#1
I've played rhythm for a couple of years with little understanding of theory and scales.
I have the drive to learn more theory and scales, but everywhere I start researching it goes way over my head way too fast.

When learning scales why is it recommended to play the root notes first? E,F,G,A,B,C,D,E is still a C scale but it's in a different mode.

Should I learn the scale on each string individually starting with the root, then move onto 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 string versions of the scale?

Then there's the 3rds and 5ths of everything, over my head.

I just don't want to approach it the wrong way and have to re-learn stuff.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
#2
Learn how a scale's constructed first then you might start to understand it a little.

Also, it's better to learn scales in octaves, not over how many strings you can play it.

Forget about modes for now until you have a solid foundation in scale theory.
#3
I know scales are created by taking the root note and finding the other notes via the w-w-h-w-w-w-h pattern. And I can construct scales from taking the root note and using the pattern.

But I don't understand how to practice playing them. I mean there are thousands of hand positions and possibilities for playing each scale and in each mode. How on Earth will I learn all of them?

Octaves, ok. So should I find every way to play a scale in an octave, and practice that? Over strings, skipping strings, up and down the neck? Then move onto new scales?
#4
learn the 7 positions of the major scale, then use theory-fu to understand what they all are. the reason you play from the root of the scale is so you can hear the scale for what it is, rather than a mode of what it is. yes, its the same scale regardless of where you start, but depending on the root, the scale will sound different harmonically.
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#6
You seem to be having more trouble understanding musical definitions.

The notes in the C Scale are C D E F G A B C.

When someone says to play the 1st or tonic in the key of C they are referring to the note C because its the first note of the C scale.

If someone says to play the 4th or subdominant of the scale then they are referring to the note F because it is the 4th note in the key of C.

The words tonic and subdominant are simply referring to scale degrees or notes of the scale.

Heres a chart to help you understand the Scale Degrees

Tonic - 1st note of the scale also known as the root note C
Supertonic - 2nd D
Mediant - 3rd E
Subdominant - 4th F
Dominant - 5th G
Submediant - 6th A
Leading Tone - 7th B

The word Octave is referring to the last note of the scale which would simply be a C but in a higher pitch than the first.

So if you played the 3rd fret on the A string and the 5th fret on the D string you can hear that they're both C's. The only difference is that the note on the D string sounds higher pitched so that would be the Octtave of the C.

Learn the positions of the scales instead of learning how to play it on one string. As soon as your able to recognize the patterns of a scale playing it on one string should begin to feel very natural to you.

Theres no rule stating that you can't start a C scale on the note E instead of C and that would just be considered the Phrygian Mode. You seem to have the idea in your head that Scales and Modes are the same thing. In a way they are very alike but when someone tells you to play the C Major Scale your always gonna start on C. In D major you'll start on D and so on.

Don't ever get them mixed up and realise the only mode that has the same notes as C Major is the Ionian mode which will always start on the 1st of a scale.
Last edited by dannydawiz at Nov 20, 2011,
#7
Quote by ExpertGamer
This shows all 7 positions. But since they don't all start on the root, wouldn't that technically make every one of these a mode of whatever scale you're playing?

nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

As stated above, forget about modes for a while. They're not going to make sense unless you have a solid understanding of the major scale and harmony in general.
#8
If you are just starting out learn just the 5 positions.
learn where the first scale degree is on each one.
Voila you instantly know all the major scales on all the fretboard.
Then memorize where degree VI is as well as the circle of fifhts, voila you just know the minor scale all over the fretboard.

Afterwards you can start practicing them individually and move to 7 positions system (3nps)
or other systems, or simply go by ear, having the patterns engrained in your memory and muscle memory will make everything way easier
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#9
Quote by dannydawiz
The word Unison is referring to the last note of the scale which would simply be a C but in a higher pitch than the first.

That's an octave, not a unison. A unison is if they're the exact same frequency.

Quote by dannydawiz
So if you played the 3rd fret on the A string and the 5th fret on the D string you can hear that they're both C's. The only difference is that the note on the D string sounds higher pitched so that would be the unison of the C.

No.

Quote by dannydawiz
Theres no rule stating that you can't start a C scale on the note E instead of C and that would just be considered the Phrygian Mode.

I'm not sure what you're implying here, but if you're saying (and I don't think you are) that starting on E and using the notes of the C major scale makes something instantly Phrygian then that's not right.

Quote by dannydawiz
However if someone told you to play in C Phrygian then they would be referring to start on the note E in the key of C.

No, C Phrygian would contain the notes of the Ab major scale.

Quote by dannydawiz
Don't ever get them mixed up and realise the only mode that has the same notes as C Major is the Ionian mode which will always start on the 1st of a scale.

Aeolian has the same notes as the natural minor scale.
#10
hhhhh ouch.. the ammount of butthurt..
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Nov 20, 2011,
#12
Quote by :-D
That's an octave, not a unison. A unison is if they're the exact same frequency.


No.


I'm not sure what you're implying here, but if you're saying (and I don't think you are) that starting on E and using the notes of the C major scale makes something instantly Phrygian then that's not right.


No, C Phrygian would contain the notes of the Ab major scale.


Aeolian has the same notes as the natural minor scale.


Excuse me for getting my definitions of a Unison and Octave mixed up. Sometimes I think to hard about things. My intentions weren't meant to sound like a know it all but I will fix my post to prevent any further confusion. Thanks and regards!

Edit: Thanks for correcting my mistakes to regarding modes. Looks like I've been led wrong and have alot of studying to do.
Last edited by dannydawiz at Nov 20, 2011,
#13
Quote by dannydawiz
Excuse me for getting my definitions of a Unison mixed up. Sometimes I think to hard about things. My intentions weren't meant to sound like a know it all but I will fix my post to prevent any further confusion. Thanks and regards!

Edit: Thanks for correcting my mistakes to regarding modes. Looks like I've been led wrong and have alot of studying to do.

No worries, I'm not picking on you or anything - I'm just doing that because modes are generally a confusing subject to initially approach and I've been around here long enough to see my share of confused people.

That's not to say you're one of them, just that it's a strange concept to grasp at first. Even though the focus here shouldn't be on modes, I figured I'd try and clear up what I could for now - if you do have any questions, you can make a separate thread, PM me, or whatever works.
Last edited by :-D at Nov 20, 2011,
#14
Quote by :-D
No worries, I'm not picking on you or anything - I'm just doing that because modes are generally a confusing subject to initially approach and I've been around here long enough to see my share of confused people.

That's not to say you're one of them, just that it's a strange concept to grasp at first. Even though the focus here shouldn't be on modes, I figured I'd try and clear up what I could for now - if you do have any questions, you can make a separate thread, PM me, or whatever works.


Glad that we could both clear that up!

I'm actually happy that you did because not only would I have led someone else wrong but myself as well. Of course it's great to see that your willing to help out. UltimateGuitar wouldn't be the same without people like you. I'll try to find a more accurate source of information first but If I can't I'll be sure to send you a message sometime. Once again thanks and regards!
#15
Yeah, for the time being just forget completely about modes, ignore the names, ignore the word itself.

You need to focus on the basics, intervals, the major scale and the fundamentals of harmony...and with that in mind off to MT with you.
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#17
In my experience, the fastest way to memorize all the notes and positions of all the scales is to know where every note on the fingerboard is and which notes are in each scale.
#18
Quote by Slashiepie
hhhhh ouch.. the ammount of butthurt..



What butthurt? Correcting someone isn't being butthurt, it's wanting someone to be right so they don't do things incorrectly.

TS, listen to :-D, he knows what he's on about.

Also, you don't need to learn every scale in every position possible. As long as you know the notes of whatever scale you want to play, a sound knowledge of the fretboard will get you where you want. You can practice particular positions and fingerings but in the end, you choose your own fingerings when learning songs and composing.
#19
Theres no rule stating that you can't start a C scale on the note E instead of C and that would just be considered the Phrygian Mode. You seem to have the idea in your head that Scales and Modes are the same thing. In a way they are very alike but when someone tells you to play the C Major Scale your always gonna start on C. In D major you'll start on D and so on.
#20
Have you ever considered lessons? The advantage of lessons, is that you can have things explained in a way that doesnt go over your head, and is vested into your development and making sure that you understand.

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Quote by ExpertGamer
I've played rhythm for a couple of years with little understanding of theory and scales.
I have the drive to learn more theory and scales, but everywhere I start researching it goes way over my head way too fast.

When learning scales why is it recommended to play the root notes first? E,F,G,A,B,C,D,E is still a C scale but it's in a different mode.

Should I learn the scale on each string individually starting with the root, then move onto 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 string versions of the scale?

Then there's the 3rds and 5ths of everything, over my head.

I just don't want to approach it the wrong way and have to re-learn stuff.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!