I'm starting a prog metal band, but idk a lot of scales that could help me with that ...
I want some "different" scales as well, like those scales that John Petrucci uses in Dream Theater songs (Like on Never Enough solo, or Build Me Up, Break Me Down solo, etc) or scales to break the time (like those scales that JP used in the song The Dance of Eternity (it seems that you're going out of the tune ) :$
I want to learn all i can to improve my abilities to compose progressive metal!
Thanks everybody!
Best way to do it is to listen to DT and figure the notes out yourself by ear. The second best way is to learn the song from score or tab and learn the notes yourself from that.

By the way, prog isn't about weird scales at all, it's about breaking the norm. You can do prog with a C major scale if you learn to use it in an unorthodox way.
Well, I guess Opeth is sort of prog metal, although a lot different than DT, but Åkerfeldt himself has said that he doesn't know theory really. But yeah umm..
You could learn a lot from Steve Morse. Power Lines, The Definitive Steve Morse DVDs. Also John Petrucci's own Rock Discipline is one of the very best in my books to start branching out on your own with more than just scales in boxes and stuff. A lot of technique and stamina exercises so that you hold yourself in shape. Definitely check that one out.
And then it doesn't hurt to learn the modes of the major scale and then just search, even this site, for those different scales to even expand your guitar vocabulary.
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I think you could benefit from some input from Marty Friedman

Exactly, just learning scales won't make you go anywhere if you don't study what's behind them and I agree with Friedman that if you learn the scales and then try to just live through the scales, you are limiting yourself quite a lot. Which is why I study with ear instead of just reading notes and learning to play them on my guitar's fretboard.
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Last edited by Sakke at Aug 3, 2014,
If you wanna write Dream Theater-esque music you'll need to know more than just scales
Scales are not going to help you compose prog metal.

The best way to do it is to work on your ear, and learn tunes by ear. If you want to write tunes in the style of Dream Theater and such, learn their songs by ear and analyze the style while doing it (song structure, arrangement, etc). Bottom-line, what you are hearing in Dream Theater is mostly normal minor scale/harmonic minor with chromaticism, and you should not let scales restrict what notes are available to you, it is better to use your ears.
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Learn the major scale in all 12 keys, up and down the whole neck. Fretboard knowledge, basic technique, and an ear for tonality are the absolute ground level skills you need to compose anything "progressive".

But scales alone aren't going to open the door for you. Having them under you fingers will just make it a lot easier to get music from your brain to your guitar. Beyond the technical skills, composing requires that you just spend a lot of time listening, learning, and writing music.
I've played guitar for a little over two years now. I play Prog Metal, and my findings are that scales are indeed very helpful.
However, just running through scales will make you sound like Mozart, which is not the goal here. You should also learn intervals between notes, learning what tones mean what in accordance to each other, for example being able to hear a major 7 chord and making out the 1, 3, 5 and 7 or what have you.
Also: I use the modes of the major scale in most of my songs. Any scale you can learn will be helpful, even very odd or nasty sounding ones. That being said, I have to be very creative with my voicing and note selection to have a sound I enjoy to make.

You should also understand that chords and arpeggios come from scales, and know what scales you can use over chords, and what chords you can use over scales. This will also help with constructing your own chords based on scales or arpeggios.

That's it really, I hope this can help at least a bit.

EDIT: Your voicing and rhythms are also going to be a MAJOR factor in the sound and mood of your music, please put heavy consideration into the rhythms, if they will be intricate or basic, or in between, and you should use a mixture of different rhythms to make your sound more unique.
Last edited by awesomebro88 at Aug 5, 2014,