#1
been nutsin around with guitars for almost 20yrs, but never had a lesson, and its time to start learning how to actually play the damn thing.
i bought a gig-bag scale/arpeggio/chord book, but it has every one in the world, so which ones should i learn first to help with whats most commonly used in music today and recent past?
i mostly like punk, metal, classic rock and blues, and other than power-chord riffs and a few things that ive learned from tab, i really cant play much.
which scales, etc, are the most common, that i should concentrate on first?

btw, i have a musical background, played trumpet for 8yrs in school (2nd best to ever come out of my high school, the 1st best was phenomenal), plus had 2yrs music theory in h.s., ...but that was a long time ago, lol.

where should i start?
#3
Major
Natural minor
Harmonic minor

Minor pentatonic
Major pentatonic
Blues scale
Mixolydian
Dorian

Phrygian
Lydian could be useful

Phrygian dominant
Double harmonic
Lydian dominant
Hindu

Try to find songs that use these scales, so you know how to use them in context, rather than just running up and down them and hoping that the scale's general character will inform people why you're using it.
#6
I'd start with the major, minor, minor pentatonic, and blues scales. Do one of these at a time, and learn them all over the fretboard. You'll find out that the major/minor scales are essentially the same pattern across the fretboard, just starting on a different note. The minor pentatonic and blues also have a relationship, so in learning one the other will be much easier.
Nor less I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
--Wordsworth

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#7
Penatonic is probably the most basic. And people have built pretty much whole careers out of it. I would also learn the major and minor scales.
#8
any particular key to start with? which key is most popular? or is there such a beast?
#9
C major/minor
major/minor pentatonic
harmonic & melodic are fun and sound cool
try some listed on the lesson collum for beginers
HiMyNameIsMatt
#10
learn all of the above

but:
add the Gypsy scales, both hungarian and spanish. They rock when applied well
#11
In this order:
pentatonic
major
learn about the modes
harmonic minor
learn about the modes
melodic minor
learn about the modes

I also recommend singing along while playing the scales, it'll improve your ear.
Tiger style.
#12
All of the above, but mainly learn:
PENTATONIC - for slash style and 'classic rock'
once you've done that you can do the 'blues' scale, cos its just two extra notes in the pentatonic
HARMONIC MINOR - for stuff like yngwie malmsteen
PHRYGIAN MODE - I think that one is for 'eastern' sounding songs, you'll understand wheny you play it.
MAJOR SCALES - learn one you've learnt em all
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#13
Quote by numinis
learn all of the above

but:
add the Gypsy scales, both hungarian and spanish. They rock when applied well


thanks for the tip, but thats a bit advanced, lol...remember, im looking for a starting point
looks like c major/minor, and the pentatonics are a good place to start....

hell, i might just need to start takin lessons...forgot how big the world of music was....
#14
Quote by kevinm4435
In this order:
pentatonic
major
learn about the modes
harmonic minor
learn about the modes
melodic minor
learn about the modes

I also recommend singing along while playing the scales, it'll improve your ear.


I'm gonna second, and third this. I personally think that this is the best way to learn scales, as well as applied theory.
Livin' Easy, Livin' Free
#17
Quote by :-D
Learn the major scale inside and out as your first order of business.

Agreed. The Major scale should be first because it is the backbone of Theory. I don't suggest the Pentatonics first because in order to know the formula and why it's that way, you need to know the Major scale. I would probably say learn the Pentatonics after you've done some study with the chords of the major scale, this way you can learn why those certain 2 notes were cut in the Pentatonics. I really wouldn't suggest Harmonic minor just yet. Not for a while.
#18
+1 on learning the major scales first. I didn't do this, and I'm just now going back and picking this up after 7 years.

I'd go for G major first, as you'll find that many, many songs are in E minor, which is the 6th mode of the G major scale, and so shares the same notes and same scale pattern on the neck
#19
My order:

1. Minor Pentatonic and Blues
Why: You'll have some stuff to use in a rock solo. Don't go into the theory behind them yet, though. You just want to be able to show off to friends.

2. Major scale
Why: Everything else is based on this.

2a. The minor scale
Why: More complex rock and metal solos.

3. Theory behind minor and major pentatonic.
Why: Now you'll understand what you were playing during step 1.

4. Harmonic Minor, maybe melodic minor.
Why: Harmonic Minor is an important part of a minor key solo due to the common usage of the major V chord. Melodic minor is similar to harmonic, so you could learn both at the same time.

5. Modes of the major scale.
Why: You have a solid enough foundation of the basics to learn how to use modes. Modes can be a lot of fun when you use them right.

5a. Modes of the harmonic and melodic minor.
Why: Few of these are that important, but the 5th mode of harmonic minor is pretty cool.
#20
Quote by bangoodcharlote
My order:

1. Minor Pentatonic and Blues
Why: You'll have some stuff to use in a rock solo. Don't go into the theory behind them yet, though. You just want to be able to show off to friends.

2. Major scale
Why: Everything else is based on this.

2a. The minor scale
Why: More complex rock and metal solos.

3. Theory behind minor and major pentatonic.
Why: Now you'll understand what you were playing during step 1.

4. Harmonic Minor, maybe melodic minor.
Why: Harmonic Minor is an important part of a minor key solo due to the common usage of the major V chord. Melodic minor is similar to harmonic, so you could learn both at the same time.

5. Modes of the major scale.
Why: You have a solid enough foundation of the basics to learn how to use modes. Modes can be a lot of fun when you use them right.

5a. Modes of the harmonic and melodic minor.
Why: Few of these are that important, but the 5th mode of harmonic minor is pretty cool.


+1 to this order

As for my own experience with this:

I started learning music theory back in 6th grade in choir and I've been using it intermittently since then. Last year, I started playing guitar and figured how to apply what I already knew to the instrument, and knowing the major scale and how it works without knowing any concept of modes in my head was an amazing help, imo.

Whatever you do, don't try to learn anything about modes until you SERIOUSLY understand the major and minor scales (and what separates a song in a major key from a song in its relative minor key, such as G major and E minor). They will only confuse you.

Also, just as a general tip: Learn the notes on the fretboard, using both sharps and flats. Doing so will really help with chord and scale formation.
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#21
For beginners I would suggest learning about the CAGED system. It shows 5 major chord shapes (C A G E and D) and the relationships of the chords.

Very interesting stuff, in each chord shapes are triads, inversions, pentatonics, scales, and modes. For each key you choose you'll have it all laid out on the fretboard,

As you advances in learning you'll learn how to make minors, 7ths chords, etc.
#22
Quote by bangoodcharlote
My order:

1. Minor Pentatonic and Blues
Why: You'll have some stuff to use in a rock solo. Don't go into the theory behind them yet, though. You just want to be able to show off to friends.

2. Major scale
Why: Everything else is based on this.

2a. The minor scale
Why: More complex rock and metal solos.

3. Theory behind minor and major pentatonic.
Why: Now you'll understand what you were playing during step 1.

4. Harmonic Minor, maybe melodic minor.
Why: Harmonic Minor is an important part of a minor key solo due to the common usage of the major V chord. Melodic minor is similar to harmonic, so you could learn both at the same time.

5. Modes of the major scale.
Why: You have a solid enough foundation of the basics to learn how to use modes. Modes can be a lot of fun when you use them right.

5a. Modes of the harmonic and melodic minor.
Why: Few of these are that important, but the 5th mode of harmonic minor is pretty cool.

I always find it so hard to decide on which scale to show first: Pentatonic or Major. If you show a student the Pentatonic first, they always seem to ask about those other two notes. Why were they cut? What's the Theory behind it? That's in my experience, at least. But if you show them the Major scale first, the "boxes" you show them are a little too much at first. It actually takes them a few weeks to learn them, at least when I've taught. Whenever I show the "box" patterns for the Major scale, I show them one a week and have them practice it until they know it in and out. The pentatonic patterns though, they're just so much easier to learn because it's just 2 notes a string, so it doesn't take nearly as long.
#23
holy friggin crap, you guys are good!!

i gotta go back to school......

i didnt realize i didnt know this much.....
#24
Quote by Vittu0666
I always find it so hard to decide on which scale to show first: Pentatonic or Major. If you show a student the Pentatonic first, they always seem to ask about those other two notes. Why were they cut? What's the Theory behind it? That's in my experience, at least. But if you show them the Major scale first, the "boxes" you show them are a little too much at first. It actually takes them a few weeks to learn them, at least when I've taught. Whenever I show the "box" patterns for the Major scale, I show them one a week and have them practice it until they know it in and out. The pentatonic patterns though, they're just so much easier to learn because it's just 2 notes a string, so it doesn't take nearly as long.
I wouldn't teach them the theory behind it first. I'd just give them the patterns and a few licks and tell them to go fool around with that and impress their friends. Only after I've taught them the major scale would I bring up theory.
#25
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I wouldn't teach them the theory behind it first. I'd just give them the patterns and a few licks and tell them to go fool around with that and impress their friends. Only after I've taught them the major scale would I bring up theory.

In that case, I guess it would be better to show them the Pentatonic, then later after they understand the major scale and its chords is when you show them the theory behind the Pentatonic.
#26
pentatonics first - i agree with BGC all you really want to do is show off to your friends (and you will find if your jamming the pentatonics are your fallback scale. if all else fails E minor pentatonic will make you sound like you know what your doing.)

Major scale - ok lets stop improvising to Sweet Child o' Mine and actually learn something important, major scale is something you should be able to rattle off when you know your supposed to say something in a conversation but have no clue what.

Minor scale - the misunderstood sixth son of the Major scale, let the mindless shredding begin.

Modes - hey your no Satch yet, the modes are the answer to everything. whats the meaning of life? Mixolydian!

harmonic and melodic - at this point the teachers run out of stuff to teach you so its onto the stuff you will use very rarely or not at all. (heh sounds like my maths teacher)

you just graduated Scales 101, congratulations!
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along with fire escape routes...

#27
Quote by charlie__flynn

PENTATONIC - for slash style and 'classic rock'
once you've done that you can do the 'blues' scale, cos its just two extra notes in the pentatonic...
One.
#28
Quote by ChrisN
One.

Not always. You're referring to the minor blues scale only, 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7. The major blues scale is spelled 1 b3 3 4 b5 5 b6 6 b7 ascending, which contains four more notes than a pentatonic scale.
#29
Quote by :-D
Not always. You're referring to the minor blues scale only, 1 b3 4 b5 5 b7. The major blues scale is spelled 1 b3 3 4 b5 5 b6 6 b7 ascending, which contains four more notes than a pentatonic scale.


Do you really think that they were referring to the major blues scale? I mean, I get your point, but come on.
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#30
Quote by seedmole
Do you really think that they were referring to the major blues scale? I mean, I get your point, but come on.

I'm saying that people always refer to the minor blues scale and there are some people I've met in college music programs who don't know the major blues scale exists. People seem to think quite often that 1 b3 4 b5 5 7 is THE blues scale, but I think it's important to differentiate.
#31
Quote by :-D
I'm saying that people always refer to the minor blues scale and there are some people I've met in college music programs who don't know the major blues scale exists. People seem to think quite often that 1 b3 4 b5 5 7 is THE blues scale, but I think it's important to differentiate.


I actually did not know the major blues scale existed, thanks for pointing that out.
Nor less I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
--Wordsworth

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