#1
Hey!

I know chords in general, bar chords, power chords, the blues scale, the pentatonic scale, and I recently learned some new scales called Aeolian, Lydian and Harmonic Minor. The problem is that I can't break out of the scales, and create repetitive and forced... Also when I play chords, be it power chords or anything else, I keep playing only what I know or have heard of others and it's hard to forge my own style out of it...

What inspires me the most is Children of Bodom, In Flames and Metallica and Lazarus A.D and a little bit Trivium, but also metal in general, but anything I do seem forced and too much alike these bands I mentioned.

Any thoughts?

At last I would like to ask: I have heard that working with other people may help, so how much theory do I need to know before assembling some jam partners og trying to forge a band?

Thanks in advance!
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#2
I know exactly where your at man, what helped me alot was learning the neck. Memorize what notes are where, gives you some more perspective on key and the instrument.
#3
Don't let your theory keep you from being creative! Try to think of something sounding cool, and don't bother checking if it's in a scale or not. Try to imagine one of your favorite licks/riffs played differently, and make something cool out of it (:
In fact, all I do is creating loads of licks that I think sound good, and somehow put them together to make a solo.
I'm not sure what you mean by "box", but you don't really need to change scale or anything, but if you think it sound better that way, go ahead. Sometimes, changing from Aeolian to Mixolydian can sound really cool if done correctly, but all instruments got to support the scale change. A bit advanced, so you don't need to bother learning that...yet.
Lydian is a mode, by the way.
#4
"I keep playing only what I know or have heard of others and it's hard to forge my own style out of it..."

The way you play is your style. do you mean, it's hard to make your style sound unique?

I suggest just learning a lot of different stuff, playing with a lot of different people, experimenting and then using the bits you like.


So I suggest when it comes to not playing scales, learn a solo that embodies what you are trying to learn. then try to play improvise your own solo incorporating bits and pieces from what you previously learnt... just as an exercise to get you away from playing scales... and more towards your goal.
if you keep this up, you will broaden your phrasing vocabulary away from just scales.
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#5
Quote by ThrashLife
the blues scale, the pentatonic scale, and I recently learned some new scales called Aeolian, Lydian and Harmonic Minor.

Do learn the major scale if you haven't yet! (I don't really know whether you forgot to mention it or you actually don't know it, because it's kind of hard to miss)
And you're better off calling that Aeolian thing the natural minor scale (or just the minor scale).

Do you know how to get the chords from a given key? (i.e. the harmonised major and minor scales)
Last edited by sickman411 at Nov 21, 2011,
#6
Quote by sickman411
Do learn the major scale if you haven't yet! (I don't really know whether you forgot to mention it or you actually don't know it, because it's kind of hard to miss)
And you're better off calling that Aeolian thing the natural minor scale (or just the minor scale).

Do you know how to get the chords from a given key? (i.e. the harmonised major and minor scales)


I have got some papers from my guitar teacher with scales on, but I don't see a "Major Scale" there, so I haven't learned the major scale :/

No, my teacher haven't told me how to "get the chords from a given key" yet either :/

I feel like I lack a really important piece here :s
Quote by carlos_almighty
You just wanna try it? My philosophy is, "If it makes you curious, try it at least once."


Also: "Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted!"
#7
Quote by ThrashLife
I have got some papers from my guitar teacher with scales on, but I don't see a "Major Scale" there, so I haven't learned the major scale :/

No, my teacher haven't told me how to "get the chords from a given key" yet either :/

I feel like I lack a really important piece here :s



Is there something that says "Ionian?" That is the major scale. If your teacher didn't put that on the list, I'd start looking a new teacher...
#8
The only scales you'll need are the major, minor, their pentatonics, and melodic and harmonic minor scales. Note that scales aren't shapes on the fretboard - they're a sequence of notes, and learning all the notes all over the fretboard, and developing your ear for certain intervals, over time you just get away from boxes and repetition isn't an issue because you'll see just how many options are possible, especially once you figure out how to use accidentals, tension, resolution, and fun stuff like that in a chord progression.

Accidentals and intervals would be a great place to start learning. Like the 'lydian' scale - that's just your major scale, with the 4th note in the scale (say, F in C major) raised up (so it's an F# instead). This can sound interesting, and give a certain feel - Steve Vai, for example, uses this convention a lot. That's an accidental, not a mode, and learning how to use all the accidentals, to use chromatic notes cleverly, how to avoid or create dissonance, and little things like that will all add up where you develop your own style.

Another awesome trick is to listen to new genres or even new instruments- all kinds of crazy things opened up in my metal playing after I learned some motown and funk on bass, and after I learned a bit of jazz and bossa nova on guitar, after playing around on keyboards for a while, stuff like that. It really goes a long way from breaking you out of your shell of writing like certain groups.

Also: I'd personally learn the basics of theory, like a few weeks of just learning basic ideas, solidifying your chord knowledge, and knowing a bit of vocabulary, then after you have just enough to be able to practice and build on it, join a band. You'd be so surprised how much you learn within a month or two with your timing, your ear, different tastes melding together, and theory in general. Remember that theory and playing aren't mutually exclusive - you don't need to do one or the other at any given time. Add some interval stuff to your practicing, just a few minutes, or start jamming on songs you don't know the key to, or go to band practice and be jam some riffs out and figure out what you did after you write a song. "I think this goes in F# minor...but it changes...the chorus is in 3/4, but the main riff is in 7/592", you'll be surprised how fast this stuff gets connected to you.

And finally, any music theory terms you don't understand, don't skip over or try to guess - look it up! Even wikipedia has lots of wonderful information. Something people have trouble with is when somebody says "learn some modes" or "learn this exotic scale" and they look up tabs or something, when reading through a wikipedia article could save a lot of trouble and a lot of misunderstandings that can ultimately slow down your progress.

I was in your position a year or so ago, and even in that (relatively small amount of) time I've made so much progress just by using common sense, googling, asking questions, playing new instruments and studying new genres, reading through threads here and on other music forums, checking out lessons on musictheory.net and similar sites, it just comes over time and a few months from now you'll have made a ton of progress.
modes are a social construct
#9
Quote by MeGaDeth2314
Is there something that says "Ionian?" That is the major scale. If your teacher didn't put that on the list, I'd start looking a new teacher...


I second that motion. The major scale is only the basis for everything we do in Western music. How chords are constructed, the scale all others are compared to, etc. Y'know, might be a little important to learn.

Anyway, Thrashlife, you should learn all the notes on your fretboard. You're stuck in boxes because you don't know the notes you're playing, so you're stuck in a box for fear of playing the wrong note.

Patterns aren't necessarily bad. As others here have convinced me, they're an easy way to play. But you should at least know the notes so you can find tonics and have reference points for where you're playing.

You also don't know why you're playing what you're playing, and learning the notes on your fretboard and the major scale will solve that problem.
#10
I've written this a dozen times, but the first step in developing your own voice is to develop your ear. True creativity happens in your head, not on the fretboard.

It's normal to sound a lot like your idols when you're learning, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. Don't stress about it at this point. But develop your ear so that you can start to THINK in music.
#11
Honestly, music eventually becomes a matter of there being no wrong notes.

But before you get to the point where you can make your music that interesting, you need to sort of come through it as a process, so that when you decide to play an F# in the key of C you say, "yeah that doesnt fit the key but I sure know what to do to make it sound cool".

Its a process, and you cannot bypass it. But if you do the same thing and you dont like the results, you may have to consider finding new ways to do things, till you like what you hear.

Best,

Sean
#12
Force yourself.
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#13
Stop thinking about boxes, shapes and pattens, and instead start thinking about what you want to sound like.

A scale pattern won't tell you how to play music any more than a screwdriver and a few screws would tell you how to build a cabinet. You need to think first, imagine, get an idea in your head, then you can worry about scales and stuff when it comes to figuring out how to play it on the guitar.
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#14
That's because scales are the box. It's a piece of shit box for hobos.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#15
Quote by ThrashLife
Hey!

I know chords in general, bar chords, power chords, the blues scale, the pentatonic scale, and I recently learned some new scales called Aeolian, Lydian and Harmonic Minor. The problem is that I can't break out of the scales, and create repetitive and forced... Also when I play chords, be it power chords or anything else, I keep playing only what I know or have heard of others and it's hard to forge my own style out of it...

Any thoughts?

Yes. Arpeggios. I didn't see those in your list.