I already learned my pentatonics in the CAGED system or all in patterns...and i was wondering if That is kinda bad becuse sometimes when improvising it sounds the same in any key...But i want to learn Just Major and minor scales and was wondering if i should learn it in the CAGED system or By just memorizing all the notes and intervals in every key.
Thanks...to anybody who replies.
The Circle of Fifths will help you in memorizing the major scales. To the latter, you can apply formulae/intervals and work out other scales.
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Start out in a simple key like C for the major scale, and play three notes per string ascending in a diagonal pattern up the fretboard. (if you need help with major scale patters http://www.wholenote.com go to basics, then guitar scales, then C IONIAN). Take your time, start slow so you are memorizing the patterns, then try without looking at a diagram.. that's when it would help most knowing the intervals. Do this for the Natural Minor, Harmonic Minor, and Melodic Minor scales. I found this quote from edg in the AT forum

Quote by edg
I wouldn't want to discourage you from that because its useful for some things, but
I've never bothered with it much and it's not all that useful for improvising. You
need to know notes only to the extent you find positions on the neck for the key
or chord. When you're actually playing you don't think about note names, its more
relative relationships and intervals. At least that's what I do. I imagine thinking of
every note name, would be too slow.

Learning the notes and intervals takes time and patience, so take it slow and spend a few weeks on it (or even more), it's not something your going to remember overnight

EDIT: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/scales/major_scales_explained.html ^Might be helpful if your just learning the major scale


Last edited by .HUZZAH. at Jul 27, 2007,
Ah, my 2 seconds of fame...

Anyway. Learning scales. I won't go into the relative merits of finger positions
and whatnot, but to really understand just about any scale you need to dig a bit
into it and understand the underlying structures and relationships you'll find there.

So, beyond, just knowing what the notes are, here are the next steps you can take
to do that.

First of all, the next most important thing to understand is 3rds. This is critical
because it is how you build chords -- you start on a note in the scale (lets assume
we're just dealing with the "big 3" 7 notes scales major, melodic and harmonic minors
this applies to them all) and then go up a 3rd and a 3rd after that and you've got
a triad, one more 3rd (giving 4 notes) and you have a 7th chord.

So, with 7 notes in the scale, you can build 7 different 7th chords (or arpeggios)
by starting on each scale note and going up in 3rds. THESE 7 THINGS ARE THE
harmonized 7th chords(arpeggios) of the scale. They represent recurring themes
you will see come up time after time when you're in the context of scale. You can't
really understand the scale musically until you understand these 7 things.

Next, what you want to do for soloing practice, is learn these arpeggios as overlays
on your scale fingerings. Then practice using the scale but target arpeggio notes
more than the others. Play around with that. One arpeggio at a time. Each
arpeggio when targeted will give the scale a certain flavor (this is essentially modes).
This will help train your ear and fingers. Don't expect to sound great, just listen
and have fun with it.

After you get that level of understanding of the scale, the next thing to explore is
that those 7 items have distinct relationships to each other. The biggest one
is: chords that are a 3rd apart in the scale are VERY closely related. They'd have to
be because after all you build chords out of thirds! The next biggest one is:
chords that are a 2nd apart in the scale are strong "extended" color tones of
each other. They are much less closely related than a 3rd apart, but still related
by the scale's "chord family".

I don't want to make this any longer, but hope I've shown you a path on figuring
out scales. It's really where you need to start heading after you've "memorized"
the finger positions which isn't really learning very much about a scale at all.