Tuesday Wisdom: Modal Symmetry

A useful bit of fret board symmetry by Chris Flatley.

Tuesday Wisdom: Modal Symmetry
11
You know how when you divide diatonic scales into three note chunks, there are only 3 shapes you'll ever encounter? Shape 1: whole step whole step. Shape 2: whole step half step. Shape 3: half step whole step. Examples on the B string in the key of D:
 |Shape 1  |Shape 2  |Shape 3  |
B|3--5--7--|5--7--8--|7--8--10-|
  D  E  F# |E  F# G  |F# G  A  |
There are no other three note shapes within diatonic scales. There is a symmetry to these three note chunks that I noticed a few years ago, but it never occurred to me at the time that the symmetry applies to the entire group of scales/modes. I was practicing these three note shapes when I noticed that I wasn't as fluent with Shape 1 as I was with the others. I wondered if it were possible to play the entire scale using that shape alone. It turned out that it was. Like this:
|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|10-
|---------|---------|---------|---------|8--10-12-|10-12-14-|---
|---------|---------|---------|7--9--11-|---------|---------|---
|---------|5--7--9--|7--9--11-|---------|---------|---------|---
|5--7--9--|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---
|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---------|---
|D  E  F# |G  A  B  |A  B  C# |D  E  F# |G  A  B  |A  B  C# |D
As you can see it was necessary to overlap part of the scale in order to play everything using shape 1. It's impossible to play the whole scale using shapes 2 and 3, even if you overlap. It is possible however to almost play the whole scale using just one of the patterns 1, 2, or 3, provided you use a "connecting note". Here's Shape 1 again, but this time using the connecting note G rather than an overlap.
D Ionian
|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---------|10-
|---------|---|---------|---------|8--|10-12-14-|---
|---------|---|---------|7--9--11-|---|---------|---
|---------|5--|7--9--11-|---------|---|---------|---
|5--7--9--|---|---------|---------|---|---------|---
|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---------|---
|D  E  F# |G  |A  B  C# |D  E  F# |G  |A  B  C# |D
Shape 2 using connecting note A.
E Dorian
|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---------|12-
|---------|---|---------|---------|10-|12-14-15-|---
|---------|---|---------|9--11-12-|---|---------|---
|---------|7--|9--11-12-|---------|---|---------|---
|7--9--10-|---|---------|---------|---|---------|---
|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---------|---
|E  F# G  |A  |B  C# D  |E  F# G  |A  |B  C# D  |E
Shape 3, connecting note B.
F# Phrygian
|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---------|14-
|---------|---|---------|---------|12-|14-15-17-|---
|---------|---|---------|11-12-14-|---|---------|---
|---------|9--|11-12-14-|---------|---|---------|---
|9--10-12-|---|---------|---------|---|---------|---
|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---------|---
|F# G  A  |B  |C# D  E  |F# G  A  |B  |C# D  E  |F#
Look at the above 3 tabs. Notice the symmetry. The connecting note is always the 4th degree, and it always comes after 2 repetitions of the shape. For the Lydian mode we need to return to shape 1. The symmetry elements are the same.
G Lydian
|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---------|15-
|---------|---|---------|---------|13-|15-17-19-|---
|---------|---|---------|12-14-16-|---|---------|---
|---------|10-|12-14-16-|---------|---|---------|---
|10-12-14-|---|---------|---------|---|---------|---
|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---------|---
|G  A  B  |C# |D  E  F# |G  A  B  |C# |D  E  F# |G
So what about the remaining 3 modes, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian? They have symmetry, but they use the 7th degree as a connecting note. At this point, to keep perfect symmetry of modes, I'm going to group the modes into two groups of four: [Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian] and [Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian, Ionian]. This is because the number 7 has no symmetry, but 8 does. So to demonstrate perfect symmetry, we're treating the modes as an octave, D Ionian to D Ionian. The first group uses the 4th degree as a connecting note, the second uses the 7th. This means that the Ionian mode can use either the 4th or 7th as a connecting note, the only mode that can do this. Both groups use Shape 1, Shape 2, Shape 3, Shape 1. Look at the below table.
  Shape.1     Shape.2  Shape.3   Shape.1   Connecting note
[Ionian     |Dorian  |Phrygian |Lydian ] 4th degree
[Mixolydian |Aeolian |Locrian  |Ionian ]| 7th degree
Here are the remaining 4 tabs for group 2.
A Mixolydian
|---------|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---
|---------|---------|---|---------|---------|8--|10-
|---------|---------|---|---------|7--9--11-|---|---
|---------|---------|5--|7--9--11-|---------|---|---
|---------|5--7--9--|---|---------|---------|---|---
|5--7--9--|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---
|A  B  C# |D  E  F# |G  |A  B  C# |D  e  F# |G  |A
B Aeolian
|---------|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---
|---------|---------|---|---------|---------|10-|12-
15--------|---------|---|---------|9--11-12-|---|---
|---------|---------|7--|9--11-12-|---------|---|---
|---------|7--9--10-|---|---------|---------|---|---
|7--9--10-|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---
|B  C# D  |E  F# G  |A  |B  C# D  |E  F# G  |A  |B
C# Locrian
|---------|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---
|---------|---------|---|---------|---------|12-|14-
|---------|---------|---|---------|11-12-14-|---|---
|---------|---------|9--|11-12-14-|---------|---|---
|---------|9--10-12-|---|---------|---------|---|---
|9--10-12-|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---
|C# D  E  |F# G  A  |B  |C# D  e  |F# G  A  |B  |C#
D Ionian (with 7th degree connecting note)
|---------|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---
|---------|---------|---|---------|---------|14-|15-
|---------|---------|---|---------|12-14-16-|---|---
|---------|---------|11-|12-14-16-|---------|---|---
|---------|10-12-14-|---|---------|---------|---|---
|10-12-14-|---------|---|---------|---------|---|---
|D  E  F# |G  A  B  |C# |D  E  F# |G  A  B  |C# |D
The final bit of symmetry to point out Is that even though the 2 groups use different scale degrees as connecting notes, they still use the same notes, G, A, B, C#, in the same order. D Ionian/A Mixolydian (G), E Dorian/B Aeolian (A), F# Phrygian/C# Locrian (B), G Lydian/D Ionian (C#). At the moment I'm very much into moving away from these kinds of set scale patterns when playing actual music. I believe it's much more beneficial to know the fret board from the point of view of individual tones, and how they relate to the chord over which you're playing. I just thought this symmetry was interesting, and the exercises themselves were more to do with finger practice than soloing. So if you do use these patterns, remember that memorizing such fret board shapes can limit you to a kind of mindless playing. By Chris Flatley
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46 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    YOURMOMSGUITAR
    Blind Messiah wrote: Do this stuff more often!
    (We must use reverse psychology they seem to do the opposite of what we want.) I hope you never make an article like this again! I certainly do not want to see these more than I want to see news about Courtney Love doing something stupid.
    TEKarma
    It's times like these that it crosses my mind how little I actually know...
    soXlittleXtimeX
    ^ I don't think I've ever seen an author defend their own article on this site. My hat is off to you good sir.
    thebigredjj10
    come2gether wrote: I'm sorry guys, but this doesn't help my playing at all. I have never considered "perfect" playing to be good playing. Musical instruments are about self-expression and love for the music you are creating/using. we need more Blues lessons on this site. There is a reason that in 90% of greatest guitarists of all time lists you see at the top hendrix, clapton, beck, SRV, BB king, van halen... all blues based players. You're never going to see Michael angelo batio, yngwie malmsteen, john petrucci, paul gilbert, nuno bettencourt, steve vai, joe satriani or any of these neo-classical/shred/metal guys anywhere on these lists. All fingers, no heart. Not trying to troll, just please more blues lessons.
    That may be you opinion, but you can't judge a players worth by fan polls. And the results are skewed towards players who were famous during the 'golden' age of music the 70s and early 80s. In 20 years you'll find that the golden age is 2000s and 2010s. It's just how people think. But on the idea that since an idea isn't in the blues style that it has no soul. Bull. So throughout the hundreds of years, through the eras of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, and 20th Century classical music, music had no soul, or emotional power. Music was not good until blues was around? While I agree it's not the amount of notes that always matter, that can go the other way too. Sometimes to say something deeper, you have to use more notes. It's like poetry. Sometimes its more effective to use short sentences, simple words, and easy phrases to get your point across. But other times, the work is brilliantly complex. To say that a player has no emotional depth because they play with precision is stupid. I myself don't find the blues often as that original anymore, and the ideas often feel repetitive to me (as musically they are). While on the other side, in progressive music, I find innovative artists, as the genre has much more possibility than the blues rock pentatonic scale. I've observed one thing about peoples enjoyment of music. People don't like music they don't understand, and like music they do. (Exceptions occur with certain sounds are grating). Rock is one of the most understood genres out there, partially due to its popularity, and partially due to its simplicity of musical ideas. While genres which players like Petrucci play in are harder to understand as they are more complex. It's also why most people don't like Classical music (and the genres within), because they have no understanding of the extremely complex ideas that are examined. This is not to come across as a douche, as I don't hate blues, or calling anyone anything negative. Just my understand of music. My only thing I will say is stupid is more skill=no heart. That sounds like something a crappy guitar player would say to justify their abilities.
    chris flatley
    ACrzy... I take your point, but in my defence, I did say that these kinds of patterns have their limitations, and their practical application is that they're finger practice and that's all. Like I said, just an interesting observation about fret board pattern symetry that's useful for practicing those shapes that come up all the time when playing. That's all it is. I often play those thre shapes in a completely abstract way just for the sake of getting my fingers well used to them because they're so common. I just found a way to put them inside actual scales for the hell of it more than anything, and that lead to the symetry observation.
    crazysam23_Atax
    The only criticism of these kind of lessons is that the authors never seem to provide practical applications. Of course, it could be argued that they leave that up to your imagination, but what about new(ish) players? Players who don't know how to apply this practically? Give them a hint, I say!
    Nwright14
    come2gether wrote: I'm sorry AGAIN guys, but that was a pretty good test I just performed. Within 4 hrs of my post, 6 of you posted in return, 2 of which showed class and understanding of my POV. Listen, I understand that, say, Clapton makes music that is meant to be heard by millions.It's very true. But, it must be harder to write a simple pop song that affects millions of people than it is to shred a neo-classical solo for 20 min. or to write a symphony with 9 time changes and all this othr stuff. Not harder in the technical sense, but harder in the sense that it affects a greater number of people. (cue the long-haired kid in the dark shirt with an ibanez on his lap calling me a commercial music loving idiot)
    Sorry bro, but I disagree with this one too. What you're basically saying is that it's harder to write a simple pop song like "Photograph" by Nickelback than it is to write something like "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven. Sure, lots of people are "affected" by the Nickelback song but I very much doubt that it was "harder" to write than something like Moonlight Sonata. Besides, pretty much all older music (e.g. Classical, Baroque, and Romantic) was written to be popular and heard by millions and thereby "affect" people. Music was just generally more technical back then than a lot of the crap we hear today.
    crazysam23_Atax
    come2gether wrote: john petrucci, paul gilbert, steve vai, joe satriani anywhere on these lists. All fingers, no heart. Not trying to troll, just please more blues lessons.
    Apparently, you need to listen to more Vai, Gilbert, and Satriani...May I recommend you begin with "For the Love of God" by Steve Vai.
    Ablast
    I have been playing this for months, never knew what it was haha nice lesson
    Nitnatsnok
    come2gether wrote: I'm sorry guys, but this doesn't help my playing at all. I have never considered "perfect" playing to be good playing. Musical instruments are about self-expression and love for the music you are creating/using. we need more Blues lessons on this site. There is a reason that in 90% of greatest guitarists of all time lists you see at the top hendrix, clapton, beck, SRV, BB king, van halen... all blues based players. You're never going to see Michael angelo batio, yngwie malmsteen, john petrucci, paul gilbert, nuno bettencourt, steve vai, joe satriani or any of these neo-classical/shred/metal guys anywhere on these lists. All fingers, no heart. Not trying to troll, just please more blues lessons.
    Ah yes, the popularity contests to determine who the best guitarist is.
    DoodlySquat
    YOURMOMSGUITAR wrote: Blind Messiah wrote: Do this stuff more often! (We must use reverse psychology they seem to do the opposite of what we want.) I hope you never make an article like this again! I certainly do not want to see these more than I want to see news about Courtney Love doing something stupid.
    *facepalm*
    Ibeanez
    Nice article. I never looked at it that way.
    dewitt wrote: Blah, blah, blah... Fuck theory; just play what sounds good.
    This attitude hardly ever leads to music that sounds good.
    come2gether wrote: I'm sorry guys, but this doesn't help my playing at all. I have never considered "perfect" playing to be good playing. Musical instruments are about self-expression and love for the music you are creating/using. we need more Blues lessons on this site. There is a reason that in 90% of greatest guitarists of all time lists you see at the top hendrix, clapton, beck, SRV, BB king, van halen... all blues based players. You're never going to see Michael angelo batio, yngwie malmsteen, john petrucci, paul gilbert, nuno bettencourt, steve vai, joe satriani or any of these neo-classical/shred/metal guys anywhere on these lists. All fingers, no heart. Not trying to troll, just please more blues lessons.
    There are just as many people ripping off blues scales with no feeling as there are shred guys, if not more. Also, I don't know what list of great guitarists you've been looking at that didn't have guys like Vai or Petrucci, but it wasn't a list made by musicians, or even people who know music. You won't see a lot of classical players on most lists of greats either, but they do deserve it.
    chris flatley
    Just like to say that I'm not an author, just an ordinary user like anyone else. I submitted this in the lessons and it got put in the news section probably because they had nothing else to put in there. I respond to criticism of my articles all the time in a really embarrassingly defensive way heh heh. Keep saying I'm going to stop doing it.
    EpiExplorer
    come2gether wrote: I'm sorry guys, but this doesn't help my playing at all. I have never considered "perfect" playing to be good playing. Musical instruments are about self-expression and love for the music you are creating/using. we need more Blues lessons on this site. There is a reason that in 90% of greatest guitarists of all time lists you see at the top hendrix, clapton, beck, SRV, BB king, van halen... all blues based players. You're never going to see Michael angelo batio, yngwie malmsteen, john petrucci, paul gilbert, nuno bettencourt, steve vai, joe satriani or any of these neo-classical/shred/metal guys anywhere on these lists. All fingers, no heart. Not trying to troll, just please more blues lessons.
    I think you're forgetting that those 'more famous' artists are popular music fronts made to generate cash, they're not 'more soulful', they're just simplified and easier to listen to, although BB King is the on exception based on his actual significance to modern musical history. Some may see this as a controversial statement, but it doesn't matter, people should realise that if a repeated three chord riff and recycled blues lick can generate millions while a full 7 minute, orchestrated guitar peice, thats taken years to write, prepare and learn, is overlooked by practically everyone to be left to a minority of people who actually give a DAMN about the point of music, then obviously something is wrong there.
    Jesse Clarkson
    EpiExplorer wrote: Diatonics are fine to begin with, but shouldn't be the core of your sound. Personally, I stick with the lydian and then delve into random bits of super locrian, neapolitan and other random balls. This article is helpful for learning the technique, but relying on diatonics for the rest of your guitar playing years is a no-no.
    The lydian, super locrian and neapolitan scales are redundant for most purposes, I wouldn't even recommend learning them to most people. An in depth understanding of functional harmony is much more useful than learning lots of scales. Just remember that you don't have to be using an obscure scale to utilise non-diatonic notes.
    come2gether wrote: Obviously it's not HARDER. It's more difficult within the terms that something like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" reaches way, way more people of varying tastes and age groups than something like "under a Glass Moon" Im not knocking that song, its amazing, but i will always believe that great artists are able to attract more listeners no matter what the listeners are into than to just keep the same ones. Hence why U2 still sells out stadiums and releases number one worldwide albums and motley crue,winger, skid row and that crap tour the 80's circuit on their two or three hits. Great artists adapt. Pink Floyd, Santana,hendrix,
    I disagree, a lot of it has to do with timing. If Nirvana, U2 and Hendrix were born a few decades later and started making music now, do you think they would be as successful?
    bastards
    These would normally be good for warming up and getting your brain jumbled up for anyhing weird you might happen to create. I'll admit, I can't work my way around modes for the life of me, but I don't use modes just because the use of them is so impractical these days, finding anyone who can actually use them properly is next to impossible.
    chris flatley
    Im not sure that the problem is with those guys lacking heart. Ive heard all of them playing brilliant blues solos. I think part of the problem is that what they have written reflects what theyve spent most of their time doing; perfecting their technique with thousands of hours of technical practice. Those guys probably just need someone else to write for them. But I think the problem youre really finding is with the limitations of the guitar as an instrument. I agree, Id much rather listen to a fire and brimstone blues solo than a neo classical shredder solo anyday, but thats probably more to do with the limitations of the guitar rather than any deficiency on the part of the players. My list of favourite artists contains very few guitar players, and very little of it is blues/pentatonic stuff. Its almost all diatonic, but it sounds great because its not a guitar theyre playing it on. The guitar is just a very difficult instrument to a) write on, and b) be expressive on. Blues is one area where the electric guitar can be very expressive, and I think thats what you and others are picking up on.
    doive
    EpiExplorer wrote: Diatonics are fine to begin with, but shouldn't be the core of your sound. Personally, I stick with the lydian and then delve into random bits of super locrian, neapolitan and other random balls. This article is helpful for learning the technique, but relying on diatonics for the rest of your guitar playing years is a no-no.
    Not sure if trying to troll or actually an idiot....? It's a good article in terms of describing the patterns within theory, but I feel based on the comments that the majority of people who read and learn something new from it won't understand the application to modes as they don't really understand them at all!
    EpiExplorer
    Diatonics are fine to begin with, but shouldn't be the core of your sound. Personally, I stick with the lydian and then delve into random bits of super locrian, neapolitan and other random balls. This article is helpful for learning the technique, but relying on diatonics for the rest of your guitar playing years is a no-no.
    shreddymcshred
    Nitnatsnok wrote: come2gether wrote: I'm sorry guys, but this doesn't help my playing at all. I have never considered "perfect" playing to be good playing. Musical instruments are about self-expression and love for the music you are creating/using. we need more Blues lessons on this site. There is a reason that in 90% of greatest guitarists of all time lists you see at the top hendrix, clapton, beck, SRV, BB king, van halen... all blues based players. You're never going to see Michael angelo batio, yngwie malmsteen, john petrucci, paul gilbert, nuno bettencourt, steve vai, joe satriani or any of these neo-classical/shred/metal guys anywhere on these lists. All fingers, no heart. Not trying to troll, just please more blues lessons. Ah yes, the popularity contests to determine who the best guitarist is.
    Worst post i've seen on UG
    come2gether
    I'm sorry guys, but this doesn't help my playing at all. I have never considered "perfect" playing to be good playing. Musical instruments are about self-expression and love for the music you are creating/using. we need more Blues lessons on this site. There is a reason that in 90% of greatest guitarists of all time lists you see at the top hendrix, clapton, beck, SRV, BB king, van halen... all blues based players. You're never going to see Michael angelo batio, yngwie malmsteen, john petrucci, paul gilbert, nuno bettencourt, steve vai, joe satriani or any of these neo-classical/shred/metal guys anywhere on these lists. All fingers, no heart. Not trying to troll, just please more blues lessons.
    come2gether
    I'm sorry AGAIN guys, but that was a pretty good test I just performed. Within 4 hrs of my post, 6 of you posted in return, 2 of which showed class and understanding of my POV. Listen, I understand that, say, Clapton makes music that is meant to be heard by millions.It's very true. But, it must be harder to write a simple pop song that affects millions of people than it is to shred a neo-classical solo for 20 min. or to write a symphony with 9 time changes and all this othr stuff. Not harder in the technical sense, but harder in the sense that it affects a greater number of people. (cue the long-haired kid in the dark shirt with an ibanez on his lap calling me a commercial music loving idiot)
    dewitt
    Blah, blah, blah... Fuck theory; just play what sounds good. (Good article, by the way. It would be nice seeing much more stuff like this.)
    come2gether
    Nwright14, I didn't mean TECHNICALLY harder to write, but harder in the sense that it means more to more people. I hate most pop music today, but who am I or who are you to say that it's bad? Look at Dream Theater. WHo gives a flying F*CK if their drummer switches time signatures 5 times in a song? Who cares if John Petrucci is a great player. Great music makes it's way to the most people when all is said and done. YOu look at the top selling albums ever and you don't see rihanna or britney spears or most pop stars, because they are very popular in short bursts, i.e. singles. dark side of the moon, highway to hell, thriller, masterpieces of music are up there. If metal/neo-classical players are so intent on being non-commercial, they will never get the respect they think they deserve and you know what? THEY DONT DESERVE IT.
    Nwright14
    rokr258 wrote: Nwright14 wrote: come2gether wrote: I'm sorry AGAIN guys, but that was a pretty good test I just performed. Within 4 hrs of my post, 6 of you posted in return, 2 of which showed class and understanding of my POV. Listen, I understand that, say, Clapton makes music that is meant to be heard by millions.It's very true. But, it must be harder to write a simple pop song that affects millions of people than it is to shred a neo-classical solo for 20 min. or to write a symphony with 9 time changes and all this othr stuff. Not harder in the technical sense, but harder in the sense that it affects a greater number of people. (cue the long-haired kid in the dark shirt with an ibanez on his lap calling me a commercial music loving idiot) Sorry bro, but I disagree with this one too. What you're basically saying is that it's harder to write a simple pop song like "Photograph" by Nickelback than it is to write something like "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven. Sure, lots of people are "affected" by the Nickelback song but I very much doubt that it was "harder" to write than something like Moonlight Sonata. Besides, pretty much all older music (e.g. Classical, Baroque, and Romantic) was written to be popular and heard by millions and thereby "affect" people. Music was just generally more technical back then than a lot of the crap we hear today. Just to comment, Moonlight Sonata really isn't that complicated of a piece. It uses a pretty straightforward Alberti bass line and has relatively simple chord structures. Try Fidelio or the Leichte Sonata for a better example
    Oh I know it's simple. It's just one of the few more widely-known classical (Romantic) pieces, so I thought I'd use it as an example. However, it's certainly more complex than "Photograph" is.
    haohao258
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    come2gether
    well they wouldn't make the same music if they came out now would they? so yeah, probably.
    chris flatley
    Here you go, a few examples of great use of diatonic scales. Bohemian Rhapsody, Mother, Sweet Child O' Mine, and the song that made me want to pick up a guitar in the first place, One For All by Roy Harper. There are loads of examples of great sounding music that is diatonic and played on guitar, but the trouble with it is that you have to have a great melodic sense to make it work. People like myself can't kid ourselves that we're Johnny Rockstar in the way we can with things like the A minor pentatonic.
    chris flatley
    I don't believe that diatonic scale means stick rigidly to one of them for the whole tune. I think you're twisting its meaning to suit your argument. It seems to me that you're dismissing the use of major and minor diatonic scales/modes purely because they don't fit with the kind of music you like to play, but that doesn't mean they have no value, and are 'boring'. African music makes great use of them, and so does pop. If you don't like upbeat pop music etc, that's your taste, not a fault with the scales themselves. Though it's a mystery to me how I've managed to end up arguing about this stuff when the article itself advises against using them for actual music creation, and doesn't say anywhere that 'thou shalt stick to diatonic scales'.
    EpiExplorer
    chris flatley wrote: I wanted to pick up on a couple of things. One is that those who have criticised this for having no useful musical purpose cant have properly read the whole article. It pretty much says that exact thing in the final paragraph. Twice in the article and once in the comments I say that its purely a finger exercise to develop those three important shapes that come up all the time. The other thing has to do with diatonic. I havent looked this up so I could be wrong, but my understanding of diatonic scales has always been that it means two tones, the two tones being a whole tone and a half tone. So any scale made of whole and half tones is by definition diatonic. That includes the Lydian mode. The idea that youll never get anywhere by thinking diatonicly seems like an odd idea to me. I find it hard to imagine how you could avoid it while playing most Western music.
    Diatonics means 'within the scale' or literally 'progressing through tones', so you keep strictly to the notes of a key or scale you're playing in. It makes for very boring guitar playing if you stick to it forever (dont get stuck in G major, indie rock loves G major), which is why its important to change things up, wether it be a simple mode swap in a solo, or a complete, experimental composition with no key to it.
    TK1
    Something that I subconsciously knew but never consciously was aware of until now. this is a good way to learn to break out of the standard horizontal patterns and move around the neck.
    chris flatley
    I have just looked it up. Should have done it before commenting . Apparently the dia-tonic isn't two tones but something to do with stretching. Any arrangement of the TTSTTTS scale is diatonic though, and that includes the 7 standard modes. Think it has something to do with spreading the two semitones as far apart as possible, hence the stretching thing. For 20 odd years I believed dia meant two. And I'm fairly sure I got it from a theory book. Just goes to show that if it's in print it's taken as Gospel. What a dangerous thing.
    chris flatley
    I wanted to pick up on a couple of things. One is that those who have criticised this for having no useful musical purpose cant have properly read the whole article. It pretty much says that exact thing in the final paragraph. Twice in the article and once in the comments I say that its purely a finger exercise to develop those three important shapes that come up all the time. The other thing has to do with diatonic. I havent looked this up so I could be wrong, but my understanding of diatonic scales has always been that it means two tones, the two tones being a whole tone and a half tone. So any scale made of whole and half tones is by definition diatonic. That includes the Lydian mode. The idea that youll never get anywhere by thinking diatonicly seems like an odd idea to me. I find it hard to imagine how you could avoid it while playing most Western music.
    rokr258
    Nwright14 wrote: come2gether wrote: I'm sorry AGAIN guys, but that was a pretty good test I just performed. Within 4 hrs of my post, 6 of you posted in return, 2 of which showed class and understanding of my POV. Listen, I understand that, say, Clapton makes music that is meant to be heard by millions.It's very true. But, it must be harder to write a simple pop song that affects millions of people than it is to shred a neo-classical solo for 20 min. or to write a symphony with 9 time changes and all this othr stuff. Not harder in the technical sense, but harder in the sense that it affects a greater number of people. (cue the long-haired kid in the dark shirt with an ibanez on his lap calling me a commercial music loving idiot) Sorry bro, but I disagree with this one too. What you're basically saying is that it's harder to write a simple pop song like "Photograph" by Nickelback than it is to write something like "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven. Sure, lots of people are "affected" by the Nickelback song but I very much doubt that it was "harder" to write than something like Moonlight Sonata. Besides, pretty much all older music (e.g. Classical, Baroque, and Romantic) was written to be popular and heard by millions and thereby "affect" people. Music was just generally more technical back then than a lot of the crap we hear today.
    Just to comment, Moonlight Sonata really isn't that complicated of a piece. It uses a pretty straightforward Alberti bass line and has relatively simple chord structures. Try Fidelio or the Leichte Sonata for a better example
    rokr258
    come2gether wrote: I'm sorry guys, but this doesn't help my playing at all. I have never considered "perfect" playing to be good playing. Musical instruments are about self-expression and love for the music you are creating/using. we need more Blues lessons on this site. There is a reason that in 90% of greatest guitarists of all time lists you see at the top hendrix, clapton, beck, SRV, BB king, van halen... all blues based players. You're never going to see Michael angelo batio, yngwie malmsteen, john petrucci, paul gilbert, nuno bettencourt, steve vai, joe satriani or any of these neo-classical/shred/metal guys anywhere on these lists. All fingers, no heart. Not trying to troll, just please more blues lessons.
    Bro, see Joe Satriani live and then try to claim he doesn't play with heart. That's comeplete bullshit. Joe Satirani is one the most soulful players I've ever seen.
    come2gether
    Obviously it's not HARDER. It's more difficult within the terms that something like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" reaches way, way more people of varying tastes and age groups than something like "under a Glass Moon" Im not knocking that song, its amazing, but i will always believe that great artists are able to attract more listeners no matter what the listeners are into than to just keep the same ones. Hence why U2 still sells out stadiums and releases number one worldwide albums and motley crue,winger, skid row and that crap tour the 80's circuit on their two or three hits. Great artists adapt. Pink Floyd, Santana,hendrix,
    JephStiph
    Good article, this is a powerful concept once you wrap your head around it. Another way to use this method is to play your note "shapes" across 2 strings, then keep your "connecting" note on the 2nd string. You can than hop that entire pattern up in octaves. Which is the next string, 2 frets (or 3 if crossing to the B string) up. This can really open up the fret board.and allow you to access notes in multiple positions. One of the biggest complaints I have watching other players is seeing them stay in the same position. Key of A, hangout at 5th fret zzzzz.. BTW, for the guy griping about "blues" lessons, you can apply the same concept to the pentatonic scale. Learn the different ways how to finger the scale using only 2 strings, thers only 5 of them. Then you can repeat those across octaves also.
    lukestucker
    come2gether wrote on 04/26/2012 - 12:29 am / quote | Nwright14, I didn't mean TECHNICALLY harder to write, but harder in the sense that it means more to more people. I hate most pop music today, but who am I or who are you to say that it's bad? Look at Dream Theater. WHo gives a flying F*CK if their drummer switches time signatures 5 times in a song? Who cares if John Petrucci is a great player. Great music makes it's way to the most people when all is said and done. YOu look at the top selling albums ever and you don't see rihanna or britney spears or most pop stars, because they are very popular in short bursts, i.e. singles. dark side of the moon, highway to hell, thriller, masterpieces of music are up there. If metal/neo-classical players are so intent on being non-commercial, they will never get the respect they think they deserve and you know what? THEY DONT DESERVE IT.
    What are you even trying to argue? Surely it's common sense that artists deserve respect for the quality of the music they create, not how well it's marketed? Who honestly cares what the top selling artists are- listen to what you enjoy and don't knock other people's tastes. Also, even the greats such as Jeff Beck aren't all like "hurr-bend-durr-emotion". Those guys write some weird shit too. Have to be openminded and not just blindly agree with some top guitarists list. I'd have to shoot myself if I was made to listen to a couple blues players for the rest of my life. Everyone needs a bit of variety, even if it means forcing yourself to listen to music that may seem shit now but grows upon you.