#1
Hello UG, Ive recently been trying to expand my knowledge of guitar scales. The only scale for metal Ive been using for metal has been Harmonic Minor and I want to try and do something different. Ive tried pentatonic and major and they dont work (obviously). But for progressive music, I want to learn other scales besides Harmonic Minor that actually sound well for metal. Ive tried some other scales (Lydian Augmented and Diminished) and my improvisations with those scales didnt sound very well.

Any suggestions?
#3
Quote by :-D
Major and minor.

"They don't work (obviously)" means you're not utilizing the scales properly.



this, kinda.

he said pentatonic, not natural minor/major.


that being said, use the natural minor/major scales.
#4
They just didnt sound very "metal". Ive also tried Locrian #2 which sounded alright. Im just trying to expand the scales I use. Major seemed too "happy" and pentatonic seemed too "bluesy".
#6
I'll look into those scales.... I was just hoping for more suggestions. I want to learn alot of scales.
#7
^ how about you learn how to use them and how/why they're constructed like they are instead?
#8
Quote by SomeRandomCrack
I want to learn alot of scales.



i would rather be able to use 2 or 3 scales well than be able to use a ton of scales poorly, thats just me though.


learn the minor scale, learn all of the modes(the 3rd mode of the minor scale is the major scale, btw) and how to use them
#9
You can make any scale sound the way you want it. Sometimes you have to use an 'accidental' to make a certain sound.It's more about the intervals than the scale. For example to make a 'arabian' style in a phrase I usually make a minor second, then a minor third, a minor second and then a major second.
On first string that would be

0-1-4-5-7 ( I think this is E phrygian dominant, NOT SURE !)

If you would play 0-1-3-5 that would be a Phrygian tetrachord , add there a whole step and from there make another phrygian tetrachord and you got a phrygian scale. It's got spanish gypsy style. Also if you play that tetrachord backwards it makes that dramatic feeling, I guess it's due to minor second.I've been studying theory for about 2 months so correct me someone if I am wrong.
Anyways. E phrygian which I wrote is a mode derived from C major scale. So... It's about how you use intervals of the scale.
#10
Quote by z4twenny
^ how about you learn how to use them and how/why they're constructed like they are instead?


This.

It sounds like the OP is taking a shot in the dark, seeking some bitlet of "scale knowledge" out of context, as if simply learning a new scale is going to make you play differently. Of course one is going to be dissapointed if one simply finds some "exotic" scale online and just noodles with it, without much of an idea of what one is doing.

For progressive music, what you're going to want are some solid musical ideas that are applied usages. Simply finding new scales is not going to be the key - you could make quite progressive music with just the basic scales you already know; it's how you use them. Something like the octatonic scales are just going to be useless noodling for you without further understanding.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Jan 12, 2012,
#11
I dont think its gonna make me better. I think its gonna open a wide variety of new things I can use with simple scales I already know.
#12
If you can't get a metal sound out of the minor scale, then you don't know the minor scale. More scales will not help if you don't understand scales. You need to learn how to find them all over the neck - study your favourite metal bands and see how they use the scales in question.
#13
Quote by SomeRandomCrack
I dont think its gonna make me better. I think its gonna open a wide variety of new things I can use with simple scales I already know.


I'm making an educated guess about your level of proficiency here, but I suspect that adding another scale would be like adding another cookie cutter.

Yeah, you know, with two cookie cutters you can make cookies in two different shapes.

Or ... you can learn to not use cookie cutters.

If you want to be a progressive musician, you want to not be using cookie cutters. And that means rather than adding a bunch of scales, you want to master your understanding of the scales you already know.

Calling the major and minor pent scales "simple" rather fantastically suggests that you don't have the slightest clue as to their power and versatility. I honestly doubt that any other scale you're likely to learn is as flexible and powerful as the major scale. It is ANYTHING but simple.

A lot of people - particularly inexperienced metal guitarists, but it's true of guitarists in general to an alarming extent - are convinced that musical nirvana is one odd-named scale away. It's not.

A level of mastery with the major and minor scales, along with their respective penatonics (including the understanding of how to use accidentals in minor and major contexts) will do far more unlock your ability to create compelling original sounds than learning some new scales.

I would even go further and say that until you can listen to music and - based just on your ears - identify what scale the artist is using (eg you find yourself saying things like "he using a minor third, minor seventh, but a major sixth ... interesting!") then adding scales to your repertoire is pointless.
#14
Quote by rickyj
this, kinda.

he said pentatonic, not natural minor/major.

Who cares? It's completely inconsequential. The scale not sounding "like genre x" is never the fault of the scale itself. And since you want to needlessly nitpick, he did say major - the "pentatonic" referred to minor pentatonic only.

Quote by rickyj
learn all of the modes(the 3rd mode of the minor scale is the major scale, btw) and how to use them

No.

TS: The idea behind all this is that there's no point in attempting to add "a wide variety" to what you already know. If you're limited in your phrasing ability with scales you know (supposedly "simple" ones), then the issue in variety of sound is not in the scale - if you want to open said "wide variety" of sounds, practice your phrasing with what you already know. If you learn how to do that, you'll find the scales you know to be far more versatile than you imagined.
Last edited by :-D at Jan 12, 2012,
#15
Quote by SomeRandomCrack
Any suggestions?

Yeah just sweep yer way through it, mate. I must admit, I haven't done much sweeping recently... well, not since my last job... sorry.
#16
Natural minor scale, and possibly the harmonic minor too. That will sound metal.
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#17
Quote by SomeRandomCrack
Hello UG, Ive recently been trying to expand my knowledge of guitar scales. The only scale for metal Ive been using for metal has been Harmonic Minor and I want to try and do something different. Ive tried pentatonic and major and they dont work (obviously). But for progressive music, I want to learn other scales besides Harmonic Minor that actually sound well for metal. Ive tried some other scales (Lydian Augmented and Diminished) and my improvisations with those scales didnt sound very well.

Any suggestions?

You might wanna try some tight rimm.... riffing first. Good metal is all about having a tight rhythm section, and riffs that have a strong foundation, and carry the song well. This where Morello was so good. Yeah, he's not prog, but still...

Understand the theory behind the riffs, what scale they belong to... voila, that'd be your scale to use for a solo.
#18
Quote by SomeRandomCrack
Any suggestions?


Well you know a scale that has 7 notes in it. 5 of them aren't.

Do you think the secret is somewhere in using those five notes? Perhaps when you hit one of those notes it'll change the genre of the music?

Using this logic, why not argue that the chromatic scale suggests every genre ever made? It has all the notes.

Otherwise, I agree with the above. Learn how to use those scales that you have.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#19
I like the way scales with a minor seventh and a major sixth sound, so usually I use dorian/mixolydian.
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#20
isn't jump in the fire by metallica in straight up G blues? pentatonic scales aren't metal, shhh.

use the chromatic scale. your rhythmic choices will mean a lot more than anything else possibly could in prog metal.
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#21
Major and Minor (natural, harmonic, melodic) should see you fine. As almost everyone else has said. You do realise that, although these scales have 7 notes in them (5 if pentatonic) you still have all 12 notes at your disposal.

I would also wager that when you used lydian, or whatever, you were probably using one of the scales I listed, just with accidentals. Learn how to utilise accidentals with the major and minor scales and you won't need many other scales...ever.

First get a solid understanding of theory diatonic, as your post would suggest you lack some of that understanding.
#22
Quote by Hail

use the chromatic scale. your rhythmic choices will mean a lot more than anything else possibly could in prog metal.


this
#23
Quote by Freepower
study your favourite metal bands and see how they use the scales in question.


This is the correct answer.