#1
Hello there! New to this forum and im looking for some theory help with scales basically. Part of my practise routine is playing through scales (major 'ionian', penatonics and blues) up the neck of the guitar in different keys. I use a Scales book which has the shapes of the scales tabbed out for me to learn in different keys. What I mean by playing these scales in differnet keys is that I will start with the root note of the scale on the low E string string and work throurgh the different keys from there as a starting place. For instance if I were told to play a major scale in A I would start with the first octave root note of the major scale on the fith fret of the low E string. I apply this same routine for the other scales I know and the other keys I know on the low E string. Things have started to confuse me recently tho as I have been coming across major scales tabbed out with root notes starting at different places than on the low E string. For instance, I have come across a major scale in the key of A starting with the open A string as the root note. I dont think the patterns that I have learned for the major scale in A starting at the fith fret low E string can be applied here! Its the same case for an E major scale starting on the open low E string or for instance a B major scale starting on the A string at the second fret. I realise you can play scales from root notes of the same key all over the fretboard but I find it difficult to figure out how the scale proceeds from these different starting places. Is the only way to fgure this out by applying the interval of the scale eg Major is W(Whole step),W,H,W,W,W,H betweem the notes on the fretboard from the new root note? I think this does work but I find it very complicated to work out unless say it was tabbed out in front of me. Sorry for the long post but this is really confusing me and I like to understand what im playing, especailly when im trying to figure out chord progressions and solos.

Thanks very much!
#2
The way I understand it is that patterns are just one persons way of representing the notes of a scale for memorization. It is really the notes and their relationship to each other that is important. For example, Writer A's scale book might give different patterns to use with E major then Guitar Grimoire, but if you overlay both of their patterns across the entire fretboard, they will both show the same notes.
#3
^Right. It's good to know the scale patters you've been using, but you might want to start associating them directly with the notes. For example, when you play a particular scale pattern, tell yourself what each note is when you play it; you'll begin to see how the pattern relates directly to the formula you presented in your post.

The basic thing to remember is that the pattern doesn't really change. The first three notes for a major scale might look like this:

----------------------
----------------------
----------------------
----------------------
------------5--7--9-
-5--7--9------------

but if you start with the open A string, the first six will look like this:

-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
-------------0--2--4-
--0--2--4------------
-----------------------

The pattern is exactly the same (every second fret), it's just shifted up a string. You can play the rest of the scale pattern as if you were playing it on the E string...excepting the open strings of course. Hope that helped...
"He has a woman's name and wears makeup. How original."
--Alice Cooper, on Marilyn Manson.
#4
Try not to limit yourself to patterns as well. Don't think too much about moving the root note around the fretboard, think of the notes. It will help you better know the fretboard and the scale.
#5
Quote by meyekal
The way I understand it is that patterns are just one persons way of representing the notes of a scale for memorization. It is really the notes and their relationship to each other that is important. For example, Writer A's scale book might give different patterns to use with E major then Guitar Grimoire, but if you overlay both of their patterns across the entire fretboard, they will both show the same notes.


Exactly!

Also, another suggestion: don't just think of note names, maybe think in terms of scale degrees too. The fifth of the scale has a certain sound, the fourth has a certain sound, etc. etc.

After awhile (warning: "awhile" could = many years it all becomes subconscious, you know you want to hit, say, the fourth of the scale, you can hear it in your head, and most importantly, you know where all the fourths are in relation to the note you're currently on.
#6
Well thanks for all your help then! So basically if I learn to apply the note names to the intervals in the scales it will become easier to recognise how the scale continues along the fretboard no matter where the root is?

Sounds complicated, but im gna go for it. Thanks again.
#7
^That's right. It might take a while, but you'll get there. It's just a combination of theory and ear training, and every good guitarist should do that anyway.
"He has a woman's name and wears makeup. How original."
--Alice Cooper, on Marilyn Manson.