Hey guys. I've been playing guitar for about 1.5 years now and am actually pretty decent. I just cant think of my own riffs. Dont get me wrong I have a couple on my own songs, but its just hard to think of new stuff.

Everyone says "you should learn scales!" OK So I go out and buy this scale book and open it and it has a million different scales to choose from. Which ones are most important?

And when they say "you should learn scales" do they mean just memorize whats in my book or what? Make riffs out of those scales or...



As the base for most of music theory before you go onto bigger things:
the major scale
the natural minor

for general rock music:
the pentatonic minor and major
the blues scale (just the pentatonic minor with another note in it)

after that:
the harmonic minor
all other the modes of the major scale (dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aoelian = natural minor mentioned above and locrian as the last one...as well as ionian which is the regular major scale... so only 5 to learn)

after that its whatever you can find if you want to learn anything else
Last edited by seljer at May 11, 2006,
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after you get the idea of scales into your head you'll start to notice how they're constructed and be able to make your own (which is big fun, thats how i try to write my songs)
Minor Pentatonic scale is what every single great guitarists use 7 times out of 10(well maybe not that but its used all the time).
Quote by seljer
the pentatonic minor and major
the blues scale (just the pentatonic minor with another note in it)

Actually mate its two notes.
^ It's only one note: b5

Pentatonic Minor = 1 b3 4 5 b7
Blues Minor = 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7

You probably know the Blues Minor scale as a box pattern in two octaves. So you play the b5 note twice. It's the same note, but in two different octaves.
Yeah, Not trying to repeat what seljer said, but generally Start off with Major and narutal minor scales.

Once you know those, the Major/Minor Pentatonic and Blues scales will fall right into place(since the pentatonics are basically just the arpeggio's of the major/natural minor scales).

Afterwards start getting into exotic sounding scales like the Harmonic and Melodic Minor, and possibly a few foreign scales like the the hungarian.

But basically, learn the major and natural minor and your set. After getting all of those in place it becomes easier to do other things, such as learn all the notes on the fretboard, Figure out where to throw in chromatic runs, and as said before, create your own hybrid scales(I prefer a Hybrid of the Harmonic Minor and the Blues scale myself.)
Should I learn C,D,E,F,G,A,B pentatonic scales??
all the pentatonic major and minor????
it depends on how much you care about it, for variety use a spanish scale a couple of songs. and my riffs come up when im cycling or playing or anthing, theres always music in my head. they'll come up, just don't force m cause they'll get stubborn:P
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