#1
I was just wondering how others visualised scales when playing a particular scale in a particular key.

For instance, say that you have memorised C Major in the five caged positions.

If you wanted to play something in A minor, you can do two things in your mind:

1. Play the same C Major scales but emphasise the A more (knowing that A minor is the relative minor of C Major) or
2. Slide all the scales down by three scales (essentially to start playing in A Major) and then flatten the 3rd, 6th and 7th notes.

I realise that, practically, it makes no difference but I would be interested to know how other guitarists think of scales and keys in their minds.

I guess my ultimate question is whether it is better to have a knowledge of scale formulas or relative keys.
#2
I just think about notes I've never looked into caged, I just know what notes are diatonic to C major and I know where they are on the fretboard. And I don't even have to know that, as I have a working pair of ears that tell me if what I'm playing sounds good.

Quote by elsmandino
1. Play the same C Major scales but emphasise the A more (knowing that A minor is the relative minor of C Major) or
2. Slide all the scales down by three scales (essentially to start playing in A Major) and then flatten the 3rd, 6th and 7th notes.



If I wanted to play something in A minor, I would just play something in A minor. I see no reason to mix up the C major scale in all this, it's a pointless detour if anything. If you want to derive the A minor scale from the C major scale, that's a different thing and everyone has their own ways of doing it. I'd just play the 6th position of a major scale to get the relative minor. But I'm experienced enough to never do that anymore, I know my minor keys already.
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#3
I realise I might be over-complicating things here - I would love to be able (as you seem to be able to do) just instinctively play but I am so far off that I have to try and find a way to get the scales in my head. Am I trying to take too much of a shortcut?

Should I learn the major scales in all positions separately to the minor scales, rather than trying to relate them?

I also note that you automatically know what scale notes are for a given key and scale and just jump around the notes that way rather than relying on forumulas. Are you, for example, able to recall off the top of your head, the notes for the Major, Minor, Major Pentatonic and Minor Pentatonic in every key?
#4
elsmandino
For me, I know the intervals from any given string. I know that these interval shapes (which themselevs are 100% dictated by the guitar tuning) crop up everyhwere (scales, chords). I don't adjust one scale to make another one. I know them ... because, just having a pattern by itself is not musical ... have to know which intervals are edgy, and which aren't, in the given musical context, and know how to use this to your advantage.

For example, play a G chord, but play a G# against it ... OUCH. That's very edgy.

1: -4 ---> change to 3, to remove the clashy, edgy sound of the b2 interval caused against the chord root.
2: -0
3: -0
4: -0
5: -2
6: -3


Solution ... follow that G# by the root, G, (1) of the chord. Play the G# on a strong beat ... DOUBLE OUCH.

SO, you need awareness of rhythmic stress, and awraness of intervals.

To learn ALL the interval shapes ... a few days, max.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Aug 24, 2016,
#5
Thanks for that - could you perhaps give me some advice/examples on how to go about learning all the interval shapes please?

Just to summarise then - say that I wanted to learn the minor pentatonic, major scales and minor scales all over the neck. Should I try to learn them in isolation from each other and practice them to the point that I instinctively know which notes to play for each scale in any key?

For example, something like this:

Day 1 A minor pentatonic
Day 2 A# minor pentatonic
Day 10-12 B-G# minor pentatonics

Day 13 A major
Day 14-24 A#-G# major

Day 25 A minor
Day 26-35 A#-G# minor
#6
elsmandino
The long answer for why shapes "look" as they do on guitar is here: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/a_deep_look_at_guitar_shapes.html
The shorter answer is here: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/drastically_reduce_learning_time_with_intervals_part_2.html

I would suggest you initially learn the shapes for 3 (the "major 3rd") (5 mins in morning, reminder of 5 mins in evening) 2 days at most Then b3 (the "minir 3rd") (same sort of time, but make sure you don't forget the maj 3). 1 day (just realise they either is a simple adjustment of the other).

Then the perfect 5 ... little more top learn here. Say 10 mins in morning, 5 in evening ... 2 days. Then practice all. Make sure you are choosing random places on the neck to do this practice. Watch out how the b3 and 3 change shapes when you're using the 3rd and 2nd strings.

Then visually recognise them im power chords, major triads, and minor triads. Consciousaly play the (b)3 or the 5 as suits the chord, using it as a note you can emphasise.

Then add b7. Same idea. By now, you have nearly all the intervals in the minor pentatonic. The only missing one is the 4th. Which is one semitone (one fret) higher than the 3.

Try getting these into your head. This will build a really solid foundation for later.

Also, try learining to sing the intervals 1,2,3 (the 2 is two semitones, 2 frets above your chosen start pitch).
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Aug 28, 2016,
#7
The best way to see scales to my opinion and huge experience is always see tonic note, and know that there are always order of positions that you play. Very simple one. Two tonic positions, two mirrored positions, and three triplets... ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!! Contact me on *link removed by moderator*, it's free, I'll just tell you more about it and the system how to train yourself to learn it in a blink of an eye and never forget it and always be ready to play any scale that you want.
#8
Quote by tonymetal1
The best way to see scales to my opinion and huge experience is always see tonic note, and know that there are always order of positions that you play. Very simple one. Two tonic positions, two mirrored positions, and three triplets... ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!! Contact me on *link removed by moderator*, it's free, I'll just tell you more about it and the system how to train yourself to learn it in a blink of an eye and never forget it and always be ready to play any scale that you want.


4 now!
#9
I haven't been playing long, but I studied theory before taking up guitar. I play scales using solfege and interval patterns. A major scale is do re me fa so la ti do. That's a half step between me fa and ti do. All the others are whole steps. I can play that starting from any tonic down one string or across strings. Using solfege, it's easy to see the relationship between scales as well. For example, a minor scale is la ti do re me fa so la. Still a half step between me fa and ti do. It takes a little experimentation and practice to easily play from string to string, but I'm certainly not learning each key separately. If there's a reason to do that, I haven't figured it out, yet.
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