#1
Ok. So i've started to understand scales a little bit. Now what Scales should I learn?
Any Scales that are really a must to know or anything? thanks

and oh yeah, should i learn to play them backwards too?
PSN name = Barmanation
#2
um your penatonic (sp??) scale seems to be a widely used scale and then there's your major and minor scales.

Just thought i'd write the ones i learnt first.

Play them up and down the scale, backwards and forwards, however you want to say it. this helps you learn the scale fluenty. Start of playing it slow then slowly build speed and keep it neat
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#4
Hey man,

As someone who was once in your position I can tell you now that learning the scales the way I know you will (as a series of meaningless positions) is only going to force you to get pissed off and have to work to actively break yourself out of bad habits you'll develop by learning pentatonic patterns (happened to me. Note that I said patterns, not scales, I never really learnt the scales, just where my fingers went, all it does is make you play ****ty load/reload style kirk hammet solos, and no one wants to hear that, not you or the girl who you're trying to impress with said solo). First of all, get a good teacher, if you can just do it, if you really want to be a good guitarist (and not I also said GOOD teacher, there are lots of mindless fret-monkeys out there teaching as well) but failing that, can you read music? this could make **** easier, if not, learn! A good book (also good for learning scales and chords, however is painfully boring!) is W G Leavitt's Modern Method for Guitar, there are 3 books in this series, if you can stomach it till the end of book 3 not only will you be a good, knowledgeable (this is important) player (well, hopefully) you'll also porbably be the most patient mother****er on the planet.

Sorry, that was a bit rantish, but now, seriously, what I suggest you do for scales is get a beginner guitar book (most likely a classical one) that dosen't have a single staff of tab in it (yep, you heard me, not one!) but one that does have position marking and guidance (I'm not a complete arsehole!) Leavitt's book fits this nicely, do your very best to learn all the notes and where they are, do **** like getting a friend (not nessecarily a muso) to say a note and then you play it in all positions you can think of, if you get this down then scales just become a matter of simple mathematics really.

Now, to the scales, I understand this seems like a big rantish type thing, but it's really not that hard, 30 minutes a day for a couple of months (if you're slow, hehe) and you should have a good grasp of wher all the notes are. Anyways sorry, sidetracked, now don't go out and buy a guitar scales book just yet, you're not ready for that, those will only teach you patterns to which you won't understand the foundation. what you should get or read are beginner music theory books, hopefully this will explain chords and harmony, because they are not mutually exclusive, too many wanker metal heads can play scales all day but have no idea that they're actually implying (loosely, very loosely:P) a sense of harmony (chord). If you can find one, again sorry I can't answer this, but hopefully someone else can suggest some book titles and amazon is really good for this as well!

Basically with the scales you should start with the major scale, that is, a sequence of intervals that can be described as Tone Tone Semi-Tone Tone Tone Tone Semi-Tone, a tone is 2 frets, semi is 1 fret. Learn these scales and what they're composed of seperate from the guitar then try (with your new found knowledge of all the notes) to translate this to the guitar. Try first on one string, this will help to reinforce the intervals and make it easier to visualise the concept of this pattern (oo there's that dirty word, hehe, but this is a pattern that won't **** your playing!) Then try moving over other strings, however all the time say the note you are playing as you are playing it, believe me this will help you more than you've ever known!

So there it is, sorry I pretty much ranted, but I like to think there's some cohesion in there, if you need clarification or help please just ask, I'm sort of trying to get my head around the best way to teach people guitar at the moment and from my own experince (been playing for 6 1/2 years now, 2nd year studying guitar performance at university, still a rookie, but I know enough to be able to see my mistakes) this looks like a good way to get well good.

Also this is not the only thing you should do, far from it, think of it like adding a new excersise to your workout, you do it slowly but eventually it becaomes easy and you move on, this is exactly how this will work, some pain for some very major gain. And play as much other stuff as you can, don't shun tab, but this should be able to make you understand it more, however try working that song you want to play out yourself first, a good theory knowledge is good, but only as good as the mind attached to it, but I think I've ranted enough...
#5
Wow thanks clap. that Tone Tone Semi-Tone Tone Tone Tone Semi-Tone thing, can that be done in all keys?

you have wrote 7 btw, i mean the tones ^^ look. but np man you've helped me alot. i'll get try to find some books. oh yeah, it sucks because i dont have money or time for teacher so ;(
PSN name = Barmanation
#6
lol my teacher is a mindless fret monkey!
Always waiting for that bit of inspiration.
#8
I dont understand the importance/need of scales. I know the chromatic and the e-phrygian scales but I don't understand the things i am learning from this... is it just for picking up speed or what?
#9
It depends on what kind of music you listen to. Classic Rock type stuff uses mostly penatonics and minor pentatonics, but obviously if you like bluesy stuff then they won't come in handy.


And yes, you should learn them backwards.

Quote by ATLBraves2014
I dont understand the importance/need of scales. I know the chromatic and the e-phrygian scales but I don't understand the things i am learning from this... is it just for picking up speed or what?


If you ever want to solo/improvise, scales help you make your solos sound complete and in key. They'll have a huge impact if you learn them now before you try to improvise live or anything like that.
#10
The entier major scale modes helped me alot with my picking speed, left-right hand consistency, hamer-on pull-off strength, and left hand speed.
#12
practice your pentatonic scales.... there the first scales i ever learned
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#13
The first five scales I ever learned were the major, minor, blues, minor pentatonic, and major pentatonic. Cyberfret.com is a good reference for scales, chords, and arpeggios...and I still use it somewhat often.

But, the guy above is right, when you first learn...the scales seem like meaningless positions. Just notes that don't make sense by themselves. But eventually, after you have your hands doing these meaningless exercises, you'll find your fingers are much more flexible and agile, you'll find improvisation to be easier, and you'll find that you can improvise better over a backing track. You'll also find that writing solos is much easier as well. Don't neglect practicing them. They WILL help in the long run.
#14
i recently watched kristofer's video lesson about improvisation madness and all that stuff. he talked about pentatonic boxes and stuff.
could anyone explain that to me?
#15
i still dont understand what you can do with scales, how in hell can they help you with a solo? i played T-T-ST-T-T-T in the key of A and it sounded pretty boring.
PSN name = Barmanation
#17
arpeggios are notes of a chord played by sounding one srting at a time. this technique is often used by shreders.
#20
Quote by erotic_snails
arpeggios are notes of a chord played by sounding one srting at a time. this technique is often used by shreders.


Please, when you're explaining music theory or universal techniques, try and steer away from relating it to the guitar, because well, it's wrong. Arpeggios are not the notes of a chord played sounding one string at a time, arpeggios are the notes of a chord played individually in succession.

Quote by WantToLearn
well .... please i really need to understand this stuff


Do you understand the concept of WWHWWWH (TTSTTTS)?

I mean, do you know what that succession of intervals is used for, before you start using it?
Last edited by Johnljones7443 at Jul 20, 2006,
#21
thats whole-whole-half-whole-whole-whole-half in regards to keys, right?^^

and to the threadstarter, the Em pentatonic is most common, and Am.
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#22
Well, T = 1 fret between notes and ST = just the next fret... right?
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#23
Quote by WantToLearn
Well, T = 1 fret between notes and ST = just the next fret... right?


Well - yes. A tone would be 1 fret between notes and a semi-tone would be the adjacent fret, correct.

But, what I meant was do you understand what the WWHWWWH formula is used for? Do you understand it?

What clap_clap_clap was trying to tell you was how to construct the major scale, which is an important learning curve if you're to understand other scales and chords, as the basis of them is the major scale.
#24
Well, this is pretty damn hard stuff for me but honestly, no i dont understand the WWHWWWH thing... i mean do you just start in the key of A(for example) and make a whole step, on the next string also a whole step, on the next string half a step etc etc...? thats the thing i dont get :S
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#25
Quote by WantToLearn
Well, this is pretty damn hard stuff for me but honestly, no i dont understand the WWHWWWH thing... i mean do you just start in the key of A and make a whole step, on the next string also a whole step, on the next string half a step etc etc...? thats the thing i dont get :S


Heh, see... you're getting there. But for the moment, put strings and the guitar out of your mind.

Before I go on and repeat needless things... clear a few things up for me.

Are you familiar with the chromatic scale?

Do you understand the concept of whole and half steps in relation to NOTES not frets?

Are you familiar with the major scale?


If you could answer those... I'd be more than happy to guide you on your way to constructing using WWHWWWH.
#27
Quote by Johnljones7443
Heh, see... you're getting there. But for the moment, put strings and the guitar out of your mind.

Before I go on and repeat needless things... clear a few things up for me.

Are you familiar with the chromatic scale?

Do you understand the concept of whole and half steps in relation to NOTES not frets?

Are you familiar with the major scale?


If you could answer those... I'd be more than happy to guide you on your way to constructing using WWHWWWH.



Im not sure if im familiar with chromatics but aren't they the 1-2-3-4 up and down the neck?

I don't think i understand the whole and half steps between notes but mostly, i can hear when it should be T or ST because the one just sounds better than the other

Im not familiar with the Major scale
PSN name = Barmanation
#28
Quote by WantToLearn
Im not sure if im familiar with chromatics but aren't they the 1-2-3-4 up and down the neck?

I don't think i understand the whole and half steps between notes but mostly, i can hear when it should be T or ST because the one just sounds better than the other

Im not familiar with the Major scale


*Breathes*... Okay!

Like I said... throw your guitar out the window for this one.

The chromatic scale is the scale that contains the 12 pitches of the Western tempered scale. This scale contains all the notes, basically. They're all seperated by a semi-tone (on your guitar, that's every fret. 1-2-3-4 would be 4 notes in the chromatic scale, going up a semi-tone).

Forget 'chromatics' related to the guitar, now - the chromatic scale is what you should be thinking - the 12 notes of Western music seperated by a semi-tone.

The Chromatic Scale in the key of C Major.

C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G# - A - A# - B - C.

As you can see, and hopefully understand each note is seperated by a semi-tone. From C - C# is one semi-tone - and that applies all the way through back to the C note after 12 different notes.

Before you go further onto major scale construction, I'd like it if you could confirm you understand this way of thinking and the construction of the chromatic scale. If so, I can continue. If not, bring your problems up and I'll try to clear them up for you.
#29
I understand it yes.


edit: btw is B to C also a semi-tone because there is no B#


thank you btw for helping me out here, i know its annoying as hell, teaching something thats easy for you to somebody who totally doesnt understands it

edit2: im going to bed its 3 A.M here. but ofcourse you can post your further advice as i will be checking this site again right when i wake up

once again, i really appreciate this.
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Last edited by WantToLearn at Jul 20, 2006,
#30
Quote by WantToLearn
I understand it yes.


thank you btw for helping me out here, i know its annoying as hell, teaching something thats easy for you to somebody who totally doesnt understands it


It isn't annoying. I love it.

Okay, so you understand the chromatic scale - now we can move on the using what you initially wanted to know; WWHWWWH.

As you know, but are relating to guitar:

W - Whole Step.
H - Half Step.

Back to the chromatic scale in C.

C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G# - A - A# - B - C.

Here's a small example...

From C to D is W. One whole step.
From D to D# is H. One half step.

Now, let's take WWHWWWH and apply it to our chromatic scale in C.


[B]W - C[/B] to D.
[B]W - D[/B] to E.
[B]H - E[/B] to F.
[B]W - F[/B] to G
[B]W - G[/B] to A.
[B]W - A[/B] to B.
[B]H - B[/B] to C.


Using WWHWWWH while starting on the C note of our chromatic scale gives us seven notes: C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C. These seven notes are the notes of the diatonic C major scale.

Look at it like this...


[B]Note:[/B]              C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C.
[B]Formula:[/B]             W - W - H - W - W - W - H.


That's how you use the WWHWWWH method to figure out the notes of any given major scale you wish, depending on which note of the chromatic scale you start on.

Hopefully you've understood this - and perhaps for clarification you'd like to write up a small example of it put into action: if you've understood it, perhaps you could re-post by using the same method to figure out the notes A Major scale and I, or one of the guys could confirm it - just to make sure?

If not; I'm happy to keep going.


edit: btw is B to C also a semi-tone because there is no B#


Yes - basically. In the chromatic scale B# and E# are not written, but written as C and F.

B# and E# are enharmonic to C and F, respectively. This means they are the same pitch, but a different note.

Though, this is not because these notes don't exist.

Really - you shouldn't be worrying about why they aren't shown at the moment, just know that they aren't.
Last edited by Johnljones7443 at Jul 20, 2006,
#31
OK i think i've got it


A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E - F - G - G# - A

i hope i got this right
PSN name = Barmanation
#32
Quote by WantToLearn
OK i think i've got it


A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E - F - G - G# - A

i hope i got this right


Ah - I see you've written down the chromatic scale in A. You missed an F# note, buddy.

What I wanted you to do was use the method of constructing the seven notes of the A major scale using WWHWWWH that I described in my last post to figure out the C major scale.

You don't have to... it's just a good way to see if you've understood what I've been saying
#33
Please, when you're explaining music theory or universal techniques, try and steer away from relating it to the guitar, because well, it's wrong. Arpeggios are not the notes of a chord played sounding one string at a time, arpeggios are the notes of a chord played individually in succession.

ok then smart arse...
#34
Ok, i think i've got it.

is it like this?

Note: A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G# - A

And when you use the formula you'll get this


A# - C - D - D# - F - G - A - B
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Last edited by WantToLearn at Jul 21, 2006,
#35
Quote by WantToLearn
Ok, i think i've got it.

is it like this?

Note: A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G# - A

And when you use the formula you'll get this


A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G# - A

but now im confused a little, A - B -C# - D - E - F# - G# - A are 8 notes and there should be 7, right?


Correctamondo!

That's your Major Scale in the key of A.

Now you know that - you can go onto constructing minor scales, major chords, minor chords, melodic minor scales and half-diminished 7th chords... what I mean is, everything else you're going to learn is going to be based off the major scale: - that's why I wanted you to grasp how to construct it.

Yes, there are 8 notes there. But, count how many different notes there are: Seven. The A at the end is on octave higher than the first; but it still remains that there are seven different notes spanning one octave.

Hopefully you completely understand the subject now, and are well on your way in music theory, now you have a foundation to build upon.

If there's anything else worrying you: Ask.

And if you like, we can move on to other things in this thread.

Edit: Ahhh! You've edited your post... the first one you posed was indeed correct.

Quote by erotic_snails
Please, when you're explaining music theory or universal techniques, try and steer away from relating it to the guitar, because well, it's wrong. Arpeggios are not the notes of a chord played sounding one string at a time, arpeggios are the notes of a chord played individually in succession.

ok then smart arse...


Wipe your tears.

You gave inacurrate information and I felt compelled to correct you for the benefit of anyone who might have taken in what you said and got the wrong idea - if you thought I was being a smart arse, I apologise.
#37
Quote by WantToLearn
Ok, so now what do you suggest i do?


Learn basic chord construction. Major triads, minor triads and simple extensions.

Then perhaps minor scale construction, pentatonic scale construction... there's loads of stuff, man.

I'd recommend you learn intervals, too.

Try here... http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/learning_music_theory_the_beginning.html
#38
well, i dont understand anyhthing from that link, i mean

P1 - P8
m2 - M7
M2 - m7
m3 - M6
M3 - m6
P4 - P5
A4 - D5

D7 - A2

P = Perfect
m = Minor
M = Major
D = Diminished
A = Augmented

what the hell?
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#39
Hey man, sorry about the mind ****, I've been busy so haven't been able to answer, but johnljones was exactly right sorry I started a bit advanced.

The Chromatic stuff is the basisi of the entire western music system, it makes sense when you think about it 12 notes = 12 frets on the guitar. I just did a quick search on amazon, from the excerpt I think this book would be a really good one for you (and any guitarist with a limited theory knowledge for that matter) to get as it looks like it explains everything including the harmonic series (how sound is actually produced, and the reson why the 12th fret is exactly halfway down the string, although there's lots of places to learn this and it's not entirely relevant, but does help give depth to your understanding) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0918321999/sr=8-3/qid=1153623600/ref=sr_1_3/102-9747802-7968156?ie=UTF8
It dosen't look too expensive either.

Now sorry about the confusion, as you saw with the chromatic scale, there are 12 notes, all of these make up almost all of western music (seems somewhat limited dosen't it when you look at it like that?)

Ok, i'll try to put this as clearly to read as possible, but don't count on it.

Ok, first lets take a C Chromatic scale:

C - C#/Db - D - D#/Eb - E - F - F#/Gb - G - G#/Ab - A - A#/Bb - B - C

from there using the TTSTTTS step pattern we get any scale we want, but i'll give you examples of 3 major ones:

C major: C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C

G major: G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G

F major: F - G -A -Bb - C - D - E - F

Now, see how all these can be obtained just by following that step pattern? Cool!

Ok, just to clear something up, that step-pattern is the fundamental theory between how the scale as a concept is made up, it's not the way you should play it, you can play it this way, but try to think of it now as a set of scale degrees if you will (so 12345678) as degrees you can play it however you like, 453241 or whatever, sorry to confuse you!

Now, the other, and infact fundamental thing about scales is that although they help us compose melody, that is not actually their most important use. What they're most important for is providing a (kinda-ish) understandable way to relate chords and scales, and then compose kick ass melody and improvisations.

I hope you noticed but if not, it's actually possible to make up a lot of chords from the one scale.

eg.
Roman Numeral: I - ii - iii - IV - V - vi - vii - VIII(I)
Guitar Chord Name:C - Dm - Em - F - G - Am - Bdim - C
Tonic (1st note): C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C (Ionian Mode)
3rd: E - F - G - A - B - C - D - E (Phrygian Mode)
5th: G - A - B - C - D - E - F - G (Mixolydian Mode)

As you can see here there are a number of chords that can be made out of these chords and heres where improvisation becomes slightly more academic (and effective as well however!)

Lets say you had a chord progression in C Major to Impovise over say a standard, I | iv| IV | V

Well, in C major we know that these chords are:
C | Am | F | G | Well given this and the above chart, if you can try to record yourself playing this chord progression, then improvise over it, playing notes within C Major, however instead of just playing the scale over each chord, try and incorporate the notes of the chord you're playng within your improvisation (the 1st, 3rd and 5th of each chord as shown by the chart) I gaurentee you'll be so impressed with how much more intelligent and effective your improvisation sounds you'll be a convert forever!

Also, this is what our voices do instictively, if you write songs, I bet you find yourself getting bored with your melodies, thats because we (well I did anyway) instinctively follow the notes of the harmony when we're writing melody (well when strumming and singing anyway, don't quote me on this!))