#1
Hey guys,

I'm not great with theory..well...I'm awful with it to be honest. I'm quite laid back to the point where I can be pretty lazy and this is where it kicks in.

Right now, I play in a band and solo within the minor pentatonic (dare I say it?)...patterns. I know I shouldn't call them patterns and should know the individual notes, but its a tough job to learn them all accross the neck and be so confident with that in live playing. I feel more 'safe' having a pattern to play within.

I recently feel pretty down that my solos sound very similar nowadays and wanted to learn some new scales.

I just checked out the Aeolian scale travelling up the neck in 3 octaves.

And I also played around with a backing track in E and figured out all the 'nice' fitting notes and seems to have helped alot!

My question is...there are so many scales around, so how do I determine what one to use for each solo? Like, do you have to stick to one scale? Can you mix them? And how exactly do you choose a scale to play in?

Is it based on preference, feeling or what?

Thanks, I appriciate any help. Apoligies for my lack of knowledge
#2
Just use the 'pattern' you currently use, but learn when to add in the other notes into it. That's based off of feeling. The 7 'modes' are just a good way to get used to which notes sound which way. They're all either major or minor (major and minor pentatonic use the same 'pattern' but it's all about which 'extra' notes they pepper in.

I try to use almost all 12 notes when I can, just get used to like... oh a minor second is dark sounding... a minor six is kinda gloomy but not demonic... things like that.
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#3
ok thanks man

But I feel like what I am doing now...is just repetative and is getting boring to play due to this...

I just feel like there is so much more I can learn and put into practice really. I'd love to create certain feelings from my theory and not just a guess if that makes sense
#4
The key of the song is the scale you use generally. If the song is in G, then you use the G major scale. You can use patterns, they're great, but the thing is that you should know what you are playing.

Learn the major scale. Learn what it is and how it is built. Then you can use the patterns without a problem, since you will know what you are doing.

But don't get into the trap of thinking the different positions are their own scale. They're not. It's still the same scale. The Aeolian scale you're using isn't the Aeolian scale. The Aeolian scale is a mode, and modes are a whole different ball game and you shouldn't get into them until you have a solid understanding of tonal music. You're actually using the Natural Minor scale (they have the same notes, but they are different scales, because it all depends on what context you're using them in).

Learn the major scale, what it is, how it's used, how it's built. Really sink your teeth into it.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#6
Quote by moominman2
Hey guys,

I'm not great with theory..well...I'm awful with it to be honest. I'm quite laid back to the point where I can be pretty lazy and this is where it kicks in.

Right now, I play in a band and solo within the minor pentatonic (dare I say it?)...patterns. I know I shouldn't call them patterns and should know the individual notes, but its a tough job to learn them all accross the neck and be so confident with that in live playing. I feel more 'safe' having a pattern to play within.

I recently feel pretty down that my solos sound very similar nowadays and wanted to learn some new scales.

I just checked out the Aeolian scale travelling up the neck in 3 octaves.

And I also played around with a backing track in E and figured out all the 'nice' fitting notes and seems to have helped alot!

My question is...there are so many scales around, so how do I determine what one to use for each solo? Like, do you have to stick to one scale? Can you mix them? And how exactly do you choose a scale to play in?

Is it based on preference, feeling or what?

Thanks, I appriciate any help. Apoligies for my lack of knowledge


Well, there is alot to it. not really teachable in 1 thread.

Heres my advice though as to a basic guide/roadmap......


preparatory:

1) develop some general playing skills .......both rhythm and lead.

- have a repertoire of music you can play.


2) learn to read standard notation and become familiar with the notes on the neck


^ these preparatory steps are crucial for the rest to be of any benefit to you.


3) begin studying theory

its something you take in step by step as you build your knowledge. In this process, things like what scale is appropriate and why will become apparent. This is where you will find the answer to your question. Again though, without the proper foundation of general music appreciation/basic skills, and the ability to read the language that music theory is taught in, you'll just be learning a few fancy words to throw around in arguments online. And thats obviously not what you're after.

Listen -> appreciate -> learn to play -> learn about/study
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 17, 2010,
#12
Well, it gets into other stuff. But it all comes form the major scale. That's the foundation of 90% of the music made in the last 300 years.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#13
gamer and munky pretty much nailed it. there's just one thing i feel i can add.

there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with using patterns. honestly, you'd be hard-pressed to find a guitarist that doesn't. but the flaw that so many people succumb to is that they never learn the notes, so they're literally just playing patterns, instead of thinking of the notes.

if you know the notes on the fretboard well, the patterns well, and the notes themselves well, that's really the key to unlocking the entire fretboard.

take it slow - this isn't the kind of thing that comes overnight. it's more of a lengthy pursuit than a difficult one. be patient, be serious, and, most of all, be open.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#14
Quote by moominman2
I like it, but does it go into enough depth for the major scale?


well there is alot there, but Im not sure Id count on it as your sole source of info. What you need is an organized approach. maybe they have some lesson plans there?

I've heard the book "music theory for dummies" is supposed to be pretty good.

again, I strongly recommend getting the reading chops happening, if you don't already.
shred is gaudy music
#15
Quote by AeolianWolf
gamer and munky pretty much nailed it. there's just one thing i feel i can add.

there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with using patterns. honestly, you'd be hard-pressed to find a guitarist that doesn't. but the flaw that so many people succumb to is that they never learn the notes, so they're literally just playing patterns, instead of thinking of the notes.

if you know the notes on the fretboard well, the patterns well, and the notes themselves well, that's really the key to unlocking the entire fretboard.

take it slow - this isn't the kind of thing that comes overnight. it's more of a lengthy pursuit than a difficult one. be patient, be serious, and, most of all, be open.


+100
#17
The only other thing I'll throw out there is to spend time developing your ear. If you have a good ear you can always find the notes you want to play - what you hear in your head. If you are just playing notes in a pattern or scale it will be hit or miss if you don't know how they sound. If you develop your ear and let it guide you, you'll have a greater chance of playing something that sounds good.
#18
Quote by jsepguitar
The only other thing I'll throw out there is to spend time developing your ear. If you have a good ear you can always find the notes you want to play - what you hear in your head. If you are just playing notes in a pattern or scale it will be hit or miss if you don't know how they sound. If you develop your ear and let it guide you, you'll have a greater chance of playing something that sounds good.


I think you have it backwards. As long as you're playing in the same key as the progression, your notes will sound good. If you're going by ear and your ear isn't too good, then it's really going to be hit and miss. Using the scale patterns can help your ear identify what notes sound good, and sometimes some notes will sound better than others in your scale depending on what chord you're playing over, these are called chord tones. I'll let someone else explain, because I'm too lazy. Lol.
#19
Another vote for major scale.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#20
Quote by aCloudConnected
I think you have it backwards. As long as you're playing in the same key as the progression, your notes will sound good. If you're going by ear and your ear isn't too good, then it's really going to be hit and miss. Using the scale patterns can help your ear identify what notes sound good, and sometimes some notes will sound better than others in your scale depending on what chord you're playing over, these are called chord tones. I'll let someone else explain, because I'm too lazy. Lol.


i disagree. you're better off using your ear. staying in key can get boring (and sometimes, playing an in-key note won't sound all that great, depending on where it's placed). you can do so much more with music if you know where to throw in out-of-key notes.

i do agree, however, that if your ear isn't all that good, then it will be pretty much hit and miss. but once you've reached the point where you can actually hear a note before you play it, scale patterns become redundant.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#21
Quote by AeolianWolf
i disagree. you're better off using your ear. staying in key can get boring (and sometimes, playing an in-key note won't sound all that great, depending on where it's placed). you can do so much more with music if you know where to throw in out-of-key notes.

i do agree, however, that if your ear isn't all that good, then it will be pretty much hit and miss. but once you've reached the point where you can actually hear a note before you play it, scale patterns become redundant.


I think I kinda conveyed the wrong idea. I really agree that you should use your ear, it's one of your most valuable assets. But if you're just going to doodle all over the neck, picking notes at random, it's not going to sound good. Using your scales helps your ear find what sounds good, and like you said, you won't really need scale patterns anymore. I've come to the point where I don't really see scale patterns over the neck anymore, I just see all the notes in a scale. But I wouldn't have gotten to this point if I didn't use scale patterns in the first place.
#22
You should use your ear, but only musical geniuses will play scales like Lydian Dominant or Diminished scales by guiding by their ear. The way is certainly get into theory and learn some "rules" like which scales sound better with such and such chords. Obviously the next step in music is being able to make your instrument sing and play as natural as you can but unless you have a divine gift you need to work hard by learning all of this stuff.

Now the way I believe you can achieve this is by learning the arpeggios (by arpeggios I mean the arpeggios built of 4 notes like C - E - G - B) in all positions with all of the fingerings you can. You can add one note to the arpeggios and learn the pentatonic scales in the five typical positions. Try learning them with the root in the 6th, 5th and 4th string. Then add more notes and learn major and minor scales and the modes of the major scale. Again try using all of the fingerings you can find and playing them in the 6th, 5h and 4th string. Finally you can learn minor modes (harmonic and melodic minor) and the scales that are derived from here. You can look to altering this scales depending on the chord you are playing but in the end you need to mix all of these resources to try to find your own voice and deliver the ideas you want to deliver. Many professional players that had studied music and surely know all of this seem to move freely through the fretboard and most of the time use simple motifs and the most important thing, it sounds like music, not like someone practicing. So like Charlie Parker said once "You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail".
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#23
Quote by moominman2
I'd love to create certain feelings from my theory and not just a guess if that makes sense


That's what I was saying... the pentatonic is arguably the fundamental base point of most music you're going to improvise with. Typically, anything you play in that is goung to sound alright. Then you start to add in those OTHER notes, like the #4/b5, the m2, the m6, so on and so forth. And knowing the pattern all over is the same as knowing the notes all over, as long as you pay attention to the interval. The interval makes the sound.

Like I said, when I want to be kind of 'gloomy' I'll use the minor sixth, maybe with the major second and minor third, throw in passing notes and do what 'feels' right. If I want to be downright 'dark' I'll use the minor second, the tritone, maybe the major seventh with the minor second for an unsettling feeling, etc.

If you just learn your intervals you should be fine. I don't think in terms of "Oh, this is an A, that's a C#, that's an Fb" I just know where I'm at on the fretboard, what note I'm playing in terms of its interval relation to the key of the song or the chord of the time being. The pattern is there to help whenever I need to look down. Which, admittedly, is still quite often, haha.
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