#1
I have been playing self taught for about a year and a half now, and am dabbling into music theory and such to really play, not just covers of songs and reading tabs. I've read countless articles and lessons on scales and how to use them and all that, but the thing is, I still don't really get it.

Lets please just stick with the minor pentatonic since it is easy. You start a scale and most people, if not all, tell you to end the scale with the root note again so it sounds complete. But after you start your root note, do you have to follow the pattern of A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, and so on? Or can you pick random notes? I'm not entirely sure how you construst a scale. I know about positions and uch and how they move, but how do you pick the next notes for your solo while following the scale? If you need clarification or anything ask and I'll try to clear it up or PM me if you'd like.

~Thanks
#2
A scale is just a set of notes that are known to sound a certain way together - that's all.

They don't tell you what to play, they aren't maps - understanding a scale simply means you know how those notes work together, and if you know that then you have a head start when it comes to figuring out what you want to do with them. Just playing a scale isn't playing music, it's just something you do to warm up or practice...you need to have some sort of idea in your head as to what it is you actually want to create.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Nov 30, 2009,
#3
Thats the chromatic scale, not the pentatonic. The pentatonic scale only has five notes between each root note, and depending on whether its major or minor the notes are different.

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#4
Well how would you make them do what you want to do? It's kind of hard to exactly explain what I mean. Basically, how would I create a solo based of the minor pentatonic scale. Lets say the root note is the 5th fret of the A string. So D. What next?
#5
Forget the physical aspects of the scale, forget frets and fingers...you need to listen to how it sounds and how the notes work together, then figure out what YOU want to do with those sounds, nobody can tell you how to do that.
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#6
So basically I have to do a trial and error?

And I guess basically I'm asking how do I apply scales to soloing? Or riff writing in general.
Last edited by Khaos5191 at Nov 30, 2009,
#7
Basically, a scale is just a set of notes that sounds good together. So choose your key.
Say you want to play in A, just eperiment with the different Minor Pentatonic shapes in A over basic chord backing which you can find all over the net. And see what sounds good.

I've been playing mindless crap for two years and am starting to take the instrument seriously now rather than just playing a few tabs too.

This site is quite useful for learning basics of theory http://justinguitar.com/
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#9
Quote by Khaos5191
So basically I have to do a trial and error?

And I guess basically I'm asking how do I apply scales to soloing? Or riff writing in general.
To start with its kind of trial and error - pick a couple of notes form the scale and play around with them til you are comfortable, then add a note or two into the mix and repeat.

Once you get to know the sound of the scale, you'll start to be able to come up with riffs and licks and phrases in your head, and work out how to play them on your guitar. It gets easier. Bu its fun learning
#10
I guess I just need someone I can ask in person and get shown examples or show examples myself. I'll have to look where I am for someone, darn little towns... Thanks all for the replies.
#11
Okay, this is what you could do.

Pick a song with simple backing. My example here is Maggot Brain by Funkadelic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12pywl9zNIE - You may have to turn it up quite loud.

If you have guitar pro or anything like that then download the tab and edit out the lead guitar.

Here we go... This lead is played mainly in E Minor Pentatonic.
SO. what you need to do is take your E minor scale and just play around with notes. It will sound a lot better with the backing as they're in the same key. i.e they sound good together.

Just try out shapes 1-5 and experiment =]
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#12
Learn some of other peoples solos to get some idea of how they work - shook me all night (ACDC) is a pretty simple G minor pent solo, Stairway to heaven is a cool A min pent (plus the odd F) solo, Nothing Else Matters (Metallica) is minor pent.
#13
Quote by Khaos5191
So basically I have to do a trial and error?

And I guess basically I'm asking how do I apply scales to soloing? Or riff writing in general.

Kind of, in that it's something you have to figure out for yourself - it's not a simple question with a simple answer. People spend their whole lives studying and composing music, you don't seriously expect there to be a magic answer and suddenly you'll know everything?

There's limited value in somebody teling you what something is supposed to sound like, often all that does is convince you've heard it even if you can't. You'll tell yourself you've heard it because you know you're supposed to, kind of like when you pretend to understand a joke you didn't really get.

Have a watch of these.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnbOWi6f_IM
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#14
There's only 12 notes to use. Keep that in mind.

I started doodling with minor pentatonic in the '1st box' shape. Eventually seeing different patterns appear - sweeps, hammer-ons, bends and etc. Then I got to where I could use all 12 notes one way or another by feel. Then I learned the rest of the fretboard. Just play all the time, blues really helps as most blues gives you the flexibility of using all 12 notes one way or another.

It all becomes second nature and you start playing by 'feel' or whatever, you'll get better at sliding from low to high parts of the neck for different sounds.

The minor pent scale with added colorations is just a really good starting point to learning how all 12 notes work together and getting good at using all 6 strings and all the frets.
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#15
KK, thanks again all. I just always watched lessons and videos and people would say, "Ok heres the scale.... and heres a solo!" I always wondered what happened between those two, whats the middle ground. But from what I've read here it's just getting a feel for the notes and eventually just knowing how they work together.