#1
I'm a total noob in music theory (will be getting a teacher next week and a book) but I've been trying to learn some on my own.

There's one thing I don't get though (I'm talking about scales here but this applies to almost everything) - What exactly am I supposed to be learning?

I know, scales, modes, chords. I always hear "learn the major and minor then move on to X, learn the Circle of Fifths" But what does this mean? Should I memorize the notes on each scale? Is it being able to play said scale on the guitar?
I don't quite get where it is I'm supposed to be aiming.

Thanks!
#5
If you befuddle yourself, your new teacher should be able to clear everything up. A little preexisting knowledge never hurt anyone. Don't bother with modes, you won't be able to comprehend them until you know some other things. The circle of fifths tells you what notes you are able to use in a song so you can stay in key, sharps moving to the right, flats moving to the left. As for scales, definitely focus on the major and minor right now and don't concern yourself with anything else until you know those two scales like old friends. However, you'd be cheating yourself if you only learned patterns and box positions of these scales. You really should learn the formula behind how to build the major and minor scales.
#6
Quote by MatthewLeisher
If you befuddle yourself, your new teacher should be able to clear everything up. A little preexisting knowledge never hurt anyone. Don't bother with modes, you won't be able to comprehend them until you know some other things. The circle of fifths tells you what notes you are able to use in a song so you can stay in key, sharps moving to the right, flats moving to the left. As for scales, definitely focus on the major and minor right now and don't concern yourself with anything else until you know those two scales like old friends. However, you'd be cheating yourself if you only learned patterns and box positions of these scales. You really should learn the formula behind how to build the major and minor scales.


I still don't get what it is I'm supposed to absorb.
You say focus on them until I know them, but what does this entail exactly? Know which notes make up the scale, is that it?

Thanks!
#7
Quote by MatthewLeisher
If you befuddle yourself, your new teacher should be able to clear everything up. A little preexisting knowledge never hurt anyone.


Yes, but re-learning something is usually harder than just learning it correctly in the first place.

Quote by MatthewLeisher
Don't bother with modes, you won't be able to comprehend them until you know some other things.


True

Quote by MatthewLeisher
The circle of fifths tells you what notes you are able to use in a song so you can stay in key, sharps moving to the right, flats moving to the left.


You can stay in key and still play accidentals, but yes, in the simplest terms the circle of fifths shows you what notes make up which key.

Quote by MatthewLeisher
As for scales, definitely focus on the major and minor right now and don't concern yourself with anything else until you know those two scales like old friends. However, you'd be cheating yourself if you only learned patterns and box positions of these scales. You really should learn the formula behind how to build the major and minor scales.


Yes, but you don't say which minor scale. I'd guess a guitarist is probably going to get taught the natural minor first, unless it's classical and then there is going to be more focus on the harmonic minor. There's also melodic minor.

Knowing these scales "like old friends" can take years.

Quote by Rainmaker31
I still don't get what it is I'm supposed to absorb.
You say focus on them until I know them, but what does this entail exactly? Know which notes make up the scale, is that it?

Thanks!


There is a lot to absorb. If it's over your head now, wait for a teacher to point you in the right direction. I would recommend that, if you want to make a start before your lessons, you learn the notes and where they fall on the fretboard in standard tuning.

Remember, there is a lot to learn. You should take it slowly. Rushing to learn as much as possible in a short space of time will only hinder you in the long term.