#1
Hello UG Community,

I'm now playing the guitar for 2 months and I'm trying to learn everything from this site (Lessons), YouTube and other.
So, I've made some progression since I started (I can now cover some easy Linkin Park songs). Now, after I got bored always playing the same I want to start improvising!

I've read the whole Lesson Theory for Beginners and I've learned a few things but still, some things I don't get.

-Why are there so many scales?
-What can I do when I learned for example, the Major Scale?
-How do I improvise?!
- ...
Especially the last question is keeping me busy... I want to know from you, the 'pro', what, how, to learn and how to apply it on my guitar.

Please, tell me also what Locrian and Lydian etc. is and if I need to learn them too.

I want to improvise chords like here and do solos like Guitar Jam (YouTube)

Thank-you, please check my topic, I reply as fast as I can.

-Anton
-WingedBull
#3
slow down, you cant learn that all at once. learn the pentatonic scale, its the easiest to improvise
#4
Quote by blue_strat
Go learn some songs, brah.

You're not really helping with saying that.
-WingedBull
#5
Quote by innertom
slow down, you cant learn that all at once. learn the pentatonic scale, its the easiest to improvise

I know I can't learn that all at once, it take months, maybe years! Ok, I think Cyberfret is a good place to learn them?
-WingedBull
#6
learn some songs from bands you like. thats what you should be doing now.
also you could learn the pentatonic and major scale, i wouldnt worry about how they are comstructed just yet
#7
what blue strat is saying is slow down and try harder songs before you dive into that stuff, ive been playing for almost 5 years and i don't know a lot of theory.


edit:typing fail in bold
Last edited by -tempest- at Sep 23, 2009,
#8
Quote by WingedBull
Hello UG Community,

I'm now playing the guitar for 2 months and I'm trying to learn everything from this site (Lessons), YouTube and other.
So, I've made some progression since I started (I can now cover some easy Linkin Park songs). Now, after I got bored always playing the same I want to start improvising!

I've read the whole Lesson Theory for Beginners and I've learned a few things but still, some things I don't get.

-Why are there so many scales?
-What can I do when I learned for example, the Major Scale?
-How do I improvise?!
- ...
Especially the last question is keeping me busy... I want to know from you, the 'pro', what, how, to learn and how to apply it on my guitar.

Please, tell me also what Locrian and Lydian etc. is and if I need to learn them too.

I want to improvise chords like here and do solos like Guitar Jam (YouTube)

Thank-you, please check my topic, I reply as fast as I can.

-Anton
There are so many different scales because each type of scale gives you the option of producing differnet types of sounds/melodies, plus different scales were produced in different parts of the world, where culturally they had different ideas of how they wanted things to sound. Over time people have taken already established scales and modifed them too, forming new scales. Now, with modern transport and technology, we have access to all the different forms of music - including the building blocks like scales - that have been developed at different times, in different places, for differnet reasons - so it can seem pretty daunting.

You don't need to learn them all though - the vast majority of western music is based on the Major and minor scales, and slight variations on them.

If you want to understand scales, the best one to start with is the Major scale - pretty much any scale you'll need to use can be derived from the Major scale, so understand that and you're a good chunk of the way there to understanding all the others.

I'd start here though: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=58DA70A2123C71CD&search_query=freepower+ug+theory - thats Freepower's bitesize theory vids

Scales basically tell you what notes will work to gether, particulary over a given backing/chord progression.

If you want to start improvising straight away, the easiest scale imo is the pentatonic. I'd be tempted to focus on Freepower's videos, and then on really understanding the Major scale (in terms of notes and intervals, not just the patterns it makes on the neck), but at the same time learn the 1st position of the minor pentatonic so you can start using it to improvise over bluesy chord progressions/backing tracks.

To improvise you need to know what 'key' the backing track is in, then you use the notes of the scale in that key to play your own melodies over the backing track. Simple as Just don't expect to come out with a world shattering solo straight away - it takes time

Once you understand the Major scale, learn how the minor scale is related to it, then learn how the pentatonics are related to the Major and minor scales, and you're away
#9
Zhilla, thank-you for that comment! Really helped!
But, how do I make chords like in the Guitar Jam I posted?
-WingedBull
#10
Quote by WingedBull
You're not really helping with saying that.

Actually, I'm serious.


Don't spend all your time learning theory and not learning how people have applied it.

If you want to be really theoretical, check the link in my sig and work them out onto guitar.
#12
Quote by WingedBull
blue_strat, I don't want to be theoretical, I want to improvise!

Great. In what style?
#14
Then learn Van Halen's first album, and you'll have better material than those guys used.
#15
Ok, but what if I can cover his songs used in his first album? Can I improvise then?
-WingedBull
#16
You can learn a thousand different scales, but 90% of the time we have to look at what people before us have done with them, to learn about phrasing and the various effects you can get by playing whatever notes over whatever chords.

Otherwise, you end up like those guys, running up and down the natural minor and depending on the sound of the i - VII - VI progression to sound decent.
#17
In 90% of western music only the major and minor scale is regularly used. Since the minor scale is derived from the major i think it is most important to learn the major properly before really moving onto anything else. Although some people will tell you need to use modes to make music interesting those people are a) wrong b) probably lack the creative ability to make a good sound without overcomplicating their music c) probably can't use modes properly themselves.

What the scales do is give a number of notes that when played together won't clash too much. The pentatonic scale is a streamlined version of the major scale which takes out even more clashing notes, these 5 notes are the black key on a piano. If you just mash at the black keys on a piano you will pretty quickly find it's actually very hard to make something that sounds "out of place" with just those notes they are inherently good sounding together.

As for composition, well the world is your oyster. To make a melody out of a scale, just simply play a series of notes from a scale in whatever order you like (in C major you could play C A G E (F) (B) A G C for instance, f and b are in brackets as they are not in the major pentatonic only the full major scale) what will make the melody sound like 'your' melody as opposed to just a random collection of notes is mainly the phrasing you use.

chords are also derived from the scale - a chord is just a collection of 3 notes from the scale. The most commonly used chords are those which have a root 3rd and 5th (so pick a note in the scale count to a 3rd count to a fifth e.g. CDEFGABC but you can make whatever chords you like.

As for the video - the solos seem tojust be made up of playing notes from the minor pentatonic very fast. the "chords" in the rhythm seem to just be power chords that is just a root and 5th e.g. CDEFGABC (specifically E5 D5 C5. can you work out what notes are in those power chords from the Em scale which is E F# G A B C D E?)
#19
Quote by blue_strat
You can learn a thousand different scales, but 90% of the time we have to look at what people before us have done with them, to learn about phrasing and the various effects you can get by playing whatever notes over whatever chords.

Otherwise, you end up like those guys, running up and down the natural minor and depending on the sound of the i - VII - VI progression to sound decent.


You think if I can play like EVH, I will sound good improvising?
-WingedBull
#20
Quote by doive
In 90% of western music only the major and minor scale is regularly used. Since the minor scale is derived from the major i think it is most important to learn the major properly before really moving onto anything else. Although some people will tell you need to use modes to make music interesting those people are a) wrong b) probably lack the creative ability to make a good sound without overcomplicating their music c) probably can't use modes properly themselves.

What the scales do is give a number of notes that when played together won't clash too much. The pentatonic scale is a streamlined version of the major scale which takes out even more clashing notes, these 5 notes are the black key on a piano. If you just mash at the black keys on a piano you will pretty quickly find it's actually very hard to make something that sounds "out of place" with just those notes they are inherently good sounding together.

As for composition, well the world is your oyster. To make a melody out of a scale, just simply play a series of notes from a scale in whatever order you like (in C major you could play C A G E (F) (B) A G C for instance, f and b are in brackets as they are not in the major pentatonic only the full major scale) what will make the melody sound like 'your' melody as opposed to just a random collection of notes is mainly the phrasing you use.

chords are also derived from the scale - a chord is just a collection of 3 notes from the scale. The most commonly used chords are those which have a root 3rd and 5th (so pick a note in the scale count to a 3rd count to a fifth e.g. CDEFGABC but you can make whatever chords you like.

As for the video - the solos seem tojust be made up of playing notes from the minor pentatonic very fast. the "chords" in the rhythm seem to just be power chords that is just a root and 5th e.g. CDEFGABC (specifically E5 D5 C5. can you work out what notes are in those power chords from the Em scale which is E F# G A B C D E?)


the "chords" in the rhythm seem to just be power chords that is just a root and 5th e.g. CDEFGABC (specifically E5 D5 C5. can you work out what notes are in those power chords from the Em scale which is E F# G A B C D E?)

Oh, I get it (I just wrote I didn't get it xD).
So, the Root Note is the note you're beginning with and then you pick the fifth note from je Major Scale. So You pick the Third and the Fifth note + the Root Note from the major scale and I have a chord?
-WingedBull
Last edited by WingedBull at Sep 23, 2009,
#21
Quote by WingedBull
Zhilla, thank-you for that comment! Really helped!
But, how do I make chords like in the Guitar Jam I posted?
To start with I'd cheat and use youtube or a buitar backing track site - and I'd stick to blues BTs to start with. I wouldn't say Blues is easy to play, but I would say blues backing tracks are easiest to have fun improvising over, and make it sound good.

I used to use backing tracks from here if its any help: http://www.torvund.net/guitar/index.php?page=Backing_blues

To make your own, I'd start with a 12bar blues type progression, which means you need to know the I, IV and V chords of the key your using - which is basically just chords built of the 1st (I), 4th (IV) and 5th (V) degrees (notes) of the scale - so for C Major you'd play C (I), F (IV) and G (V) chords.

Once you understand the Major scale, learn to harmonise it by stacking 3rds - that will teach you chord construction, and let you easily work out the chords that work with a given scale, so you can come up with your own chord progressions. It will also make it easier for you to start writing your own stuff and well as improvising

Edit: Didn't mean to imply its wrong to use backing tracks - its not cheating at all really, although it is good to be able to make your own. Imo its more impportant to be able to play good rhythm guitar and to have a goood understanding of chords than it is to be able to play a good lead line. There's not many songs with no rhythm guitar, but there are plenty of great songs with no solo.
Last edited by zhilla at Sep 23, 2009,
#22
So, the 1st, 4th and 5th note of the major scale and you have a chord and then I let my left hand sliding up and down to get other sounds?
-WingedBull
#23
Quote by WingedBull
So, the 1st, 4th and 5th note of the major scale and you have a chord and then I let my left hand sliding up and down to get other sounds?
Sorry - my bad for not explaining properly.

I meant the 1st, 4th and 5th chords form the scale.

You build a basic triad chord by stacking 3rds from the scale - which basically means every other note.

So form C Major

the notes are C D E F G A B

(C gets used a lot for examples as there are no sharps or flats)

to form a triad off the first note of the scale (C) you take the C, then take every other note from there until you have a triad (3notes) - so C + E + G. If you play C, E and G together that makes a C Major chord.

So if you do the same things with the 4th and 5th notes of C, you end up with 3 chords, CMaj, FMaj and GMaj.

CMaj is the I chord of C Major
FMaj is the IV chord of C Major
GMaj is the V chord of C Major

Edit: from that your basic 12 bar blues would be:
I 	I 	I 	I
IV 	IV 	I 	I
V 	IV 	I 	I
which basically means you play your I chord (CMaj for key of C Major) for 4 bars/measures, then you play your IV chord (FMaj for the key of C Major) for 2 bars, I chord (CMaj) for 2 bars, V chord (GMaj) for 1 bar, IV chord (FMaj) for 1 bar, then I chord (CMaj) for the last 2 bars.

Did that make any sense? :S
Last edited by zhilla at Sep 23, 2009,
#24
Quote by WingedBull
the "chords" in the rhythm seem to just be power chords that is just a root and 5th e.g. CDEFGABC (specifically E5 D5 C5. can you work out what notes are in those power chords from the Em scale which is E F# G A B C D E?)

Oh, I get it (I just wrote I didn't get it xD).
So, the Root Note is the note you're beginning with and then you pick the fifth note from je Major Scale. So You pick the Third and the Fifth note + the Root Note from the major scale and I have a chord?


Yep pretty much. If you do it like that you only have to decide on your root notes rather than thinking about all the notes in the chord. Power chords (root+5th) are not major or minor, whereas full chords (root+3rd+5th) are major or minor. If you just take the notes from the scale though whether the chord should be major/minor will sort it self out.
#26
Ive been playin guitar 4 about 2-3 months.im getting better. i like metal blues rock alternative. like love metallica, love paramore , love dragonforce.

I wanna get better so could anyone recommend any good tabs for beginners to play.

peace.
#27
Quote by WingedBull
So, the 1st, 4th and 5th note of the major scale and you have a chord and then I let my left hand sliding up and down to get other sounds?

It's not about what you do with your hands, that's not how you should be approaching things. It's about the sound you want to create, that comes first, what you do with your hands is just a means to an end.
Actually called Mark!

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