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#1
scales are a very confusing concept to me right now! I've been playing guitar for a few months and would like to learn the major scale to start with, however how many places on the fretboard can you play each major scale?
#2
You can play them all over the fretboard. There are 12 notes, they keep on repeating.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
Quote by mjpb
scales are a very confusing concept to me right now! I've been playing guitar for a few months and would like to learn the major scale to start with, however how many places on the fretboard can you play each major scale?

The problem with the guitar is that it's such a "shape based" instrument.

"Ooo, look at all these patterns and scale shapes on the fretboard. Where on earth am I supposed to play the major scale?"

Think of the musical notes as being universal. How do you think horn, brass players cope?

There are 12 notes in the musical alphabet. 7 in the major scale, so use them...
#5
I'd actually start with learning keys rather than scales. After you figure out the keys of major and minor you can then start playing their respective scales and modes (you can just figure things out from there.) but don't confuse the two! they are slightly different. (keys imply harmony while scales do not)
#6
Quote by Erc
I'd actually start with learning keys rather than scales. After you figure out the keys of major and minor you can then start playing their respective scales and modes (you can just figure things out from there.) but don't confuse the two! they are slightly different. (keys imply harmony while scales do not)


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#8
Quote by Myshadow46_2
I would start learning where all the notes appear across the entire fretboard. This will open up a lot of possibilities for you. Then applying your knowledge of the major scale to your instrument will be much easier.

What do you already know about the major scale?

thanks a lot everyone, been a help to me. all i know is the tone pattern T T S T T T S
#9
Right so using the sequence, try to build scale patterns which start on different fingers while staying in a single position (not shifting hand position, but stay in a 4 or 5 fret span on each string)
Play a scale starting somewhere on the E string starting with your index finger. Play the same scale but start with your middle finger, then your pinky (Theres really no sensible pattern for major scales that starts with the ring finger)
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sht up u flthy librl foogit stfu u soo mad n butthurdt ur ass is an analpocolypse cuz ur so gay "my ass hrts so mcuh" - u. your rectally vexed n anlly angushed lolo go bck 2 asslnd lolol
#10
Quote by Erc
hail...i'm beginning to think you're trolling all my posts >_<. It's really not that bad of an idea...


trolling is doing it to get a rise, i actually like you but wow you've said some dumb things lately
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#12
Quote by mjpb
thanks a lot everyone, been a help to me. all i know is the tone pattern T T S T T T S

Do you understand what that tone pattern means? Because if you do, you should be able to find the notes. One fret = one semitone. You can start it with any note.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#13
Quote by Erc
I'd actually start with learning keys rather than scales. After you figure out the keys of major and minor you can then start playing their respective scales and modes (you can just figure things out from there.) but don't confuse the two! they are slightly different. (keys imply harmony while scales do not)
Not a bad idea. If were up to me, I would teach them concurrently.

Also, to the OP: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=7899819&postcount=2
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Last edited by Show Don't Tell at May 22, 2013,
#14
Quote by Erc
I'd actually start with learning keys rather than scales. After you figure out the keys of major and minor you can then start playing their respective scales and modes (you can just figure things out from there.) but don't confuse the two! they are slightly different. (keys imply harmony while scales do not)


This is how my guitar teacher started me. Except the first thing I learned was the Overtone series, then keys, and then scales.
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#16
why in the world would you need to know anything about scales (much less modes) if you already have a fundamental understanding of intervals and functional harmony? it's ass-backwards.
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#17
^^^ Yeah, if you harmonise scales to get keys, how can you learn keys without scales?

And Erc, if you play a scale, it can imply harmony. As for modes, keep away from them in this forum and elsewhere, but mostly on this forum.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#18
And Erc, if you play a scale, it can imply harmony.


Forgive my language... imply isn't a particularly good word... in retrospect I would say 'contain' and by 'contain' i mean that keys contain a whole wealth of information (scales, chords, voice leading). Also, scales tend to only appear in homophonic works. The function of the scale in these instances is to serve melodically in the upper voice, not harmonically like say a chord or an extended chord. You can actually think of modes as keys (it's an interesting idea, I have heard it some, but I don't particularly like it) and build chords on it to create a 'new' key... but I think we'll overall just have to agree to disagree here.

In short, I think scales are a homphonic phenomenon, and a melodic idea rather then a harmonic one.
#19
Scales appear in any work that has a melody. If you play an A major scale, it will generally be heard as in the key of A major and boom there's your implied harmony.

I used to think that dogs were cats. This is similar to your ideas about modes expressed in your post.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#20
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ Yeah, if you harmonise scales to get keys, how can you learn keys without scales?.

The mighty "whole tone change" aka Tonic Parallel
By raising the 5th of a Major Chord by "whole tone" what Chord is generated ?
By lowering the Root of a Minor Chord by "whole tone" what Chord is generated ?

The mighty "half tone change" aka Tonic Counter Parallel
By lowering the Root of a Major Chord by "half tone" what Chord is generated?
By raising the 5th of a Minor Chord by "half tone " what Chord is generated?

By applying either of these changes to a Tonic Chord we may then further extrapolate to generate every relative chord in the Key.
Last edited by TheJasbo at May 24, 2013,
#21
By playing the A whole tone scale in the key of A major, what key are you in?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#22
Quote by TheJasbo
The mighty "whole tone change" aka Tonic Parallel
By raising the 5th of a Major Chord by "whole tone" what Chord is generated ?
By lowering the Root of a Minor Chord by "whole tone" what Chord is generated ?

The mighty "half tone change" aka Tonic Counter Parallel
By lowering the Root of a Major Chord by "half tone" what Chord is generated?
By raising the 5th of a Minor Chord by "half tone " what Chord is generated?

By applying either of these changes to a Tonic Chord we may then further extrapolate to generate every relative chord in the Key.


dude what the fuck am i reading it is way too early for this rn
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#23
That's pretty much a textbook example of one of the many things wrong about how people learn the guitar these days.
Actually called Mark!

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#24
I'm merely pointing out the overemphasis on the physical aspects of the instrument, patterns shapes and rote memorisation - at the expense of listening and understanding.

The balance is all out of whack - what earthly reason is there for someone to "practice the patterns relentlessly", what purpose does that actually serve?
Actually called Mark!

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#25
you learn music by learning music. end of
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#26
OP, learn how to hear music tonally. Study how the major scale is harmonized with functional harmony. It's more fun that way.
#27
Quote by steven seagull
I'm merely pointing out the overemphasis on the physical aspects of the instrument, patterns shapes and rote memorisation - at the expense of listening and understanding.

The balance is all out of whack - what earthly reason is there for someone to "practice the patterns relentlessly", what purpose does that actually serve?

This. When I started playing the guitar, I didn't learn any scales because of this. I saw no point in learning some random patterns that I had no use for (and I had been playing the trumpet so I knew how boring it's to play scales up and down). Only after I got interested in improvisation I started learning more about scales. But the main thing to learn is to learn the sound. Not just the fingerings but how to make the sounds you want.

Music is not about scales and definitely not about scale shapes (wind instruments and piano don't even have scale shapes). Music is about sound so learn to use your ears, not to only play with your fingers.

There's nothing wrong with learning scale shapes if you learn the sound at the same time. If you don't learn the sound, you have just learned some random fingering shapes that have no place anywhere. They might help you in learning other people's solos because when you look at the tab, you'll see that it fits this and this scale box. But what if you need to play your own solo? Pure fingerings won't make a good solo, you need to think about what you want your playing to sound like. Good solos aren't made of random fingerings. The lead guitarists actually know what they are doing and how their playing is going to sound like - they don't just randomly choose some notes from the scale and hope for it to sound great. And this is what will happen if you only learn the fingerings but not the sound - you will just randomly play notes in the scale and hope for it to sound good.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at May 25, 2013,
#28
Can any of you, who are more interested in debating what is the right approach, rather than actually helping the guy get started... can you actually play well???.. if you put your finger on any given string at any random fret, without plucking the note, do you know what that note sounds like?? ...I doubt it... Yet that is what it takes to know the instrument, to know the sound of every position without playing it, to be able, without thinking about it, put your fingers at the positions were the sound you want to express at that time is found , to be able to improvise without thinking about it... thats when you begin to understand the instrument.


I can! I've got my videos to back it up =). Familiarity with the instrument comes with time. I do agree though, the idea is to be able to play what you pre-hear.

I'm merely pointing out the overemphasis on the physical aspects of the instrument, patterns shapes and rote memorisation - at the expense of listening and understanding.

The balance is all out of whack - what earthly reason is there for someone to "practice the patterns relentlessly", what purpose does that actually serve?


No purpose, and yes I like this post. Memorizing finger patterns is not the way to make music. It'll sound stale and like finger patterns (a lot of classical musicians have a problem with this imo.)
#29
Quote by Gar Tint
Dear me seagul...you are getting a bit carried away... mjpb knows little to nothing and is asking for help... what have you given him he can understand? what info have you given him that is within his abilities? you could have tried to help the guy ...give him some pointers, some work for a couple of months to get him started. Thats basicaly what hes asking for ...something he can get a handle on and get him started...

Can any of you, who are more interested in debating what is the right approach, rather than actually helping the guy get started... can you actually play well???.. if you put your finger on any given string at any random fret, without plucking the note, do you know what that note sounds like?? ... I doubt it... Yet that is what it takes to know the instrument, to know the sound of every position without playing it, to be able, without thinking about it, put your fingers at the positions were the sound you want to express at that time is found , to be able to improvise without thinking about it... thats when you really begin to understand the instrument....

Why tell some absolute beginer too advanced advice??... heres a touch of legato style playing... shall I suggest he starts here???? ... when hes spent 2 months getting familiar with where the notes are and what they sound like in the different positions he can then advance.... Why not actually try and give the guy some help, get him started???...2 months of getting to know the fretboard is miles better than reading debate about learning absolutely nothing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBIDVtBHlRc

Why do you keep posting videos of you playing? They're not remotely relevant to the matter at hand.

Just in case I wasn't clear, I wasn't saying to ignore the patterns, after all they are what they are...the physical manifestation of the notes of the scale on the guitar. However the post was typical of a lot of instructional material these days in that it pretty much focusses entirely on the physical with little to no mention of sound or reasoning. "Patterns patterns patterns patterns". "Do do do do" with scant time spent on "why".

And that's no way to learn how to play a musical instrument. What's needed is a balanced approach, and any time you're teaching someone how to do something physically you have to also teach them why they need to know, how it works and arguably most importantly, what the hell it actually is. Whislt there's certainly room for manouver and artistic licence there's a logical "path of least resistance" when it comes to playing the guitar. Certain concepts tie in closely with others, and in turn lead on to more. Too often an artificial distinction is maintained between technique, theory and practical application when by far the most sensible way is to make use of those links that already exist so that anyone learning can maximise the benefit they get from studying and practicing. Nothing wrong with learning the pentatonic scale at all, but there's little benefit in just telling someone to look up the boxes and practice them "relentlessly".

Blindly grinding finger patterns without the underlying knoweldge of what they represent isn't a logical step on the ladder of guitar progress, it's simply something novice players are often misled into wasting time on. Grinding comes in for stuff you actually want to learn to play, actual solos, arepggios, licks etc. There's no reason to grind through scale patterns because you're never going to play scale patterns. You need only be familiar enough with them to know where to find the different sounds contained within a scale because that's where the true value is in knowing it.
Actually called Mark!

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#30
There is so much misguided information in this thread, it makes me lawl.

Scales are important, but not for just knowing how to play them. By knowing what notes are in a key and what their functional purpose is within the key, you can branch off and make cool musical ideas. Whoever said the piano doesn't have scale shapes is an idiot. Scales are the very basis of music, they are where we derive everything else from.

you don't need to know what every single fret sounds like off hand (doing so is impossible if you don't have perfect pitch) if you know functionally what interval will come from the note you're already on. Playing by ear and whatnot has its benefits, but you can only advance so far as a player without at least a basic theory background.
#31
thanks for the advice guys, although now i don't know who to believe on the best methods on learning scales! Does everyone agree the pentatonic scales are best to learn first, or the major scale?
#32
Quote by Tyson2011
There is so much misguided information in this thread, it makes me lawl.

Scales are important, but not for just knowing how to play them. By knowing what notes are in a key and what their functional purpose is within the key, you can branch off and make cool musical ideas. Whoever said the piano doesn't have scale shapes is an idiot. Scales are the very basis of music, they are where we derive everything else from.

you don't need to know what every single fret sounds like off hand (doing so is impossible if you don't have perfect pitch) if you know functionally what interval will come from the note you're already on. Playing by ear and whatnot has its benefits, but you can only advance so far as a player without at least a basic theory background.

I said piano doesn't have scale SHAPES because it's true. You can play one scale in only one place on the keyboard. But on guitar you have many shapes or positions to play the scale. For example you can play the scale on the A string but you can also play it on the D, E, G or B string (and also starting from the open E string or the 5th fret of E string or the 8th fret of E string or whatever - that's what I mean by scale shapes). But on piano there's just one keyboard. That's what I meant when I said piano doesn't have scale shapes. You can play scales on piano but not different shapes of the scale.

And of course you need some knowledge before starting to play by ear. But you can practice scales and also listen to them at the same time. Many beginner guitarists just learn the shapes of the pentatonic scale but have no idea about how the notes sound like. They should learn the sound of the notes at the same time as they learn the fingerings. I think you misunderstood what I said.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#33
lol what do vai and satriani have to do with good music

your shitty solo videos are giving me a headache. stop being bad at guitar
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#34
Quote by Hail
lol what do vai and satriani have to do with good music

your shitty solo videos are giving me a headache. stop being bad at guitar

Lol... So typical Hail...
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#35
Quote by Gar Tint
Oh dear mjpb... this is more like a forum for hate than for giving you advice I would definitely start with the pentatonic then next the major and also learn, as some others have stated, how the scales relate to keys etc. Good luck and goodbye!

haha thank you, ill go and practice now
#36
Quote by MaggaraMarine
I said piano doesn't have scale SHAPES because it's true. You can play one scale in only one place on the keyboard. But on guitar you have many shapes or positions to play the scale. For example you can play the scale on the A string but you can also play it on the D, E, G or B string (and also starting from the open E string or the 5th fret of E string or the 8th fret of E string or whatever - that's what I mean by scale shapes). But on piano there's just one keyboard. That's what I meant when I said piano doesn't have scale shapes. You can play scales on piano but not different shapes of the scale.

And of course you need some knowledge before starting to play by ear. But you can practice scales and also listen to them at the same time. Many beginner guitarists just learn the shapes of the pentatonic scale but have no idea about how the notes sound like. They should learn the sound of the notes at the same time as they learn the fingerings. I think you misunderstood what I said.



its completely irrelevant to the conversation of guitar scales, but the piano does have alternate fingering patterns for playing scales, which is a very similar idea to different patterns on guitar.

the sound of an individual note is pointless, because without context that sound doesn't mean anything. You don't have to mentally memorize the way every note sounds (its impossible if you don't have perfect pitch) if you understand intervals.
#37
^ I play piano and I throw traditional fingerings right out the window. The way you finger it determines the sound. 4 over 5 isn't that uncommon for me. (and most people tend to avoid it. hard to play it fast though.)
#38
Quote by Erc
^ I play piano and I throw traditional fingerings right out the window. The way you finger it determines the sound. 4 over 5 isn't that uncommon for me. (and most people tend to avoid it. hard to play it fast though.)



I'm not a piano player, I just know the basics because basic keyboard skills are a requirement for music education students. All I was saying is that there are "accepted" fingerings for piano which are practiced religiously as there are in guitar, and they have their merits. It really doesn't have anything to do with the topic at hand
#39
Learn how to make the triads based off the major scale and from there learn the sound of the movement between chords.
#40
Quote by Tyson2011
its completely irrelevant to the conversation of guitar scales, but the piano does have alternate fingering patterns for playing scales, which is a very similar idea to different patterns on guitar.

the sound of an individual note is pointless, because without context that sound doesn't mean anything. You don't have to mentally memorize the way every note sounds (its impossible if you don't have perfect pitch) if you understand intervals.

Kind of true. But on piano you'll be playing the same keys all the time. When you know where one E is, you'll know where all E notes are on your keyboard. But on guitar you need to think about it a lot more because you can play the same note in many different positions. Piano is "visually" kind of easier instrument. I mean, to me it doesn't matter if I play the same E with my pinky, ring finger or middle finger. Same as on guitar. I can find the same fret with any finger. But on guitar you need to know where to find E on every string. It doesn't matter if I play the 5th fret with my index finger or pinky. I know that the 5th fret of E string is A. It has nothing to do with the finger I play it with. Piano is easier to "understand visually" (I know because I can play both - and I have been playing the guitar for a longer time).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
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