#1
Hello guys! Wanted some advice.

I have been playing for about 4 years now. And as with many self taught guitarists, I find myself stuck in a rut.

I like to improvise and write my own licks. But ever since I started soloing, I have only used the Major Scale, Pentatonic, Blues Minor and Blues Major scales. (Am fluent in them)

My question is: Which scale should I start learning next?

I lean towards Classic Rock and Blues. But I actually like a wide variety of styles. Hope that helps.

Looking forward to the suggestions.
#2
Major, minor and pentatonic scales are pretty much the only scales you need to know - more exotic scales can be derived from them. Just start adding accidentals (out of scale notes) to your playing. Remember that more scales isn't going to make you play better. Lots of good stuff can be done with basic major, minor and pentatonic scales. Remember to use your ears. It's not about what notes you use, it's more about how you use the notes.

If you haven't learnt them yet, learn the scale degrees and intervals. They'll help you in understanding the scales. And that way you can come up with your own scales. Learn how every scale degree sounds like and you can use them all over anything. For example the scale degrees of the major scale are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and minor scale 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7. So you get a minor scale when you just flatten the third, sixth and seventh of a major scale.
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
#3
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Major, minor and pentatonic scales are pretty much the only scales you need to know - more exotic scales can be derived from them. Just start adding accidentals (out of scale notes) to your playing. Remember that more scales isn't going to make you play better. Lots of good stuff can be done with basic major, minor and pentatonic scales. Remember to use your ears. It's not about what notes you use, it's more about how you use the notes.

If you haven't learnt them yet, learn the scale degrees and intervals. They'll help you in understanding the scales. And that way you can come up with your own scales. Learn how every scale degree sounds like and you can use them all over anything. For example the scale degrees of the major scale are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and minor scale 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7. So you get a minor scale when you just flatten the third, sixth and seventh of a major scale.


Thanks for that! I'll definitely check out those scale degrees and intervals.
#4
When you say fluent, do you mean you can play each of those scales in all 12 keys, in every position up and down the neck?

The major and minor scales are really the only ones you -need- to know to play most music. Just about everything beyond those can be explained in terms of harmony/chord tones.

It's not as if there is a magical scale that lends itself to riffs and licks better than the others. It all comes down to the harmony and how you're using the relevant scale.

Sounds like you should spend some time listening and learning riffs from your favorite guitarists. Learn the riffs, then learn what chords they go with. All melodies come with a harmony.
#5
Quote by cdgraves
When you say fluent, do you mean you can play each of those scales in all 12 keys, in every position up and down the neck?

The major and minor scales are really the only ones you -need- to know to play most music. Just about everything beyond those can be explained in terms of harmony/chord tones.

It's not as if there is a magical scale that lends itself to riffs and licks better than the others. It all comes down to the harmony and how you're using the relevant scale.

Sounds like you should spend some time listening and learning riffs from your favorite guitarists. Learn the riffs, then learn what chords they go with. All melodies come with a harmony.


I can play in all keys, in most positions. It's just that I've apparently learned the scales very mechanically. And I can't really use them too effectively. Maybe what I need is to spend more time on the same scale rather than trying to learn new ones..

Add: This question was brought on by the fact that, after talking to some musical peers, I heard some names of scales which I had never heard before. And the shock only worsened when I realized that they actually use them. So, it's more of an ego thing

Thanks for the input
Last edited by shawnkenneth at Jan 5, 2014,
#6
Builiding on top of what you already know.

The Aeolian mode...which is just adding the back the 2 and 6 note.
If youre familiar with the Minor pentatonic..Thats relatively easy.
After you do that...just raise the 7th. It'll give the harmonic minor.

If you're familiar with the Aeolian.
Then just flat the 2. Which will give you a Phrygian. Another hunting sound.
After you're familiar with the Phrygian...just raise the minor 3rd to a natural 3rd.
It's call a dominate Phrygian. it's also mysterious and hunting.
Then drop the 5th to a flat5...it'll give you the locrian.

it's kind of like phasing in slowly various scale sounds without shocking the listener's ear too much. When you solo...you're not always just doing straight scales.
As you notice...you're bascailly play around the arpeggios to stay within harmony.
It'll be the samething. You can play around the root and -2 to give it haunting sound.

The harmonic minor is simply playing 1/2 step on the other side of the root
with a whole step beween the 7th and -6
It's the samething with the Phrygian dominate. 1/2 step and the root and -2
and a whole step between the -2 and natural 3.

That's what gives the Phrygian and Locrian that hunting sound...the -2
When you make the 5th flat (lorcian)...it creates tension root and 5th.

The samething happens when you augment the 5th to a #5. it creates tension
on the other side of the natural 5th.

Just raise the minor 6 to a natural 6 in the Aeolian to get the Dorian.
It's also going to act like a sort of bridge to the major because of that natural 6.

Then it just a matter of shifting the minor 3rd to a natrual 3rd to get the Mixolydian.
Then just raise the 7th....it'll give you the Ionian.
Raise the 4th from that...and you'll get the Lydian.

It's not that hard...just slow down

Maybe mess around with the Whole tone scale.


Maybe look up Intervallic type playing. It'll force you to use the entire neck more.
You can hear that style of play in Eric Johnson..Especially in Ciff of Dover
in the intro solo and main solo....
He just hits the arpeggios but it's still the same style of playing he'll mix in.
Last edited by smc818 at Jan 5, 2014,
#7
Quote by shawnkenneth
I can play in all keys, in most positions. It's just that I've apparently learned the scales very mechanically. And I can't really use them too effectively. Maybe what I need is to spend more time on the same scale rather than trying to learn new ones..

Add: This question was brought on by the fact that, after talking to some musical peers, I heard some names of scales which I had never heard before. And the shock only worsened when I realized that they actually use them. So, it's more of an ego thing

Thanks for the input

Let me guess - you heard about the modes.

Forget about them for now. They are just minor and major scales with a bit different notes and fancy names. (And I guess that's what makes them appeal to all beginners.)

But yeah, you are correct. Maybe you should spend more time with the scales you already know and learn to use them. Learning more scales doesn't mean you learn to use the notes any better. And playing them mechanically sounds like you just know the fingerings but can't really make music with them yet. You can make good music with just the major and minor scales - they actually have all notes in them, except the minor 2nd and the flat 5th/sharp 4th.

Most music is just major/minor scales and some accidentals.

And ignore the post above.
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
#8
Pentatonics are certainly the most important scales to get a grip on but understanding and being able to use modes well is extremely useful too.

Personally, I think that modes are the next logical step for you based on what you've said.
#9
Quote by smc818
Builiding on top of what you already know.

The Aeolian mode...which is just adding the back the 2 and 6 note.
If youre familiar with the Minor pentatonic..Thats relatively easy.
After you do that...just raise the 7th. It'll give the harmonic minor.

If you're familiar with the Aeolian.
Then just flat the 2. Which will give you a Phrygian. Another hunting sound.
After you're familiar with the Phrygian...just raise the minor 3rd to a natural 3rd.
It's call a dominate Phrygian. it's also mysterious and hunting.
Then drop the 5th to a flat5...it'll give you the locrian.

it's kind of like phasing in slowly various scale sounds without shocking the listener's ear too much.

Just raise the minor 6 to a natural 6 in the Aeolian to get the Dorian.
It's also going to act like a sort of bridge to the major because of that natural 6.

Then it just a matter of shifting the minor 3rd to a natrual 3rd to get the Mixolydian.
Then just raise the 7th....it'll give you the Ionian.
Raise the 4th from that...and you'll get the Lydian.

It's not that hard...just slow down

Maybe mess around with the Whole tone scale.


Maybe look up Intervallic type playing. It'll force you to use the entire neck more.
You can hear that style of play in Eric Johnson..Especially in Ciff of Dover
in the intro solo and main solo....
He just hits the arpeggios but it's still the same style of playing he'll mix in.


Woah!

This Intervallic playing is quite intriguing. I did notice the style when I heard Cliff of Dover. I'm definitely gonna try it out!