#1
most of my guitar playing career I've mainly been a focused rhythm guitar player with only a little bit a lead skill. I know only the Minor and Major Pentatonic scales well, but no others. Is there any way of getting to know the other scales and such to be a good lead player after ALOT of practice? also is there anything else I need except to know the scales well, play them well and have good technique?
Epiphone G400 (EMG 81/85)
Line 6 Spider IV 120W

SUNDERLAND

Alter Bridge - 26/11/11 <3

You might win one battle, But know this... I'LL WIN THE F*CKING WAR!!
#2
you dont have to know a wide range of scales just to become a good lead player. there is alot of songs out there do only use a certain range for the lead.
#3
yeah learn more scales. but you don't have to be stuck in one scale per song for leads. I really only use scales to warm up and have a basic 'road map', if you will. What I would personally do is...

learn chord progressions and what notes sound good over the chords in them. Record a progression, play it back over and over, and play different leads over it. Make a different progression, do it again. helped me the most of anything prolly. If you don't have a recorder. Youtube some backing tracks. play to those.
Last edited by treysonpwaters at Jun 3, 2011,
#4
Scales and modes
HILT!

Where's Waldo?

#6
correct me if I'm wrong...is a mode just like a line of notes?? like C D E F G A B C?? starting on an octave and ending on another?
Epiphone G400 (EMG 81/85)
Line 6 Spider IV 120W

SUNDERLAND

Alter Bridge - 26/11/11 <3

You might win one battle, But know this... I'LL WIN THE F*CKING WAR!!
#7
Quote by jimbobmcgee2312
correct me if I'm wrong...is a mode just like a line of notes?? like C D E F G A B C?? starting on an octave and ending on another?


Kind of

Take the C Major scale:

CDEFGABC

if you use the same sequence of notes but use a D as the root:

DEFGABCD

You get the D Dorian mode

F as the root:

FGABCDEF

This is F Phrygian

A mode is basically a major scale with a different root note
#8
Quote by jimbobmcgee2312
correct me if I'm wrong...is a mode just like a line of notes?? like C D E F G A B C?? starting on an octave and ending on another?


"Mode" is just an old school way of saying "scale". Dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian, and lochrian are all "modes".
#9
Quote by vjferrara
"Mode" is just an old school way of saying "scale". Dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian, and lochrian are all "modes".


ahhhh now I got you!! at first I was thinking wtf is a mode but now I get it!!

Epiphone G400 (EMG 81/85)
Line 6 Spider IV 120W

SUNDERLAND

Alter Bridge - 26/11/11 <3

You might win one battle, But know this... I'LL WIN THE F*CKING WAR!!
#10
Listen to Dragonforce and try and copy Herman Li.
You'd be best lead player evwer.....
Kidding.
That's not a good way to practice.
Just look up lots of weird scales, play those through, get a backing rythym track (drums and bass would help too) and incorporate the weird scales into your soloing.
You'll sound unique, while improving your lead playing knowledge.
You could add chords to your lead playing (sparingly), two handed tapping is a good skill to know, although it may be easier with a pick, practice using your middle right hand finger to tap the notes.
Incoporpate scales into it, and wide octave stuff, like your left hand might be fretting near the 5th fret or so, the right hands doing stuff around the 20th fret on the same string.
Chicks dig that kinda stuff.
METAL!
#11
Quote by Ultraussie
Listen to Dragonforce and try and copy Herman Li.
You'd be best lead player evwer.....


I will...I've always wanted to know how to make a pac man noise on my guitar...
Epiphone G400 (EMG 81/85)
Line 6 Spider IV 120W

SUNDERLAND

Alter Bridge - 26/11/11 <3

You might win one battle, But know this... I'LL WIN THE F*CKING WAR!!
#12
take what you know and work with that first. a bunch of scales won't make you a great lead player just by knowing them. many a great solo was done with the scales you know. a way i use to get better at lead playing is to throw a song on and jam along with it. not play the song but i often follow the vocal melody and try to play a lead that flows along with it. making your solo flow with the song is hard to start but that is where the greatness comes from. practice and keep it simple at first. a goo simple lead is often better than a thousand note wank fest. the song The Land Unknown in my profile uses the scales you know for all the lead parts.
#13
theory is huge, so good on you for understanding that it is really worth learning and learning well. technique is also quite a significant factor. also, knowing appregios will help you resolve your lines, instead of landing on a tension which sounds bad

something that I think alot of people forget is that developing a good ear and a style through improvisation is important. just playing scales with good technique is boring, you don't sound like yourself. its really key to improvise and jam enough to develop your own feel.
#14
ultraaussie! haha I almost got seriously pissed til like line three lol....
but for real two handed tapping? wtf? this guy is asking about scales lol....last thing he needs to learn imo is two handed tapping.

easiest way for me to think about modes as a basis was that anything...every scale can be played. different sounds though. Modes confused the shit out me...lol

google..guitar scales, and there is a sight..something like allguitarchords.com or close.

it will show you all scales in all positions and modes.

it was really a mind f**** when I first started learning. visualizing helped me.
Last edited by treysonpwaters at Jun 4, 2011,
#15
Quote by treysonpwaters
ultraaussie! haha I almost got seriously pissed til like line three lol....
but for real two handed tapping? wtf? this guy is asking about scales lol....last thing he needs to learn imo is two handed tapping.
.



Used sparingly Two Handed Tapping helps add colour to solo's.
Its easy..
But anyway yeah the way I see scales are just spots on the fretboard.
I look at an image of the guitar neck with all the notes of a particular scale for that tuning outlined on the guitar neck (Quite literally, I have TuxGuitar! YEAH!!).
All those notes sound right when played together in a phrase, sparringly using discordant notes throws the listener off track, making epicly sick solo's.
When I play guitar I still visulize that image on the fretboard.

There's many scales, the Jewish Scale, Asian Scale etc....
METAL!
#16
you forgot the beebop scale the arabic scale so many more.....lol

na, rly watch victor wooten's lessons on youtube....your only a half step away...so true..

don't forget about that chromatic scale. experiment and play. the only real way to learn.
#17
so...much...fail.

I'll write a proper answer when I'm back at the computer, but hopefully one of my lovely colleagues will have moved this to MT or GT by then...
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#18
Quote by steven seagull
so...much...fail.

I'll write a proper answer when I'm back at the computer, but hopefully one of my lovely colleagues will have moved this to MT or GT by then...


my friend

please tell me what is fail about saying you can learn to play lead by learning some scales and modes (whatever you are gonna choose to call them) and chord progressions and then applying these skills/principals/basic music ideas through the past idk 1000 years or so? experimenting with them and getting to know the guitar. You gonna right him a tab or something? because that is a sum of what all these posts say. Your gonna unlock this epic secret to guitar playing? Don't think so. You gotta learn some shit. Then play some shit...alot. Figure it out for yourself. thats why Eddie Van Halen isn't the only lead player ever.

so fail on you. unless you really have this trick. then, lets hear it.
#19
Quote by jimbobmcgee2312
I will...I've always wanted to know how to make a pac man noise on my guitar...

Wah pedal all the way down, tone all the way down, mute all six strings and strum like an acoustic.

EDIT: ^To the guy above me, you do know that you're arguing with a mod don't you?
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
#20
I didn't say the thread was complete fail, just that there's an awful lot of it, and sadly the TS seems to have latched onto all the worst advice...

Chucking the words "modes" around is what guitarists start to do when they're just out of their beginner phase and want to sound clever. They've got nothing to do with what the threadstarter is trying to achieve, and if the people mentioning them actually understood anything about modes they'd know that.

Likewise learning a load of "exotic" scales isn't going to help, most of them are just going to function as the major or minor scale with accidentals in the context of most contemporary music. For the most part those scales are simply observations, if you study music of that genre then they're the typical sets of pitches you'll find. However, if you take them out of their original context then more often than not they have no practical application.

So jimbob, ignore the word modes - they're not something that's going to help you in any way at this stage of your development. What you need to do is work on your listening skills and make more effort to actively choose what notes you want to play as opposed to just letting your fingers wander up and down scale patterns.

The major scale is the conerstone of western music, that's what everything is either directly derived from or described in relation to. Learn about intervals, learn how chords are constructed but above all listen. Listen to how the notes you play interact with what's going on underneath, the chords, bassline and other instruments. A melody doesn't exist in isolation, the way it sounds and behaves is intrinsically linked to the underlying harmony.

With that in mind don't focus to much on scale patterns when it comes to playing, use the chords as your guide and look for the notes that each chord shares with the scale you're using. Those are your resolution notes, the notes that will sound "safe" that you can stay on, the other intervals are going to sound less consonant so you probably won't want to spend too long dwelling on them, however a little tension and discord is what makes music interesting. Same goes for the notes outside the scale, they're all equally valid note choices, just be aware of how they'll sound and that knowledge will allow you to make effective use of those notes.

As far as techniqies go, don't use techniques for the sake of it - that makes for boring, cookie-cutter solos. All different techniques do is give you different sounding ways of moving between notes, so again - choose your techniques based on the sound you want, don't simply throw in some bends because you haven't done some for a few bars.

^^treysonpwaters - if you expected me to type that on an iPhone you've got another thing coming
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#21
Quote by steven seagull
*lots of helpful things*


cheers for the reply...so you're saying I should just use chord shapes to create some solos, but surely it must be good to know some of the scales/modes just to fall back on?
also...sorry if I've posted this thread in the wrong topic...
Epiphone G400 (EMG 81/85)
Line 6 Spider IV 120W

SUNDERLAND

Alter Bridge - 26/11/11 <3

You might win one battle, But know this... I'LL WIN THE F*CKING WAR!!
Last edited by jimbobmcgee2312 at Jun 4, 2011,
#22
Well, strictly speaking you're using chord tones , it's important to get into the habit of listening and thinking in terms of the sounds you're using. However looking at the shapes does give you a useful heads up, in particular look at how scale shapes and chord shapes overlap. The CAGED system is a way of formalising it, although I don't personally see the point as the relationships seem pretty obvious to me. As a paper exercise try this...take a scale, E major is a good one. Draw out all the notes in that scale pattern on a blank fretboard diagram. Then in a different colour draw out all the chords of that key, ideally you should know how to work out the chords but this site is a handy reference.
http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/chordskey.html

6 string barre chords will do the job but you could draw out all the other places the chords appear if you wanted to, the end result will be the same. As you pencil in the chord you'll see how the chords and scale are pretty much the same thing, just being used differently. Look at all the overlapping notes, and when practicing take some time to experiment with how using different notes over the same chord changes the overall sound.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#23
haha keyboard vs iphone? humancentipad wins if you know what Im saying. lol. glad you aren't trolling tho. thanks for the educated response i read and not, treyson suckx ass and plays fallout boy covers or whatever the knew 'diss' is lol...

Agreed it can be confusing and it seems to me that a mode to one (me) is a different scale to others. The way I was taught was modal positions. ie; patterns and not the way they related. Thats a whole other topic. Basically tho my stance is just get backing tracks of a bunch of different genres and see what sounds good. Otherwise, you will be like Beethoven and die with the most knowledfe that no one else can understand. lol....extreme i Know but, personally once I got the basic grasp. I just played. I stopped worrying about the theory in a sense, bc it is never ending and overwhelming for the noob, if you will, or the master. It is a circle....And I don't claim to be the master. I know what i need to know to play different sounds and genres, and i can right songs with different scales for different feelings in certain parts, and I do everyday... whatever, and I am happy with bc I just play. Granite it took me a couple years of studying it to get here. Thats where I am at. A constant equilibrium of jamming and learning. I prefer jamming with my peepz lol. IMO you will learn alot more from that, if they are good musicians, than you will studying a book and never playing.
#24
Quote by steven seagull
Well, strictly speaking you're using chord tones , it's important to get into the habit of listening and thinking in terms of the sounds you're using. \


this ^ and pretty much the rest of his post...so long to quote tho, and sorry for double post.
#25
I'd be a pretty shitty mod if I was trolling
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#26
Quote by rorywal
Kind of

Take the C Major scale:

CDEFGABC

if you use the same sequence of notes but use a D as the root:

DEFGABCD

You get the D Dorian mode

F as the root:

FGABCDEF

This is F Phrygian

A mode is basically a major scale with a different root note


not to be really picky but if you start with C Ionian then wouldnt FGABCDEF be F Lydian correct me if im wrong but thats how i though it went
Stuff that I bought:

Washburn WM24V
Raven RG100 Amplifier
Zoom G1X Multi-Effects Pedal

Quote by jsync
how do you define a guitar for a female?
how about one that whines and has trouble with feedback?
#27
Listen to the led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen, and Ozzy featuring Randy Rhoads Anthologies that should point you in the right direction
#28
Quote by rorywal
Kind of

Take the C Major scale:

CDEFGABC

if you use the same sequence of notes but use a D as the root:

DEFGABCD

You get the D Dorian mode

F as the root:

FGABCDEF

This is F Lydian
A mode is basically the same notes as a major scale but with different start and end points

Fix'd

As far as how to become better at playing leads - improvise over a backing track (for example, Em pentatonic over E-G-D) and find what sounds good. The extra scales, ie modes and things like whole tone scales - they can come later. At this point just focus on sounding good with the pentatonic.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Last edited by oneblackened at Jun 4, 2011,
#29
Modes. Oh, how agony rips my chest one too many times.


Seriously, listen to Seagull!
You'll Never Walk Alone!
#30
Ignore modes...you don't even need to acknowledge their existence at this stage, they'll only serve to confuse matters.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#31
Quote by steven seagull
Ignore modes...you don't even need to acknowledge their existence at this stage, they'll only serve to confuse matters.


I'm confused now never mind with the modes!!
I Haven't got a clue what to do now mate, some people are saying Modes are a necessity and you're saying I don't even need to know their existence. With the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales, when I try to improvise I end up repeating my self after about 15 seconds and it sounds exactly the same. I thought if I learnt a few more scales that it would add a little taste into my playing and it would sound just a little but different... So... What do I do?

EDIT
Also...I don't full understand what you meant by working on your listening skills?
Epiphone G400 (EMG 81/85)
Line 6 Spider IV 120W

SUNDERLAND

Alter Bridge - 26/11/11 <3

You might win one battle, But know this... I'LL WIN THE F*CKING WAR!!
Last edited by jimbobmcgee2312 at Jun 5, 2011,
#32
Quote by jimbobmcgee2312
I'm confused now never mind with the modes!!
I Haven't got a clue what to do now mate, some people are saying Modes are a necessity and you're saying I don't even need to know their existence. With the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales, when I try to improvise I end up repeating my self after about 15 seconds and it sounds exactly the same. I thought if I learnt a few more scales that it would add a little taste into my playing and it would sound just a little but different... So... What do I do?

EDIT
Also...I don't full understand what you meant by working on your listening skills?

Anyone who says modes are a necessity is talking out of their arse and doesn't understand them.

If you're repeating yourself then that's not the fault of the scale you're using, unfortunately the blame lies squarely with the player. Usually it's because they're not actually playing the guitar, what happens is they "learn" a scale shape, then try to improvise by leting their fingers move through that shape - they tend to end up doing little more than randomly going up and down the pattern though. And that's not playing the guitar, because the guitar's playing you, which is where your listening skills come into play.

Playing the guitar isn't an exercise in finger gymnastics, anything you do with your hands is merely a means to an end. The end being "to make music". You can't just move your fingers and hope for the best, you have to some kind of idea in your head of what you want to come out the other end. It may not be particularly well-formed and you'll likely struggle to make it happen the way you want to at first but you need to start. Unless you're listening to what you're creating and making a conscious effort to change the things you don't like and make them better you won't improve as a musician.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#33
I reaalllyyy wish I got a guitar teacher when I first started playing...been playing for 4 years now...entirely self taught...feel like a noob now
I'll take all of this on and hopefully I'll improve in the future! I probablys will get a tutor now though... cheers anyway!
Epiphone G400 (EMG 81/85)
Line 6 Spider IV 120W

SUNDERLAND

Alter Bridge - 26/11/11 <3

You might win one battle, But know this... I'LL WIN THE F*CKING WAR!!
#34
Getting a good guitar teacher is THE best investment you can ever make in terms of playing the guitar. Just thought I'd throw that in. Keep it up, bro!
Quote by apple_apple
oh my god! guitarViking is a genius... respect !!!

I'm GuitarViking! Don't you forget it!
#35
Quote by jimbobmcgee2312
With the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales, when I try to improvise I end up repeating my self after about 15 seconds and it sounds exactly the same.


You're halfway there. You know your pentatonic. Try learning some solos that use the pentatonic and see how professional players have used it well...it will give you an insight onto how you can apply it to your own playing. Once youve learned a solo or two, try improvising again.

I would say that using tab to learn these solos for this situation is fine. They are on this site.

Solos that come immediately to mind are (and there tons of others that use the penta):

Paranoid, Black Sabbath
Alive, Peral Jam
Tomorrow, Silverchair
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#36
Quote by 91RG350
You're halfway there. You know your pentatonic. Try learning some solos that use the pentatonic and see how professional players have used it well...it will give you an insight onto how you can apply it to your own playing. Once youve learned a solo or two, try improvising again.

I would say that using tab to learn these solos for this situation is fine. They are on this site.

Solos that come immediately to mind are (and there tons of others that use the penta):

Paranoid, Black Sabbath
Alive, Peral Jam
Tomorrow, Silverchair

Add to that list:
Iron Man (uses a variation on the minor pentatonic box)
A lot of iron maiden stuff is pentatonic - try Run To The Hills
Quite a bit of Zep stuff, mostly their earlier albums - Good Times Bad Times, Communication Breakdown, Heartbreaker, etc.

EVH's playing was heavily based on players like clapton.
Speaking of whom, learn Hideaway by John Mayall's Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton. Lots of great phrasing ideas in that one.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#37
Can't add much to whats been said, follow the advice in this thread and you'll do fine TS.

Except the bit about modes. For ****s sake, that suggestion should be warnable.

My things:
Bowes SLx7
Washburn WG587
Washburn X40Pro
Washburn X50
Washburn HM24
Washburn WR150
Laguna LE200s
Arietta Acoustic
First Act
Valveking 112
VHT Deliverance

#38
Quote by valennic
Can't add much to whats been said, follow the advice in this thread and you'll do fine TS.

Except the bit about modes. For ****s sake, that suggestion should be warnable.

+1

I know a bunch but I always end up starting with the minor pentatonic for one reason: it sounds good over almost everything.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.