#1
Hi all,

I am currently trying to understand the way scales work, i have started with the major scale which i understand goes tone tone tone semi-tone tone tone semi-tone along a string. What i dont understand is how that breaks down into the differnent shapes (sets of notes on each string) along the fretboard and how scales translate into chords.

Hopefully this make sense, any help would be greatly appriciated.
#2
Google "how to build chords".

There are 12 notes in western music. The major scale is made up of 7 of these notes, depending on the key.

Scales are made up of various groupings of the notes, depending on the scale.

A chord is 3 or more of the notes notes played together.

Google is your friend.
"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. This is my religion." -- Abraham Lincoln
Last edited by Virgman at Jul 2, 2015,
#4
Quote by 1TheSubhuman1
Hi all,

I am currently trying to understand the way scales work, i have started with the major scale which i understand goes tone tone tone semi-tone tone tone semi-tone along a string. What i dont understand is how that breaks down into the differnent shapes (sets of notes on each string) along the fretboard and how scales translate into chords.

Hopefully this make sense, any help would be greatly appriciated.

For a start, the major scale's interval pattern is tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone. Using G as the root note (that is the base note of the scale) that gives us:

G tone A tone B semitone C tone D tone E tone F# semitone G

G A B C D E F#

Moving on from that: scale shapes are arrived at from that by playing as many notes as you can on one string without moving, then moving up a string and finding the next note. For most people with standard human hands that's going to be three notes on a string and then moving up. So if we're working in G major that ends up being:


e|-------
b|-------
g|-------
d|-------
a|-------
e|-3-5-7-


And then it's time to move up to the next string:


e|--------------
b|--------------
g|--------------
d|--------------
a|--------3-5-7-
e|-3-5-7--------


And that repeats until you run out of fretboard. You apply the same principle to get the next position, so start from the next note in the scale and follow the pattern from the appropriate place:


e|--------------
b|--------------
g|--------------
d|--------------
a|--------------
e|-5-7-8--------


And then the next string:


e|--------------
b|--------------
g|--------------
d|--------------
a|--------5-7-9-
e|-5-7-8--------


Note that here because we're starting from the next note in the scale we have to start the interval pattern from the right place as well, the second interval, so the pattern is now tone semitone tone tone tone semitone tone.

Chords work in a very similar way, only the pattern of intervals is different, instead of working in tones and semitones we work in intervals of thirds: moving through the scale using the third note from where we are. I'm going to use C major here to make it quicker and easier to type, the notes of C major are: C D E F G A B, so to arrive at a C major chord we use patterns of three:

C first note, already in the chord
D second so we ignore it
E third note, so we use this one

Then repeat the process to get the next note in the chord:

E first, again already in the chord
F second it's ignored
G third so it's in

So a C major chord contains the notes C E G.

I'm hand-waving a lot of what's going on here with chords but this is the most basic form of the idea. There are a lot of complications when you get beyond just regular three-note chords, and you can actually give a chord name to any sequence of notes you can think of, they can just get a bit long and complicated.

If you want to learn more I would seriously suggest properly learning some theory, there's a lot to learn but it's really worth it to get a good understanding of what's going on and how to really use this kind of knowledge. Here's a great place to learn: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/search.php?search_type=columns&value=the+crusade Just make sure you start with part 1 and be sure you understand what each section is explaining to you before you move on to the next: theory starts from the basics and builds on, and uses, each concept; if you skip any of it it's very likely that what comes later will make absolutely no sense at all.

Edit: Correcting a dumb mistake in one of the scales above.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Jul 2, 2015,
#5
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
For a start, the major scale's interval pattern is tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone. Using G as the root note (that is the base note of the scale) that gives us:

G tone A tone B semitone C tone D tone E# tone F# semitone G

G A B C D E# F#

Hey bud, you augmented the 6th. G major doesn't have an E#.
G major is G A B C D E F# G
#6
Quote by soweli
Hey bud, you augmented the 6th. G major doesn't have an E#.
G major is G A B C D E F# G


Whoops, yep, totally right! Good catch and thanks for the correction!
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#8
I just put together a short pdf for anothe UG'er on this. Send me a private message with your email, and I'll send you a copy. It is very straight forward.

You want to save yourself a load of grief, and speed up your learning and understanding?

In that case, start with interval shapes. There are only a handful, and appear in all scales and chords.

All shapes (including intervals) derive from how the guitar is tuned.

cheers, Jerry