#1
Hey, thanks for clicking on this, I've been playing for a few years, but never did I really do anything with scales, or write songs with it, sure, I can write songs with chords, but when it comes to scales, I can't do anything other than really generic and lame melodies, so here are my questions:

1. How exactly do I improve with scales?

2. Can I switch scales (and modes) while improvising a melody, if so, how do I do something like that?

3. What are the uses of knowing different positions of scales?

And a "bonus" one - What do people mean when the song is in a certain key? I have a very loose idea of what it means, but not much else.

I really appreciate your answers, and if you think that you might want to mention something else than what I asked go ahead, all help is appreciated!
#2
well...You might notice on solo. The backing track or the rhythm guitar sort of goes on lower volume but the bass is still on the same volume.
Sometime the rhythm guitar sounds just like percussion.lmao

So you just hear a strong A (for example)
K....it's kind of open for you to define that A.
A aoelian, A Lydian, A mixolyian...ect
K...when you define it different like that. You're bascailly playing in different KEY SIGNATURE.
My guitar cant read music.lmao
It knows tone thou.
You also must remember. Music is in motion. It just dosnt sit still.
So whatever tone center you heard a min previously isn't in the present moment.

K...it screams louder, weep more and give out certain tone at certain places.
Plus my fingers don't trip over itself when I play in different position.
I do it to make life easier on me...I personally don't care what position it's in.lol

It's in a certain key because Some singer cant hit certain pitch?
So rather than kill his/her voice...the band can just tune pitch down.
Sometime you gatta break things up so it dosnt all the same or tone frequency.
Some songs sound better in certain frequency.
K...so you want the band to play in same frequency. So it wont clash.
Tone center, Pitch center or KEYS.
Last edited by smc818 at Jan 5, 2014,
#3
It sounds like you just want to learn the basics of music theory.

A "key" is the tonal base that a piece of music is based around: Good Riddance by Green Day is in G major. In the key of C major you would have the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. That is your major scale. If you actually want to understand, read and following along with this http://www.musictheory.net/lessons/21

1. Knowing various scales in a certain key only help with adding more flavour to your music. Look up the melodic minor, it's the one that sounds sort of eastern.

2. You can switch scales while improvising but it's entirely based off the chords behind you. Modes are irrelevant, don't learn them.

3. Knowing different positions simply opens up different combinations of intervals, so if you were improvising or trying to write a riff, you could stumble upon something new (even within the same key, or set of notes).

Music theory seems very complicated at first, but CAN be grasped by anyone and opens up a lot of doors.
#4
Quote by LunaticVikingQu
Hey, thanks for clicking on this, I've been playing for a few years, but never did I really do anything with scales, or write songs with it, sure, I can write songs with chords, but when it comes to scales, I can't do anything other than really generic and lame melodies, so here are my questions:

1. How exactly do I improve with scales?

2. Can I switch scales (and modes) while improvising a melody, if so, how do I do something like that?

3. What are the uses of knowing different positions of scales?

And a "bonus" one - What do people mean when the song is in a certain key? I have a very loose idea of what it means, but not much else.

I really appreciate your answers, and if you think that you might want to mention something else than what I asked go ahead, all help is appreciated!

1. You pick the scale depending on what key you are playing in and what chords you are playing over. You should get familiar with the sound of the notes to be able to use them. Professional guitarists improvise by using their ears and knowing the sound of the notes they want to play. They hear melodies in their head and they can play them. But to get at that level you need a good ear (you can train it) and also a good fretboard knowledge.

2. Yes. But again, it has to do with the sound. You need to know the sound to make it work. Sometimes you have to use different scales, for example if the chord progression you are playing over uses accidentals (notes outside of the scale).

3. You can play the scale all around the fretboard. It sucks if you are limited to just a certain area of the fretboard. The different positions are a way of playing the same scale at different parts of the fretboard.

Bonus. The key you are in is all about the tonic. Tonic is the chord everything resolves to. It's your home chord. If the tonic chord is major, you are playing in a major key and if it's minor, you are playing in a minor key.

For example play C - F - G. If you end the progression like that, doesn't it feel like it wants to go somewhere? Like it has some kind of tension that wants to be released? Now play C major. Now there shouldn't be any tension any more. That's your home chord. It's where everything wants to resolve to in the end. It releases the tension.

You can play all 12 notes in a key, you aren't limited to the 7 notes of the scale. The 5 other notes are called accidentals. They don't always sound good but sometimes they sound great. Of course most of the time you'll be playing those 7 notes but accidentals are also really usual.

Oh, and if you want to write good melodies, don't let your fingers write them. Fingers don't write good melodies. Think in sound. Songwriting isn't guessing (and just randomly moving your fingers in a scale shape is guessing). So maybe sing the melodies (in your head if you don't like singing) and try to play them on your guitar. At first it's hard but you'll get better at it when your ear gets better. If you can't figure out the melody in your head, record yourself singing the melody. This kind of writing doesn't limit you to scale shapes or patterns your fingers remember. And your melodies will sound more melodic.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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