#1
Hello guys!
I started to learn major scales. I started with C Major.

Now, in this video for for example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iI_4UCJE38

The guy teaches how to go through the frets according to the formula (tone, tone, half tone, tone, tone, tone, half tone).

Two things that I did not understand.
1. How/why did he decide to start from the 5th string and not the 6th? If you do the 6th string, 8th fret, you get C anyway, right?
2. Sometimes when he needs to go, let's say, one step or half step forward in a string to the next note, he chooses to go one string down. What's the reason for this? Is it for better comfort (to stay in one area)?

I feel a bit lost. Thank you.
#2
Quote by weinberger.ariel
Hello guys!
I started to learn major scales. I started with C Major.

Now, in this video for for example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iI_4UCJE38

The guy teaches how to go through the frets according to the formula (tone, tone, half tone, tone, tone, tone, half tone).

Two things that I did not understand.
1. How/why did he decide to start from the 5th string and not the 6th? If you do the 6th string, 8th fret, you get C anyway, right?
Right. One position's as good as the other. Bit more of a stretch starting on 5th, but I think I'd do the same because that's the C most beginners know from the open chord shape.
Quote by weinberger.ariel

2. Sometimes when he needs to go, let's say, one step or half step forward in a string to the next note, he chooses to go one string down. What's the reason for this? Is it for better comfort (to stay in one area)?
You got it. It's faster to play scales if you don't have to move your hand up or down, and just move fingers across the strings.
(And it's one string "up", btw, because it refers to pitch not physical position.)
#3
Quote by jongtr
Right. One position's as good as the other. Bit more of a stretch starting on 5th, but I think I'd do the same because that's the C most beginners know from the open chord shape.
You got it. It's faster to play scales if you don't have to move your hand up or down, and just move fingers across the strings.
(And it's one string "up", btw, because it refers to pitch not physical position.)


Thanks a lot, you really helped me.
#4
When you're learning these scales, its nice to learn the typical pattern so that you can remember it easily. But keep in mind that the Major scale isn't just one position, it's a collection of notes all over the neck.

This is a pattern


THIS is a scale
#5
In response to the second question, yes it is usually easier to switch strings than to switch positions, but like rickyj was saying, you can play the same notes in many different ways all over the fret board.

One more thought...a cool thing to try if you decide to remain on the same string while playing the scale, is to slide around to different notes. Single string scales are really awesome when playing some sliding licks.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."-Abraham Lincoln
#6
Quote by rickyj
When you're learning these scales, its nice to learn the typical pattern so that you can remember it easily. But keep in mind that the Major scale isn't just one position, it's a collection of notes all over the neck.

This is a pattern


THIS is a scale

Thanks for your reply.
I don't understand what the numbers 2, 5 and the letter R means in the top fretboard (2nd image).

The bottom picture I do understand.

Can you explain please?

Quote by Saintp83
In response to the second question, yes it is usually easier to switch strings than to switch positions, but like rickyj was saying, you can play the same notes in many different ways all over the fret board.

One more thought...a cool thing to try if you decide to remain on the same string while playing the scale, is to slide around to different notes. Single string scales are really awesome when playing some sliding licks.

Cool, thank you!
#7


THIS is a scale


That is not a scale, it's the notes of the C major chord. You didn't grab the right diagram from that site, which I'm assuming was by accident.

OP - google a full fretboard diagram of the major scale - then:

1) play the scale on one string only - start on the low E and play every note of the scale on that string in order. Do this on each string. just use one finger when doing this. You don't need to memorize this, but it's to help you understand how this all works. Say the names of the notes as you play them.

2) learn a few of the more classic patterns of the scale - find the ones you like the most and focus on those. It helps to play the chord first and then play the scale so you can hear it in context.

3) it helps to learn the scale shapes in small clusters - from one octave to the next, rather than try to learn long patterns all over the fretboard. These smaller patterns are easier to manage when improvising, and you link them together as you advance.

4) The 1st, 3rd and 5th notes ( i.e. the ones in the diagram above, which form the C major chord/triad) are by far the most important notes in that scale - emphasize those notes when you practice by playing them louder - this will help you further down the road.
Last edited by reverb66 at Dec 10, 2015,
#8
Quote by weinberger.ariel

I don't understand what the numbers 2, 5 and the letter R means in the top fretboard (2nd image).
As reverb66 says, both the bottom diagrams are the notes of a C major chord, not a complete scale.
IOW, they show a complete C major triad arpeggio pattern, from which you can make various chord shapes for C.
The top one (R 3 5) shows the chord tones (root 3rd and 5th - notes counted up the scale when the root is "1st") while the bottom one shows the notes (C E G).
The R 3 5 designation is useful because it will apply to that pattern - or parts of it -wherever you play it on the neck. But the notes will of course change, so it will produce different chords.
E.g., if you move the pattern 2 frets up (to the right), you have all the R 3 5 notes for a D major chord, and the notes D F# A.

An additional point about the G major scale pattern (in green). The term "4th position" is an arbitrary one. It's not an uncommon numbering system, but is different from the traditional system of naming positions after index fret numbers.
IOW, in the traditional system, that pattern would be called "G major, 7th position", because it's based on 7th fret. (So the position doesn't describe the pattern, only where you play it. The "C major scale, 7th position" would be a different pattern.)

IOW, beware of numbers (and names) given to fret patterns (other than "major scale" names)! There a few different systems, inconsistent with one another. Nothing wrong with this, necessarily (each system has its own logic) just something to be aware of.

BTW - something you may have already spotted: look at the chord shape laid out between frets 8-10 in the bottom two patterns - and then check how it fits into the green scale pattern shown above (the notes C-E-G). Similar scale patterns can be played around all the other chord shapes in the bottom two diagrams (you just need to plot where the D, F, A and B notes would fall.)
So - it's a G major scale pattern, but contains a C chord - that's because all major scale patterns contain shapes for all the chords in the key. (Look for the notes G-B-D in the pattern and you'l find a shape for a G chord; the notes D-F#-A will give you a D chord; etc.)

The bottom two patterns also illustrate the so-called "CAGED" system, whereby those 5 open chord shapes are converted into movable shapes and linked up in a 12-fret pattern in that order:
Frets 0-3 = "C" form
Frets 3-5 = "A" form
Frets 5-8 = "G" form
Frets 8-10 = "E" form
Frets 10-13 = "G" form
Frets 12-15 = "C" form again (the cycle repeats)

Of course these 5 shapes all produce a C chord (sound) when played at those frets (the notes C E G). But they produce any of the other 11 major chords when moved to the right positions.
E.g., an F chord starts with an "E" form between frets 1-3, then a "D" form between frets 3-6, "C" form frets 5-8, etc.
This is an incredibly valuable set of patterns (more so than the full scale patterns, IMO.) It not only gives you 5 possible shapes for any major chord - so you can play it anywhere on the neck you like - but it allows you to pick any position on the neck and play all 12 major chords there (within a 4 or 5 fret space).

Not all the shapes are easily playable in full, of course (the G and D forms are a little awkward), but partial shapes are easy enough, and often sufficient. But the main point is the way it maps the fretboard using familiar shapes with musical applications.

(In the green G major scale pattern, the G chord has a "C" form, and the D chord has a "G" form.)
[Post corrected and edited]
Last edited by jongtr at Dec 24, 2015,
#9
And when you've learnt all that remember that the leading note must rise.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#10
An additional point about the C major scale pattern (in green). The term "4th position" is an arbitrary one. It's not an uncommon numbering system, but is different from the traditional system of naming positions after index fret numbers.
IOW, in the traditional system, that pattern would be called "C major, 7th position", because it's based on 7th fret. (So the position doesn't describe the pattern, only where you play it. The "G major scale, 7th position" would be a different pattern.)

Jon..just to clarify..the "green pattern" is a G Major Scale....and yes the term position in many "guitar instruction" diagrams can be at best confusing..in this case it is just WRONG..it is no wonder so many new to guitar are confused by material that is not fully explained..
play well

wolf
#11
Quote by wolflen

Jon..just to clarify..the "green pattern" is a G Major Scale....
OOPS! so it is...
[memo to self: read posts properly in future]


I'll go back and correct my post.
#12
One of the cool things on a guitar is that we can play exactly the same pitch (note sound) on different strings. This explains why there are so many different ways to play a scale.

Therefore lots of ways to play the same set of notes or scale. Learn one, get really good at it then expand from there.
#13
The less you need to move, the faster you can play. So, sticking in the same regions is faster. staying on one string, or running through multiple ones also sounds differently, from a timbre standpoint.
#14
Quote by weinberger.ariel
Hello guys!
I started to learn major scales. I started with C Major.

Now, in this video for for example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iI_4UCJE38

The guy teaches how to go through the frets according to the formula (tone, tone, half tone, tone, tone, tone, half tone).

Two things that I did not understand.
1. How/why did he decide to start from the 5th string and not the 6th? If you do the 6th string, 8th fret, you get C anyway, right?
2. Sometimes when he needs to go, let's say, one step or half step forward in a string to the next note, he chooses to go one string down. What's the reason for this? Is it for better comfort (to stay in one area)?

I feel a bit lost. Thank you.

It is much better and correct to refer to tones and semitones not steps or half steps.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#15
Quote by John Swift
It is much better and correct to refer to tones and semitones not steps or half steps.


Does that depend on what country you are in, like a UK vs. US labelling?

I have heard and understand both in Australia, as long as everyone understands the language should be all good.
Visit my music school site for advice on gear, music theory and lessons.
www.essm.net.au
#16
Quote by John Swift
It is much better and correct to refer to tones and semitones not steps or half steps.

Nah, both are fine. It's about UK vs US.
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
#18
^ ^ JS is prescribing what he's more used to. Both mean the same thing; however, assigning correctness to only one when both are correct is mind-boggling.
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
Quote by Hail
you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#19
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Nah, both are fine. It's about UK vs US.
Yes, except that "step" can also have another meaning, as in "scale step" - which can be either a half or whole step, of course!
Eg, a line moving in "step-wise motion" is going up or down a scale, not just whole steps, but halves too where necessary. A step is a step, in that sense, there's no such thing as a "half-step". B-C and C-D are both complete "steps" in the C major scale.

Then again, "tone" obviously has other meanings in music....

Personally, I'm fine with either, because context usually makes it clear. As a teacher in the UK, I'll use "tone" and "semitone", but also explain the US terms because obviously they're out there.

Where US terms make a lot more sense than UK ones is in names for note durations.
In the UK, it's crotchet, minim, quaver, and similarly archaic terms derived from Latin or old French. It starts off silly (the longest common note is a "semibreve", which means "half a short note" - because once upon time there were "longs" and double longs", as well as "breves" which can still be found occasionally. But it gets even sillier the smaller you get: semiquaver, demisemiquaver, hemidemisemi... aagh!
The US whole note, half note, quarter note, etc is a perfect expression of their relative values, which is what matters.
Confusion only arises if you relate it to a time sig, believing the terms represent fractions of a measure (which we call "bar" in the UK). Obviously it works for 4/4 (and 2/2), but not for anything else.
Last edited by jongtr at Dec 30, 2015,