Hi everyone,

I have been studying scales (diatonic and pentatonic) for about 3 days now, using uncle tim's building blocks. He was using the C major scale as a base, but there were some things he wasn't getting too much in depth with in his book, and I was kind of hoping that someone can enlighten me on some of my questions . I will just use the C Major scale (it being the most simplistic I feel).

1: the scale (and as he states every scale) share 3 of the same diatonic patterns, the A string pattern, the E string pattern, and the transition pattern. but the ab major scale only has 2 patterns (because it seems that using the common 3 would cause an overlap of notes played). does this suggest that you can just make up patterns on any scale? but when wanting to play EVERY note certain pattern combinations will work?

2: in regards to modes, do these patterns stay the same for every scale? or do they have the same conditions as the diatonic patterns?

3: in regards to a major and their relative minor... can anyone tell me what makes one pattern the major and the other the minor? is it a first come basis or more of a musical understanding sort of deal? also, what does he mean by "pathways" when referring to c major's relative minor, the a minor.

4: i was reading about combining scales, now, i know you are probably sick of my retarded questions, but this will be the last. what are the rules in regards to combining scales?

thanks for reading and answering everyone I have a hard time learning when i cant find out why everything is what it is, and i feel that asking publicly questions allows for a greater understanding then answering bits and pieces over the internet
Patterns are merely a tool to make your life easier once you learn the hard stuff. Once you can name any note on the fretboard you can construct your own patterns.
1) Yes you can make up patterns, use the notes from the scale and lay them out on a friendly (usually closed, meaning not more than 4 frets wide) position on the fretboard.

2) Don't worry about modes yet.

3) The song context makes it. If you play a C Major scale over an A minor progression, technically it would be an A minor scale because they have the same notes and it would resolve to A minor not C Major. I don't know the book so I don't know what you mean by pathways.

4) None.
Quote by tenfold
I don't know the book so I don't know what you mean by pathways.

4) None.

"the relative minor

the relative minor key uses the exact same pathways as the relative major key. it is the same information but instead of usintg the relative major for the tonic, the relative minor becomes tonic."
A scale is a set of intervals, so when you know the tonic and apply those intervals you end up with a set of notes - so a diatonic scale is just a set of 7 notes. You can play the scale anywhere on the neck you can find those notes, and in any direction. So if you want to use patterns you can make up your own provided you use the notes from the scale.

Its worth learning your scales in terms of steps (eg Maj scale is WWHWWWH), intervals (eg Maj scale = root, Maj 2nd, Maj 3rd, perfect 4th etc) and notes (C Maj = C D E F G A B) as well as using patterns - understanding how to construct scales will make it much easier to understand how and when to apply them.

C Major and A minor (its relative minor) share the same notes, so if you map them out on the fretboard the make the same 'patterns'

But they resolve to different places - something in C Major will want to end on a C and a C Maj chord, something in A min will feel like it want to end on an A and an A min chord. Its probably easier to understand the difference between Major and minor scales by looking at parallel scales (scales which share the same tonic) rather than relative scales (scales which share the same notes but have different tonics)

C Major you know is R 2 3 4 5 6 7, which gives you C D E F G A B

Try comparing that to C minor

The natural minor scale is R 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7, so C min is C D Eb F G Ab Bb

Try playing C Maj followed by C min, and you should hear a clear difference.

Don't worry about modes or combining scales until you've really got your head around the major and minor scales. Modes are derived from the Major scale in much the same way that the minor scale is derived from the major scale, so once you've got your head around that modes will be much much easier to understand.
Forget modes for the time being, no way in hell you'll understand them after just 3 days of theory. And also don't fixate on the pattern alone, remember it's just showing you where the notes of a scale happen to be. The pattern isn't important when it comes to actually defining the scale - what defines the scale is the notes and intervals it's constructed from and also the context in which it's being used.

The C major scale is just the notes C D E F G A B, anywhere you can find any of those notes you can use the C major scale on your guitar. That's why it's important to learn the notes on the fretboard, so you can see what notes you're actually playing - otherwise you're just blindly following shapes. The same pattern usually fits multiple scales which is why you can't rely on them alone, they simply don't contain the important information...rather they fit in at the end when you know the other stuff to enable you to use it properly. The relative minor is a good example - a major scale and its relative minor contain exactly the same notes, so if you simply look at their patterns on the fretboard they'll be identical. The difference is in how those notes are used, not just by themselves but more importantly what they're being played over.

If you use the notes C D E F G A B in any order over a progression that resolves to C major eg C G F then you're playing in C major
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

However, iIf you use the notes C D E F G A B in any order over a progression that resolves to A minor eg Am G F E then you're playing in A minor

When people talk about A string patterns or E string patterns it's kind of immaterial, after all you can see any shape you want in all those notes, in this case it's just how it worked for that one tutor but it may not necessarily work best for you. That's why it's important to learn the notes, spend a bit of time studying and playing around with the scale yourself and seeing how it's constructed. That way you can see how different shapes suggest themselves as you're playing and how it all fits in with the chords derived from the scale....ultimately it's about taking a little time to discover what works best for you.
Actually called Mark!

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