Is the pattern of the major and minor scales the same? To my understanding, the pattern is the same. For example; Am and C. And which root notes you use determine the key?
If you're referring to the pattern as in the interval pattern, a look at the scales will tell you they're not the same.

C major: C D E F G A B
A minor: A B C D E F G

The notes are the same, but that's where the similarities end. I don't get your last question either; could you elaborate on the "root notes determining key" bit?
Probably a poorly asked question. Let me find a better way to ask my question and I'll be back. I'm a noob trying to to understand scales for the first time.
Quote by arh1192
Probably a poorly asked question. Let me find a better way to ask my question and I'll be back. I'm a noob trying to to understand scales for the first time.

The best I could offer you, with the way the question is worded, is that you listen to the progression carefully and hear the note it resolves to, which will be the root note of the key you're in.
Go and read a few articles or lessons about intervals and then you'll probably understand better. There's plenty of good ones right here on UG.

Basically to sum it up though is, the notes are the same, but the intervals are not. Since the intervals are different it changes the pattern of the scale.
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This +10000

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Go and read a few articles or lessons about intervals and then you'll probably understand better. There's plenty of good ones right here on UG.

Basically to sum it up though is, the notes are the same, but the intervals are not. Since the intervals are different it changes the pattern of the scale.

I think you got me headed in the right track. Thanks.
Basicly, a minor scale is just like a major scale, but it uses a key signature that is different from it's root note. For example, if you wanted an Am scale, you need to figure out what it's relative major is. That is easy to find, to find the relative major given a minor, you count up a minor 3rd. So from A, the minor 3rd would be C.

A major scale(3#'s)= A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#-A
A minor scale(key of C, no sharps)- A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A

It goes the same for every other minor to major as well. For example, if you wanted an E minor scale. Minor 3rd up from E is G. So, an E minor scale would be E to E, but put into the key of G

E major(4 #'s)- E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D#-E
E minor(key of G- 1#)- E-F#-G-A-B-C-D-E

It's all about the relative major and minors when it comes to finding the key signature the minor scale is in. If you have a minor scale and need to figure out what key signature it is in, take the root of the scale and count up a minor 3rd. Likewise, if you have a major and want to figure out what minor is in that key signature, you would count up a major 6th.
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If you're referring to the pattern as in the interval pattern, a look at the scales will tell you they're not the same.

C major: C D E F G A B
A minor: A B C D E F G

The notes are the same, but that's where the similarities end. I don't get your last question either; could you elaborate on the "root notes determining key" bit?

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Move it to GT so the idiots don't come in?.... then move it back again.
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Move it to GT so the idiots don't come in?.... then move it back again.

It's already been in GT haha
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This +10000

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Shit... really?
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"keep the stupid out"?
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So looking at this picture, Am and C share the same notes. To play in the key of Am I should be starting and ending on A notes correct? And to play in the key of C I should start and end on C notes?

Not exactly, no. The key you're playing in is determined by the harmonic progression. For example, if you're playing over a simple C-F-G progression (a I-IV-V in C major, as simple as it gets, really) then you're in C major regardless of what you're playing over the progression. You could start a given lick on any note, but that won't change the key. Harmony determines the key of the melody, not the other way around.
If all your looking for is patterns:

Major Scale Pattern (on three strings)
|----------|
|6|--|7|8|
|3|4|--|5|
|--|1|--|2|--
Now move that to C.

the minor scale pattern:
|--------------]
|--|b7|--|8|
|--|4|--|5|b6|
|--|1|--|2|b3|
Now move that to A

The numbers are the intervals of the scale, not the frets, which will get you further than learning patterns.
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

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Is the pattern of the major and minor scales the same? To my understanding, the pattern is the same. For example; Am and C. And which root notes you use determine the key?

Not quite. Key is determined by "resolution" where the song feels "finished". There are more reliable instances which can help one determine "key" that are rooted in a firm understanding of music theory, but the bottom line is where the song feels finished.

When you talk about "patterns" context determines what they are. For example, the notes in A Natural Minor and C Major are the exact same, but the context in what they are used (chords in the background, for one example) determines those notes FUNCTION as to whether it is in A Minor or C Major.

If you'd like to know HOW to approach this, I'd suggest a study in how music works, in other words, Music Theory.

Best,

Sean
Thanks for the replies.

I have been playing guitar on and (mostly) off for 10 years. Every time I tried lessons the teacher would just teach me songs. Needless to say I never stuck with lessons because I can read tabs and learn songs myself.

I picked up a music theory book a couple months back and have been reading a little here and there. I now understand the importance of learning scales so that's where I'm at now. I'm starting to see of the pieces of the puzzle come together but I still have a long ways to go.

Thanks again for the replies!
Quote by arh1192
Is the pattern of the major and minor scales the same? To my understanding, the pattern is the same. For example; Am and C. And which root notes you use determine the key?

The notes are the same, but the pattern is NOT.

A Major scale has the note spacing of 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1 This is in semi-tones.

Here's 2 octaves of C Major: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

B & C plus E & F are only 1 semi tone apart, all the other notes are 2 semi tones apart.

To form the RELATIVE minor of any key, you start on the 6th note of the major, and use the same notes.

Here's 2 octaves of C Major (again) But, we're going to pull the relative minor from it:

A (natural) is the 6th of C Major, SO; C, D, E, F, G, [A], B, C, D, E, F, G,[ A], B, C

So A minor is the same note values as C major, but the pattern it is built on is quite different. That would be: 2, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2.

Every Major chord and it's relative minor share 2 notes the 1st (root) of the major, and the 3rd. With the chord C Major, that would be C, & E.

G would complete our C major triad chord; C, ( the 1st) , E (the 3rd), & (G the 5th).

Now, we already know that a minor scale begins on the 6th note of its relative major, so all we have to do with our C major chord, is to substitute the 6th of the key for the existing 5th, so, C, E, G (C major, becomes C, E, A (A minor).

The only thing you have to remember is that the swapped note is now the 1st (or root) of the new A minor chord and relative minor key.

Let's try finding the relative minor of E Major; E Major chord = E, G#, B (the 5th) I count up 2 semi tones to the 6th of the E major key and we get a C# note. So, C# is the relative minor to E major. And E, G#, C#, is the C# minor chord.

You should note that the 1st 3rd and 5th of any chord can be played in any order. For a strict 1, 3, 5 order in C# minor , that would be, C# (1st), E (3rd, & G# (5th)
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 17, 2012,
Quote by Captaincranky
A (natural) is the 6th of C Major, SO; C, D, E, F, G, [A], B, C, D, E, F, G,[ A], B, C

So A minor is the same note values as C major, but the pattern it is built on is quite different. That would be: 2, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2.

Fixed.
Quote by mdc
Fixed.
Edited in context. Thanks for the proofread. I seem to need them from time to time.
They're just relative keys because they share a key signature. Most of the time though, in a minor key, you will use the harmonic minor scale for the use of the M7 as a leading tone. Without this it can be sometimes hard to hear it in the key of A instead of C. In C, the B natural already acts as a leading tone to C, so if you're just noodling around, it will sound like it's in C major.