#1
Hello,
I have been playing guitar for 9 months and would like to learn more about scales. Currently I only know a few box shapes and the general principles that underlie a scales such as intervals. I also understand basic chord construction.

I am beginning with the major scale in the key of C. My goal is to be able to move across the entire fretboard while sticking within a single key. How would you suggest I best begin to learn the scale?

My thoughts so far are to: use a metronome, become familiar with the shapes in each location on the fretboard. Learn 1 section of fretboard, shape 2, learn how to combine 1+2. I know that this takes months and not days and I just want to get started. Tips, suggestions, help me?!
#2
I have a book called "Everything About Guitar Scales" by Wilbur M. Savidge. I picked it up at Half Price books for a couple of dollars. It has pretty much every single scale imaginable along with some background info, standard notation, and tabs.

The ISBN # is: 1-884848-01-X

AbeBooks is selling a used copy for $3.74 + shipping.

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=1158589008&searchurl=an%3DWilbur%2Bm.%2BSavidge%26sts%3Dt%26x%3D0%26y%3D0
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#3
The metronome isn't vital - remember you're learning about the scale, not how to play it.

The best thing to do is pick a scale, find where it's root notes occur and follow the pattern of intervals to find where the other notes fall...you'll end up discovering the scale patterns for yourself but it will help you understand why those shapes exist. You'll usually end up finding some interesting routes through the scale too as you start findinf multiple instances of the same note.

Writing out the chords is a very good exercise too - take a blank fretboard diagram and draw in every chord of a given key as 6 string barre chords, you'll find that they account for pretty much every note of the associated scale and it's a good way to help you internalise the relationship between the chords and the scale.
Actually called Mark!

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#4
I have a book, a scale finder that splits everything into patterns. When I am learning the patterns what else should I be paying attention to. Obviously the root notes, but also relationship to the root note. Would you make a mental note of the notes like C, D, E or would you organize everything according to interval, 1,2,3?

Thanks for the advice seagull do you have a more in depth explanation of the method you detailed available or somewhere you could reference me to?

A new question, what should my goals be when learning a new scale? I need the mindset.
#5
This thread probably would best fit in the music theory part of the forum but anyways...
Im not very good at music theory i know alot of the basics. So correct me if im wrong.
My personal opinion would be that right after you learn the pattern of your scale wether it be Am-Pentatonic, D Diatonic, or a D# aeolian... Work on Phrasing. It's how you play the scale that really matters and how it fits into the melody/song... its much more interesting. Your picking hand is just as important in this. But if your a begginning guitarist. Really work on your rythem patterns. and experiment what goes with what and what sounds good. lol
learn some simple things like take a chord. A for example. and then take a scale A any one really... and then learn all the triads and all the scales for each one... but dont do like a robot... do it with soul. ask a question then answer it...
#6
Quote by jordanshadow
I have a book, a scale finder that splits everything into patterns. When I am learning the patterns what else should I be paying attention to. Obviously the root notes, but also relationship to the root note. Would you make a mental note of the notes like C, D, E or would you organize everything according to interval, 1,2,3?

Thanks for the advice seagull do you have a more in depth explanation of the method you detailed available or somewhere you could reference me to?

A new question, what should my goals be when learning a new scale? I need the mindset.

Have a read of Josh Urban's Crusade articles in the columns section, they explain hings far better than I will.
Actually called Mark!

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People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

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#8
I honestly can't recommend that book at all, it's really not all that useful. Sure, it has a load of scales in it but that's all...nothing but a crapload of patterns, some of them identical.

It's got a use as a piece of reference material but that's about it - it won't actually teach you anything.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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#9
learning the notes on the neck will help you a lot. It'd really the first step to mastering scales. After you learn that, everything else will be easy as pie.
"Forget the rules. If it sounds good, it is good."
-Eddie Van Halen
#10
I think personally, the best way to learn scales is to have a song playing in the background, and just play random notes in the scale your're tryin to learn, but make sure you go with the beat etc. After the song is done, you shouldn't need too much assistance remembering them. Also it helps your finger speed so it's a multi-practice kinda drill.

Want more details, send me pm.
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#11
well for me, i can play scales all over the place on the guitar and ive been playing for a good while. but one problem. i dont know alot of what im playing. i just go off of feeling... thats where i lack is in music theory... i have a decent since of rythem... and i can read music fine. but if i was to lets say "compose" a song instead of basing it off of a rythem, i would have some trouble applying it to guitar....
#12
Quote by toeinator
I think personally, the best way to learn scales is to have a song playing in the background, and just play random notes in the scale your're tryin to learn, but make sure you go with the beat etc. After the song is done, you shouldn't need too much assistance remembering them. Also it helps your finger speed so it's a multi-practice kinda drill.

Want more details, send me pm.

Definitely - rather than simply play the scale teach yourself to play with the scale
Actually called Mark!

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People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

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#13
i just type in "guitar scales" on youtube and learn w/e they have videos about.
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#14
Think about the scale degrees (the numbers of each note in the scale)- that way what you learn/memorize for one key is transferable to all the other keys. By learning the scale degrees you also have immediate access to the intervals, chord construction, and the tension/resolution characteristics. Also, The pattern for a given scale (major, minor, phrygian, etc) is movable up and down the fretboard for each key.

When I figured this out, I made a tool to take advantage of this. If you go to my website (http://www.FretboardSliderule.com) you can print off everything you need, for free, to make this tool. I hope it helps.
#15
The scales you really want to learn first are the scales that are used the most often in music. They are the Major Scale, Harmonic Minor Scale, Melodic Minor Scale, and the Pentatonic & Blues Scales. Now learning to play these scales can be tedious so what you want to do is divide your time between simply learning these scales backwards and forwards and practicing the songs or music that you like. In other words divide your practice time into increasing your familiarity with scales and simply performing and memorizing songs that you like and being able to play them. This will greatly help in avoiding burnout. Overtime you will notice how much better you play the songs due to the scale and chord practice.
The best way to learn scales is by using fret board diagrams that provides the patterns for each and every mode of the particular scale you are working on. This is much better than just using sheet music because you see the fret board pattern that you are to play and by simply having a spread sheet like table you can move the pattern and play it in any Key you like. As a matter of fact it is best to practice that pattern in all keys because the pattern is the same and this is great for muscle memory and finger association for the degrees of the scale that you are playing. What you want to do is learn to play the each and every mode of the scale you are working on. Also, if chords are introduced that are relevant to each and every mode you are working on this really helps with understanding the mode better and improves your ear and chording abilities. For example, suppose you just started and were working on the first mode of the Major Scale. Your first mode chord could be a major 7th chord. If 20 different ways to play that chord say in the Key of C then this would go along way in giving you some musical ideas or at least a variety of ways to play that chord.
After you have gone through the 3-octave up and back diatonic runs of the scale that you are working on for each and every mode then it's time to do intervals and sequences with the scale you are working with. I know it's a lot but if you really want to improve your musicianship and guitar playing there just isn't any short cuts.
One Book that offers everything mentioned above is called "The Color of Scales and Chords" and it is a spiral bound 8.5 x 11 268 page book that provides fret board diagrams with tables for each and every mode for the scales mentioned above. Using this book is probably the most efficient approach to really learning these scales. The book also introduces applicable chords for each and every mode as well as intervals and sequences. The book comes in hard copy and it also can be purchased as a pdf file. If you get the pdf file you will also get 4 supplements free which are typically sequence related that provides tablature.
The website that has this book offer is: http://fretcolors.com/