#1

"so how many scales can you get on that thing?' I was asked the other day by the best piano player in my music class.

My reply (as stupid as it sounds) was " an infinate amount"

to which this pianist began to laugh..

So IS there a set number of scales that you can get on a guitar?

My reply (as stupid as it sounds) was " an infinate amount"

to which this pianist began to laugh..

So IS there a set number of scales that you can get on a guitar?

#2

Only 2 per person

#3

Uh, yes, there is. What that set number is, I don't know. I'm sure someone does, though.

#4

Uh, yes, there is. What that set number is, I don't know. I'm sure someone does, though.

Ok damn so i'm wrong

#5

All of them, well atleast all of the Western ones.

#6

Only 2 per person

there are a lot of scales... but note that the piano and the guitar have the same amount of scales. what note you start on doesnt matter, the scale is the distances between the notes, not set notes... so every scale that your piano player can play from C, you can play as well. [why does this matter?]

#7

nah. you have 12 semi-tones in an octave. you can use as few as 1 note, as many as all 12 to create a scale. AND you can play any pattern you want. with two notes, one of which being a root, you can create 11 scales. with three notes, you can create 10! (that's not an exclamation, but the math symbol for 10x9x8x7x6x...x1) scales (i think my math is right). so forth and so on. it gets too complicated and i give up.

#8

nah. you have 12 semi-tones in an octave. you can use as few as 1 note, as many as all 12 to create a scale. AND you can play any pattern you want. with two notes, one of which being a root, you can create 11 scales. with three notes, you can create 10! (that's not an exclamation, but the math symbol for 10x9x8x7x6x...x1) scales (i think my math is right). so forth and so on. it gets too complicated and i give up.

In plain english: A ****load of scales.

#9

nah. you have 12 semi-tones in an octave. you can use as few as 1 note, as many as all 12 to create a scale. AND you can play any pattern you want. with two notes, one of which being a root, you can create 11 scales. with three notes, you can create 10! (that's not an exclamation, but the math symbol for 10x9x8x7x6x...x1) scales (i think my math is right). so forth and so on. it gets too complicated and i give up.

you cant have a scale with one note, lawl.

#10

you had me excited there for a second

letdowner

#11

"so how many scales can you get on that thing?' I was asked the other day by the best piano player in my music class.

My reply (as stupid as it sounds) was " an infinate amount"

to which this pianist began to laugh..

So IS there a set number of scales that you can get on a guitar?

You should have asked the pianist if he could play scales with quarter tones in, that would have stumped them!

#12

call me ignorant but wouldnt it be the same? I mean both instruments have 12 notes dont they?

#13

call me ignorant but wouldnt it be the same? I mean both instruments have 12 notes dont they?

yes, it would be the same

#14

Maybe he meant the number of octaves or something.

#15

You could even get scales on guitar that you couldn't get on a piano. Some scales involve distances of 1/4 note, wich can be created on guitar by using bends.

#16

i would say an almost infinite amount considering you can have a scale in E that has 7 notes, flatten or sharpen one note and you still have a 7 note scale in E but its a different scale than the one before. logically right off the top of my head your choice of scales is 12 ^ 12 (or 12 to the twelfth power)

#17

"so how many scales can you get on that thing?' I was asked the other day by the best piano player in my music class.

My reply (as stupid as it sounds) was " an infinate amount"

to which this pianist began to laugh..

So IS there a set number of scales that you can get on a guitar?

Your friend is a mong. Tell him to count the NOTES on his piano...there's 12 including sharps and flats, then tell him to count the notes on your guitar. I'm sure you won't be surprised when he finds there's also 12. You can play any scale that's based on the 12-note tempered scale, just as you can on the piano.

#18

i would say an almost infinite amount considering you can have a scale in E that has 7 notes, flatten or sharpen one note and you still have a 7 note scale in E but its a different scale than the one before. logically right off the top of my head your choice of scales is 12 ^ 12 (or 12 to the twelfth power)

But thats just counting 7 note scales.

In music, a scale is a collection of musical notes that provides material for part or all of a musical work.

So yes, pretty much infinite.

But the way the guy asked the question he's obviously on about conventional scales (major, natural minor, etc.) if you consider the microtones a guitar is capable of (through bending and whatnot), which a piano is not capable of,

**More than him**.

#19

^ i realize that. 12 ^ 12 should cover every possible combination of notes in every possible key.

#20

Its obviously not infinate. I've never heard of a 1, 2,3 or even 4 note scale?

#21

by my calculations (if they're accurate that 12 to the twelfth power is the number of scales in every key available) you have a possible

8,916,100,448,256 different scales possible.

8,916,100,448,256 different scales possible.

#22

by my calculations (if they're accurate that 12 to the twelfth power is the number of scales in every key available) you have a possible

8,916,100,448,256 different scales possible.

In plain english: A ****load of scales.

Really, you can even invent your own scales, if you feel like it. I do sometimes. But when it comes to theory, you can play the same scales on every instrument so long as they all have the same notes. If his piano doesn't have an E on it anywhere, then he's ****ed, and you can play more scales than he can. But that is retarded and unlikely.

Granted, there are some instruments that can only play certain notes, like bugles, but how many bands do you know that have a permanent bugle player?

#23

^ yeah "inventing" yer own scales is basically what i took into account.

#24

ummm why are you taking 12 to the 12th power? First of all, let's assume 12 notes and no microtonal stuff to make this a math problem instead of an obvious answer of infinity.

Take one octave = 12 semitones. Each one can be in the scale or not = 12^2. Since some scales are going to be "repeating" (i don't have a better word for it, but I mean scales like wholetone, half/whole), the actual number will be less.

Unless we're talking about modes of scales (i think by what you were tryign to calculate, you were), but I feel to answer a question like this we're only looking at note collections...I guess if you make it 12^3rd, you're counting different starting points and thus different modes, again with the issue of "repeating" scales bringing the number down slightly.

I haven't exactly worked long on this, anybody want to point out a glaring error?

Take one octave = 12 semitones. Each one can be in the scale or not = 12^2. Since some scales are going to be "repeating" (i don't have a better word for it, but I mean scales like wholetone, half/whole), the actual number will be less.

Unless we're talking about modes of scales (i think by what you were tryign to calculate, you were), but I feel to answer a question like this we're only looking at note collections...I guess if you make it 12^3rd, you're counting different starting points and thus different modes, again with the issue of "repeating" scales bringing the number down slightly.

I haven't exactly worked long on this, anybody want to point out a glaring error?

#25

The number of scales isn't infinite on guitar, but it is pretty close.

1. We have all the modes.

2. You must consider that these modes can be moved anywhere on the fretboard.

3. There are hundreds of possible chromatic scales, all of which can be moved around the fretboard.

4. Bends allow for 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc. tones which can all be used in scales.

5. Guitarists can play scales that do not conform to western music standards because of bends and alternate tunings.

1. We have all the modes.

2. You must consider that these modes can be moved anywhere on the fretboard.

3. There are hundreds of possible chromatic scales, all of which can be moved around the fretboard.

4. Bends allow for 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc. tones which can all be used in scales.

5. Guitarists can play scales that do not conform to western music standards because of bends and alternate tunings.

#26

I'm going to do this as a probability tree. Here I am treating a scale as a group of intervals, not a group of notes ie C major and A major are the same thing.

You start with the root note, from there you can have the b2 or not. 2 choices. from there you can have the 2 or not. etc.

1x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2

or simply 2^11

which is 2048. 2048 different collections of intervals

If C major is considered different to A major, then there are 2048 x 12 = 24576 scales.

And of course, all 12-toned instruments can play the same number of scales.

This is a related problem:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=597518&highlight=number+scales+world

If anyone finds something wrong, tell me.

You start with the root note, from there you can have the b2 or not. 2 choices. from there you can have the 2 or not. etc.

1x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2

or simply 2^11

which is 2048. 2048 different collections of intervals

If C major is considered different to A major, then there are 2048 x 12 = 24576 scales.

And of course, all 12-toned instruments can play the same number of scales.

This is a related problem:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=597518&highlight=number+scales+world

If anyone finds something wrong, tell me.

#27

I'm going to do this as a probability tree. Here I am treating a scale as a group of intervals, not a group of notes ie C major and A major are the same thing.

You start with the root note, from there you can have the b2 or not. 2 choices. from there you can have the 2 or not. etc.

1x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2

or simply 2^11

which is 2048. 2048 different collections of intervals

If C major is considered different to A major, then there are 2048 x 12 = 24576 scales.

A good way of looking at it! To anyone that says micro tones, what scales do you play that use micro tones?

#28

^ lol, no doubt

well i was figuring 12 notes, and you can use and combination of those 12 notes be it 1 note all 12 or any in between. then on top of that you take any of those combinations and apply it to the 12 possible keys. and yes, in effect i was thinking modally like this, you take a major scale, well theres 12 right there, then a minor, another 12. you offset any note on either of those up or down a degree (b or #) and then you have a 2 more different scales applied to 12 keys.... see where im going here? im not considering relative scales (ie C major vs A minor) just independent scales.

well i was figuring 12 notes, and you can use and combination of those 12 notes be it 1 note all 12 or any in between. then on top of that you take any of those combinations and apply it to the 12 possible keys. and yes, in effect i was thinking modally like this, you take a major scale, well theres 12 right there, then a minor, another 12. you offset any note on either of those up or down a degree (b or #) and then you have a 2 more different scales applied to 12 keys.... see where im going here? im not considering relative scales (ie C major vs A minor) just independent scales.

#29

12^12 would mean that every scale contains 12 notes, regardless if the same note repeats. It also means that playing the notes in a scale in a different order would be a different scale. For example, playing a scale ascending would be different to playing the same scale descending.

DougC84, for three note scales, I'm not sure how to work that out (well, I can't think of a quick way) but I don't think it's 10!. How did you come up with this?

DougC84, for three note scales, I'm not sure how to work that out (well, I can't think of a quick way) but I don't think it's 10!. How did you come up with this?

#30

I'm going to do this as a probability tree. Here I am treating a scale as a group of intervals, not a group of notes ie C major and A major are the same thing.

You start with the root note, from there you can have the b2 or not. 2 choices. from there you can have the 2 or not. etc.

1x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2

or simply 2^11

which is 2048. 2048 different collections of intervals

If C major is considered different to A major, then there are 2048 x 12 = 24576 scales.

And of course, all 12-toned instruments can play the same number of scales.

This is a related problem:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=597518&highlight=number+scales+world

If anyone finds something wrong, tell me.

i accidentally did 12^2 before instead of 2^12. I guess yeah, one note has to be there, so you only have a choice of all the other notes relative to it, so 2^11. if we call the scales differently based on root, then this will count some scales multiple times. i'm not going to figure that out because i already feel very stupid for the first mistake, being a math guy.

#31

if we call the scales differently based on root, then this will count some scales multiple times.

I don't quite understand what you mean there.

I though that 12^2 might have just been a mistake, either way it was your post that gave me the idea of the probability tree method, so don't feel bad!

#32

Thanks for your help guys.. It's ture what my teacher said math and music really ARE related. I'll let my piano firned work it out for himself.

He's far better at math than me

He's far better at math than me

#33

12^12 would mean that every scale contains 12 notes, regardless if the same note repeats. It also means that playing the notes in a scale in a different order would be a different scale. For example, playing a scale ascending would be different to playing the same scale descending.

DougC84, for three note scales, I'm not sure how to work that out (well, I can't think of a quick way) but I don't think it's 10!. How did you come up with this?

you are totally right.... i phayle lol

i can't believe i didn't think of it like that. but yeah, regardless, there are quite a few scales and when you think of all the stuff that has been done with JUST the major, minor and pentatonic scales just imagine all that unexplored territory.

#34

You should have asked the pianist if he could play scales with quarter tones in, that would have stumped them!

best answer ever.

#35

A scale doesn't have to have 7 notes, nor does it have to finish in 1 octave. So, yes - more than anyone will ever know. Saying that, 99% of people only use maybe 3-4 scales and their modes. A scale is only a selection of notes, as pentatonic is only a selection of 5 notes from the 7 in standard scales.

#36

A scale does have to finish on an octave - otherwise the pattern can't repeat constantly.

#37

Damn that's a really interesting math question. I know theoreticaly there would be 12 scales with one note (assuming this could be called a scale) and 12 with all 12 notes (starting each time on a different note).

Everything in between would require a little more calculus, it think it's called a 'take n out of m' problem. I'm definitily gonna know what to do when I get bored at work tomorrow.

Everything in between would require a little more calculus, it think it's called a 'take n out of m' problem. I'm definitily gonna know what to do when I get bored at work tomorrow.

#38

Damn that's a really interesting math question. I know theoreticaly there would be 12 scales with one note (assuming this could be called a scale) and 12 with all 12 notes (starting each time on a different note).

Everything in between would require a little more calculus, it think it's called a 'take n out of m' problem. I'm definitily gonna know what to do when I get bored at work tomorrow.

But do work it out exactly you have to decide wheter a 4 note scale is a scale? Could it be considered a scale? maybe a minor quad scale? Good luck with trying this, I dont think its possible to work out exactly unless you have a better definition of a scale...

#39

A scale does have to finish on an octave - otherwise the pattern can't repeat constantly.

Don't 2 octave patterns exist? I think I saw it on here once.

#40

Don't 2 octave patterns exist? I think I saw it on here once.

I dunno, but if they do they'll still finish on an octave