#1
Hey all.

The last time i played guitar i knew a tiny bit of theory, nothing big, mainly just things like what the sharps and flats were in the different major scales and stuff like that. Nothing i could really apply and i've forgotten most of it now.

I'm going to start learning scales properly, but have two ideas in mind and was wondering which you guys did to learn them.

So my first idea is what i did last time, which was learn the major scales, and then the minor scales, and then the rest etc. This seems to me like a counter intuitive way of doing it as it doesn't seem to relate anything to anything else.

The second idea, which i'm liking the sound of a lot better, is to learn one scale - the C major scale, and then learn the different variations of the scales with C as their root note. This way i can learn to associate a certain sound with a certain modified interval within the scale, so eventually i can go 'oh yes, to play in A harmonic minor i have to do this this and this to the key of A Major' for example, once i've learned the rest of the major scales..

Lemme know what you think is best, because i've seen both ways done successfully but just wanted some pointers off you guys.
Last edited by vidarrt at Dec 5, 2014,
#2
Well Imo, and I know theres a lot more to it and others will have a lot more insight, but I just google "the five positions of the major/minor/ect scale" and go over them until I have them down with a backing track.
#3
The second way sounds good to me. It may take a bit more time though. But it makes you understand the differences between different scales in sound which is really important.

The problem I see with that approach is that you may learn some scales that you would really not use that often. So you need to decide which scales you want to learn. At least learn minor and major. Also learn how changing one note changes the sound. That's the important thing.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 5, 2014,
#4
The way I view all scales are in relation to the major and minor scale. Learn the major and minor inside out, all over the fretboard. You shouldn't just learn the patterns, you should know what each note is in relation to the root.

Once done if you want to vary them, change a note at a time. Do you like the sound? Then play it.

Admittedly this approach has only come after years of playing, and being really comfortable with playing accidentals.

You should also be aware that the major and minor scales don't alone dictate what the resulting sound is. The major scale could be chickenpicken country or a powerballad solo. The minor could be a metal shred or a mexican jam. It's more about how you use the notes than what the notes are.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#5
I agree with MaggaraMarine.

Don't forget also, that what creates these sounds is not the individual pitches involved, but their relationships with the scale starting pitch. E.g. C + E together has same sound quality as D + F#.

So, you can learn these "interval" sounds, and their shapes, and apply them in all your learning (scale and chord shapes, recognising pitches against key note, awareness of which interval is really important to the sound of a mode.)

For example, if you learn the interval shapes for b3,3,5, b7 and 7 (at a guess, 30 minutes work to really learn these), you've got the backbone of a load of scale types and chord types.

Just realise that, to change key (e.g.C major to D major), these shapes all measure from D rather than C ... just slide them up 2 frets, and nothing else changes.

[Details of all this are at http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/the_basics/drastically_reduce_learning_time_with_intervals_part_3.html (follow link at top of article to part 2, and from there to part 1)]

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 5, 2014,
#6
Quote by AlanHB


You should also be aware that the major and minor scales don't alone dictate what the resulting sound is. The major scale could be chickenpicken country or a powerballad solo. The minor could be a metal shred or a mexican jam. It's more about how you use the notes than what the notes are.


+1 !!
#7
For me, the best way I found to go about learning scales was the jazz way.

Building the 7th chords and learning the extensions and how they sound. That way when you are playing a scale it is easy to alter it as you can map out the "foundation" of the scale, that is the underlying 7th chords and as a result, the tones in between those 4 notes.