#1
Hey everybody. I've an embarassing admission to make: I've been playing guitar for seven years, and only within the past month have i really made a point to learn any music theory. That's not to say I hadn't picked some up along the way, and by no means to say that i've avoided it. I guess, up until now, I really just saw it as unnecessary, But now that i'm getting somewhat good (at least, I feel) I'm starting to see the importance of knowing theory.

Anyway, I've learned several different fingerings for major, minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor. The standard stuff. I can't help but find myself wondering; how many people nowadays write within the major scale. I know that the major scale is pretty much the base of knowledge when it comes to music theory, but I can't help but wonder about it's practical use. It seems like by now, every combination of notes within the major scale would have been recycled again and again by artists all over the world. I mean can you really improvise within the major scale anymore? Is there much point? I guess the reason I ask is because I'd like to know if i'm just wasting my time in attempting to alt. pick major scale runs at 200+ bpms.

Regardless of the answer to this question, I would like to ask if anyone out there can give me some advice on how to begin getting more fluent with knowing/identifying scales. I've checked out some of the lessons on this site and many of them seem sketchy on the details. A lot of "i don't need to explain why, just take my word for it" kind of thing.

Always appreciate the help I get from you guys, thanks!
#2
Well, I think you should just learn the pentatonic scales in every position and your about done for the theory you need.
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#3
I like the major scale

It's all about the mood you're trying to convey in a piece. If you're just going to play minor-key stuff then you can forget every writing anything happy-sounding.

However, the minor pentatonic scale has less notes and has been overused to death more than the major scale.
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#4
Well, I may be severely mistaken but I think the main riff in "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin is basically the major scale.

If that's the case, I'd stick with it. Just in case lol

p.s. don't feel bad about not knowing theory, I've got about 8 years of good, hard, self-taught playing under my belt, and I'm just now starting to try and learn some theory.
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#5
I probably use the major scale more than minor, but with my band i improv to a lot of OAR and classic southern rock such as lynyrd skynyrd and marshall tucker. Use the major scale to really lighten up and create a happier mood. If you play metal you may not want that, its still worth learning so you have options
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#6
Possibly some of the worst replies I've ever seen in a thread. Learn the major scale, it's the basis for western music. Learn how to apply interval patterns to the fretboard, learn how to create harmony within it, learn the positions (But don't be restricted to them!), and learn the notes on your fretboard. Once you've got all that down pat, move onto modes. My guitar teacher made the mistake of introducing modes to me too early, and it confused me, but I've picked up the pieces and solved the puzzle.
#7
Quote by VIRUSDETECTED
Possibly some of the worst replies I've ever seen in a thread. Learn the major scale, it's the basis for western music. Learn how to apply interval patterns to the fretboard, learn how to create harmony within it, learn the positions (But don't be restricted to them!), and learn the notes on your fretboard. Once you've got all that down pat, move onto modes. My guitar teacher made the mistake of introducing modes to me too early, and it confused me, but I've picked up the pieces and solved the puzzle.


Pretty much the perfect response. Listen to this man.

Also, Kurt Russell plays guitar?
#8
Well first of all, NEVER be ashamed of not learning something man. You recognize you haven't learnt it and the fact that you want to is great. Kudos!


As for the major scale, when you learn more theory, you'll learn that it's really the base for all other scales. It's your home ground from which you can build lots of other scales, so study up on it.

musictheory.net is a great place to start learning theory. Learn VERY basic stuff, like intervals, how to identify different intervals and then start applying it to the actual fretboard. Once you understand intervals move onto chords, which are constructed by intervals. Just simple triads to start, you can do complicated things later.

Then apply all of this knowledge to the major scale and it will suddenly give you heaps of possibilities and new openings you'd never thought of


Also, when learning theory, always take it slowly. Learning one piece and understanding it. Only one small piece but making sure you understand it and won't forget it. Then move onto something else etc etc. Always little by little.


#9
Quote by Kurt Russell
I know that the major scale is pretty much the base of knowledge when it comes to music theory, but I can't help but wonder about it's practical use. It seems like by now, every combination of notes within the major scale would have been recycled again and again by artists all over the world. I mean can you really improvise within the major scale anymore? Is there much point?


Of course the major scale is used! And just about EVERYTHING is "recycled" from
something. Unless you're doing "out there" avante-garde stuff, there isn't a
chord progression used that hasn't already been used somewhere else. It's all
in what YOU do with it.

You probably just don't know the major scale well enough to make much use of it.
Learning finger positions just scratches the surface. Music theory helps you
understand the notes of the scale and thier relationship to each other. This helps
you "find" interesting musical ideas in the scale. They're there. You just can't see
them yet.
#10
Its practical use is everywhere! There is well...a LOT of music in major keys with chord progressions based off the major scale. Learn more than just the individual notes and dig deeper. The harmonies you get, chords, chord progressions, etc...