Basic Scale Formulas

author: urbanesatan date: 10/18/2012 category: guitar scales and modes
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Basic Scale Formulas
WAZZAA shredders. This is like my first lesson. So go easy on me. I assume that if you have played at least one piece of lead in your life, or even heard the Indian sargam stuff (Sa Re Ga Ma...) you know what a major scale is. So here it goes. First off I hope you have seen or at least know of something called as a note. If you don't. Then don't read the rest of this article. Just kiddin. Google up the fretboard image for all the notes. I'm going to illustrate only the C scales and hopefully all you engineers can transpose that to any scale you want using the FORMULAE. When I write b2 means the 2nd note is flat, or if I write Eb means its E flat And #2 would be 2nd note sharp, or if I write E# means... Haha gotcha there's no such thing as E#. So if I write D# it means D sharp. OK enough bull****. Before starting with the whole formula and s**t I ll tell you how a major scale is formed. there's something known as a step. A whole step is (in very lay mans terms) 2 fret difference between 2 notes. E.g.: You can say there's a whole step between 1st fret and 3rd fret. Half step would be difference of 1 fret. E.g.: There's a half step between 1st fret and 2nd fret. Phew I know boring boring (for ppl who already know this stuff but its imp for newbies). So I denote a whole step with a W and half step with a H. Now I show you how a major scale is formed. Major scale:
So for a C major scale, it would be:
   W    W    H    W      W       W      H          
C     D     E     F      G        A        B      C
And this you can see from the fretboard diagram I've pasted above. *Forgive the alignment :D* C major scale goes something like this:
So considering this as the start of learning scales we write it as:
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8
C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C
Here the 1st note will be the root note (the scale you want to play). And again, the 8th note would be the root note but on the next octave. You can choose the root note on any string you want. The minor scale is basically having the 3rd, 6th, 7th note flatted. So it would go something like this:
1  2  b3   4   5   b6  b7
C  D  Eb   F  G  Ab  Bb  
Once you get the hang of using this formula it becomes very easy to learn any scale. And I would recommend not getting bogged down in one box pattern. Experiment with the notes in some scale going up and down the fretboard. That's how you'll improvise not only your finger motion. But also your hand motion. Ok I stop talking about this. It's sounding a little. And here be the rest. Major Pentatonic:
1  2  3   5  6
C  D  E  G  A 
Minor Pentatonic:
1  b3  4  5  b7
C  Eb  F  G  Bb
Blues Scale:
1  b3 4  b5  5  b7
C  Eb F  Gb G  Bb 
Melodic Minor:
1 2 b3 4 5 6 7
C D Eb F G A B
Harmonic Minor Evil sounding scale I love it - used a lot in metal:
1  2  b3  4  5  b6  7
C  D Eb  F  G  Ab  B 
Dorian mode:
1  2  b3  4  5  6  b7
C  D Eb  F  G  A  Bb 
1 b2  b3  4  5  b6  b7
C Db Eb  F  G  Ab  Bb 
1  2  3  #4  5  6  7
C  D  E  F#  G  A B 
1  2  3  4  5  6  b7
C  D  E F  G  A  Bb 
1  b2  b3  4  b5  b6  b7
C  Db  Eb  F  Gb  Ab Bb 
Whole tone:
1  2  3  #4  #5  b7
C  D  E  F#  G# Bb 
Half-Whole Diminished:
1  b2  #2   3  #4  5  6  b7
C  Db  D#  E  F#  G  A  Bb 
Whole-Half Diminished:
1  2  b3  4  b5  b6  6  7
C  D Eb  F  Gb  Ab  A  B 
So take a print out of this stuff and nail all of these \m/\m/ And I got a copyright on my sign :p Keep Rockin.
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