#1
Hey people,

well I was looking for the perfect lesson on the main page to explain all these crazy scales to me. I read some of them, but still have no clue what scales mainly are. But it seems to be very good for improving parts of songs or always find the notes which fit together.
Where is the difference, and what scales are there to be played on guitar?
Is there any trick to find out, what scale it is?

Or can you tell me where to find something like a scale lesson which shows everything you have to know about scales and this stuff?
#2
ok here we go.

a scale is an arrangement of notes. this can be used for composition, improvisation, etc. etc.

scales are the basis of all chords. i.e. a major chord is the 1, 3, and 5 of a major scale.

All musical scales can be played on the guitar because all of the notes (obviously not every octave) in existence can be found on the guitar.
I bet you five bucks that I play guitar.
#3
i am gonna post something that will explain major and minor scales intervals and what ever it shuld help and explain everything to a tee

this is something someone posted for me and i apreciated it very much it is long so it will take a second
song stuck in my head today


#4
!WARNING! This post is long.

this was origanally posted by Tsunoyukami

I personally have never found the circle of fifths to appeal to me - I've never really fully applied it to anything and I personally feel that it's not all that useful.

However, I do reccommend learning it anyways, just in case it's useful to you.


I don't quite understand your second question either, but a good place to start would be learning Major and Minor scales and how they are formed. Just before I explain that, I would like show you the difference between a semi tone (or half tone) and a whole tone.


What are Whole Tones and Half Tones?


Example #1

e|
B|
G|
D|
A|
E|0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12

The open E string (when in standard tuning) creates the note E. For each fret you go up, the notes change by a semi-tone. In Example #1 above the notes (in order) are as follows ('#' is pronounced 'sharp'; 'b' is pronounced 'flat'):


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

OR

E, F, Gb, G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb, E


This is known as the chromatic scale As you can see, some notes have alternate names:

F# and Gb (2nd fret on the E string)
G# and Ab (4th fret on the E string)
A# and Bb (6th fret on the E string)
C# and Db (9th fret on the E string)
D# and Eb (11th fret on the E string)

The distance from one note to the next (one fret) is called a semi (or half) tone. If you go two frets higher than the previous fret, that is known as a whole tone (see
Example #2):


Example #2

This is a half tone:

e|----|
B|----|
G|----|
D|----|
A|----|
E|2-3-|


This is a whole tone:

e|----|
B|----|
G|----|
D|----|
A|----|
E|2-4-|

Before you continue reading it is important that you understand the difference between a half tone and a whole tone.


Major and Minor Scales

All scales (that will be discussed in this post) contain seven different notes (a total of eight notes) and each ntoe is named after the next consecutive letter (between A and G).

The major scale and minor scale , however, follow slightly different patterns in the construction of them. First, we will look at the major scale.


Code:

Example #3

e|----------------|
B|----------------|
G|----------2-4-5-|
D|----2-3-5-------|
A|3-5-------------|
E|----------------|

That is the C Major scale. It is comprosed of the notes:

C D E F G A B C

As you can see, there are seven different notes (the C is repeating, and therefore is not considered a 'different' note) and they ascend in alphabetical order starting at C.

If you look at the chormatic scale, and rearrange it so that it begins with C instead (the bold notes are in the C Major Scale):


Code:

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

OR

C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C

You can see the following pattern:


Code:

C -> D (whole tone)
D -> E (whole tone)
E -> F (half tone)
F -> G (whole tone)
G -> A (whole tone)
A -> B (whole tone)
B -> C (half tone)

Therefore, the pattern for the major scale is whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half.

If you do follow this pattern starting on any other root, you will get the major scale (of that root).


Practice:
Try creating major scales, such as A Major, D Major, F Major, Bb Major.


Now we will continue with the minor scale.


Code:

Example #4

For the sake of simplicity, I will do the A Minor scale (because it has not #'s or b's):

e|----------------|
B|----------------|
G|------------0-2-|
D|------0-2-3-----|
A|0-2-3-----------|
E|----------------|

That is the A Minor scale. It is comprosed of the notes:

A B C D E F G A

As you can see, there are seven different notes (the A is repeating, and therefore is not considered a 'different' note) and they ascend in alphabetical order starting at A.

If you look at the chormatic scale, and rearrange it so that it begins with A instead (the bold notes are in the A Minor Scale):


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

OR

A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab, A

You can see the following pattern:


Code:

A -> B (whole tone)
B -> C (half tone)
C -> D (whole tone)
D -> E (whole tone)
E -> F (half tone)
F -> G (whole tone)
G -> A (whole tone)

Therefore, the pattern for the minor scale is whole, half, whole, whole, half, whole, whole.

If you do follow this pattern starting on any other root, you will get the minor scale (of that root).


Practice:
Try creating minor scales, such as C minor, B minor, E Minor and F# Minor.


Now that you understand both the major and minor scales we can continue and explore intervals and chord construction.


Intervals

At this point, it is important to understand intervals in relation to a key. I will continue to use C Major for the sake of simplicity.


Code:

Example #5

Each note in a scale is numbered in relation to the root.

C Major

C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

This can continue up (how you get 9ths, 13ths, etc.):

C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

As you can see, 8 is the same note as 1, 9 is the same note as 2 and so on.

Chords are created from various intervals. When speaking in proper terms we would call each of these the following:

C = perfect prime (perfect root)
D = major second
E = major third
F = perfect fourth
G = perfect fifth
A = major sixth
B = major seventh
C = perfect octave

As you can see, the first, fourth, fifth and octave (eigth) are perfect, while the
second, third, sixth and seventh are major. However, sometimes we
augment (sharpen) or diminish (flatten) various notes in chords:

C = perfect prime (perfect root) OR diminished second
C#/Db = augmented prime (augmented root) OR minor second
D = major second OR diminished third
D#/Eb = augmented second OR minor third
E = major third ORdiminished fourth
F = perfect fourth ORaugmented third
F#/Gb = augmented fourth OR diminished fifth
G = perfect fifth OR diminished sixth
G#/Ab = augmented fifth OR minor sixth
A = major sixth OR diminished seventh
A#/Bb = augmented sixth ORminor seventh
B = major seventh OR diminished octave
C = perfect octave OR diminished ninth

This pattern also continues.

!IMPORTANT!

Perfect notes become 'diminished' when the pitch is dropped one half-tone (ie. F
down to E = diminished fourth) while major notes become 'minor' when dropped one
half-tone (ie. B down to A#/Bb = minor seventh) and are considered 'diminished'
when they are dropped two semtones (ie. B down to A = diminished seventh.

When any note is raised by one semi-tone, it is considered 'augmented' (ie. D up to D# = augmented second).


Chord Construction

Before we continue, it is important that you understand intervals. All chords are made up of intervals and different intervals result in different sounds.

If you understand intervals, it should be very easy to understand chord construction. Different chords (such as major 7th, minor 9th, augmented, sixth) have different formulas.


Code:

Let me start by explaining the forumlas for simple chords.

A major chord is composed of three different notes: the perfect root (1), major third (3) and perfect fifth (5).

A minor chord is composed of three different notes: the perfect root (1), minor third (also written: b3) and perfect fifth (5).

When you see an interval alone (ie. 4), you assume that it is major or perfect (depending on what interval it is). If you see the number written as 'b3' you then call it minor or diminished (depending on whether it would be perfect or major narturally.


Code:

Example #6

Here we will learn more about the formation of basic chords.

Major: 1 3 5
Minor: 1 b3 5
(Dominant) 7th: 1 3 5 b7
Major 7th: 1 3 5 7
Minor 7th: 1 b3 5 b7

If we continue to use the C Major Scale we can match the intervals with the notes (let me refresh your memory):

C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

If we use this information, we can discover that the C Major chord is composed of the notes C, E and G (1, 3 and 5, respectively).

C Major: C E G
C Minor: C Eb G
C (Dominant) 7th: C E G Bb
C Major 7th: C E G B
C Minor 7th: C Eb G Bb


All the information given above can be used in a similar fashion to create much more complex chords. Below is a list of formulas for various chords (not all).


Code:

Any part of a chord name in brackets may not be pronounced (depending on the individual). Any interval in brackets is a note that does not have to be in the chord.

Also, in the "Diminished 7th" chord, the 7 is supposed to be written as bb7 - that is not a typo.

Major: 1 3 5
Minor: 1 b3 5
Suspended 2nd: 1 2 5
Suspended 4th: 1 4 5
Augmented: 1 3 #5
Diminished: 1 b3 b5
5th (also known as a Power Chord): 1 5 (8)
6th: 1 3 (5) 6
(Dominant) 7th: 1 3 (5) b7
Major 7th: 1 3 (5) 7
Minor 7th:1 b3 (5) b7
7 Suspeded 4th (also known as 'Sus') 1 3 4 (5) b7
Diminished 7th: 1 b3 b5 bb7
(Dominant) 9th: 1 3 (5) b7 9
Major 9th: 1 3 (5) 7 9
Minor 9th: 1 b3 (5) b7 9
Add 9: 1 3 (5) 9
6/9: 1 3 (5) 6 9
(Dominant) 11th: 1 3 (5) b7 (9) 11
Major 11th: 1 3 (5) 7 (9) 11
Minor 11th: 1 b3 (5) b7 (9) 11
(Dominant) 13th: 1 3 (5) b7 (9) (11) 13
Major 13th: 1 3 (5) 7 (9) (11) 13
Minor 13th: 1 b3 (5) b7 (9) (11) 13

I hope this post helps explain how chords are formed and such.
song stuck in my head today


#5
Wow! First of all thanks for that post above me.

Okay... I am not sure if I understood all of these information.

Umm well let's see.

Now I know, what scales are. Kind of intervals, notes that fit together, and chords are based on scales.

Just to test if I got that:

This would be a G-Major scale:

d |---------------2-4-5-| (and it goes on and on until I reach the last G on my fretboard)
a |-------2-3-5---------|
e |--3-5-----------------|

The g-Major chord is based on the root, the 3rd and the 5th note of that g-major scale.

So the G-Major-Chord would be


e |--0--|
b |--0--|
g |--0--|
d |--0--|
a |--2--|
e |--3--|

right?


Hope so... =)

Let me try an A-Minor.

Scale is


e |--------AND--------|
b |----------SO--------|
g |-------------ON-----|
d |----------------5-7--|
a |---------5-7-8------|
e |--5-7-8-------------|

Minor-Chords are also based on the first, third (called b3 here, because it's diminished by one half step compared to an Major-scale) and fifth note of the minor-scale...

So A-Minor would be this one:


e |--0--|
b |--0--|
g |--0--|
d |--2--|
a |--3--|
e |--5--|

or, on the easy way:


e |--0--|
b |--1--|
g |--0--|
d |--0--|
a |--0--|
e |--0--|

or would it be


e |--0--|
b |--1--|
g |--0--|
d |--0--|
a |--0--|
e |------| ?

or can I use it with AND without the deep e?


Okay this was what I have learned by your post... some things (semi-step and whole step for example) I knew before. Is there any other stuff I need to learn, or I should know?

Oh well and you told me about major, minor and that chromatic scale (to get sure: chromatic is every semi-note in an octave?)
What scales did you left out? Or are there only those 3 scales?

And is there something like a C-scale, or B-scale, or A-scale... well those scales without minor and major and whatever. Do those scales have only two semisteps/whole steps? Or is that normal C-Chord


e |--0--|
b |--1--|
g |--0--|
d |--2--|
a |--3--|
e |------|

based on the chromatic scale?


I hope you can understand my questions now... I'm sorry, but English is not my native speak. =/
#6
I never got scales and modes until I took lessons based in theory on guitar. It is so nice to understand it all, but impossible for me to even begin to explain. I will try really hard to answer some questions you had.

My best advice is not to confuse minor and major with flats and sharps.

Major is the "normal C chord" as you said. Most "normal" chords are majors. Except E minor, A minor, so on. So there is no "normal" scale, only the major or minor based upon the chord behind it.

I didn't realize so much was written, I can't help a lot with the chords, but there is what you asked in the end sort of.
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#7
The biggest problem people have with scales is they charge headlong into them without taking the time to learn what they are, all they end up doing is learning a load of useless picking patterns.

You start with the Major scale, because everything else is described in relation to it. If you don't UNDERSTAND the major scale then you'll never understand anything else.
Actually called Mark!

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#9
Quote by Shadowhunter123
Okay then tell me "anything else" and we'll see if I can understand this. =)

You've got your minor chords slightly wrong...they're still based on the major scale. To a minor chord is just a major chord with the 3rd flattened by a step.

Looking at that post of yours though you're on the right track...your G chord should have another G on the top E but i can see that you understand the principles fine. The great thing about scales is that the intervals are the same so patterns are identical no matter what key you're in (barring the tuning kink at the B string). If you take your G major pattern and move it up 2 frets you've got A major, move it up another 2 frets and its B major...and that works for ANY scale, be it major, minor, pentatonic, lydian or hungarian minor.

A pentatonic scale is a 5 note variation of a 7 note scale, they're used a lot for soloing because they have less notes which means their tonality is much less pronounced...it''s a similar principle to power chords really. By making the scale more tonally ambiguous you can use it over a larger variety of chord progressions.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 27, 2007,
#10
Quote by steven seagull

A pentatonic scale is a 5 note variation of a 7 note scale, they're used a lot for soloing because they have less notes which means their tonality is much less pronounced...it''s a similar principle to power chords really. By making the scale more tonally ambiguous you can use it over a larger variety of chord progressions.


Is there a special pattern how a pentatonic scale has to look like?
#11
The minor pentatonic is the minor scale with the 2nd and 6th notes removed, the major pentatonic is the major scale with the 4th and 7th notes removed.
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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#12
Okay... that all needs time to learn it and many practice too, but that doesn't look that difficult.

And it would be very helpful to know all of those scales, what their pattern is, and what the differences between each scale is.

Until now we have the major, minor and pentatonic scales here... how do the other work?
#13
Minor Pentatonic....
http://www.theorylessons.com/pentpos.html

Position 1 is your best starting point as it has the root on the low E, the other positions drop in around depending on which key your in. Just keep reminding youself that although there's a massive flurry of dots on that diagram all it is is a pattern of 5 notes repeating itself.

For the major pentatonic there's a little trick you can use...if you shift the minor penatonics position 1 pattern down 3 frets you'll get the notes of the equivalent major pentatonic. You just have skip the first note and start on the 2nd note of the pattern which is the first note of the minor pentatonic pattern and still your root.
Actually called Mark!

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#14
Learn the pentatonic scale (at least starting with position 1) then try playing solos of your favorite rock song (Stairway to Heaven, Money). You start seeing the pentatonic scale everywhere.
#15
Quote by fly135
Learn the pentatonic scale (at least starting with position 1) then try playing solos of your favorite rock song (Stairway to Heaven, Money). You start seeing the pentatonic scale everywhere.



Thanks for the tip, I'll take a look at those solos tomorrow.


To this Pentatonic Minor:
Did you learn this by heart?

That looks damn complicated, with all these dots.

So if we step down 3 frets on all strings of position one of this pentatonic minor, we would have a pentatonic major scale?
I don't know if this sentence says what I want to say... but this tab should do:

e |-0--3---|
b |-0--3---|
g |-0--2---|
d |-0--2---| <<< position one for a pentatonic minor (the numbers tell you in which fret the dots are)
a |-0--2---|
e |-0--3---|

e |-1-----|
b |-1-----|
g |-0-----|
d |-0-----| <<< major pentatonic for position one?
a |-0-----|
e |-1-----|

Okay and if this is a scale, we can create a chord out of it, right?
Something like a E-Pentatonic-Minor-Chord... how would that look like?
#16
It LOOKS complicated,yes...but it's just the same 5 notes repeating in the same pattern. If you pay attention to the notes your playing and the sounds you're getting as well as the position it makes it a lot easier to understand. The major scale is no different, all guitar scales exist across the whole fretboard, it's just that we usually only get taught a little snapshot for the sake of simplicity.

As such, you don't really memorise the whole thing. What you do is learn the pattern of intervals and apply it to where you happen to be playing. Position one is the best place to start learning because it starts on the low E and the first note in the pattern is the root note. There's also an E at the 7th fret of the A string so we can base the scale there too. The notes are the same, but the fingering has to change slightly because the B string is tuned differently, and we also get a couple of extra low notes on the bottom E but it's the same pattern.

Remember this example is E minor pentatonic, you have to transpose the pattern to play in different keys. A minor pentatonic, for example, would be based with position 1 at the 5th fret, B minor pentatonic with position 1 at the 7th fret. You can work everything else out relative to position 1 and the other postions just fall in to the same relative places ie. position 2 is still to the right of position 1, position 5 is to the left of position 1.

As far as the major pentatonic goes that's the same principle in that you have to transpose the entire pattern. what you've done is just move the fretted notes, technically wanted to do isn't possible.

e |(-2)-1-----|
b |(-2)-1-----|
g |(-2)-0-----|
d |(-2)-0-----|
a |(-2)-0-----|
e |(-2)-1-----|

For E major pentatonic you can't play the position one shape at the low E because you run out of frets.

As far as chords go, generally all guitar chords are described in terms of the major scale. You can say they have qualities that allude to other scales, but for constructing and classifying chords always use the major scale as your reference.
Actually called Mark!

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#17
Okay and what is the easiest way to learn that?

Play these 5 different scales over and over again, or learn that theory by heart?

An E-Major Pentatonic would look like this?

e |-4-7-----|
b |-4-5-----|
g |-4-6-----|
d |-4-6-----|
a |-4-7-----|
e |-4-7-----| ?

I thought that this E-Major before would be false because of the (-2)-notes, but the principle was correct?
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