#1
Hello,

Years ago when I was learned not only the guitar but music theory in general thanks to the internet since I have no teacher, I made this document compiling what's a note (in a musicwise not physical/wave stuff), how to make a scale or a chord.

Document is here : https://drive.google.com/open?id=0By4DJ9q1blQqdWJveGx4ZTlLX0k

It's a short document that I go back sometimes but my questions are : 
Could that be useful to anyone ?
Should I do something with it else than letting it sit somewhere on my google drive ?
And most importantly, is there any big mistake in there ?

Thanks for the feedback
#2
I'd say most of it could be better written. With your greater experience now, you could probably improve on it yourself in that way.

The methods you have of deriving scales and modes are OK (they work), but there are other methods out there. (Such as better mnenonics for mode order). With a document supposed to be basic like this, don't bother listing all hose exotic scales (Hungarian this or that). Just major, the three minors and the modes is enough. ("Descending melodic minor" = natural minor or aeolian.)

The main flaw in the whole thing, though - the "big mistake" - is your use of sharps all the way, where there should often be flats.

E.g., your C dorian mode has D# and A#, when it should have Eb and Bb. This is a fundamental error!
What's more bizarre is that you have a note on each line in the notation, but without flats. You have "D#" shown as "E" on the notation and "A#" shown as B. Change the note names and put flats in the notation.


All kinds of odd stuff is going on in your scale patterns. In fact there is so much wrong with them it would take too long to list everything. You should just delete them all and find some correct ones. To summarize the problems:

1. You have no flats anywhere. No major scales for Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb. No flats in the scales and modes that need them. (No F# major scale either, come to that.)
Remember the scale rule: One of each letter and only one. That rule governs the choice of sharps or flats, and is why F major (eg) has Bb, not A#. (and why B major has A# not Bb.)

2. The "relative scale" shown on top right is meaningless. F is not a "relative scale" to C. If you mean "relative minor", show that, but get it right (Am for C, Em for G, etc.)

3. Modes are just "dorian", "phrygian" etc, not "major dorian", "major phrygian". (There is a "major phrygian" scale, which is different from phrygian.)

4. You may have a 7-string yourself, but most readers would be happy with 6-string patterns.

5. If you are to show every mode of every major scale, that would be 84 patterns! Overkill!
The 12 major scales should be enough, with note names only, no roots specially marked. For completeness it would be 15 scales, to include the enharmonic equivalents. C#=Db, F#-Gb, B=Cb - all the same note positions, but every one differently named. Check out the circle of 5ths.
Every major scale pattern is also a pattern for each mode of that scale, and you only need some explanation about how the root role changes - or to give each major scale pattern (I mean the entire fretboard pattern) the 7 mode names to begin with. You don't need to show every damn pattern 7 times!

Useful other patterns - if you want to go to town - would be for harmonic and melodic minor (12 of each), and possibly for diminished (3 patterns) and wholetone (2 patterns). Harmonic major (12 patterns) for the more adventurous.
Again, no alternative mode patterns (different roots indicated on the same pattern). Just the note names, and correct enharmonics (of course).

Lastly, remember there are countless sources of this kind of info already present online, most of them better and more comprehensive than yours (yes, there are some worse! ). Do it for yourself, by all means, but check out other theory sites and guitar sites - as many as you can find - to see how they present this information.
It will help you correct yours, but also may help you decide if there is a gap in the market anywhere - if you think you really do have a better or clearer way of explaining things than you can find anywhere else. Don't waste time re-inventing the wheel.
Last edited by jonriley64 at Jul 14, 2017,
#3
I would first check the grammar/overall language you use. I mean, it's definitely readable, but if you want to communicate ideas effectively, maybe it makes sense to get someone to proof read that for you. So pay attention to the language you use.

Also, when you are writing a lesson, you need to see it from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about this stuff. Would somebody that doesn't know anything about this stuff understand this? That is the question you should ask yourself all the time. And when I read the beginning of the first chapter, I don't think it explains stuff thoroughly enough.

A major scale is made by choosing a root note and applying WWHWWWH or TTSTTTS.
W means whole step which is 2 frets on a guitar or a tone (T).
H means half step which is 1 fret on a guitar or a semitone (S).
The notes can be noted two different ways: A B C D E F G or LA SI DO RE ME FA SOL.
Each notes can also be sharp(#) or flat(b) depending if they are respectively one semitone higher or lower.
So A# and Bb are the same note but they are enharmonic (function is different), the same can be applied to E# and F.
Each notes can also be replaced by their numbered place in the scale (from 1 to 7, 8 being the 1).


This is already too much information, and this is the very beginning of your lesson. You need to be more thorough about your explanations. Nothing wrong with what you are talking about, but just make sure that a person that doesn't already know about this stuff would easily understand what you are trying to say.


Also, you should know the target group of your lesson. Is it a beginner, intermediate or advanced lesson? What are the things that your target group is assumed to know before reading the lesson? If it's a beginner lesson, I would not talk about every single scale that comes to my mind. I would only focus on the major and minor scales and how they are used (and I would definitely not start talking about modes or "exotic scales" like Hungarian minor). If it's a more advanced lesson, does it make sense to explain stuff like "the note names are A B C D E F G"? They most likely already know that. My point is, there needs to be a reason to explain stuff, and when you explain it, it needs to be explained properly.

What is the goal of your lesson? Is it to just tell people that "these scales exist and this is how you find them on your fretboard" or is it to teach people what these scales are and how they apply to music? I mean, what do you expect people to learn from your lesson?


There are also some mistakes in it.

The steps are very similar here, we also need to take for granted that the notes are: F Bb Ab Eb Db Gb
The first step is to know how many sharp notes has the sharp key, once you have that you can subtract7 with that number it will give you the number of flat note.

Not sure if this is really the most effective way. Your sharp key explanation was pretty good, and I actually learned a new method for figuring out how many sharps there are in a key.

Every scales has 7 modes, each modes is a simple shift of the tones and semitones.

Technically yes, that's one way of looking at it, but where the "modes of a scale" come from is that they are the 7 different scales you get by using the same notes - all of the 7 notes of the same scale can act as the root note, and that's really where the modes come from. But yeah, your way is another way of looking at it.

But C Dorian is not C D D# F G A A#. In the previous chapter you just talked about the sharps and flats in each key and now you are already contradicting yourself. It should be C D Eb F G A Bb. Also, the sheet music example doesn't show any of the sharps or flats - the notes in the sheet music example are still C D E F G A and B.

Also, you didn't really explain how the other modes are constructed. Or technically you did, but again, be more thorough - expect the readers of your lesson to be dumb. It's better to be too thorough than not to be thorough enough.

Only the Major scales have names for their modes, for the other scales the modes are just numbered.

Nah. The modes of melodic minor also have their own names (for example Lydian dominant/overtone scale, altered scale), same with some modes of the harmonic minor (for example Phrygian dominant).

Major Ionian
Major Dorian
Major Phrygian
Major Lydian
Major Mixolydian
Major Aeolian
Major Locrian

Why "major"? Only three of these scales are major type scales. The rest of them have nothing to do with major.

Beginning at the next page the Major scales modes for CDEFGAB are displayed and then others scales useful for rock and metal:

But why only use the natural notes as the roots of these scales? Why ignore sharp and flat root notes? Also, I would not suggest mentioning these "other scales" unless you provided some kind of an explanation for them. (Then again, are they really even worth mentioning is the actual question here.)

Now you can also make more complete chords with the root note, the major 3rd, perfect 5th and perfect 7th (or even 9th).

7th is major or minor (or sometimes diminished). It's not a perfect interval. Perfect intervals are unison, fourth, fifth and octave.

Major5 1 5
minor 1 b3 (5)
Augmented 1 3 #5
Diminished 1 b3 b5
minor7 1 b3 (5) b7
Augmented 7 1 3 #5 b7
Diminished 7 1 b3 b5 bb7
minor7b5 1 b3 b5 b7
minor7#5 1 b3 #5 b7
minor7b9 1 b3 (5) b7 b9
Dominant7 1 3 (5) b7
Suspended2/4 1 2/4 5
Added9 1 3 5 9

I'm not sure why you mentioned certain chords but left other chords out. For example minor7#5 isn't really even a thing. For example a Cm7#5 is a lot more likely going to function as an Abadd9/C chord. Also, you mentioned m7b9 that is definitely not that commonly used, but left out the regular m9 chord, dominant 7b9 chord, dominant 9 chord and maj9 chord (and even the maj7 chord), all of which are way more commonly used than m7b9.

Now we know that a Major 7 is nothing more than a major chord with the 7th note added.
So where is the prefect 7th of A in the chord? A B C# D E F# G#.
Just move your pinky and you’re good to go.

F# is not the 7th, it's the 6th. Also, as I said earlier, 7ths are major or minor, not perfect intervals. A C# E F# would be the A6 chord.

Now we know that a Dominant 9 is nothing more than a major chord with a flat seventh and flat ninth.
So where is the prefect 7th/9th of A in the chord? A B C# D E F# G#.
The bar becomes smaller so the open string A can be played and the third finger moves to the first string.

The notes shown here would imply an A6/9 chord. Also, a dominant 9th chord doesn't have a flat 9th, it has a major 9th.

The chord diagram on the other hand has the notes A C# E G and Bb in it that is an A7b9 chord.

And that's what I have to say about the lesson. In this form I would not publish it, even if you corrected the mistakes. I would suggest focusing on one topic and making a more thorough lesson about it. The major scale on its own is big enough topic to deserve its own lesson. Same with chord construction. Also, as I said earlier, think about your target group. If it's going to be a beginner lesson, you should be really thorough about your explanations. If it's a more advanced lesson, you shouldn't explain all of the most obvious stuff. Also, think about the goal of your lesson. You basically just scratched the surface of a lot of things in this lesson. Instead, I would suggest writing a more focused lesson that isn't so all over the place.

Sorry if my criticism was too harsh.


And it seems like jonriley64 already posted a reply when I was writing mine. So I probably mentioned a lot of the same things.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 14, 2017,