Ok well I just finished my second guitar lesson, and I was given a sheet with three blues scales to practice. It showed the root note for each scale, which determines what key it's played it depending on where I play it.

But I was wondering, if the root note is played with my pinky on the second string, then how would I play said scale if on the paper it shows the root note (C) being on the first fret? This probably doesn't make a lot of sense, I'm sure you'd need to see the paper to know what I'm talking about, but any help would be appreciated...
A scale is just a series of notes. You can play those notes anywhere on the fretboard and be playing that scale.

If the root is on the first fret, second string, that's fine. That's just the root. It's just one of the 6 notes in the blues scale.
Right, but since the root note of C is on the very first fret, how would I play the full scale in the key of C without moving up a full octave or whatever? (playing past the 12th fret)
Interesting that he'd show you a scale beginning on C at that place - I'm assuming the C at the 2nd string 1st fret, does it proceed in a linear fashion on the 1st and 2nd strings towards the 12th fret? If so, don't start it on the pinky - start it with your index finger. Seems funny that its the 2nd lesson and hes throwing blues scales at you. Did you have prior knowledge, like chords and finger strength and things of that nature?
Yeah actually, he started right off the bat showing me these scales and chords and helping me improvise under some progressions he made up. I wouldn't say that I'm bad; he was impressed haha. And hey, he's a retired Berklee professor so he probably knows what he's doing.

Well seeing as how my musical vocab is very low at this point, I'm not quite sure what you mean by linear... the scale that I'm talking about is a pattern of notes that starts one the low E and ends on the high E (excuse my primitive explanation haha), and the root note, C, is found on the B string, first fret. But that would make it impossible to play the entire scale in the key of C right there, no?
I forgot to thank you guys for the help btw, I appreciate. I don't really wanna keep practicing these if I'm doing it wrong, ya know?

Maybe I'm dumb and don't understand what's being asked?
You have the C Blues Scale, right?

Blues Scale: 1, b3, 4, #4, 5, b7
C Blues: C, Eb, F, F#, G, Bb

``````
Frets: 1     2     3     4

e  |--x--|--x--|--x--|-----|
B  |--o--|-----|-----|--x--|
G x|-----|-----|--x--|-----|
D  |--x--|-----|--x--|--x--|
A  |--x--|-----|--o--|-----|
E  |--x--|--x--|--x--|-----|

``````

o = root notes
x = other notes

You don't have to start on the root note to play the scale. You can play any of the notes anywhere you want on the fretboard and be playing the scale.

Edit: TS, even telling me that I'm not helping would help me out. I'm just trying to help you.

Last edited by metal4all at Dec 23, 2009,
HEre's the scale that I'm trying to get:

e |--x--|--x--|-----|--x--|
B |-----|--x--|-----|--o--|
G |--x--|-----|--x--|--x--|
D |--x--|-----|--x--|--x--|
A |--x--|--x--|-----|--x--|
E |--x--|--x--|-----|--x--|

So the root note there is with the pinky in that scale, and in order to play it that way in the key of C without changing it at all above the twelve fret would be... how, because the only C above the 12th fret of the B string is on the first fret.
Oh and I get what you mean by playing any of the notes but I'm pretty sure my teacher wants me to play this scale the way I showed you. So what I'm asking is if there's a way to play THAT pattern in the key of c above the 12th fret or am I not getting what my teacher is asking me to do?

And again, thanks. This is probably pretty frustrating for the both of us haha.
That's not C blues.

Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db

That's Eb Minor.

That's definitely not in the key of C (nor would it ever be played in the key of C) when you clearly list the root note as Eb.
Last edited by metal4all at Dec 23, 2009,
Quote by Unispex
HEre's the scale that I'm trying to get:

e |--x--|--x--|-----|--x--|
B |-----|--x--|-----|--o--|
G |--x--|-----|--x--|--x--|
D |--x--|-----|--x--|--x--|
A |--x--|--x--|-----|--x--|
E |--x--|--x--|-----|--x--|

So the root note there is with the pinky in that scale, and in order to play it that way in the key of C without changing it at all above the twelve fret would be... how, because the only C above the 12th fret of the B string is on the first fret.

(Assuming the first x is an open string)
Tha'ts not the C blues scale. it doesn't even have C in it. You're saying the root is D, and starting on C, it goes, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7, and 8.

That's a major scale with a flattened seventh, which is a scale I can't be bothered to remember right now

C minor blues is: 1, 2, b3, 4, b5, 5, b7, 8

I write songs.
YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THEM
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Last edited by WyvernOmega at Dec 23, 2009,
Quote by WyvernOmega
(Assuming the first x is an open string)
Tha'ts not the C blues scale. it doesn't even have C in it. You're saying the root is D, and starting on C, it goes, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7, and 8.

That's a major scale with a flattened seventh, whi
If the root note was D, why would you even build intervals off of C?

IF the root is D, the intervals would be: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6b, 7b (D minor)

That's probably a different blues scale.
It's Mixolydian and that isn't the scale in question.
Last edited by metal4all at Dec 23, 2009,
Quote by Unispex
HEre's the scale that I'm trying to get:

e |--x--|--x--|-----|--x--|
B |-----|--x--|-----|--o--|
G |--x--|-----|--x--|--x--|
D |--x--|-----|--x--|--x--|
A |--x--|--x--|-----|--x--|
E |--x--|--x--|-----|--x--|

So the root note there is with the pinky in that scale, and in order to play it that way in the key of C without changing it at all above the twelve fret would be... how, because the only C above the 12th fret of the B string is on the first fret.

That's just a section of the F# major scale.
Actually called Mark!

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^Unless the "o" is the root, in which it would be the relative minor as I pointed out earlier.

I swear my fucking head is going to explode. I'm so confused.

I'll check in after I eat dinner.

Edit: Of course TS is offline.
I'm struggling to get my head round the kind of teacher that would...

attempt to teach scales after such a short time
start somebody off with the natural minor rather than the more sensible major or more accessible minor pentatonic.
pick such a stupidly obscure position to teach that scale in
only point out the 2nd octave of the root rather than the far more helpful "root" root.
not even give his student the correct information regarding that scale - as everyone has pointed out it doesn't even contain a C!

run away Unispex, run while you still can.
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.

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Last edited by steven seagull at Dec 23, 2009,
Quote by steven seagull
I'm struggling to get my head round the kind of teacher that would...

attempt to teach scales after such a short time
start somebody off with the natural minor rather than the more sensible major or more accessible minor pentatonic.
pick such a stupidly obscure position to teach that scale in
only point out the 2nd octave of the root rather than the far more helpful "root" root.
not even give his student the correct information regarding that scale - as everyone has pointed out it doesn't even contain a C!

run away Unispex, run while you still can.
This. Sounds pretty illogical to me.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Yeah I don't even know what you guys are really talking about anymore, so Uh... thanks for the help and stuff.
Like he gave me a sheet with three blues scales patterns to start off, each with a circle on the note that names the scale or key or whatever, and then three corresponding lines to the scales that kinda show the fret number from 1-12, each saying what key the scale would be if the root note where on that fret. I hope that helps.
So, what is supposed to be the name of the scale you posted? Please point out where the root notes are.
I have no ****in idea, it just says "Blues Scale 1", "Blues Scale 2", and "Blues Scale 3". The second on the paper is the one that I posted, and the root note is the circle in the diagram.
I'm rolling around on the god dam floor here. This is like Abbott & Costello for christ sakes.

ps: i'm sorry Unis..pex? But someone needs to see this mysterious document of yours if you want to have some kind of sleep tonight. hahaha
Yeah guys sorry about this little mystery I brought upon the forum, we might have to call Scooby and the gang. As for scanning the paper; I can't. My gay printer isn't working, but I'll try to find something like it on the web. Hold on.
I dont see a blues scale there I see minor scale in the key of F, no b5 that I can tell. Odd looking diagram there also...but looks like they all connect, and hes showing you the root note of every F on that scale.

I don't want to say your teacher doesnt look like he knows what his scales are, but those aren't blues scales...
Last edited by Sean0913 at Dec 23, 2009,
Did your Berklee professor cut that out of a cave wall for you to take home? No wonder you had a hard time. Scanning a hunk of rock.

edit:I just saw a couple videos of covers you made on YouTube and I have to say I'm impressed. Some of the riffing and finger position and dexterity you demonstarte is very advanced for a year into it. You actually made me wonder if this was a joke. I've seen guys pick it up that quick before but it's very rare, and the way you play with a little attitude you can really tell you love what you're playing. I gotta say you're a natural. Keep it up.

In all seriousness though, I'd like to try helping a little but that diagram is gonna give me nightmares. Anyway, the first small diagram in the top left is a natural minor shape/scale if you put the root note(the key the rhythm is in that you wanna play over) at the first dot in the upper left corner. So if the riff is in the key of Aminor, you could use that shape startin at the 5th fret and go nuts if you will. If the riff is in Gmin you'd start that shape at the 3rd OR 15th frets, and so on. Assuming you know E string, 0 to 11th fret = E , F , F#, G , G#, A ,A#,B ,C ,C#,D ,D# then it starts over at the 12th fret.

I'm not even going to get into the rest of that jumbled crap. Somewhere along the line in your lesson, something was misunderstood somewhere, because as it's been said, those aren't the Blues scale. This is what's called the Blues scale. Ignore the notes written in the dotes and look at the shape. The same principle applies to this shape. First dot, this time in the bottom left, is used as the root note. Notice how this scale fits into the other one? But this scale doesn't sound as minor as the other one. It's basically the Minor pentatonic(a five note version of the Natural minor with an extra note for bluesy flavor.)

I'm not even gonna try to go into more than that, because I don't know much more to be honest. Just that is hopefully something that'll help a little and maybe set some things straight. These 2 shapes or scales have gone a long way for myself, hope they help you break out a little creativity. If you keep practicing and studying proper theory (not my layman's versions) you should be amazing in a few years. Good luck!
Hey thanks a lot man, a little praise is always nice. Haha I love how some douche bag went and rated all of my videos 1 star.... Not really.

I actually had to lower the quality dramatically in order for the site to be able to upload it, which explains THAT problem. It really pisses me off that he blatantly told me that they're blues scales, when they're not so I'll disregard that for now, but I have a quick question: How would I have to change the position of the scale if the rhythm is in major or minor? Like if there's a Gmaj and a Gmin progression would I just play in the key of G or play in G# for the major and G for the minor? I really appreciate your help btw, thanks man.
Quote by Unispex
Hey thanks a lot man, a little praise is always nice. Haha I love how some douche bag went and rated all of my videos 1 star.... Not really.

I actually had to lower the quality dramatically in order for the site to be able to upload it, which explains THAT problem. It really pisses me off that he blatantly told me that they're blues scales, when they're not so I'll disregard that for now, but I have a quick question: How would I have to change the position of the scale if the rhythm is in major or minor? Like if there's a Gmaj and a Gmin progression would I just play in the key of G or play in G# for the major and G for the minor? I really appreciate your help btw, thanks man.
If there's a G major progression, play in G major. If there's a G minor progression, play in G minor.

Looking at that scan:

Those are 3 positions for the F Minor Scale. There are more positions than that but he gave you 3. Scratch out "Blues Scale" and write "Minor Scale." He circled the F's because those are the root notes. He could've circled the other ones in the shapes but for whatever reason he didn't.

You understand where you play those, right? The first box starts on the 1st fret. The second box starts on the 3rd fret. The third box starts on the 8th fret.

Oh, and don't blame yourself for all of this confusion. This is your teacher's fault.

I saw a blues teacher once and he tried to tell me a Cadd9 chord didn't have a 9. That was the first and last lesson I had with him. I hate "teachers" like these.
Last edited by metal4all at Dec 23, 2009,
How do I play in major or minor? I'm sure my teacher will probably clear this up during the next lesson but now I'm curious. And as to where you play these scales/patterns, can't I play them anywhere on the fretboard, and only the key would change because the circled note, or root note, would change?
Quote by Unispex
How do I play in major or minor? I'm sure my teacher will probably clear this up during the next lesson but now I'm curious. And as to where you play these scales/patterns, can't I play them anywhere on the fretboard, and only the key would change because the circled note, or root note, would change?
1. I assume you're talking about soloing (like over a backtrack).

If you know the chord progression you're playing over is in G major, solo in G major. Solo with the notes from the G major scale. You don't have to strictly stay to them but use them as a general guideline (because those notes will help resolve to G).

If the progression is in G minor, use the G minor scale.

2. Yeah, you can play the notes in those scales anywhere on the fretboard and be playing the scale.

You can move those scale shapes around the fretboard and the key would change (because the roots would change).

For instance, if you moved the first scale shape up a whole step you would be playing G minor.
Ok thanks, you guys are awesome. And I think he knew that they aren't strictly blues scales because at the top it says something like "Blues and Rock scales", so I think maybe he was giving them a general name or maybe something that I could relate to.
Fuck Sherlock Holmes. This mystery has been solved.

Come back with any more questions.
Quote by Unispex
How do I play in major or minor? I'm sure my teacher will probably clear this up during the next lesson but now I'm curious. And as to where you play these scales/patterns, can't I play them anywhere on the fretboard, and only the key would change because the circled note, or root note, would change?

I'm going to try and give you a practical application for 3 of those "patterns".
Look at this pattern. Forget that the number 1 is on the 3rd fret, that's irrelevant for now, just look at the pattern.

Listen to this backing track in the key of C major.

In order to play lead over that C major backing track, you would place the 1 of that above pattern on the 8th fret of your low E string(which is a C). Play along in that pattern and you're playing the major scale or Ionian mode in C over a Cmajor chord progression. You'll notice it has a very "happy" kind of melody to it, kind of pop music Bob Denvery flavor.

If you want to give it more of a "bluesy" sound, you could switch back and forth from the major scale pattern to the Blues hybrid scale. Again, ignore that it starts on the 3rd fret, ignore the notes and the fact that here their calling it Bflat Major (hybrid) blues scale.
This is what`s generally known as just the blues scale. Same goes for this pattern over the same backing track. Start it at the 8th fret. After awhile you can start trying to find other patterns whith the same notes sequence to cover more and more of the fretboard.

Now I`m gonna try and keep the rest short. The 3rd pattern, but to me the most relevent to alot of Rock music, is the Natural minor scale, or Aeolian mode. I like this diagram because it`s going to connect 3 of the 4 patterns I talk about. Now to play this shape over this A minor backing track, the diagram tells you everything you need to know because this diagram happens to be in the right key as the backing track. So the 5, 7 and 8 actually represent the frets in this one. So you could follow that pattern starting on the 5th fret with the A minor backing track.
Notice how it sounds nice and melodic, kind of meloncholy.

Lastly, for now, look at the circled dots on that pattern. After the first 5 cicled notes the note sequence starts over in a higher octave. So instead of 7 notes before the pattern repeats itself as in the original pattern, you only have a 5 note version, hense it's called the Natural minor pentatonic. This is the pattern the above "blues pattern" is based on, just one extra note.

Gotta eat now, hope this helps. Please forgive me MTers for whatever terms or theories I might have generalised or ****ed up if I something wrong.
^The one problem I have with this is how you're throwing out the modal names. That's not needed at all.
Here we go.

Well I tried taking them out but my browser keeps lockin up everytime I try to edit that f*uckin post.

So for now, Unispex, just ignore those mode names. Seems I was over complicating things. If you weren't already confused after the first few responses you got.

ps: I disagree, I think if I would have completely avoided mentioning them, he might have wondered why he was seeing those names on the diagrams. If I used them incorrectly then please correct me, but just "throwing out" those 2 names I believe would've avoided possible confusion when he sees those names in the diagrams and in the future. I think it'll help him make the connection when he does starts asking about modes.

Unispex, again don't look into those mode names for now, some might become aggitated if you start asking about other modes before you can name every note on the neck and decipher chords in 1.5 seconds.

ps #2: this kid is already running pretty fast. If he wants to be able to ace a theory exam is up to him.
Last edited by JudgeDrey at Dec 24, 2009,
Thanks Drey, that was a bit much to take in all at once but I know what you're talking about now. Just had to read it a few times ^_^. A few quick questions though, just to clear things up:

You CAN change the pattern of a scale into anything you want, as long as it follows the same notes that make it up, right? I probably won't be doing this anytime soon until I become more familiar with the neck, but it's good to know.

To play the second pattern from the sheet that I showed you guys in the key of C above the 12th fret is... Impossible? Without changing the pattern, anyways.
Ultimately the pattern isn't important in the greater scheme of things, in that the pattern doesn't define the scale. The scale is the notes and the intervals, those notes and intervals will form the pattern on the fretboard - the scale defines the pattern , not the other way round if that makes sense. Anywhere you can find the notes, you can play a scale - knowing where notes occur on the fretboard will help a lot when it comes to making sense out of this

A scale pattern or shape is simply where the notes of a scale happen to appear at a particular place on the guitar fretboard. The theory behind that scale is universal though, it exists independently of the guitar...a C note is a C note whether you play it on a guitar, piano or even sing it, likewise for the C major scale. The guitar is kind of quirky amongst instruments because the same note can occur more than once, which gives you multiple options when it comes to choosing how to play a scale. With most instruments each note only occurs once so that means scales are more straightforward.

The result is the scale patterns, but just keep in mind that underneath most patterns you'll encounter, there's just a 5 or 7 note scale repeating.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Dec 24, 2009,
Quote by steven seagull
I'm struggling to get my head round the kind of teacher that would...

attempt to teach scales after such a short time
start somebody off with the natural minor rather than the more sensible major or more accessible minor pentatonic.
pick such a stupidly obscure position to teach that scale in
only point out the 2nd octave of the root rather than the far more helpful "root" root.
not even give his student the correct information regarding that scale - as everyone has pointed out it doesn't even contain a C!

run away Unispex, run while you still can.

I have to agree with this.
shred is gaudy music
Quote by Unispex
You CAN change the pattern of a scale into anything you want, as long as it follows the same notes that make it up, right?

Yes. Absolutely.

Remember the Natural Minor shape? This example happens to be in A, remember?At the 6th string 5th fret.

Once you start looking for other areas to find the same notes, you'll end up with something like this. Natural Minor scale Map. This example luckily happens to be in A(or Am) coincidently. Notice the blue dots is the same shape?