ive read that the key of a scale is the first note of the scale being played. but i bought a book that has all of the scales in the key of E, starting on the second fret. wouldnt that put the scale in the key of F#,?
no. a certain scale is composed by all the notes it contains.
Quote by mcfignuts
ive read that the key of a scale is the first note of the scale being played. but i bought a book that has all of the scales in the key of E, starting on the second fret. wouldnt that put the scale in the key of F#,?

No.

E major scale = E F# G# A B C# D# E

If you map out these notes in every place you can find them on the fretboard you will have mapped out the E major scale over the entire fretboard. If you take a section of that starting on G# and going up an octave and a fourth to C# you are still in the E major scale regardless of starting on G#.

If you were to play in a way that resolves to C# then you would be in C#minor.

Starting note does not determine a scale's key the root note does.

Even if it did you could still have notes lower and higher than your root note in a scale. Since you could start on a note play up then down past the root note and back down finishing again on the original root note.
Si
Key of E:

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

It's just starting on F# and therefore is based around the F# note, making the scale an F# Dorian mode, (assuming it ends in F#)but still in the key of E. Don't assume that a scale goes through all six strings. They are made up of only 8 notes, from one E to the next E an octave (8 scale degrees) higher.

Oh and don't write another song in E. There's already way too many
Corona Corona
Quote by demoniacfashion
Key of E:

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

It's just starting on F# and therefore is based around the F# note, making the scale an F# Dorian mode, (assuming it ends in F#)but still in the key of E.

It doesn't start or finish on any note until you play it starting or ending on a certain note. The scale simply shows the notes that are in the major scale. Just because a note is the lowest note in a certain position doesn't mean the scale starts on that note.

Similarly if you play it starting on a certain note you can still have a different root note than your starting note. It is this root note that makes it F# Dorian C# minor or E major.

If it's an E Major scale position between frets 1 and 5 it could be the 5th form of the E Major scale using the CAGED system. (Some people start with E major scale instead of the C Scale and learn this as position one of the E scale - either way it's the same pattern with a different name).

It's not F# Dorian until you play it in a way that makes F# the final (or root note). Just because F# is the lowest note doesn't mean it is the root note or the place you would start when playing the scale.

A better way to learn the scale is as an E major scale form. You want to learn where the roots are, this information needs to be burned in your mind. You might start on one of the E notes work up to the highest note in the scale position you are playing then down to the lowest note then back to the root E you started on. Do this from both roots so that you associate that shape with those root notes. Then you can shift the same pattern along the fretboard to line up with whatever major scale root note you need.

Once you have all your major scale positions down then start on the minor scales. You will start to notice relationships between minor scale patterns and major scale patterns. When you do this you have grasped the basic concepts of modes and you would then go into that. Then look at pentatonic scales and you will notice how they work well over anything by just avoiding the different modal notes.

But before you get there just focus on your Major scale and don't worry about minor scales, pentatonics, or modes until you have the major scale positions down.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Sep 15, 2008,
thanks 20