It's just a map of the notes in the scale. It's not telling you in what order to play them.

Look in the "Patterns" column there, and you can select where on the neck to start the scale patterns.

It's very good practice to do scales by playing every note of the scale that occurs on the fretobard, even if the lowest note is not the root of the scale. If you play C major from lowest C major note to highest Cmajor note, you start with your open low E string.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jan 18, 2013,
That's the C major scale. Like the guy above said, it just isn't listing them starting with a "C" note.

Most lessons/tab will start off on the ROOT note just to make it easier.
Fur Elise is in the key of A minor, but it starts on an E.

^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^

"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.

It's a C major scale starting in a different position. It still contains all the notes from C major. Here's another way to think of it...

The G minor pentatonic scale is often thought to start at the 3rd fret of the 6th string. However, there are five positions of G minor pentatonic. Each is comprised of the same notes, however it starts in a different place of the 6th string. There's another G minor pentatonic scale that starts on the 6th fret of the 6th string. That note is Bb, but it still uses all the notes of the scale.
you're an idiot
Quote by KG6_Steven
It's a C major scale starting in a different position. It still contains all the notes from C major. Here's another way to think of it...

The G minor pentatonic scale is often thought to start at the 3rd fret of the 6th string. However, there are five positions of G minor pentatonic. Each is comprised of the same notes, however it starts in a different place of the 6th string. There's another G minor pentatonic scale that starts on the 6th fret of the 6th string. That note is Bb, but it still uses all the notes of the scale.

uhh wut
^ What's the issue?
he's perplexed by the fact that you can play a note on the guitar in more than one place.
All of those notes fit into the C major scale. What note you start on doesn't matter at all. All that matters is what the tonal center is - that's the note that will determine the key - and the interval pattern around that note will determine if it's major or minor or diminished, etc.
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Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
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uhh wut

kudos on your accurate user title
Quote by cdgraves
It's just a map of the notes in the scale. It's not telling you in what order to play them.

Look in the "Patterns" column there, and you can select where on the neck to start the scale patterns.

It's very good practice to do scales by playing every note of the scale that occurs on the fretobard, even if the lowest note is not the root of the scale. If you play C major from lowest C major note to highest Cmajor note, you start with your open low E string.

OK, I get it now, thanks!
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Quote by donegan_zealot
uhh wut

Study a little theory, friend. You'll eventually get it.
stop thinking in scales, god damn it

this whole music thing will be a lot easier when you stop trying to box everything into fucking scales and just use your ear

there are no shortcuts to making music, and you're learning this lesson firsthand because your entire education is based around you trying to find the easy way out like this.
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I wouldn't call learning scales the "easy" way of doing anything. Knowing all your diatonic scales and the three minors is really just very basic musicianship. Being able to breeze through them gives you a serious head start when you get to "using your ear" stuff like transcription/dictation and learning songs by ear.

It's extraordinarily difficult to organize music sensibly without basic vocabulary such as scales, chords, and basic harmonic concepts. I think it's very beneficial to work on all those skills concurrently, not only to avoid frustration, but because the best music is achieved by using logical, technical, and aural skills together.
The C major scale contains: C D E F G A B
Regardless of the order of the notes, it is C major.

You also don't say a song is a C major scale, it makes use of the notes within that scale.

Don't approach a scale like it's sequence is holy and must always be presented in a standard order.
Quote by cdgraves
I wouldn't call learning scales the "easy" way of doing anything. Knowing all your diatonic scales and the three minors is really just very basic musicianship. Being able to breeze through them gives you a serious head start when you get to "using your ear" stuff like transcription/dictation and learning songs by ear.

It's extraordinarily difficult to organize music sensibly without basic vocabulary such as scales, chords, and basic harmonic concepts. I think it's very beneficial to work on all those skills concurrently, not only to avoid frustration, but because the best music is achieved by using logical, technical, and aural skills together.

scales are inherent within keys

to learn them is redundant beyond chord construction and entering intervals

aka after like a week you should forget they exist
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Last edited by Hail at Jan 19, 2013,
Key and scale differ considerably, as you can play in a single key and utilize multiple scales via modulation and borrowing (iv, bIV, bII, +6th chords). Especially in pieces with frequent modulation and chromaticism, having the scale vocabulary is very useful for analysis, even though you probably don't want to play them in a linear fashion.
Quote by cdgraves
Key and scale differ considerably,

are you really gonna tell me this? isn't that like the thesis for the last 3 months of every serious post i've had on this forum?

use your ears and understanding of intervals and movement. you'll have a lot better results than a "scale vocabulary"

a scale vocabulary is just a series of presets for people not intuitive enough to create their own sounds and explore all of the options available.
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are you really gonna tell me this? isn't that like the thesis for the last 3 months of every serious post i've had on this forum?

use your ears and understanding of intervals and movement. you'll have a lot better results than a "scale vocabulary"

a scale vocabulary is just a series of presets for people not intuitive enough to create their own sounds and explore all of the options available.

One thing I've started doing is taking a melody I want to study and just playing with it for an hour minimum each day, for 7 straight days. Exploring different meters, lengthening and shortening notes, reversing the note order, changing intervals, playing different parts of it simultaneously, playing it over as many different backing tracks as I can find, humming it over all the songs I listen to, and there are probably still many things I haven't even tried yet.

There are so many things you can learn from a simple melody alone and so many things you can do with one that it's baffling why anyone, myself included, ever tried to learn by playing scales. All you need is a song you like and some basic human curiosity.
I really don't understand why aural and formal relationships would be mutually exclusive. Aural perception is a given, ideally. It shouldn't bear repeating that music is for listening.

Learning and practicing scales/arpeggios/chords doesn't make you any less creative, unless your musical time is extremely limited and practicing concepts competes with otherwise enjoyable rocking out. But I don't tend to give advice on that assumption.

Frankly, if someone finds new concepts limiting, they are simply artistically lazy. There's nothing wrong or limiting whatsoever about knowing the ins and outs of music theory (which goes far beyond "what's this chord/scale called"). You can make a case that doing things "authentically" is better, but would you tell a carpenter to ditch the power drill and lash some logs together the hard way?
Quote by cdgraves
Key and scale differ considerably...

Really? No shit.

And on topic, the picture is really just showing all of the notes in the key of C major on a specific area of the fretboard. Or maybe the whole fretboard depending on what website/book you're looking at. It's not showing the scale per se, rather what notes are diatonic. Play from one C to another C an octave (or two. Or three. Or four if you're particularly insane/awesome.) higher. Then BAM! you have your C Major scale.
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Quote by cdgraves
I really don't understand why aural and formal relationships would be mutually exclusive. Aural perception is a given, ideally. It shouldn't bear repeating that music is for listening.

Learning and practicing scales/arpeggios/chords doesn't make you any less creative, unless your musical time is extremely limited and practicing concepts competes with otherwise enjoyable rocking out. But I don't tend to give advice on that assumption.

Frankly, if someone finds new concepts limiting, they are simply artistically lazy. There's nothing wrong or limiting whatsoever about knowing the ins and outs of music theory (which goes far beyond "what's this chord/scale called"). You can make a case that doing things "authentically" is better, but would you tell a carpenter to ditch the power drill and lash some logs together the hard way?

music theory is far more relevant on a larger scale than scales. once you learn your intervals appropriately, you have a line of reference to the only 3 scales that matter (major, minor, chromatic) and you're fully functional to dive into literally everything else.

there's nothing "authentic" about my line of thought - many artist far better than me would disagree with it - but it is based heavily on the fact that, if it's been dreamt up theoretically, you can hear it with a strong ear. however, if you approach a difficult project with strong logic and a poor ear, it's impossible to execute properly.

if you spend 10 minutes on this forum, you'll find that aural perception is extremely far from a given. this is the assumption where we differ, and other than that we'd be on the same page. call me cynical, but it's a lot easier to see numbers and lines than it is to think in sounds, keys, and movements on a grand scale.
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Begin by reading the scale diagram on the low e string. see that it starts on g but that is not the root note, which is highlighted orange "c" on the 3rd fret of the a string. (opposed to the notes that either ascend or descend in accordance with that scale(c major...) Always identify the root note. in this case C. Then begin the scales pattern and you will see the root note appears again in a different position on the 8th note and continues in this pattern over the entire fret board
Last edited by mikeyhavoc at Jan 20, 2013,
I use that website all the time. Even forgot the name of it so this thread was of considerable help to me too
Quote by Thomas_Erak_Fan
I'm looking at the scale this site gave me and I don't quite understand.

I thought you start the scale off with C. Here they're saying fret 5 high E string which is note A.

Can someone enlighten me?

What if the underlying chord was static Am vamp? Or Dm vamp? Or Em vamp? Or Fmaj vamp? Or Gmaj vamp?

What cunting scale do you think it's gonna be then, hmm?
Quote by mdc
What if the underlying chord was static Am vamp? Or Dm vamp? Or Em vamp? Or Fmaj vamp? Or Gmaj vamp?

What cunting scale do you think it's gonna be then, hmm?

Uh... Qb Dodecalydian?
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if you spend 10 minutes on this forum, you'll find that aural perception is extremely far from a given. this is the assumption where we differ, and other than that we'd be on the same page. call me cynical, but it's a lot easier to see numbers and lines than it is to think in sounds, keys, and movements on a grand scale.

I suppose I should qualify: GOOD musicianship presumes aural development. Any theory class has a substantial aural component. And yes, it's definitely the most intimidating part.

It's also much easier to explain theory concepts via internet. Although, if I had the time it'd be fun to play example tracks for whatever concepts need explaining. Writing, playing, and singing examples is a really good way to get familiar with new ideas, too.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jan 21, 2013,