadblocked there? Just go learn tunes that you enjoy and licks and stuff and come back to it when you feel a bit more confident in your playing. Scales are only useful when you understand the context they come with with specific genres. Scales don't show the big picture. You're not gonna know where to bend and how to bend in Piedmont blues versus Psychedelic blues and so forth. You're not gonna understand that you have to swing notes versus straight 8ths depending on the song.

My suggestion is, instead of focusing on this academic outlook on guitar, rest for a bit. Then, instead of doing scales, find a genre you want to learn, find an artist that exemplifies the true qualities of that genre, and then transcribe (learn by ear) a song or two. If you've never done this before, pick songs that sound waaaaay simple.

The end.


says it all. and i was at the same point as you i just wanted to know scales, didnt know what the hell they ment just thought they were random solo spots. i went to a guitar teacher he just taught me some random scale and i still didnt know what the hell to do with it. so i gave up on it for awhile. then i started reading theory pretty heavy for a week and it clicked in my head and it was really simple. i still dont really have many scales memorized nor do i want to. but i know the equation i need to make a major scale when i want to since thats the only one i want to use at the moment cause i like the sound. or i could make a chord if i want to

musictheory.net is awsome for this easy step by step explainations just start with the simple stuff. take a break if something isnt making sense. learn all the notes first A-G# then plug them into the scales equation like (wwhwwwh) is the steps for the major scale is how it clicked for me but id just look at the site if that doesnt make sense :/
#13
I wrote a pretty good response, but my browser locked up when I cliked submit.

So I say just give up
#15
As long as you can learn the basic pentetonic scale, that's a good start. It's real easy. First string and last two strings are 1 , 4 and the rest of the strings are 1 , 3. Just practice messing around with that to begin with and when you're ready start to learn some other fingerings of it
I hate my sig
#16
Quote by slayerfrk
id say give up. it sounds like you have no passion so you might as well just stop.



YEAH YOU ARE SO RIGHT DUDE!!!!! BECAUSE IT'S SO MUCH BETTER TO BE A DICK AND TELL SOMEONE TO GIVE UP THAN TO, YOU KNOW, ACTUALLY GIVE SOME ADVICE!!!


YEAH YOU ARE SO AWESOME AND I THINK YOU SHOULD BE A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER!


OH BTW: SUCK MY DICK
#18
Quote by Nirvana00125
Yeah but I want to learn Extreme Metal genres like thrash metal and death metal. I can play some metallica and slayer and other metal bands that have relatively simple guitar riffs but I can never figure out how to make a metal song. It always comes out sounding like ****. That's why I've been trying to learn scales: So I can make songs like Children of Bodom or Megadeth or Slayer's more complex stuff. But I can't seem to be able to do that. In fact I really can't make a song for any genre of music except punk. And I barely listen to punk music. :P


Then pay your dues and transcribe. Dont half ass it and just look up stupid tab; leave that for the tunes you learn to impress your girlfriend lawl. No one ever got anywhere by sitting on their ass hoping for inspiration. The earnest have the advantage in this case. Don't sit there wishing you could write more stuff of a genre when you can only play some metal tunes. Learn a freaking boatload of em. You're not gonna understand the nuances of the style if you don't take the style to heart by immersing yourself with it. I'm not trying to be mean-- you just need to know what's what. Also, learn theory to an advanced level. I'll analogize it to dimensions. A person who interacts in four dimensions can only perceive three. A person in three dimensions can only perceive two. A person in two dimensions can only perceive one. A person who resides in one dimension actually doesn't exist at all. A person can only implement a fraction of what they actually comprehend in music, so learn and gain experience to a level beyond what you perceive to be necessary for the duty. Sure you could get by by ear instead of theory, but the recourse of such a path is the amount of time to train one's ear to the level necessary.
My Gear:

82 Gibson Explorer
Ibanez '03 JEM7VWH

Greg Byers '01 Classical (Euro Spruce bent top)
Darren Hippner 8 String Classical (Engelmann Spruce)
Alhambra 4P
Taylor 614ce
Framus Texan se. # 5/196

Diezel Herbert 2007
Mesa Recto 2x12
#19
TS: before I go any further in trying to describe scales, so you understand the terms "tone" and "semitone" (or as I believe Americans call it "half step" and "whole step")? If you understand those terms, it's as easy as applying the scale degrees to the fretboard.
#20
Quote by thepagesaretorn
music isnt about how many techniques you learn, but the amount of passion you put into songs. If you do strive to learn more techniques, make sure to do so for the right reasons: to serve the song, rather than to serve one's pride.

As far as scales are concerned, theyre a means to an end. Why sweat it if you feel roadblocked there? Just go learn tunes that you enjoy and licks and stuff and come back to it when you feel a bit more confident in your playing. Scales are only useful when you understand the context they come with with specific genres. Scales don't show the big picture. You're not gonna know where to bend and how to bend in Piedmont blues versus Psychedelic blues and so forth. You're not gonna understand that you have to swing notes versus straight 8ths depending on the song.

My suggestion is, instead of focusing on this academic outlook on guitar, rest for a bit. Then, instead of doing scales, find a genre you want to learn, find an artist that exemplifies the true qualities of that genre, and then transcribe (learn by ear) a song or two. If you've never done this before, pick songs that sound waaaaay simple.

The end.


No scale can be associated with any specific genre because no scale has a specific sound. No one part of theory shows 'the big picture', either. Understanding it all will greatly help you in being able to reproduce music similar to what you like because theory is a tool for explaining how music works.

Scales are not patterns. There are patterns that are unique to the guitar that are scales, but scales are NOT patterns. Learn the notes on the fretboard. Learn the notes in the major scales. Learn major scale harmonization. You'll be lightyears ahead of most people here. Don't sweat it and try to learn it all in a day. It will probably take a few months.

Once you learn how scales and chords go together, and how progressions work, then you'll be on your way. You can use that knowledge to strengthen your creativity, because you will (hopefully) know what things sound like before you even play it. You'll be able to get things from your mind to the paper (or guitar) that much easier.
#21
Quote by Nirvana00125
YEAH YOU ARE SO RIGHT DUDE!!!!! BECAUSE IT'S SO MUCH BETTER TO BE A DICK AND TELL SOMEONE TO GIVE UP THAN TO, YOU KNOW, ACTUALLY GIVE SOME ADVICE!!!


YEAH YOU ARE SO AWESOME AND I THINK YOU SHOULD BE A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER!


OH BTW: SUCK MY DICK


Cobain didn't know theory either, that's probably why he blew his brains out...trying to learn it.


If it is really stressing you out that bad than just quit trying to learn thoery for the moment and come back to it later. Something that is supposed to be fun and a hobby should not be stressing you out this bad.

There are quit a few sticky's that have all the info you need to learn basic theory. Start at 1 section..from the beginning, and don't go to the next section until you fully understand the first.
Last edited by srob7001 at Aug 4, 2009,
#22
Quote by kenan6346
TS: before I go any further in trying to describe scales, so you understand the terms "tone" and "semitone" (or as I believe Americans call it "half step" and "whole step")? If you understand those terms, it's as easy as applying the scale degrees to the fretboard.



I understand what a tone and a semitone is and all that. i know what octaves are, and i know a large portion of music theory. It's just scales. Although idk i may get the major scales. It's like whole step, whole step, half step, whole step or something like that. I get the idea behind it but is it for every key(for instance from C it'd be D, then E, then F, or does the major scale change with every key?)
#23
Quote by srob7001
Cobain didn't know theory either, that's probably why he blew his brains out...trying to learn it.


If it is really stressing you out that bad than just quit trying to learn thoery for the moment and come back to it later. Something that is supposed to be fun and a hobby should not be stressing you out this bad.

There are quit a few sticky's that have all the info you need to learn basic theory. Start at 1 section..from the beginning, and don't go to the next section until you fully understand the first.



Oh and i think i got it....sort of.....It's just that like i understand major scales and minor scales but i don't get like other scales. Like i looked up the harmonic scale and it said to have a flat third and 7th(or maybe it was 6th, idk) so do i just take a major scale and change the 3rd and 7th(or 6th) note to a flat note or something? cuz i mean tons of people interpret scales in a different way.
#24
Yes, you base your minor and other scales off your major scale.

Cmaj - C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C

So if you flatten the 3rd and 7th it turns into - C,D,Eb,F,G,A,Bb,C

You can also pull chords from your major scale.

Cmaj = C,E,G or the 1,3,5 notes from what ever scale you are trying to make a chord out of.

Just keep at it and read over the theory everyday and eventually it will just click and you will go "thats what it means."
#25
Quote by timeconsumer09
No scale can be associated with any specific genre because no scale has a specific sound. No one part of theory shows 'the big picture', either. Understanding it all will greatly help you in being able to reproduce music similar to what you like because theory is a tool for explaining how music works.

Scales are not patterns. There are patterns that are unique to the guitar that are scales, but scales are NOT patterns. Learn the notes on the fretboard. Learn the notes in the major scales. Learn major scale harmonization. You'll be lightyears ahead of most people here. Don't sweat it and try to learn it all in a day. It will probably take a few months.

Once you learn how scales and chords go together, and how progressions work, then you'll be on your way. You can use that knowledge to strengthen your creativity, because you will (hopefully) know what things sound like before you even play it. You'll be able to get things from your mind to the paper (or guitar) that much easier.


I disagree quite greatly with that first statement. People choose to use different scales to achieve different ends. Next time you have a minor chord, realize that you have like a huge amount of minor scales to pick from and for specific reasons: aeolian (standard), dorian (raised 6th), phrygian (flat 2), pentatonic minor, hungarian minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor, etc. I severely disagree with scales not having characteristic sounds of a genre. Tell me where you hear japanese folk music that DOESNT use pentatonic scales. Same with most original blues. The Blues scale is really just a remedied pentatonic scale with an added #4. The same could be said of the Bebop scale, etc. It doesn't mean that the context couldnt change; of course said scales can be used for other genres, but the fact remains that those scales are the backbones of specific genres.
My Gear:

82 Gibson Explorer
Ibanez '03 JEM7VWH

Greg Byers '01 Classical (Euro Spruce bent top)
Darren Hippner 8 String Classical (Engelmann Spruce)
Alhambra 4P
Taylor 614ce
Framus Texan se. # 5/196

Diezel Herbert 2007
Mesa Recto 2x12
#26
Quote by Nirvana00125
Oh and i think i got it....sort of.....It's just that like i understand major scales and minor scales but i don't get like other scales. Like i looked up the harmonic scale and it said to have a flat third and 7th(or maybe it was 6th, idk) so do i just take a major scale and change the 3rd and 7th(or 6th) note to a flat note or something? cuz i mean tons of people interpret scales in a different way.


The best way to remember scales IMO is to just remember the intervals, as opposed to learning shapes on the fretboard. Learning shapes keeps you in a little box on the fretboard with little flexibility for soloing.

Anyway, for the following:
R=root note, i.e. the starting note
T=tone
S=semitone
3=minor third

Major scale: RTTSTTTS
Natural minor scale: RTSTTSTT
Harmonic minor scale: RTSTTS3S
Pentatonic scale: RTT3T3
Minor pentatonic scale: R3TT3T

For now, that's probably all you'll need. Once you're ready for more theory, then you can pursue it. But there's no point learning it for the sake of learning it: learn it when you need to use it.