im still trying to wrap my head around theory. and i understand box scales which are all basicly moveable. but when yousee guitar players go up the neck gradually. what exactly are they doing ? is it all one scale? i apologize if theres anothe thread like this , but i couldnt find one
They're doing something like this:

e---------------------------------------------------------------------------------13-15-17-15-17-19
B-----------------------------------------------------------12-13-15-13-15-17---------------------
G-------------------------------------9-10-12-10-12-14--------------------------------------------
D-------------------7-9-10-9-10-12----------------------------------------------------------------
A------5-7-8-7-8-10-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E--5-7-8-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Basically they're making patterns on each string to make the picking easier to go to a higher pitch. Hence, more dramatic.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Sep 2, 2011,
Quote by fretmaster13
They're doing something like this:

e---------------------------------------------------------------------------------13-15-17-15-17-19
B-----------------------------------------------------------12-13-15-13-15-17---------------------
G-------------------------------------9-10-12-10-12-14--------------------------------------------
D-------------------7-9-10-9-10-12----------------------------------------------------------------
A------5-7-8-7-8-10-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E--5-7-8-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Basically they're making patterns on each string to make the picking easier to go to a higher pitch. Hence, more dramatic.

so, its not in any scale at all?
i think your thinking of a scale as a shape, as opposed to a set of intervals.

the a minor scale has the notes A B C D E F G

you can play those 7 notes anywhere on the neck, not just in that 1 place

that make sense?
Yes and no,

Take the solo in Metropolis pt. 1 by Dream Theater, there's a part where he ascends from something like the 5th fret to like the 23rd all in relatively the same scale.

But on the other hand, if you look at something like Rock & Roll by Zeppelin, the solo moves gradually up but changes scales (pentatonic to chromatic to major back to pentatonic I believe).

Think of it this way, a solo is most often built around the chords of the song, and you may even realize that you hit a lot of notes in your solos that match up with those chords, so when you're at the first chord, it's like point A, and you have say 2 bars to get to point B (the second chord), and it's like a ****ing RPG. There's like 100 ways to get from point A to point B, some aurally pleasing, some not so much. You just gotta experiment. I think they call that frazing or some shit.
m jones, that's a bit too far out for an example. If someone wants to learn, they should be shown it here on the thread as I did. No offense. When someone looks like they're playing all the way up the fretboard, they're generally playing something like the example I showed, or they're playing one or two note per string stuff OR arpeggios.

The example I showed is all in A minor aeolian and is a cool and easy lick. Sounds pretty damn fast, but it's SO easy once you practice it for a while. Just rolls off the fingers.

Once you are able to hear the different tones in a scale, you'll be able to tell which ones are within the scale, and you won't have to think much about it, but instead will be able to use your ears. All the notes in that example are in the A natural minor, or A aeolian scale/mode.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Sep 3, 2011,
Quote by rickyj
i think your thinking of a scale as a shape, as opposed to a set of intervals.

the a minor scale has the notes A B C D E F G

you can play those 7 notes anywhere on the neck, not just in that 1 place

that make sense?

do you have to play them all in the same octave?
You can play any of the notes he told you in any order. It all comes down to how you want to order them. That's the beauty of music. Octaves don't matter. They just alter the frequency of every note, but it's still the same pitch.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Sep 3, 2011,
i guess what kind of throws me off is that scales are like WWHWWWH and i dont see how you do that while going up the neck
You will see it with practice. You don't even HAVE to remember the notes that are in each scale, because really that's irrelevant. Just learn a minor/major scale shape and then HEAR how those notes work over the key of the song you're playing. Then work from there.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
For example, learn the F# natural minor scale shape and then play it over... Crazy Train... is the first song that comes to mind. And listen to how it sounds. Don't even worry about playing in time yet, just hear how the notes fit with the key.

Let me know how that works for you. If you need me to type out any scale shapes to noodle with over a song, let me know.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Sep 3, 2011,
im following what your saying. its just extremley confusing sometimess all the terms and etc. you really have to talk to someone to ask questions instead of just youtube videos sometimes!
I'm here basically all the time playing guitar or listening to music. So, if you need something explained I can help out.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
badd asss dude! ill take you up on that
There are modes in a scale. Those modes are the exact same scale, just on a different starting note. They use the same notes, just in a different order.

Ionian (Major Scale)
Dorian
Phrygian
Lydian
Mixolydian
Aeolian (Natural Minor Scale)
Locrian

Now, these are all MODES of the major scale. For each mode you move up, you start one note up.

If you're playing in C major, the normal WWHWWWH scale is the ionian mode. You would start on C and just play the normal major scale. Now, move to dorian... you would start on the D note and play to the octave D, but in the key of C major. So you're using all of the same notes of the C major scale, just in a different order.

Each of these modes has a different fingering and pattern, but they're relatively easy to memorize. These help you speed up and down the neck, easily staying in the same key once you learn them.
NOW PART OF THE

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Last edited by GibsonMan321 at Sep 3, 2011,
Don't confuse him yet man... Once he's learned the major scale and the natural minor scale, he's basically set. Then all that's next is learning those scale versions with accidentals and the modes, which are basically just the major scale starting on a different note. Newer players need to know minor and major scales first. Then they can see how the pentatonic scale works too. Which in some ways is easier than the natural minor scale, but harder to play quickly because it only has 2 notes per string.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
1) learn theory. scale shapes will only get you so far. not to mention that as a musician, you'd know so little about the actual music -- you're basically just painting by numbers.

2) gibsonman's explanation of modes is very flawed. i don't know how many times we have to correct this misinformation, but i, for one, am so tired of doing it that i will not deign to do it again, and will instead provide you all with a link to the modes sticky:

this is mostly directed at gibsonman, since TS never mentioned anything about modes, and i don't need to get on his case about it. suffice it to say, TS, that all of those "modes" he's talking about are just ONE scale up and down the neck -- essentially, being something like what fretmaster is talking about. i second what fretmaster has posted, except i completely disagree with just "noodling around with scale shapes". this can become quite detrimental, particularly if you want to get into improvisation. a lot of people seem to think that running a few shapes is improvisation, and, while it does (barely) qualify, there's far more to good improvisation than knowing a few shapes.

3) TS, let me say this to you -- there's a lot more to learning guitar than talking to people on a forum or watching youtube videos. there are reasons teachers still exist. and talking to people, having people explain something to you, watching youtube videos, or listening to a teacher talk do nigh on nothing -- getting better at music in general requires a lot of study, training, and application. it's up to you to do all those things.

study theory, train your ear and your instrumental technique, and apply everything you learn to become a better musician.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
I never really had a teacher and I still have a good ear and an ability to play almost anything. Noodling around with scale shapes means that he can play ANY note in the scale of a given key and it will work. It's all about HEARING the notes.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Quote by fretmaster13
I never really had a teacher and I still have a good ear and an ability to play almost anything. Noodling around with scale shapes means that he can play ANY note in the scale of a given key and it will work. It's all about HEARING the notes.

you assume i can't hear the notes because i advocate theory? you've got to be kidding me. you've got fantastic chops, dude, but that's not nearly everything. even if you do have a good ear.

if TS wants to waste 5 years earing it out, he'll get to the same place he'd be in 1 year if he used his ear, improved his instrumental proficiency, and studied and applied theory. as a teacher, i've seen people take both approaches, and if the student in the second case is serious about his studies, he always smokes the student who just ears it out, unless that student has such a great ear that he can write down an orchestral score from memory -- and that's a pretty rare talent.

guitarists these days are so concerned with what "works" and what's "safe" that it's almost redundant to be able to hear it. a truly good ear works far beyond such concepts.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
No, I wasn't saying you can't hear the notes. I was telling the OP to listen to the notes. There is some theory to it, yes. For example, I started learning Randy Rhoads stuff first. Then I noticed the shapes that he used most often, so I scoured the internet trying to find them and eventually did. Now I know what I'm playing at all times. It sort of just happens...

BUT I HEARD them first. I could hear the notes and how they all worked together.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Sep 3, 2011,
ive been playing about 4 years. im not so much a beginer. but i dont know much about theory at all. the teacher i had was horrible and iddnt teach me any theory just how to play crazy train or whatever. so ive got technique and i can play the blues scale like a champ. and i realize you play an A scale when your chord progression is in the key of A. but thats about as much theory as I know. im pretty sure ive wasted alot of time already. =(
You haven't. You already know how music goes. Just keep going if guitar is your thing.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Quote by VertigodowN
im pretty sure ive wasted alot of time already. =(

possibly. i couldn't tell you. what i can tell you is this -- the amount of time you waste from hereon in is completely up to you.

Quote by fretmaster13
No, I wasn't saying you can't hear the notes. I was telling the OP to listen to the notes. There is some theory to it, yes. For example, I started learning Randy Rhoads stuff first. Then I noticed the shapes that he used most often, so I scoured the internet trying to find them and eventually did. Now I know what I'm playing at all times. It sort of just happens...

BUT I HEARD them first. I could hear the notes and how they all worked together.

that sort of approach works great, but there's a lot more to music than staying in one scale. it's better in the long run to free yourself from the confines of thinking within one or two scales -- think of notes. it's a freer approach, and it's a life-saver when you're dealing with songs more harmonically complex than rock or metal.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
That is also true, but generally even the more complex harmonies you write can be done by ear if you have some way to play the melody at the same time. But yeah, music theory can help you if you don't.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Sep 3, 2011,
Hey guys, I'ma pitch in here- When I first learned what a scale was I played E major on the E string till I had the WWHWWWH so ingrained I couldn't forget it. Then I Started to learn what notes in the same scale are on the string below. I'm working on the third string below right now.

Because I know where all the notes are in a scale on two strings, I can improvise easily. All you need to do is memorize where the intervals are in relation to your root. It isn't hard, but it takes some time to internalize. With this knowledge, you can also effectively make chord shapes on the fly.

Now, the downside to this is you aren't actually learning the notes, you're just learning relative intervals, so you need to study your notes at the same time.

Basics- you play any fret on the E string and the same fret on the A string and you have either a 1/4 or an inverted 5/1, from there you can count steps to any interval you need, for example your tonic is third fret on E (G) you play open A, and you get a 1/2 or inverted b7/1. Of course the more strings you have internalized, the better...
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I would venture to say that what the OP is seeing players do is simply shift fret positions multiple times over the course of playing a line, and that simply comes with getting used to using the fretboard expansively.
Take the solo in Metropolis pt. 1 by Dream Theater, there's a part where he ascends from something like the 5th fret to like the 23rd all in relatively the same scale.

But on the other hand, if you look at something like Rock & Roll by Zeppelin, the solo moves gradually up but changes scales (pentatonic to chromatic to major back to pentatonic I believe).
To answer the original question:

Yes. They are using one scale. I cant speak for every ascending run in the history of music, but generally, yes, they are ascending using the one scale.

The notes go across the strings, and also up them. If you know a box pattern across the strings, you can find the same notes on the upper strings. Try it out a little...
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
yesterday i kind of posted an explanation for this in the 'scale practice' thread (also under musician talk). it's the post that has cheese
Quote by VertigodowN
im still trying to wrap my head around theory. and i understand box scales which are all basicly moveable. but when yousee guitar players go up the neck gradually. what exactly are they doing ? is it all one scale? i apologize if theres anothe thread like this , but i couldnt find one

There are whole bunch of things that they could be doing. No way to give you an exact answer.

Sometimes it's all in 1 scale. Sometimes it's not.

Best way to get your head around it is to learn to play it & listen. Then you'll have something to study.
shred is gaudy music
Quote by GuitarMunky
There are whole bunch of things that they could be doing. No way to give you an exact answer.

Sometimes it's all in 1 scale. Sometimes it's not.

Best way to get your head around it is to learn to play it & listen. Then you'll have something to study.

Good answer here as there are multiple things the guitarists you're watching could be doing.