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#1
So I know what scales are and all that, but I just havent found a good method of learning them. I can figure out a scale by myself, but then I have to spend so much time figuring out where those notes are on the fretboard. And I then if I come back later, I wont be able to remember what I did.
Is there any clear and retentive way to learn scales, and be able to have them at my fingertips, like pro-guitarists seem to?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
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Interfaception


Pls tell me what is Interfaception. and how to solve.


#3
really all you can do is play it over and over again. then again. then again. and then improv with it a lot.
#4
learn the different positions (i think there are five) and rather than practicing to a metronome, practice to backing tracks (or your favorite songs) and try to find the tonal center. and yeah, practice like 9000 times. sorry, dude, but it's true...it takes years to make it like second nature.

don't forget to practice LICKS and creating your own.
#5
write out different octaves and patterns and practice like hell, every time you touch your guitar play a couple scales right off the bat Also, remember that every scale is movable, ie if you play your A scale starting on the 6th string 5th fret, playing the same pattern with every note moved up one semitone (fret) it'll be an A#/G flat scale, move that up another semitone and you've got yourself a G scale.
#7
but that just doesn't seem physically possible. there are twelve roots for scales, then multiply that by the different types of scales (major, minor, melodic and harmonic minors, pentatonic major and minor, the eastern scales...), then if you add modes, its just a crazy amount of information to memorize and be able to comfortablely access on the fretboard. or at least thats how it seems to me..
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
You're plugging an interface into an interface...


Interfaception


Pls tell me what is Interfaception. and how to solve.


#8
Learn the scale formula and recognise how to finger intervals. Want to play major? Play 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. I don't think notes, I think intervals. That way you just need to know the root note. Play C major? See where all the Cs are on your fretboard and go for it: apply the scale formula and recognise which frets are what intervals.

Instead of "I'm in C, so I'll play F, G, then C, and if I'm in C#, I'll play F#, G# then C#", think this: "I'm in C, so I'll play 4, 5, then 1, and if I'm in C#, I'll play 4, 5, then 1."

To learn how to recognise intervals, take the C major scale and play the notes of C major up the neck and across the neck, i.e.:
E:| 0-1-3-5-7-8-10-12

D:| 0-2-3...
A:| 0-2-3
E:| 0-1-3

Et cetera. That's how I approach it: learn how to play all the intervals, then **** the notes of the scale. You have the root note and you know how to build the intervals on top of it, just think 1 2 3 instead of A B C or A# B# C# or B C# D...
#9
Quote by Slapp62
but that just doesn't seem physically possible. there are twelve roots for scales, then multiply that by the different types of scales (major, minor, melodic and harmonic minors, pentatonic major and minor, the eastern scales...), then if you add modes, its just a crazy amount of information to memorize and be able to comfortablely access on the fretboard. or at least thats how it seems to me..


Once you learn a scale all over the fretboard in one key, you'll be able to easily move it easily to fit other keys. For example, if you wanted to move the A minor scale to B minor, it's simply a matter of shifting every note up 2 frets.

So whilst it may appear to be very hard and complex at first, it really isn't.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#11
Quote by Slapp62
So I know what scales are and all that, but I just havent found a good method of learning them. I can figure out a scale by myself, but then I have to spend so much time figuring out where those notes are on the fretboard. And I then if I come back later, I wont be able to remember what I did.
Is there any clear and retentive way to learn scales, and be able to have them at my fingertips, like pro-guitarists seem to?



A lot of people that make posts like this, are:

1. Kids

and

2. Have no money/ don't want to spend money/ feel that everything that they will ever need to learn about music, is already free on the internet in some form

Is this the case with you? If so, then you may want to check out Mike Dodge's website, it's the best free resource I know of.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Sep 27, 2010,
#12
Quote by AlanHB
For example, if you wanted to move the A minor scale to B minor, it's simply a matter of shifting every note up 2 frets.


Stop stealing my material!
#13
Heres the method I use.
Everything must be practiced in twelve keys. I'm not going to say do this in all twelve keys, but when I mention doing something with a scale, i mean to do it in all 12 keys.
Take your major scale and learn it up and down single strings. practice improvising over different drones (using all seven tones as a drone). The do the same, but use two string positions and eventually three string positions. Then start doing two octave work first just running the scale, then running it by mode (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-2-, 3-4-5-6-7-8-2-3 etc) and then up and down in intervals of thirds (1-2-3, 2-3-4 etc) fourths (1-2-3-4, 2-3-4-5 etc) fifths (1-2-3-4-5, 2-3-4-5-6) sixiths and sevenths. Then run it intervallicaly using the same intervals so thirds would be 1-3-2-4 etc fourhts would be 1-4 2-6 and then fifths, sixths and sevenths and then practice playing diatonic arpeggios of triads and later seventh chords from all inversions. Don't worry so much about positions, just doing it all in two octaves and 12 keys. Then work on doing the same thing with intervals but harmonically (so using double stops) and then with your harmonic and melodic minor scales.
Last edited by tehREALcaptain at Sep 27, 2010,
#14
My best advice is to start by learning the notes of the frets. It's simple. Just memorize this pattern.

Ab - A - Bb - B - C - C# - D - Eb - E - F - F# - G

After this is memorized, to find a note on any string, start with the open note and count up one fret at a time with this pattern of notes.

For Example - to find the note of the 6th fret on the D string [4th string]. D is the open note then count up the frets [ Open/D - 1st/Eb - 2nd/E - 3rd/F - 4th/F# - 5th/G - 6th/Ab ]

Once you can reference the root note of a scale easily, then learn the major scale to begin with. Learn in a vertical formation so its not so intimidating, This will also help you understand how to move the scale around based on key.

The intervals of the major scale are as follows.

R - W - W - H - W - W - W - H

A whole step [ W ] is 2 frets.
A half step [ H ] is 1 fret.

For a final example - The A Major Scale

1} First fin your root note, in this case we'll be using the 5th fret on the 6th string.

2} Apply the intervals above to reach the major scale.

It should look like this

e|-o----x-----x-|
B|-x----x-----x-|
G|---x--x-----x-|
D|---x--o-----x-|
E|-x----x-----x-|
A|-o----x-----x-|
5 6 7 8 9

Always remember to start with the basics. You cant build a house without a foundation.

Good luck.
#15
Place as much emphasis on what you're hearing as what your fingers are doing.
Actually called Mark!

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#16
Quote by steven seagull
Place as much emphasis on what you're hearing as what your fingers are doing.


+ 1

listening is everything.

A good way to learn to hear it, is by playing music with those scales (solos/melodies...ect). You need to experience the scales in context.
shred is gaudy music
#17
learn each scale 3-4 notes at a time, and repeat the triplet or quadruplet up and down 8 times, then move up, and ake sure your next group has at least 1 overlapping note from the previous group (if that makes sense).
Option 2, write them down, and play each scale in diferrent playing patterns about 8 times a day (8 works really well for me)
#18
Quote by Dayn
Learn the scale formula and recognise how to finger intervals. Want to play major? Play 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. I don't think notes, I think intervals. That way you just need to know the root note. Play C major? See where all the Cs are on your fretboard and go for it: apply the scale formula and recognise which frets are what intervals.

Instead of "I'm in C, so I'll play F, G, then C, and if I'm in C#, I'll play F#, G# then C#", think this: "I'm in C, so I'll play 4, 5, then 1, and if I'm in C#, I'll play 4, 5, then 1."

To learn how to recognise intervals, take the C major scale and play the notes of C major up the neck and across the neck, i.e.:
E:| 0-1-3-5-7-8-10-12

D:| 0-2-3...
A:| 0-2-3
E:| 0-1-3

Et cetera. That's how I approach it: learn how to play all the intervals, then **** the notes of the scale. You have the root note and you know how to build the intervals on top of it, just think 1 2 3 instead of A B C or A# B# C# or B C# D...
This is how I approach it. If you have a solid understanding of intervals, you can build any scale in your sleep.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#19
i like the interval method, but when you want to go to a diffrent string, you have to figure out the intervals all over again, or at least where in the scale you are in relation to the intervals in that scale.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
You're plugging an interface into an interface...


Interfaception


Pls tell me what is Interfaception. and how to solve.


#20
Quote by Slapp62
i like the interval method, but when you want to go to a diffrent string, you have to figure out the intervals all over again, or at least where in the scale you are in relation to the intervals in that scale.
I'm not quite sure what you're saying. It's all transposable. You don't have to "figure out the intervals" all the time. You kind of just have them in your back pocket to use whenever you want.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#21
I'm trying to learn the notes on the fretboard too. What I'm doing is writing scales down in order from my head. CDEFGABC, GABCDEF#G, DEF#GABC#D, etc. And I'm doing this over and over until I can just recite them like I would for a test.

Then I'm going to my guitar and practicing these scales just saying the intervals out loud. Personally, I've got the patterns/intervals down, but I'm still remembering the notes. The scales that I have memorized the pattern and notes for, I can now play with ease because I know where to go and what comes next.

I don't know if this works for you, but playing over and over again didn't seem as efficient for me. It seemed more like trying to learn spanish by watching the spanish channel a bunch.
This is why I don't like arguing on the internet.
Quote by damian_91
If only you could back that statement up.
Quote by Zombee
Wolfgang's Philadelphia Study. Look it up yourself.
Quote by damian_91
No need to, absurd generalizations aren't my thing.
#22
i mean that when you go to a diffrent string you have to figure which interval your going to, like if i go to the note right under the string im playing on itll be a perfect fourth (except on the B string). Example- under G on the low E string is C, the perfect fourth of the G major scale.
however if i want to go to a different area of the fretboard altogether, it would take a little longer to figure out the intervals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
You're plugging an interface into an interface...


Interfaception


Pls tell me what is Interfaception. and how to solve.


#23
And also, just because those scales are out there, doesnt mean you have to use them. Some guitarists stick with strictly minor pentatonic, some stay with the major scale, my friend likes dorian and steve vai likes lydian. I would suggest spending some time on your scales, and if you dont like the way it sounds, dont use it. for example, if you're into pop rock, learning your harmonic minor scale probably wont do you much good.

Edit: and lets say you find a scale that you do like, you can learn it in sections. Maybe only 2 or 3 strings at a time, then just link them together.
"The most important thing about music is energy and emotion, not how well you can play. Technique should be a tool to achieve your vision, not the other way around."
-Jeff Tuttle

More guitar, less ultimate-guitar!
Last edited by biker521 at Sep 27, 2010,
#24
Quote by Slapp62
i mean that when you go to a diffrent string you have to figure which interval your going to, like if i go to the note right under the string im playing on itll be a perfect fourth (except on the B string). Example- under G on the low E string is C, the perfect fourth of the G major scale.
however if i want to go to a different area of the fretboard altogether, it would take a little longer to figure out the intervals.



Does this help?
This is why I don't like arguing on the internet.
Quote by damian_91
If only you could back that statement up.
Quote by Zombee
Wolfgang's Philadelphia Study. Look it up yourself.
Quote by damian_91
No need to, absurd generalizations aren't my thing.
#25
not exactly. i wasnt talking about patterns, i was talking in reference to what was said before about just learning the intervals ( that 1234567 is the major scale in any key)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
You're plugging an interface into an interface...


Interfaception


Pls tell me what is Interfaception. and how to solve.


#26
Quote by Slapp62
i like the interval method, but when you want to go to a diffrent string, you have to figure out the intervals all over again, or at least where in the scale you are in relation to the intervals in that scale.
On strings tuned in fourth, say the low E and A strings, a minor second is this pattern:
A:|-1-
E:|-5-

Now move it anywhere (and adjust it for the major third strings, G and B) and you've learned one of twelve intervals. Let's learn the rest!
D:|-----------2-3-4-5--6--7--
A:|-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-
E:|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5--5--5--
2, b3, 3, 4, #4/b5, 5, b6, 6, b7, 7, 8/1
The notes on the D string show what you'd play if you played them up a string. Know what frets you're playing and learn to recognise what interval that shape forms.

Quick, what's a low E:|7 and an A:|10? A minor sixth. What about a low E:|3 and an A:|4? Augmented fourth (or diminished fifth depending on context). Learn to recognise those what intervals are played from different shapes then you can move it around anywhere on the neck. Just make sure to adjust it for the high E and B strings, because the G jumps a major third to B instead of the other strings being in fourths.


Pick a root note, say, A#. Want to play A# major? Go to your root note, play each interval in harmony with your root note, recognise 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 in relation to your root and that's all you need to know. For example:
D:|-----------5--7--8--
A:|-1-3-5-6-8-10-12-13-
E:|-6-6-6-6-6-6--6--6--
    1 2 3 4 5 6  7  8/1

Do the same for any other scale. Try it with A# lydian then: find A#, then play the intervals 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7. Then try D# phyrgian: find D#, then play the intervals 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7.


Edit: If you want to play outside of a small box, just use octaves.
D:|-3-
A:|-5-
E:|---

Say you were playing an A and its minor third, like that... what if you wanted to play lower than the root? Well lower it an octave, there's nothing simpler:
D:|---
A:|-5-
E:|-1-

To help, I'd say pick a note, E for simplicity. Now play E on every single fret you can find it. Learn to play the octaves, find where E is:
E:|-0-12-24-
B:|-5-17-
G:|-9-21-
D:|-2-14-
A:|-7-19-
E:|-0-12-24-

Now do the same for every other note from A to G including sharps and flats. You'll get to know WHERE the notes are so you can start on any root note, then all you need to think is WHERE that root note is: if you want to play anything else, think intervals in relation to that root note.
Last edited by Dayn at Sep 28, 2010,
#27
thats what i was looking for, thanks dayn, your the man
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
You're plugging an interface into an interface...


Interfaception


Pls tell me what is Interfaception. and how to solve.


#28
i find the interval method easiest, numbering the scales notes is easier and faster to learn than knowing each note b its name.

ive learn my fretboard well, what notes lie where abouts, so if i need to play a run off a E flat, i can go to an E flat. but its all numbers from there.

then just practice my shapes, i started with major, then minor, then pentatonic, then my blues boxes, and now onto double stops, before ill get on with my lydian and dorian and stuff.


the main thing is practice ALOT, 9000 times at least, and dont worry about speed to much, get the notes clean with a clean guitar, and i play to a backing track, not a metronome, as i gig regularly so its easier to learn off a drum track.
#29
As you are practicing scales, force yourself to say the name of each note in time with what you are playing. No reason to go particularly fast, as it can be quite taxing on your brain at first.

As far as memorization goes, it becomes helpful to know which interval you are playing at any time, so if you were playing a natural minor scale, you could say "1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7, 1" out loud as you played through the scale. Learning the function of each degree and beginning to associate with it's own "flavor" or "color" is very important, and will ultimately improve your ability to construct melodies.
#30
id strongly suggest avoiding shapes. they are not scales and will make you sound like a typical, mediocre guitarist.
#31
i just thought of something with the interval method, does every mode have the same amount of intervals? like does D Dorian and E dorian have the same intervals?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
You're plugging an interface into an interface...


Interfaception


Pls tell me what is Interfaception. and how to solve.


#32
Quote by Slapp62
i just thought of something with the interval method, does every mode have the same amount of intervals? like does D Dorian and E dorian have the same intervals?

Dorian = 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7. Doesn't matter what key you're in, dorian contains those intervals. For example:

C dorian = C D Eb F G A Bb
C# dorian = C# D# E F# G# A# B

The intervals are all the same, just the notes have changed. That's why I just learn the intervals: pick a root note and go.
#33
To elaborate, no, different scales have different intervals. However, D dorian and E dorian are the same scale but are in different keys. For example:

Ionian: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dorian: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
Phrygian: 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Lydian: 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
Mixolydian: 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
Aeolian: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Locrian: 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7

E dorian and D dorian have the same intervals, they're just in different keys. A lydian and F# lydian have the same intervals since they're both lydian, they're just in different keys.
#34
Quote by Burgerdoo
Yeah, what everyone else says. There's no easy way. You just gotta put in the time.

I have this book and it's a tremendous help http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Grimoire-Compendium-Formulas-Scales/dp/0825821711/ref=sr_1_10?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285554751&sr=8-10

I fully recommend it!

Does that book contain all scales in their different positions with tabs? I could really use that, of course I want to learn the theory and I'm also doing that but I find it to be a bit overwhelming to learn theory for all of it so quickly, so far I've gotten down the pentatonic and some major stuff but it doesn't give the sound I want for improvising so I wanna learn some new scales
#35
Quote by tehREALcaptain
id strongly suggest avoiding shapes. they are not scales and will make you sound like a typical, mediocre guitarist.


1st of all, there is no avoiding them. If you play music, the notes and chords you use can be seen as shapes/patterns on the neck.

2nd of all, the idea that recognizing them makes you sound "typical" and "mediocre" is ludicrous.
shred is gaudy music
#38
Most elitist bone-headed thing I've ever heard you say. I hope this is an anomaly.


I should have said using shapes as substitutes for learning scales, but I do stand by that (amended) comment. Guitar players, as improvisers (which is really the only time your going to be using scales without begin explicitly told what to play) pale in comparison to players of other instruments, and the few really good players came up outside the regular world of guitar instruction, where everything is shape based (mostly pat partino, metheny, wes, hendrix). However, I think that, when practicing we should stay away from shapes and positions and instead devise our own fingerings, based on the sounds we want and ease of playing.
Last edited by tehREALcaptain at Sep 30, 2010,
#39
Quote by tehREALcaptain
I should have said using shapes as substitutes for learning scales, but I do stand by that (amended) comment. Guitar players, as improvisers (which is really the only time your going to be using scales and making up melodies based on them) pale in comparison to players of other instruments, and the few really good players came up outside the regular world of guitar instruction, where everything is shape based (mostly pat partino, metheny, wes, hendrix). However, I think that, when practicing we should stay away from shapes and positions and instead devise our own fingerings, based on the sounds we want and ease of playing.


I see your point, but you have to also realize these are beginners, and most of them self taught, and so unless you're going to assume custodial care over their musical development then its a bit disingenuous to expect this, because they have to start with the most simple and basic. Even what I teach, transcends the whole box and caged scales approach, but if thats all a brand new guy who is unfamiliar with scales in general has to start him off, Im not going to look down and say it's bad. You start somewhere, and especially if youre self taught, and thats not a bad thing. I think what you say only becomes appreciable after weve done it that way for a while, but chances are if you are self taught like I am, we even started on the clunky box scales, and they got us by a while.

Best,

Sean
#40
The trouble with the usual way scales are taught on guitar is that it is so unmusical; learn these 5 shapes etc. It is also usually very dumbed down guitar methods that just confuse the pupil.

First you must understand how the fretboard works (like how each string pair is tuned in 4th's apart from the G & B strings which are only a major 3rd apart).

Then learn your intervals.

Now learn both 1 octave patterns of any particular scale starting from the 6th string (one will travel left of the root note and the other right of it)

Now realise that all the other scale patterns are made up of just these two, 1 octave patterns combined together. Make an allowance for that pesky B string anomoly and you can play any scale any where on the neck with just them 2 patterns for each scale.

Approach any mode as an alteration of either the major or minor scale shapes.
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