#1
I've learnt the major scale, the natural minor scale, and the harmonic minor scale. I want to learn some other scales. The ones used in neo-classical metal, for example. But also scales that aren't natural minor or major, for folk music or classical music. I want to learn a lot of scales outside the natural minor scale.

So can you guys give me some of those scales? (And, i'd appreciate it if you also listed the interval pattern with it (the WWHWWWH thing))
#2
google it or use the lessons here on ug this isnt really that hard to find. BUt i do recomend learning intervals instead of wwwhwhomfgwe methods of spelling out scales.
*lust list*
Vox tone lab
Vox ac50
satchurator
satches time machine
vintage phase 90
Money towards this gear = $0.00

Quote by Doctor Matthews
Yeah I dreamt I was fighting Master Hand, but then I woke up to realize I was jackin' it in my sleep.
#3
There is a lesson on UG somewhere that has like every single scale conceivable...as far as a solid metal scale i don't know.
#4
Well for minor, there are the harmonic and melodic minor scales too.

Harmonic minor sounds really neoclassical as you would call it, it's 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 build from the major scale.

The melodic minor scale makes a difference in ascending and descending in classical music. Ascending it is 1-2-b3-4-5-6-7, descending 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7.

Examples
C major = C-D-E-F-G-A-B
C natural minor = C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb
C harmonic minor = C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-B
C melodic minor ascending = C-D-Eb-F-G-A-B-C
C melodic minor descending = C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb (basically a natural minor)


There are also harmonic and melodic major scales, but they were mostly ignored by classical composers.
The melodic major scale is build 1-2-3-4-5-b6-b7 ascending, and descending like a regular major scale. The harmonic major scale goes 1-2-3-4-5-b6-7.

Examples
C major = C-D-E-F-G-A-B
C melodic major ascending = C-D-E-F-G-Ab-Bb
C melodic major descending = see C major
C harmonic major = C-D-E-F-G-Ab-B


I hoped I helped you somewhat with this. For almost all possible scales you can also check out this site (ofcourse click the scale link).

And then there's of course the modes (ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian, locrian) but I suggest you first master the basics of the normal scales and then move on to modes because I don't see you understanding them yet.

Cheers!
Last edited by KoenDercksen at Oct 22, 2009,
#5
Neo-classical is mostly harmonic and maybe melodic minor, I'm not sure.

Anyway, the harmonic minor is the same as a minor scale but with a sharpened 7th.

e.g.

A Minor: A B C D E F G A
A Harmonic Minor: A B C D E F G# A

Just play your minor but on the note before you reach your octave note (or your 8th) instead of playing 2 frets before it, play one.
#7
Most of the music you listen to is based round the major and minor scales anyway. YOu haven't "learned" those scales - you may know how to play them and the basics of how to construct them but that's a tiny part of it, you need to learn how to use them and that's an ongoing thing...you could spend your whole life studying the major scale and you'd never actually "learn" it.
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
Last edited by steven seagull at Oct 22, 2009,
#8
Quote by steven seagull
Most of the music you listen to is based round the major and minor scales anyway. YOu haven't "learned" those scales - you may know how to play them and the basics of how to construct them but that's a tiny part of it, you need to learn how to use them and that's an ongoing thing...you could spend your whole life studying the major scale and you'd never actually "learn" it.

+1, you can do so much with those scales, just because you ran up and down those scales a few times doesn't mean you've properly learned them. Learning more scales isn't going to expand your sound like you're expecting, spend more time on the major and minor scales
#9
Yes, I know, but I can improvise using the natural minor and major scales. I've not recorded something a few months, but i've learnt a few new things theory-wise, so I think i'm ready for it:
- I know, for every scale that I know, how to construct it using interval patterns, and the horizontal and vertical pattern.
- I know how to start a scale for every note on the fretboard. For example, for E minor I know I can start a horizontal scale on the open low E, and the open high E. I know I can start a horizontal or a vertical scale on Fret 5 on the B string, fret 7 on the A string, fret 12 on the E string, and so on.
- I know how to transcribe (by ear) the vocal part of a song to a lead line.
- I know almost every note on the fretboard, except for the D and G strings (but I know how to get the names of those notes quickly)

What I want to make clear here, is that i'm not running up and down vertical scales - but I haven't recorded an improvisation or posted a video in months, so you guys didn't hear/see it. Perhaps I should post something like that.
I'm aware that this is only the beginning of music theory. I'm just trying to make clear, that i'm actually using scales to write music, but haven't shown it to you guys, and as a result, I keep getting told I should learn to not just run up and down a scale. The point is, i don't run up and down a scale anymore. I used to do it, and all my old material contains it. But I don't run up and down scales anymore. So please give some answers that aren't about learning to not run up and down scales, please.

I know this sounds like bragging, but just to make clear that it's not bragging: My improvisations sound boring most of the time. My tone still sucks, my picking is sometimes inaccurate, my pull-offs don't sound good, and i'm having trouble muting the higher strings (1, 2, and 3).

Now, the reason I want to learn those other scales, is because I want to experiment with the different sounds of those scales. Sorry that I kept repeating that i'm not running up and down scales anymore. It's just not helpful to keep getting the reply of 'first learn to not run up and down scales' every time I ask such a question. I need a way to notify all forum members of what i've learnt (some sort of page containing things i've learnt), so that I do not have to keep explaining what i've learnt in forum posts, and so that I do not keep getting answers like this.
Last edited by robinlint at Oct 22, 2009,
#10
Thats great, but Id still recommend getting a deeper understanding of the major scale before you learn any new scales - plus, if you really understand the major scale you'll find modes relatively simple when you get to them, and that will give you enough scales to keep you busy for years.

First though, I'd make sure you can play the major scale anywhere on the neck in any key, in any direction - so in addition to playing E Major from the open E, play it from the 12th fret of the E string starting on your 1st finger, your 2nd finger and your 3rd finger - so you have to use different fingering patterns. Or start at the open E and play it 4 notes per string instead of 3 notes per string, so you go diagonally up the neck.

And learn to harmonise the scale by stacking thirds - that makes understanding chords and other scales soooo much easier its not even funny

Edit: do you know the Major and minor pentatonic? They are just the same as the major and minor scales with 2 notes omitted, but they are great for improv.
Last edited by zhilla at Oct 22, 2009,
#11
Quote by zhilla
Thats great, but Id still recommend getting a deeper understanding of the major scale before you learn any new scales - plus, if you really understand the major scale you'll find modes relatively simple when you get to them, and that will give you enough scales to keep you busy for years.

I agree. Although I do not play much in the major scale, except for chord progressions and power chord progressions. I use the natural minor scale way more often.


First though, I'd make sure you can play the major scale anywhere on the neck in any key, in any direction - so in addition to playing E Major from the open E, play it from the 12th fret of the E string starting on your 1st finger, your 2nd finger and your 3rd finger - so you have to use different fingering patterns. Or start at the open E and play it 4 notes per string instead of 3 notes per string, so you go diagonally up the neck.

I'll try it all out, but is it okay if I use natural minor instead of the Major scale?


And learn to harmonise the scale by stacking thirds - that makes understanding chords and other scales soooo much easier its not even funny

By stacking thirds? Okay, i'll look it up.

Edit: do you know the Major and minor pentatonic? They are just the same as the major and minor scales with 2 notes omitted, but they are great for improv.
I know the minor pentatonic, but not the major one.
#12
Quote by robinlint
I'll try it all out, but is it okay if I use natural minor instead of the Major scale?
Try it with the minor scale, then do the same thing with its relative major just to check you can - eg play A minor diagonally up the neck, then use the same notes to play C Major in the same position - so if you started A minor with your first finger on the 5th fret of the E string, play C Major straight afterwards starting with your 3rd finger or pinkie on the 8th fret of the E string

When you've done that, you'll hopefully realise that if you know the minor pentatonic, you also know the major pentatonic - if not, post again and I - or someone more knowledgeable - will explain it
#13
Quote by zhilla
Try it with the minor scale, then do the same thing with its relative major just to check you can - eg play A minor diagonally up the neck

Thanks, I didn't know about playing scales diagonally - but I tried playing A minor from the E string, then saw that to continue diagonally I had to start the next A minor scale from the octave of the previous one, and once I got to the next octave, it was the same thing. Thanks for telling me about playing scales diagonally

then use the same notes to play C Major in the same position - so if you started A minor with your first finger on the 5th fret of the E string, play C Major straight afterwards starting with your 3rd finger or pinkie on the 8th fret of the E string

I did it, although with a different major scale pattern (a 3-note-per-string one)


When you've done that, you'll hopefully realise that if you know the minor pentatonic, you also know the major pentatonic - if not, post again and I - or someone more knowledgeable - will explain it

I don't quite understand that. I know that to switch from natural minor the minor pentatonic is just leaving out a few notes, but i don't see how the minor pentatonic relates to the major one.
#14
Quote by robinlint
Thanks, I didn't know about playing scales diagonally - but I tried playing A minor from the E string, then saw that to continue diagonally I had to start the next A minor scale from the octave of the previous one, and once I got to the next octave, it was the same thing. Thanks for telling me about playing scales diagonally
You can play them anywhere on the neck and in any direction that you can find the notes Being able to play them diagonally can be useful for finding your way around the neck quickly when you're improvising too.
Quote by robinlint
I did it, although with a different major scale pattern (a 3-note-per-string one)

I don't quite understand that. I know that to switch from natural minor the minor pentatonic is just leaving out a few notes, but i don't see how the minor pentatonic relates to the major one.
Did you see how the major and natural minor are related?
#15
Quote by zhilla
You can play them anywhere on the neck and in any direction that you can find the notes Being able to play them diagonally can be useful for finding your way around the neck quickly when you're improvising too. Did you see how the major and natural minor are related?

Well, i've learnt that the natural minor scale is based on the major scale. A few notes are flattened or sharpened, other than that I don't see any similarities.
#16
Ok, there's two main relationships between scales - parallel scales, which are scales with the same root but different notes, and relative scales - which are scales with the same notes, but different roots.

You already know your major scale is R 2 3 4 5 6 7, or WWHWWWH, so C Maj = C D E F G A B

and you know your minor scale is R 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7, or WHWWHWW, so C min = C D Eb F G Ab Bb

C Maj and C min are parallel scales - they both have C as their root, but some of the notes are different.

If you look at the step patterns though, they fit together

C (W) D (W) E (H) F (W) G (W) A (W) B (H) C (W) D (W) E (H) F (W) G (W) A (W) B (H)

The bolded bit is the A minor scale - check the steps - it is the relative minor of C, its root is the 6th degree of the C Major scale

So if you can play the A minor scale, you can play the C Major scale by playing exactly the same notes but using C as your root/tonic

Same for any other Major scale - eg G Maj = G A B C D E F#, the 6th degree is E, E minor is E F# G A B C D

Same thing goes for the Pentatonics.

The minor pentatonic is the minor scale with the 2nd and 6th omitted - So A minor Pentatonic is A C D E G.

The Major pentatonic is the Major scale with the 4th and 7th omitted - so C Major Pentatonic is C D E G A.

Same notes, different tonic - so if you can play the minor pentatonic, all you need to do is play the same notes, but use the root of the major as your tonic.

Once you get your head around that lot, modes should be relatively simple too.
#17
Quote by zhilla
Ok, there's two main relationships between scales - parallel scales, which are scales with the same root but different notes, and relative scales - which are scales with the same notes, but different roots.

You already know your major scale is R 2 3 4 5 6 7, or WWHWWWH, so C Maj = C D E F G A B

and you know your minor scale is R 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7, or WHWWHWW, so C min = C D Eb F G Ab Bb

C Maj and C min are parallel scales - they both have C as their root, but some of the notes are different.

If you look at the step patterns though, they fit together

C (W) D (W) E (H) F (W) G (W) A (W) B (H) C (W) D (W) E (H) F (W) G (W) A (W) B (H)

The bolded bit is the A minor scale - check the steps - it is the relative minor of C, its root is the 6th degree of the C Major scale

So if you can play the A minor scale, you can play the C Major scale by playing exactly the same notes but using C as your root/tonic

Wait.. so, if I take the C major scale, and then go 6 steps forward, and then play the scale further as if I played the whole part I skipped, i get the A minor scale? I just tried it out, but what I don't get, is why it then continues in the natural minor shape, and why I should not just count 6 scale degrees up from the C and then play a natural minor? Or is it different with the other modes?
(And this would be the Aeolian mode? Thanks for teaching me the first mode!)


Same for any other Major scale - eg G Maj = G A B C D E F#, the 6th degree is E, E minor is E F# G A B C D

Okay. And it's the same thing in reverse? So, if I would play A minor, the relative major would be G major?


Same thing goes for the Pentatonics.



The minor pentatonic is the minor scale with the 2nd and 6th omitted - So A minor Pentatonic is A C D E G.

The Major pentatonic is the Major scale with the 4th and 7th omitted - so C Major Pentatonic is C D E G A.

Okay, I get it.


Same notes, different tonic - so if you can play the minor pentatonic, all you need to do is play the same notes, but use the root of the major as your tonic.

So it also works if you use a minor scale and then start on the 6th degree? But the minor pentatonic scale doesn't have a 6th degree - should I use the 6th of the natural minor scale?


Once you get your head around that lot, modes should be relatively simple too.

What are modes useful for? I mean, modes are only useful with a specific chord backing behind them - So once I learn em, how do I use em?
Last edited by robinlint at Oct 23, 2009,
#18
I think you will benefit from the "ultimate guide to guitar" lesson series here on UG. There are multiple lessons on the modes which will explain everything you need to know and more.
Hey check out my band. Prog Metal/Death/Jazz
www.myspace.com/siegeofaugusta

1993 Jackson Rhoads Standard w/ EMG's for sale, PM if interested
Quote by zezimathehero
^Shut the hell up and talk about BTBAM
#19
Quote by robinlint
Wait.. so, if I take the C major scale, and then go 6 steps forward, and then play the scale further as if I played the whole part I skipped, i get the A minor scale? I just tried it out, but what I don't get, is why it then continues in the natural minor shape, and why I should not just count 6 scale degrees up from the C and then play a natural minor? Or is it different with the other modes?
(And this would be the Aeolian mode? Thanks for teaching me the first mode!)
Don't fall into the trap of thinking of scales as shapes - they make shapes on the fretboard, but a scale is essentially just a set of notes.

Yes, the natural minor scale is essentially the aeolian mode - its root is the 6th degree of the relative major scale, and follows the same step pattern from that point.

So if the major scale is

R (W) 2 (W) 3 (H) 4 (W) 5 (W) 6 (W) 7 (H) R

Your natural minor, or aeolian mode, has the 6th degree of the major scale as its root, so if you just rearrange the major scale so it starts form teh 6th degree you get:

6 (W) 7 (H) R (W) 2 (W) 3 (H) 4 (W) 5 (W) 6

so minor is

R (W) 2 (H) b3 (W) 4 (W) 5 (H) b6 (W) b7 (W) R

Quote by robinlint
Okay. And it's the same thing in reverse? So, if I would play A minor, the relative major would be G major?
yup - same notes means relative scales


Quote by robinlint
So it also works if you use a minor scale and then start on the 6th degree? But the minor pentatonic scale doesn't have a 6th degree - should I use the 6th of the natural minor scale?
Almost - the minor scale has its root on the 6th degree of the major scale.

C Maj = C D E F G A B C

6th degree is A, so the relative minor is

A min = A B C D E F G A

To get back to the relative major - which we already know is C Major - its the 3rd degree of the minor scale. Its kind of like inverting intervals. If you go from A UP to C, its a 3rd, if you go from A DOWN to C its a 6th. (They always add up to 9 - so if A up to B is a 2nd, to get from B up to the next A is [9-2=7] a 7th)

Your minor pentatonic scale is the minor scale with the 2nd and 6th omitted, so for A min pent you've got

A(R) C(b3) D(4) E(5) G(b7)

The 3rd of the minor is the root of the relative major, so the C is the root of the relative major pentatonic too. Same for Major to minor (except 9-3=6 so its the 6th degree in reverse)

C Maj Pent = C(R) D(2) E(3) G(5) A(6)

Quote by robinlint
What are modes useful for? I mean, modes are only useful with a specific chord backing behind them - So once I learn em, how do I use em?
You can use them for writing songs and for improv, but its harder than using the major or minor scales, as modes are unstable - thats why you have to be careful what chords you use, to make them resolve to the root you want, and stop them just turning back into their relative major or natural minor scales. You don't have to do that with a chord progression or vamp though - you can just use pedal tones to reinforce the root. There are songs that are based on modes - Sweet Home Alabama is basically Mixolydian. The vast majority of songs are either major or natural minor though, with maybe a few accidentals thrown in.

Modes give you a different sound to play with the same way that natural minor gives you a different sound to Major.

Even if you don't use them much, modes are useful to understand as they give you different ways of looking at the major and minor scales, so you get a better understanding of them. They help understand how changing a note, or interval, can change the whole sound too, so they make it easier to understand how and when to use accidentals (out of key notes).

There are some good lessons on here on modes - there's a modes thread going at the moment that Freepower's put a couple of links in that might be useful [thread]1219350[/thread] - but make sure to get your head around the major and minor so you're really comfortable with them, and they way they are related, and learn to harmonise the Major and minor scales before getting any deeper into modes. They'll be a lot easier that way.
Last edited by zhilla at Oct 23, 2009,
#20
@KoenDercksen: I forgot to thank you. Your post contains very helpful information, thanks

Quote by zhilla
Don't fall into the trap of thinking of scales as shapes - they make shapes on the fretboard, but a scale is essentially just a set of notes.

Luckily, steven seagull told me this already. But thanks for warning me


Yes, the natural minor scale is essentially the aeolian mode - its root is the 6th degree of the relative major scale, and follows the same step pattern from that point.

Okay.


So if the major scale is

R (W) 2 (W) 3 (H) 4 (W) 5 (W) 6 (W) 7 (H) R

Your natural minor, or aeolian mode, has the 6th degree of the major scale as its root, so if you just rearrange the major scale so it starts form teh 6th degree you get:

6 (W) 7 (H) R (W) 2 (W) 3 (H) 4 (W) 5 (W) 6

so minor is

R (W) 2 (H) b3 (W) 4 (W) 5 (H) b6 (W) b7 (W) R

I get this part. Basically, you grab the major scale of the key you want, and start on a specific degree of the scale, for example the 6th degree for Aeolian. But you don't start the interval pattern from the beginning, so it's not like actually STARTING the major scale on the 6th degree, it's more of a continue. Am I right?
Edit: I've just tried it out, but what I described here didn't work, although starting a major scale from the beginning on the 3rd degree of the natural minor scale DID work, and starting a minor scale from the sixth degree of the major scale worked as well.



C Maj = C D E F G A B C

6th degree is A, so the relative minor is

A min = A B C D E F G A

To get back to the relative major - which we already know is C Major - its the 3rd degree of the minor scale. Its kind of like inverting intervals. If you go from A UP to C, its a 3rd, if you go from A DOWN to C its a 6th. (They always add up to 9 - so if A up to B is a 2nd, to get from B up to the next A is [9-2=7] a 7th)

Huh? Didn't you mean: from A minor UP to C major it's a 3rd and from C major DOWN to A minor it's 1 6th?


Your minor pentatonic scale is the minor scale with the 2nd and 6th omitted, so for A min pent you've got

A(R) C(b3) D(4) E(5) G(b7)


The 3rd of the minor is the root of the relative major, so the C is the root of the relative major pentatonic too. Same for Major to minor (except 9-3=6 so its the 6th degree in reverse)

I don't understand your math formula, but I do understand that to get from major to minor you use the 6th degree, and from minor to major you use the 3rd degree. Am I right?


C Maj Pent = C(R) D(2) E(3) G(5) A(6)



You can use them for writing songs and for improv, but its harder than using the major or minor scales, as modes are unstable - thats why you have to be careful what chords you use, to make them resolve to the root you want, and stop them just turning back into their relative major or natural minor scales. You don't have to do that with a chord progression or vamp though - you can just use pedal tones to reinforce the root.

You said you have to be careful what chords you use, but after that you said you don't have to do that with a chord progression... Please explain?
Oh, and what is a "vamp"?


There are songs that are based on modes - Sweet Home Alabama is basically Mixolydian. The vast majority of songs are either major or natural minor though, with maybe a few accidentals thrown in.

Modes give you a different sound to play with the same way that natural minor gives you a different sound to Major.

Even if you don't use them much, modes are useful to understand as they give you different ways of looking at the major and minor scales, so you get a better understanding of them. They help understand how changing a note, or interval, can change the whole sound too, so they make it easier to understand how and when to use accidentals (out of key notes).

Sounds like good stuff to learn


There are some good lessons on here on modes - there's a modes thread going at the moment that Freepower's put a couple of links in that might be useful [thread]1219350[/thread] - but make sure to get your head around the major and minor so you're really comfortable with them, and they way they are related, and learn to harmonise the Major and minor scales before getting any deeper into modes. They'll be a lot easier that way.

I don't think i'm ready for modes just yet. But thanks for the link to the thread, and all the information
But then, what's with all the scales listed on websites? For example, the 'gypsy scale'. Is that simply a mode? Or a minor scale variation?
Last edited by robinlint at Oct 23, 2009,
#21
Quote by robinlint
I get this part. Basically, you grab the major scale of the key you want, and start on a specific degree of the scale, for example the 6th degree for Aeolian. But you don't start the interval pattern from the beginning, so it's not like actually STARTING the major scale on the 6th degree, it's more of a continue. Am I right?
yup

Quote by robinlint
Edit: I've just tried it out, but what I described here didn't work, although starting a major scale from the beginning on the 3rd degree of the natural minor scale DID work, and starting a minor scale from the sixth degree of the major scale worked as well.
dunno why it didn't work - may just be because its confusing trying to start from partway through the scale. Might be worth drawing it out on a diagram of the fretboard on a piece of paper.

Quote by robinlint
Huh? Didn't you mean: from A minor UP to C major it's a 3rd and from C major DOWN to A minor it's 1 6th?


from A up (in pitch) to C is a 3rd
from C up to A is a 6th

from A down to C is a 6th
from C down to A is a 3rd

Quote by robinlint
I don't understand your math formula, but I do understand that to get from major to minor you use the 6th degree, and from minor to major you use the 3rd degree. Am I right?
yup

Quote by robinlint
You said you have to be careful what chords you use, but after that you said you don't have to do that with a chord progression... Please explain?
Oh, and what is a "vamp"?
Modes are kind of unstable - so you kind of have to force them to resolve to the root you want. Its easier to do that with less chords, so you can keep reinforcing the root and the flavour tones of teh mode - like for a minor song you'd keep using the b3 and the root.

A vamp is just a simple rhythm line using 1 or 2 chords. They are used a lot with modes because if you are only using 1 or 2 chords, and one of the is the root chord, you can keep reinforcing the tones you want.

Pedal tones do the same thing - if you want to play in E minor you can just use an open E as a pedal tone to keep reinforcing the root instead of a chord progression.

The same works for modes - you can use the notes C D E F G A B to play E phrygian, and keep using the open E as a pedal tone to reinforce that the root is E. But yeah, don't worry about that til you're ready

Quote by robinlint
But then, what's with all the scales listed on websites? For example, the 'gypsy scale'. Is that simply a mode? Or a minor scale variation?
The main scales are Major and natural minor. The pentatonics are basically just the major and minor scales with 2 notes missing. Plus you've got all the modes of the Major scale (one mode for each scale degree).

Natural minor can be altered to produce the harmonic minor (raised 7th) and the melodic minor (raised 6th and 7th) - harmonic and natural minor have modes in the same way that the Major scale does. They have differnet names too

Then you've got other scales which are alterations of those scales - the minor gypsy scale is the natural minor with a raised 4th (its also a mode of the byzantine scale I think), the hungarian gypsy scale is the harmonic minor with a raised 4th.

Basically pretty much any combination of intervals you can come up with has been used as a scale at some point. And if you really understand the Major and minor scales and are really comfortable with them, you can derive pretty much any scale you'll ever need from them.
Last edited by zhilla at Oct 23, 2009,