#1
alright so i just spend the last 2 days perfecting my major scale on guitar and was all ecstatic, that was until i found out that there's 5 different shapes and they should all be learned

so my question is why do i need to learn all 5 shapes? and do i have to learn them before i move on to the pentatonic or minor?

thanks!
#2
if you actually knew your scale, it wouldn't be a shape. it's a series of intervals, just like any other scale.

learn the notes on your fretboard. learn the notes in the major scale.

for the love of god don't learn shapes and patterns. they seem easy for now, but they're the bane of every unwitting guitarist's existence.
modes are a social construct
#3
i do know the names of the notes, however i'm not sure how you distinguish between for example an G# on the E string and on the A.. how do u know where it is when it's written?
#4
Quote by Hail
if you actually knew your scale, it wouldn't be a shape. it's a series of intervals, just like any other scale.

learn the notes on your fretboard. learn the notes in the major scale.

for the love of god don't learn shapes and patterns. they seem easy for now, but they're the bane of every unwitting guitarist's existence.


This. If you are going to learn the pattern way, learn the notes on the fretboard aswell as the theory behind the scale. THEN it'll start making sense.
There's a good chance that what I've written above is useless and if you take any of the advice it's your own fault.
#5
how do i learn it not by shapes?

also, when i learn the different scales, should i move from like A major to a C major and so on.. and each time i play a note, should i think the name of that note in my head to memorize?
#6
Quote by doode94
how do i learn it not by shapes?

also, when i learn the different scales, should i move from like A major to a C major and so on.. and each time i play a note, should i think the name of that note in my head to memorize?



a scale isn't a shape its a set of intervals.

let me clarify something, the scale is called "the major scale" not "the C major scale"

or any other note.


the "C" just indicates the root note(or tonic, the note that makes up the first interval of the scale)


learn the C major scale all over the neck.


by that i mean learn where every C,D,E,F,G,A, or B is on the neck and know that each of those notes, regardless of string or octave or whatever, is in the C major scale.


because of how the guitar is built, each fret changing the pitch 1 semitone, just by moving the "shape" of a scale down a fret will change which scale your playing.


so if you play the C major scale with every note shifted down a step you'll be playing the B major scale, because the first interval of the scale(root note/tonic) is a B.
#7
What I did was learning the notes from E string, then learnt the circle of fifths, so B string will be a fifth more than E string, E string fret 8 = C, B string in the same fret would be G, for the G string just take the same fret in E string and add 3 frets i.e G string fret 5 (C) + 3 = 8 (C in E string) and from G string the D would be a fifth more too..... look here http://www.kentguitartuition.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/guitar_neck.gif
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/33/Circle_of_fifths_deluxe_4.svg/400px-Circle_of_fifths_deluxe_4.svg.png
#8
first of all. there are 7 major scale shapes, 7 minor scale shapes and 5 major/minor pentatonic scale shape. next, the difference between going up 1 fret on the fretboard is called a semi-tone, 2 frets is a tone. a major/minor scale shape has 3 notes played on each string but if you dont want to lear by shapes then that doesnt matter.

a major scale is built like this: starting from the root note (lets say its F) it goes up like this - Tone, Tone, SemiTone, Tone, Tone, Tone.
so the notes would be - F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E

simple enough, right? just learn the notes on the fretboard and you should get the hang of it.

a minor scale goes like this - (starting from the root not, lets make F again but it doesnt make a difference) - Tone, SemiTone, Tone, Tone, SemiTone, Tone

so the notes are: F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb.

the pentatonic is just without the 2nd and 5th notes.

simples
#9
There aren't "7 shapes", and reinforcing that misconception just leads to confusion.

A scale is notes, the major scale has 7 of them. On a guitar, those notes are going to appear all over the fretboard multiple times and if you map out all the instances of those notes you get a big pattern that naturally spans the entire fretboard. Now you can split that big pattern up into smaller sections if you want but there's no rules as such.

The shapes themselves are inherently meaningless, they don't define anything about the scale or really tell you much - they might show you where the notes are, but that's not particularly enlightening if you don't know what the notes are in the first place. So as far as dividing up the pattern yes you can do 7 "shapes" if you want, but equally you could do 5, or 6, or leave it at one. IMO there is very little to be gained by worrying too much about scale shapes, as you learn the notes and experiment with using a scale you will naturally learn where the notes are, but what is far more important is learning how to use those notes and how they relate to the chords you're playing over. Be aware of the shapes, but place them in the correct context.

Learning little bits of disparate information is the long way round if all those little bits are actually connected and you can speed up the process greatly as well as making it easier to understand if you approach things in a logical order and take the time to understand and digest each step as you encounter it.
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#10
Quote by itamar100

a major scale is built like this: starting from the root note (lets say its F) it goes up like this - Tone, Tone, SemiTone, Tone, Tone, Tone.
so the notes would be - F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E

simple enough, right? just learn the notes on the fretboard and you should get the hang of it.

a minor scale goes like this - (starting from the root not, lets make F again but it doesnt make a difference) - Tone, SemiTone, Tone, Tone, SemiTone, Tone

so the notes are: F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb.



this is correct but poorly worded


the NATURAL minor scale(aeolian mode) is t,s,t,t,s,t

there are multiple scales that are actually minor, as determined by the 3rd.


same with major, there are multiple scales that are major.
#11
Quote by doode94

so my question is why do i need to learn all 5 shapes?

thanks!

You don't have to, but you might get bored of soloing in just one position for the rest of your life.
#12
Quote by doode94

so my question is why do i need to learn all 5 shapes?


Well, eventually you may want to play in a particular key in more than 1 position on the guitar. Those other shapes just represent how the scale appears on the fretboard in the other positions.


Quote by doode94

and do i have to learn them before i move on to the pentatonic or minor?


No, you don't have to.


Quote by Hail
if you actually knew your scale, it wouldn't be a shape.


Knowing a scale doesn't change the shape or pattern it makes on a particular instrument.
You can pretend to ignore it, but you know it's still there.

and learning scales shapes tends to be helpful in "knowing scales". It's a visual aid that reinforces knowledge. For instance if you know the formula (which itself is a pattern)for the Major scale, seeing & recognizing the pattern it makes on your instrument strengthens your understanding, and enhances your ability to use it.

learning patterns is only bad if you ignore everything else and don't listen. and yeah, alot of people do that. But alot of people study theory and have the same problem because they still ignore alot of things, and still don't listen. Just like in the case of scale patterns, it's the approach that's the problem, not the information.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jan 7, 2012,
#13
Quote by doode94
alright so i just spend the last 2 days perfecting my major scale on guitar and was all ecstatic, that was until i found out that there's 5 different shapes and they should all be learned

so my question is why do i need to learn all 5 shapes? and do i have to learn them before i move on to the pentatonic or minor?


Eventually you're going to want to learn the scale all over the neck.

However, in the short run, I don't particularly think it's important. I think it's more important to understand how the scale sounds, to internalize the sounds and to develop an ability to express yourself with those notes. As that happens, you'll naturally start gravitating over more and more of the neck.
#14
I have given extense thought to the shape thingy, there is one huge benefit you get at the beginning that no one seem to mention, shapes (if you learn the scale degrees instead of just black dots) are excellent for learning intervals in a pretty decent/practical way all over the neck :P

Combined with learning notes you can forget those damn shapes and start seeing/hearing and assimilating your own patterns and phrases on the fretboard.
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#15
You have to use your shapes in conjunction with learning where individual notes lie on the fretboard. That way you can improvise easier because you know where to jump for certain notes in the scale you're playing. You won't be up and down the neck, which LOOKS cool but you'll find it to be very impractical when you start playing more intricate stuff at higher tempo.

I recommend getting the book "Guitar Fretboard Workbook", written by an instructor at MI. I've only been through the first few chapters, but my knowledge of fretboard theory jumped majorly in a very short time because of it.
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#16
Quote by doode94
alright so i just spend the last 2 days perfecting my major scale on guitar and was all ecstatic, that was until i found out that there's 5 different shapes and they should all be learned

so my question is why do i need to learn all 5 shapes? and do i have to learn them before i move on to the pentatonic or minor?

thanks!



Going the way you're learning it, from a self taught standpoint, it looks like that's what you're most likely going to be stuck doing. Expect to take a lot of time and experience slow progress. Part of the reason that you're having trouble, and that its going to take a long time, is because you are self taught.

Best,

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#17
Quote by doode94
alright so i just spend the last 2 days perfecting my major scale on guitar and was all ecstatic, that was until i found out that there's 5 different shapes and they should all be learned

so my question is why do i need to learn all 5 shapes? and do i have to learn them before i move on to the pentatonic or minor?

thanks!


If you played piano, would want to only be able to play in one octave range?

If yes, learn only one shape, if no then learn the rest. Shapes will help you visualize the scales up and down the fret board
#18
Quote by doode94
alright so i just spend the last 2 days perfecting my major scale on guitar and was all ecstatic, that was until i found out that there's 5 different shapes and they should all be learned

so my question is why do i need to learn all 5 shapes? and do i have to learn them before i move on to the pentatonic or minor?

thanks!


As everybody else has said, your best of learning the MAJOR SCALE not different scale shapes. So for C major you need to learn where the notes C-D-E-F-G-A-B are all over the fretboard. If you have a 24 fret guitar each note appears 2 or 3 times on each string, so first learn each of those notes between the open string and fret 12, because once you pass the 12th fret the notes are the same as between 0 and 11 with the exception that they are 1 octave higher.

Once you know the locations for each of these notes then finding the rest is easy because all you have to do is move 1 fret up or down to find the sharpes and flats.

Having this information drilled into your head will allow you to see those "scale shape" anywhere on the fretboard without learning them and will allow you to make better use of those shapes without actually being stuck in a rut when improvising as you can move freely inbetween them.

Seriously mate this is the best way to get better at guitar, I am still in the process of learning this and I wish I could have had this information 8 years ago I would be so much better.