#1
So fuck scales amirite? Could I technically use scales more as a guide than a strict set of rules? Because it's so exhausting learning how all of this shit works together and I really have no interest in learning every single note in every scale and chord and knowing what notes to play what not to play blah blah blah like can I just learn the major minor naturals and pentatonics a few modes learn my chords call it good and start writing some damn music?? I'm about to make like Kurt cobain and BLOW MY GODAMN HEAD OFF.
#2
Scales aren't a guide or a strict set of rules, they're a way of explaining notes in relation to other notes. They explain why notes sound a certain way.

So the answer is yes. You can tell scales to fuck off and make music instead. They'll still explain why your music sounds the way it does, but you can ignore them.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#3
You'll learn theory best by learning it in context. Scales out of context make little sense and that's also a pretty boring way of learning them. But scales are something that you still want to know. They make navigating on your instrument a lot easier, and they make figuring out melodies a lot easier. Scales are also one of the basics of music theory and if you want to learn theory, the major and minor scales are one of the first things you should learn.

You don't need to learn scales by playing them up and down all the time. If you just play them up and down, they have no connection to actual music and you may not get the point of them. What you want to do is when you learn to play other people's solos, analyze them. Figure out what scales they are using and why (hint - it usually has to do with the key of the song and the chords they are playing over). Also, not all notes people play fit in one scale. Some notes are accidentals/"outside" notes. Why people use them usually also has a reason (well, the most obvious reason is that they just sound good - but usually they also relate to the chords in a way or they are part of a chromatic line or something like that).

So if you find just playing scales up and down boring, don't spend too much time doing that. You may want to warm up with some scales (like spend 5-10 minutes playing scales up and down - it will also improve your technique), and you'll gradually learn them. After you are familiar with some scale patterns, you'll start noticing them in music that you play.

And yes, scales are exactly that - a guide. They are not "strict set of rules". There is no rule in music that says that you need to use the C major scale. Why would there be such a rule? Scales will help you with navigating on the fretboard. They are also a good way of memorizing a certain kind of sound. A scale is just a collection of notes that played together will achieve a certain kind of sound. For example the "major sound" is happy and the "minor sound" is sad (those are of course just simplifications/generalizations). If you know scales, you don't need to memorize the sound of every single note individually. You can memorize the sound of the notes more as a series of sounds and that way it becomes easier to also memorize the sound of individual notes.

The most important thing about any theory you learn is not just learning the names but also the sound. This is why you should always learn theory in context. Learn what's happening in actual music, don't just learn some random explanations that have no connection to actual music. I would suggest learning songs by ear - that's a great way of training your ears.

You don't need to learn any theory to write music. Just write music. All you really need to write songs is to have a musical idea. Scales on their own will really not help you with coming up with musical ideas. There is nothing you should learn before you should start writing songs. I came up with melodies when I was a kid before I could play any instrument. It really only requires imagination. You may get inspiration for a song idea from anywhere. A good way is listening to music and getting inspired that way. How you develop your idea is another thing, but first you need an idea.

Remember that everything takes time to learn. But after you have learned something, I'm sure you will appreciate it. You will not become a master in a month or a year. Even becoming decent at playing your instrument will take years. It's not easy. You will not become great without being willing to put some hard work into it.

All the scales may seem like a lot of work, but if you realize a couple of things about scale construction, it will be much easier. If you want to learn some scales, the most important ones are the major and minor scales. There are so many different scales, but most of them will have very little use in music. Remember that every major scale has the same interval structure and it's also just the same 7 notes repeating over and over again in different octaves and different positions. Same with every minor scale. You may want to start with the most "common" scales in guitar music that are E, A, D, G and C major. Also learn the minor scales starting from those notes plus B minor and F# minor and C# minor (you may also notice that the connection between relative major and minor scales, but I think it's important to understand the difference between C major and A minor - see the connection between those scales but also learn them as different scales). I would say those are the most important scales for guitar. But once you have learned just one major and one minor scale, learning the rest of them will be much easier because they all will follow exactly the same structure.

The thing is, the sooner you start improving your fretboard knowledge, the more fun you will have later. It will just become an automation - something you don't even need to think about. If you have a great technique but your fretboard knowledge totally sucks, it will be frustrating. Learning beginner stuff when you are otherwise good at playing your instrument sucks.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#4
You can make music whenever you want. In fact scales and chords won't make any sense until you do start learning and playing music. They're concepts that help you understand how music is organized.
#5
Quote by AlanHB
Scales aren't a guide or a strict set of rules, they're a way of explaining notes in relation to other notes. They explain why notes sound a certain way.

So the answer is yes. You can tell scales to fuck off and make music instead. They'll still explain why your music sounds the way it does, but you can ignore them.
This
Si
#6
Learn C major, learn A minor, learn the modes of the C major scale - and just move those around accordingly if your playing in other keys. That's the lazy way and it's a start.
#7
Quote by Nomad16
So fuck scales amirite?
u r rite!
Quote by Nomad16
Could I technically use scales more as a guide than a strict set of rules?
Not just technically. Totally. There are no rules. Well actually there is one rule: make it sound good. (You will find that leads to a few other rules, which help you avoid sounding bad, but your ear will get you there. Eventually....)
Quote by Nomad16

Because it's so exhausting learning how all of this shit works together and I really have no interest in learning every single note in every scale and chord and knowing what notes to play what not to play blah blah blah like
OK, hold on there. You don't want to know what notes to play and what not to play? How are you going to play anything in that case?
Quote by Nomad16

can I just learn the major minor naturals and pentatonics
By all means.
Quote by Nomad16
a few modes
NO! Forget modes! Seriously! It's snake oil! It's how a lot of teachers make a lot of money, by confusing people and then trying to unconfuse them. I'm only half joking....
Quote by Nomad16
learn my chords
YES! Chord shapes everywhere. Chords are your friends. The more you know, the better.
Quote by Nomad16
call it good and start writing some damn music??
YES!
Quote by Nomad16
I'm about to make like Kurt cobain and BLOW MY GODAMN HEAD OFF.
well, I don't suppose he did that because he couldn't face learning scales....
Last edited by jongtr at Nov 1, 2016,
#8
You answered your own thread with your second question: Music Theory (including scales and chords) is a guideline of what sounds good, NOT a strict set rules of what to do. For instance, in the key of E Major, you can use a C major chord (bVI chord, fyi) in your chord progression even though it's not part of the the key of E (or the appropriate chord in the E major scale). That is perfectly fine to do, too.

Use your ears to let you decide what you like to hear, and then analyze it with theory so you can get understanding of WHY you like what you're hearing, NOT HOW to create something to listen to.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#9
e d g y

you know you can just learn music, right? you have an ear and an instrument. when you're done learning scales, you aren't automatically graduated to the next level where you get access to being able to make music

there are only 12 notes. stop whining and either do your homework, learn some music in context, or just don't bother with a hobby you clearly have 0 interest in
Quote by theogonia777
Hail killed MT

Quote by jongtr
I want to be Hail when I grow up.
#10
Quote by Nomad16
So fuck scales amirite? Could I technically use scales more as a guide than a strict set of rules? Because it's so exhausting learning how all of this shit works together and I really have no interest in learning every single note in every scale and chord and knowing what notes to play what not to play blah blah blah like can I just learn the major minor naturals and pentatonics a few modes learn my chords call it good and start writing some damn music?? I'm about to make like Kurt cobain and BLOW MY GODAMN HEAD OFF.


It really depends on what you want to do.

Learn theory, or play guitar. They're kind of related, but not.

Theory is all about talking about music. Exchanging ideas verbally.

But you can also exchange those ideas with your playing. Generally speaking, that's what's happening when two or more people get together & jam.

Millions of people learn by ear, all the time. You can too, if you focus on what you're hearing.

Learn your Major scale on your guitar. Every other scale is built off that. On guitar, you're basically learning patterns & you're just moving those patterns around the neck to make it "sound good" when you're playing with others, or over a backing track or whatever. In your mind, you may think you're playing the G major scale over a progression, but if you're playing a 12 bar blues, you're playing a mixolydian scale over the 5 chord, the lydian over the 4 & if you tend to stay away from the 4th & the 7th, you're playing a pentatonic scale.

You'll eventually learn all the theory you need to know as you try to describe what you're doing.
Last edited by RevBillyG at Nov 3, 2016,
#11
Quote by RevBillyG

You'll eventually learn all the theory you need to know as you try to describe what you're doing.
This!
#12
RevBillyG
Quote by RevBillyG
In your mind, you may think you're playing the G major scale over a progression, but if you're playing a 12 bar blues, you're playing the mixolydian mode over the 5 chord, the lydian over the 4 & if you tend to stay away from the 4th & the 7th, you're playing a pentatonic scale.

You're not changing modes when the chords change. Modes are not involved at all. If the song is in G major, and you're playing the G major scale, then it's just the G major scale.
#13
Quote by Declan87
RevBillyG
You're not changing modes when the chords change. Modes are not involved at all. If the song is in G major, and you're playing the G major scale, then it's just the G major scale.


+1. That said, sticking in G major scale against a blues in G doesn't sound too clever.
https://soundcloud.com/jerry-kramskoy-1
#14
Nomad16
A scale is just a formula for finding a bunch of pitches at various distances (semitones) from your choice of key. These repeat in different ioctaves. It's a sound palette you draw from. It is 100% not to do with playing up and down in sequence (olther than for fairly useless mechanical proficiency, since gaining this is non-musical). But it is far more likely to are listening to a given genre of music, which has its own set of musical constructs it uses for the sound of that genre, so it helps to know the scale(s) and chords for that genre. If you learn scales by note names, then yes, you will go mad, and that is a pure waste of mental effort, and won't really help you.
https://soundcloud.com/jerry-kramskoy-1
#15
Quote by Declan87
RevBillyG
You're not changing modes when the chords change. Modes are not involved at all. If the song is in G major, and you're playing the G major scale, then it's just the G major scale.


My mistake, I meant mixolydian scale.

the point is that you don't "need" to learn a lot of scales. learn the major scale, all over the neck... 5 patterns. move those patterns around the neck & you're playing all those other scales.


play the G major scale over a D chord... assuming your ear guides you to a D tonality... you're playing a the D mixolydian scale.
#16
Maybe the Monkey Lord can better explain what I'm saying.


Last edited by RevBillyG at Nov 3, 2016,
#17
tbh i don't think anybody here has a relatively good opinion of rob chapman

i think he's amicable but i wouldn't ever take him seriously about music theory

esp since modes don't exist within keys

your minor slip will quickly grow to a great one. modes are a dirty word here, and fortunately i'm not in a mood to argue about them for 8 pages so i'll leave it at that
Quote by theogonia777
Hail killed MT

Quote by jongtr
I want to be Hail when I grow up.
#18
I don't have a high opinion of Chapman myself, but that video, imo, offers a simple way to think about a bunch of scales
#19
Quote by RevBillyG
My mistake, I meant mixolydian scale.

the point is that you don't "need" to learn a lot of scales. learn the major scale, all over the neck... 5 patterns. move those patterns around the neck & you're playing all those other scales.


play the G major scale over a D chord... assuming your ear guides you to a D tonality... you're playing a the D mixolydian scale.

Just having a D major chord in your G major progression is not enough to justify calling it Mixolydian. It would only become Mixolydian if you spent like 16+ bars on the D chord. Then you could have an argument that the D has actually become the tonal center and you could call it Mixolydian. But if it's an actual functional progression like G-Am7-D7-G, modes have nothing to do with it. You can't hear the D7 as a "different tonality" in this context - you will hear it as having a dominant function in the key of G major.

Also, if you are playing over a G blues progression, you would not play "C Lydian" (or G major) over the IV. The IV chord in blues is a dominant 7th chord. G major scale is not going to work well over G blues.


But maybe we should stop before this argument gets out of hand and derails the whole thread. After all, the point of this thread was to help TS, not to confuse him even more.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Nov 4, 2016,
#20
Quote by MaggaraMarine


But maybe we should stop before this argument gets out of hand and derails the whole thread. After all, the point of this thread was to help TS, not to confuse him even more.


just what forum do you think we're in?
Quote by theogonia777
Hail killed MT

Quote by jongtr
I want to be Hail when I grow up.