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Thread: Scales must be easier!

  1. #1
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    Scales must be easier!

    I've read so much info on scales, my head is spinning. It seems there are so many opinions on what scales should be learned that I'm confused. Can someone clarify what scales I should know for basic rock guitar. I like mostly older '70's and '80's stuff. I read I should learn major scales, then G major scales, then minor scales. I'm totally lost. I need a good comprehensive guide and I haven't found anything online or in the bookstore. HELP!

  2. #2
    Registered User hol0point's Avatar
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    Like you said there is so many different opinions on scales so others may disagree with me.. But I think the Major Pentatonic scale in all five positions is the best one to start with. Heres a link to an article in case you are interested. One thing is for sure though. If you try to learn all the types of scales and modes all at once you will fail.. Stick with one thing and try to master it. Then you will be able to use what youve learned much easier.

    http://www.ibreathemusic.com/article/90

  3. #3
    I like music.
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    I'm going to have to say that you should learn the pentatonic scale forms(both major and minor). Then go learn the modes, because having a good understanding of that type of tonality will undoubtedly help you become a better guitar player.

    Another thing to do when you learn your scales, is to

    1) Harmonize them (M3rd's, 5ths...)
    2) Name all the scale degrees within them, and from that, you should able to come up with your own patterns (most likely on the major scales).
    Hard luck and trouble...

  4. #4
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    yes. you should definitely start with the minor/major pentatonic. it's easy to remember cuz it only got five notes and the scale patterns lays nicely on the fretboard.

    and all the great guitarist in the 70īs (page, clapton, hendrix etc) used it all the time.

  5. #5
    Registered User chris's Avatar
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    Here ya go!
    http://www.ibreathemusic.com/reviews/article/13

    This book will teach you all about the right kind of scales and how to use them. I thank EricV for turning me onto this book. Even has a section called "Scales for Morons" that teaches you an easy and practical way to turn pentatonics into modes
    "It's a long way to the top if your going to Rock N' Roll!"

  6. #6
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Scales --- everybody has one ---- and they are not the same pattern --- what's a guy to do?

    hol0point advise is sound just pick one and master it ----- then go on. The 5 scale positions (patterns) he pointed you to on this site is different than what I learned --- Patterns are the same but the position numbers are different ---- It does get confusing. Not a problem I'll just stay with what I learned and you learn these. In the example the 3rd pattern at the 5th fret does give you the C scale. I just happen to call it the 5th pattern, it's the same pattern. My point pick one and stay with it don't jump around. The Internet is too full of information.

    Hol0point is telling you about 5 positions up the neck and others are telling you about using one generic Pentatonic pattern which you move up the neck to fit the key the song is being played in. No wonder you are confused. No one is giving you bad information, everyone just has a different reference point. Again Hol0point's advise is sound.

    I'd suggest you use this sites pattern since it looks like you do not already have a pattern. Start with the pentatonic 5 note scale and learn all 5 positions while at it. Why all 5 and not that one generic pentatonic pattern? After you learn all 5 positions you will be able to play in the area of the neck you like (it's a little more advanced). Using that one generic pattern the key of D is so far up the neck that it takes on a uke sound, but if you know all 5 positions (key word position, not pattern) you can change positions and get the D into an area you like to play in. I find the 5th to 8th fret easier, center of the fretboard and the frets are not too close or too spread out, so I use this area of the fretboard for most of the keys I use. Use the position that puts the key I want in the 5th to 8th fret. That link will explain how you do this.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by Malcolm; 03-09-2004 at 12:28 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the advise so far. Let me add one more thing. I know the major scale and all of it's 7 modes inside and out. Should I be adapting something from that? Is it better for me to learn the major and minor pentatonic (which I assume are derived form this scale)? I guess I thought a fairly simple idea would be much easier to understand.

  8. #8
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    If you will look closely those 5 patterns - positions are the same as mode patterns, however, my instructor said to forget about modes for now, think of them as being scale positions. He said we will get into modes later. So I'm in no hurry. How to use Modes confuses me.

    The 5 scale positions give me all I need right now. If you want to start with the Major and or Minor Pentatonic scale position, it will keep you busy for some time. Back to the find something and master it before going on. Spend some time improvising with that pentatonic scale pattern. Jam with your CD's It's a blast.

    I find the key by walking the low E string up the neck till it matches the CD -- look at the note that matches and this will be the key to jam in.

    Have fun.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 03-09-2004 at 04:31 PM.

  9. #9
    Firebard RandyEllefson's Avatar
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    I know your goal is to learn more scales, but keep in mind that wonderful things can be done with old faithful: major and minor. Other scales are just different flavors, but if you can't make a chocolate cake, you can't make a chocolate with fudge swirl, vanilla drippings, three kinds of nuts, sprinkles, glazed, rooty-tooty icing on top cake either!

    I think I made myself hungry.....

  10. #10
    Groovemastah DanF's Avatar
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    I was going to recommend that you start with the major scale but if you've got it then go ahead and drop the 5th and 7ths and you'll be playing pentatonics. They are the most common sound in rock/blues.

    -Dan
    "In improvised music you easily can tell who is a guitar player and who is a musician." - Maarten (fellow IBMer)

  11. #11
    Mode Rator Zatz's Avatar
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    Hi spinball!

    I want to share my own experience in understanding modes with you. I used to feel lost about what they are good for and had to deal with the theory about them to break through until I once came across rather simple example which helped me grasp the main idea. It's The Man Who Sold The World performed by Nirvana on the unplugged album. I couldn't think of anything more straightforward in applying modes so I hope it'll help you too. It's the bit starting with the words "Oh no, not me..." sung over C and F chords, also backed with playing up two modes - Mixolydian and Ionian:

    (C)
    C Mixolydian
    -----------------------------
    -----------------------------
    -------------------2--3--5---
    ---------2--3--5-------------
    ---3--5----------------------
    -----------------------------
    Oh no

    (F)
    F Ionian
    -----------------------------
    -----------------------------
    -----------------------------
    -------------------0--2--3---
    ---------0--1--3-------------
    ---1--3----------------------
    Not me

    Note: I mean standard tuning here - hence the chord names.

    Here you can download the ptb-version of this song to take a listen:

    The Man Who Sold The World *.ptb

    My post doesn't explain anything theory wise. Still as I come to recall what I needed most in the times of confusion I realize that it had to be one simple example to clear it all out for me.

    Anyways, IBreatheMusic contains enough info on modes both to confuse you even more and bring you back into understanding them perfectly So go ahead and search through the articles and forums.

    Warm regards,
    Zatz.
    Last edited by Zatz; 03-17-2004 at 12:29 AM.
    Zadd9 -> A6 -> T#9b5 -> Zmaj7

  12. #12
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    Thanks Zatz for that example. I think I'm really understanding putting the scales to work in different keys. I wanted to understand how songs were put together before I really learned any. I don't want to become a parrot, playing songs without having any idea how they were pieced together. With every explanation another light bulb goes off, getting me closer to my goal.

  13. #13
    Groovemastah DanF's Avatar
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    For another example, I think everyone has been taught that if you have a progression in C then you just solo using C major (or C pentatonic etc.) but if you really look at the theory (or listen) you'll hear that for each chord there are "avoid" notes that doesn't sound so good. If instead of playing straight C major over the whole progression you played the modes of C major it would eliminate the "avoid" notes.
    "In improvised music you easily can tell who is a guitar player and who is a musician." - Maarten (fellow IBMer)

  14. #14
    Registered User hol0point's Avatar
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    This is a really cool tool for making chords, scales, modes, etc.


    http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/guitar-codex/index.php

  15. #15
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Short and simple --- If the rhythm guys are playing a major chord progression you play your lead in that minor.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 03-17-2004 at 07:40 PM.

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