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Thread: how do you learn scales ??

  1. #1
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    how do you learn scales ??

    hi,
    can anyone tell me the best way to learn scales on fretboard plus with listeining. picking is never a problem i have practiced alot on fretboard with my fingers, i fast on it , but all i play is combination of 3 frets like ( 1 3 4 - 1 2 4 ) so now how shall i learn playing scales on it .. so that it would help me in soloing in specific scale i want to....

    p.s i am talking to soloing ...

  2. #2
    Etude
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    I would think to learn scales it would be best to learn where the notes of the Cmajor scale are in the open position. You can find this info online or pick up a basic guitar book. Just knowing patterns is OK but why not learn the notes. After that, the fretboard is your oyster. Then learn your minor scales. pentatonic and all the rest.


    Later Tom

  3. #3
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    I use patterns to play scales and modes so I recommend you start by learning the patterns. Patterns are a great way to learn how to play scales right at first as the pattern will automatically place the correct notes of the scale under your fingertips.

    Click here for the five basic scale patterns

    The numbers are the fingers to use in fretting the pattern.
    The red dots are the root note indicators.
    Want to play the G scale (Major, minor, pentatonic or blues) place the red dot on the 3rd fret 6th string of your guitar fretboard. All the notes of the G scale fall automatically under your fingertips if you stay within the pattern.

    Want to play the A scale - place the root note indicator on the 5th fret 6th string --- for the C scale place it on the 8th fret 6th string. Why, well the 5th fret 6th string is an A and the 8th fret 6th string is a C --- get the picture?

    Have fun.

    Click here for the seven mode patterns

    That is enough to keep you busy for several months.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 11-03-2006 at 09:25 PM.

  4. #4
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    I like playing scale from every position, up and down in one specific key. Example D-Phrygian and just start playing. Also it's very good to listen the songs that you like to play with. I like to do little solo's and lick's to song's i am playing with. Just try to hear the chord and just think that what would you like to sound like in this solo. And what i mean by "sounding" is basically minor, major, others...

    Mess around with various songs,
    Stengah.

  5. #5
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    thanks alot everyone... specially malcolm ... your info is really great and i can imagine before trying that this thing will surely help alot ....

  6. #6
    Just Arrived woodenkings's Avatar
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    i learned the way everyone has spoken of but i also went the extra miles years ago and bought the CAGED and TSTA systems for more studies....
    Later & God Speed,
    Romans 12:2

    I always choose Webstrings....

  7. #7
    Registered User Strum's Avatar
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    Yes like Malcolm said, use the patterns...Don't memorize your scales. Play around with different keys, and eventually it'll come naturally. Take a look at the patterns, find the similarity within them, and then play around with them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodenkings
    i learned the way everyone has spoken of but i also went the extra miles years ago and bought the CAGED and TSTA systems for more studies....
    whats CAGED & TSTA :s ?

  9. #9
    Just Arrived woodenkings's Avatar
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    graver - you will find the info at the following sites. if i can round up some more on the CAGED i will re-post them...

    TSTA System:
    MJS Total Scales Techniques and Applications - Guitar (Book/CD)
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/home/...q=Total+Scales+

    CAGED System:
    http://www.12tonemusic.com/12Tonemusic.htm
    http://www.fenderplayersclub.com/pdf...ons/scales.pdf

    i am not a salesman for either - just a student of each...
    Later & God Speed,
    Romans 12:2

    I always choose Webstrings....

  10. #10
    Just Arrived woodenkings's Avatar
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    more references:

    TSTA: none, except i keep these pages at the back of the book [that's just me]. i am sure you have something like them. you could do a search....

    http://www.guitarstuff.com/lessons/majmode/majmode.html

    http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/basic/print.html

    CAGED: extra, you could also do a search....also sign up for their free newsletter online at 12tone....

    http://www.teachguitar.com/content/tmcaged.html
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    scales are taught in many ways. i have scale books dating back to 1977'
    and they are way different then whats taught these days.

    everyone here has mentioned a good explanation and direction to go after.
    Last edited by woodenkings; 11-07-2006 at 10:55 AM.
    Later & God Speed,
    Romans 12:2

    I always choose Webstrings....

  11. #11
    Wannabe Shred-pop Maestro Mandz's Avatar
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    how do you memorise the notes on the fretboard though? i only know about methods by rote and they never work for me.

    i use mnemonics to memorise everything usually.

    String names: Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears = fat string to thin string (Elephants are big and fat, Ears are small and thin) E, A, D, G, B, e (little "e" to remind me its the thinnest)

    the Cycle/Circle of Fifths (for knowing the major scales - use all the natural notes in order but modify them according to the following) i visualise a clock with C above the number twelve - 12 is the highest number on the clock, it is where the day starts and ends and so that is where the scales should start from (its just a memory technique really, associating something unknown with something known - truth is irrelevent):

    imagine the letter "C" has a mirror image to it's right side - put them together and now it looks like a "0" so we remember that the key of C Major has zero sharps in it. the letter G can be drawn with one pen stroke therefore has one sharp, the letter D with 2 strokes therefore 2 sharps, A with three strokes, E with four strokes, 5 - if you add a couple of strokes - can look like a B, unfortunately it falls apart after that.

    the Cycle/Circle of Fourths: the (nonsensical) word prase F BEAD G. all the letters except F are flat. so really the flat keys are F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db and Gb.

    which keys get which sharps? "Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle" is the mnemonic for the order in which sharps are applied so, for instance, G major has one sharp and that sharp is F (Father). D major has two sharps and they are F and C (Father Charles), A major has 3 sharps and they are F, C, G (Father Charles Goes) etc., etc.

    Which Flats in the cycle of fourths: Battle Ends And Down Goes Father Charles. so for instance F has one flat since it is the first letter of F BEAD G and that Sharp is B (battle). Bb has 2 flats and they are B and E (Battle Ends), Eb has 3 flats and they are B, E, A (Battle Ends And) etc., etc.

    i know a little more theory, but not much (how to construct chords/arps). i tend to feel that it is all irrelevent anyway since i can't apply any of it since i can't memorise the notes on the strings other than Bottom E and A (and those strings only very slowly).

    does anyone have a good memorisation technique for all the notes on the fretboard? i would like to know as many methods as possible so that i can try them all and see which ones work. ideally i'd like some methods that don't require me to have a guitar with me since i have little time to practice.

    should i have started another thread or is it ok here anyway?
    Last edited by Mandz; 11-07-2006 at 03:28 PM. Reason: adding more detail

  12. #12
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    ^ .. man i think ur technique is bit difficult..just like .. you said
    " Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears = fat string to thin string (Elephants are big and fat, Ears are small and thin) E, A, D, G, B, e (little "e" to remind me its the thinnest) "

    instead of memorising .. a sentence of 6 words .. it was more easy to remember only 6 letters....

    and for constructing a scales... there is a simple formula .. i.e
    1. major scale :
    W W h W W W h
    (W's represent whole steps and h's represent half steps)

    For Example :
    Let's build a C Major Scale. Our starting note will be C.
    From the C, we will take a whole step to D.
    From the D, we will take another whole step to E.
    Next, we will go up a half step to F.
    From F, a whole step will take us to G.
    Next is another whole step to A.
    The last whole step takes us to B.
    Finally, the half step returns us to C.

    Minor Scales:

    While there is only one major scale, three different variations of the minor scale exist.
    1. Natural Minor Scale
    2. Harmonic Minor Scale
    3. Melodic minor Scale

    Formula:
    W h W W h W W
    (W's represent whole steps and h's represent half steps)

    The first minor scale that will we discuss is natural minor. It is constructed with the above formula.

    For Example :
    Let's build an A Natural Minor Scale. Our starting note will be A.
    From A, we will take a whole step to B.
    Next, we will take a half step to C.
    From C, a whole step will take us to D.
    Another whole step takes us to E.
    From E, we will go up a half step to F.
    From F, a whole step will take us to G.
    Finally, the last whole step returns us to A.

    Harmonic minor.
    To convert any natural minor scale into harmonic minor, raise the seventh note by a half step.

    For Example :
    Let's convert C Natural Minor into C Harmonic Minor.
    Simply raise the seventh note (Bb) by a half step, resulting in B.

    Melodic minor:
    To convert a natural minor scale into melodic minor, raise both the sixth and seventh notes by a half step.
    For Example :
    To convert C Natural Minor into C Melodic Minor, simply raise the Ab and Bb a half step to A and B.
    Last edited by graver; 11-08-2006 at 10:22 PM.

  13. #13
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    and yeah .. even i dont know any simple method of memorizing notes on fretboard... anyone ?? any idea ?

  14. #14
    Wannabe Shred-pop Maestro Mandz's Avatar
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    @ graver - see, i kinda already know all of that, but knowing that doesn't help me memorise it, since learning by rote just doesn't work for me.

    The sentence for the strings is a way of encoding a bunch of abstract data into something that can be visualised, linked together and therefore more easily committed to memory: one word leads to the next.

    these are basic (and very powerful) memory techniques.

    so really, it is learning one single sentence in order to memorise six distinct peices of information.

    i don't tend to go by the WWhWWWh thing either. a guy i know who is a fantastic fusion guitarist (apparently he studied at berkely) and teacher told be just to remember that for the Major scale there is a half step between the 3+4 note and between the 7+8 note. again, less to memorise - only two chunks as opposed to seven.

    the memory techniques work quickly enough to get you going straight away after you've understood the theory. after using them long enough, the information sticks and you don't use them so much.

    teaching my own students has shown me that the less abstract stuff they have to memorise the more interesting they find the lessons. problem is, i still don't have any reliable memory techniques for learning the notes across the whole of the fretboard.

    and aren't there 3 major scales as well? the ionian, lydian and mixolydian are all major scales aren't they? The "Major" scale is the ionian.
    Last edited by Mandz; 11-09-2006 at 01:23 PM.

  15. #15
    Wordgirl: Jaded Musician jade_bodhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graver
    and yeah .. even i dont know any simple method of memorizing notes on fretboard... anyone ?? any idea ?
    Hi there:

    Maybe you're thinking it is a more difficult task than it really is. Yes, the fretboard has many notes, but there are only twelve of them, which repeat in patterns (I know you probably know this).

    If you know the open notes of the strings (E, A, D, G, B, E), then all you have to know is the alphabet from A to G and the intervals of the major scale, which someone listed above.

    It's not easy, I know. I have been playing for years, and I haven't yet memorized every note. To identify some of them where I rarely play on the fretboard, I have to stop and count my intervals up or down from a note I DO know.

    The concept is easy, but the actual task of learning the notes isn't. Learning a lot of the chord positions and inversions up and down the fretboard has helped me learn the notes at the same time. Hope my experience is useful to you.

    Jade
    Last edited by jade_bodhi; 11-09-2006 at 03:01 PM.
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