#1
My guitar teacher has given me the task of learning 5 positions of a scale, the G major/E minor scale. He has taught me 5 patterns across the neck, but he hasn't told me how to use them yet - and my guitar teacher is sick now, so he can't explain at the moment. I already know how to play all those positions, and now I want to apply them in a musical setting. For example, say I want to play lead over a C minor chord progression. I don't know how to apply those scales to that chord progression, but I do understand how to apply a simple Major or Minor scale to that situation.

The whole thing is basically a very long scale that runs through the entire neck. It's in the same key. I just don't know how I would apply that very long scale to anything else than an E minor or G major chord progression. The whole thing is a Major scale, so if i have to play on a C minor chord progression, I don't know what to do. My guitar teacher has given a vague explanation on relative minor/major, and that you can find out the relative minor of a major note by shifting down 3 semitones, and likewise, you can find out the relative major of a minor note by shifting up 3 semitones. So in that case, according to his explanation, when a C minor is being played, I would play D# major - well, that doesn't work. I don't understand this.

Can anybody please clear this up for me?
#2
Play around the 5 patterns mixing them up(play the notes of the scales all 5 positions, not in scale order, just random), making arpeggios etc. that's the basic idea. to play lead well just takes practice. unless you're a "Lick" player meaning you just have a mindset on licks that work well together rather than making them up as the backing track goes
#3
So you've got 5 different scales for Gmaj/Emin. But, if I'm right in understanding, you don't understand how to play these scales when in comes to playing in a different key (in this case, Cmin).

The relative major key to Cmin is Eb maj. You said D# maj. Eb and D# are enharmonics (ie the same note). D# major would be called Eb major for reasons I won't explain here (but it's all part of the Circle Of Fifths if you want to look it up or whatever).

So let's look at your situation. You've got the shapes nailed, you just need to apply it to different keys. This is done by simply moving the shapes up or down the fretboard to the required position.

So since you have the positions for Emin, in one of the shapes, find an E note (doesn't matter which, but probably easiest for a 6th string root note at the minute). Then move this to a C. Keeping the same shape.

Doing this, all of the shapes move down with each other. So you still have the same patterns over the fretboard, just starting at different frets.

If I've totally misunderstood your post, I'm sorry
#4
You don't really "apply positions" - as you've already observed, the positions are just one big pattern broken down into more manageable chunks. There is no difference between them other than where they are, they're still all parts of the same thing.

You decide which notes to use based on the sound it's going to give you, not only on it's own but also in relation to the other notes in your melody and the notes of the underlying harmony. Which position to use is simply down to convenience, if the note you want is already practically under your fingers there's probably no point moving your hand elsewhere, or you may find it easier to use a scale position that matches with the chord you're currently playing over.

So if you're plaing over a C minor chord progression you'd use the C minor scale - positions don't really mean anything, you simply choose to play where it's most convenient, it's the notes and intervals contained within that pattern that matter.

If you've learned G major then that scale is easiest to use over a G major chord progression - the scale is simply the notes G A B C D E F#, the patterns are simply all the places those notes occur.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Sep 29, 2010,
#5
Quote by robbit10
My guitar teacher has given me the task of learning 5 positions of a scale, the G major/E minor scale. He has taught me 5 patterns across the neck, but he hasn't told me how to use them yet - and my guitar teacher is sick now, so he can't explain at the moment. I already know how to play all those positions, and now I want to apply them in a musical setting. For example, say I want to play lead over a C minor chord progression. I don't know how to apply those scales to that chord progression, but I do understand how to apply a simple Major or Minor scale to that situation.

The whole thing is basically a very long scale that runs through the entire neck. It's in the same key. I just don't know how I would apply that very long scale to anything else than an E minor or G major chord progression. The whole thing is a Major scale, so if i have to play on a C minor chord progression, I don't know what to do. My guitar teacher has given a vague explanation on relative minor/major, and that you can find out the relative minor of a major note by shifting down 3 semitones, and likewise, you can find out the relative major of a minor note by shifting up 3 semitones. So in that case, according to his explanation, when a C minor is being played, I would play D# major - well, that doesn't work. I don't understand this.

Can anybody please clear this up for me?


if you look at this diagram:

http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/view/2

The colored notes labeled R = the root note of the scale

to play C natural minor, play one of those patterns with the Root on C.

You of-course have to be able to find a C on your guitar.


have you learned any solos at all? Thats where you'll really get an idea of how to utilize scales in context. I assume that you're teacher will steer you in that direction.
shred is gaudy music
#6
I'd just like to throw in my two cents.

@ the threadstarter - do you know the notes on the fretboard? I ask because it sounds like you're pretty confused. Learning multiple positions of the same scale is of no value unless you already understand what is going on within the scale and how to use it. If you can't solo and don't know the notes in one position, making the size of the difficulty five times bigger doesn't help.

I have an impression in my head that yours is the kind of guitar teacher who gets you to learn lots of scales by rote. Then, when it comes time to do something practical like improvising, instead of proper guidance you're told just to 'experiment with the scales'- am I on the right track?
#7
Hmm... Perhaps I should reform my question. Basically, my guitar teacher promised me that I would be able to use this huge Major scale to play lead in Minor too, and that I wouldn't need to learn a giant Minor scale for it, but he hasn't fully explained me how yet, and because I play most songs in minor, this scale is useless to me at the moment. I guess the main question is, how do I turn this giant Major scale into a giant Minor scale. My guitar teacher tried to explain it to me, but I understood only half of it, but as far as I know, it has something to do with finding the Relative Major of the minor key that a song is played in. But that's the part where it goes wrong, that doesn't work all the time (sometimes it does). So I'm missing some information in this part.

Steven Seagull and Guitarmunky, thanks for responding to my question. Remember me? I was called robinlint sometime back here. You guys used to answer all of my music theory questions, and they sure did help ^^
This time, though, I don't quite understand your posts. It seems my guitar teachers' music theory conflicts with yours, because he wants me to play over minor progressions using a Major scale.

@CBannerman: Yes, I do know all the notes on the fretboard
Last edited by robbit10 at Sep 29, 2010,
#8
Quote by robbit10
Hmm... Perhaps I should reform my question. Basically, my guitar teacher promised me that I would be able to use this huge Major scale to play lead in Minor too, and that I wouldn't need to learn a giant Minor scale for it, but he hasn't fully explained me how yet, and because I play most songs in minor, this scale is useless to me at the moment. I guess the main question is, how do I turn this giant Major scale into a giant Minor scale. My guitar teacher tried to explain it to me, but I understood only half of it, but as far as I know, it has something to do with finding the Relative Major of the minor key that a song is played in. But that's the part where it goes wrong, that doesn't work all the time (sometimes it does). So I'm missing some information in this part.

Steven Seagull and Guitarmunky, thanks for responding to my question. Remember me? I was called robinlint sometime back here. You guys used to answer all of my music theory questions, and they sure did help ^^
This time, though, I don't quite understand your posts. It seems my guitar teachers' music theory conflicts with yours, because he wants me to play over minor progressions using a Major scale.


@CBannerman: Yes, I do know all the notes on the fretboard



regarding your teachers theory...... I think if you give it more time you'll see the theory is the same. unless of-course your teacher is wrong, but I'll assume that it's a case of "1 step at a time". He probably wants you to start with the Major scale and then will teach you how to use those same shapes AS the relative minor. For example if you learned all the patterns for G Major, then you also learned the patterns for E minor. They are different scales though, and I'm sure you're teacher will acknowledge that.

Try this:

Play pattern 1 of the Major scale in the key of A from this page: http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/view/1

Now play pattern 1 of the minor scale in the key of F#m from this page:
http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/view/2

2 different (but related) scales. The pattern appears the same on the neck, but the actual scale formulas (from R to R) are different and the sound is different.

Now try this... play pattern 2 of the minor scale in the key of Am.

Notice again that it's the same pattern on the guitar, but starting at a different root note.


PS... and yeah I remember you.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 29, 2010,
#9
Wait until he's better and try not to jump ahead. You might do more harm than good. I cant tell you how many times I have to untangle a student because they thought they knew where it was going, and went way off track. Stay with your teacher, let him rest up and then let him take you where it's all going.

Sean