learning scales


jammined
Registered User
Joined: 11/24/05
Posts: 4
hello when learning scales which one should be first then 2nd etc... i know the minor pentatonic a little but want to learn more about scales and how they work.just dont know where to begin,or which scales to learn first.i play mostly classic rock and blues.also say with the pentatonic are there any lessons or exercises that help connect the shapes horizontialy across the neck or is this just a matter of mapping out say notes on 2 or 3 strings at a time and practicing or is there a better way? any reccomonded interactive courses or lessons. thanks
# 1
Grambo
halfway to somewhere
Joined: 03/06/05
Posts: 983
You can add an extra note to the minor pentatonic scale and it becomes the blues scale;

You are probably aware that A minor pentatonic is: A..C D..E..G - the extra note is D# and is known as the blues note - however it needs to be played selectively.
IE: it will work well, before or between a minor pentatonic note/s - but if you play it on it's own it will sound.......................................Wrong

This six note scale is known as: A minor blues scale.
if you always take the lazy route
The Devil knows your every move ![COLOR=RoyalBlue]
# 2
Grambo
halfway to somewhere
Joined: 03/06/05
Posts: 983
On a rainy day when there's nothing on the telly' you could draw out the first twelve frets of a guitar neck and write in all the notes.
I did this a year ago and it has proved extremely valuable !
if you always take the lazy route
The Devil knows your every move ![COLOR=RoyalBlue]
# 3
Kevin Taylor
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 03/05/00
Posts: 4,722
Learn these ones... spend a few months on them & you'll notice a big difference in your playing ability.

http://www.guitartricks.com/2000/trick.php?trick_id=3050&s_id=28

# 4
Swe_Shredder
Registered User
Joined: 10/04/05
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by: schmangeLearn these ones... spend a few months on them & you'll notice a big difference in your playing ability.

http://www.guitartricks.com/2000/trick.php?trick_id=3050&s_id=28


Ive learnt those 7 scales that you provided there, those are just to play over a Gmaj chord right? Or can I solo on all 7 scales if the chord structure is like G, C, D, G ? Or G,D,Am,Em?
# 5
Horns_up6
Registered User
Joined: 12/07/05
Posts: 3
If you want to become familiar with music theory, (which I recommend) the best scale to learn first is the major scale. It's a good scale to learn, and all traditional music theory is based on and compared to the major scale. It's a beautiful scale when played expressively, and is easy to get used to. My advice would be to learn it inside and out. As many different scale patterns and locations of the major scale you can find. You'll probably recognize the sound... it's do-ra-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do. So start there. Good luck, man.
# 6
Horns_up6
Registered User
Joined: 12/07/05
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by: Swe_ShredderIve learnt those 7 scales that you provided there, those are just to play over a Gmaj chord right? Or can I solo on all 7 scales if the chord structure is like G, C, D, G ? Or G,D,Am,Em?


This is where modes come into play, actually. Look at all the notes in the Gmaj (Ionian) scale: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G. Now, the Ionian scale starts AND ends on G. The Dorian is the second mode which starts and ends on A: A, B, C, D, E, F#, G, A. Phrygian is the third and begins and ends on the third note, etc. So if you are playing a solo over, say, G, C, D, G... when the G chord is being played, play a lick in G Ionian, When the C is played use C phrygian, etc... It's very helpful if the chords in the progression can be found in the key tone scale. i.e. all the chords you gave above are in the Gmaj scale, which makes it whole lot easier. So as long you know the modes, and play a scale that relates to the chord(s), you'll be alright.
# 7
Dennis Logan
Registered User
Joined: 01/09/06
Posts: 33
Check out the attached A-minor pentatonic scale, that I created in an Excel spreadsheet. This really helped me to learn the different boxes.

I have this same file for every key (A B C D E F G).

If anyone would like me to email them different keys, let me know :cool:
Dennis Logan
Keep the Blues Alive
Fender Stratocaster EC spec
Gibson Les Paul Std 50s neck:cool:
# 8
desitricks
Registered User
Joined: 03/16/06
Posts: 4
I see there are some good questions and answers about learning guitar scales here. Below is a reprint of an article I wrote that covers this topic including the pentatonic scale. I think you'll find it very helpful. Also, I have a guitar theory Podcast which touches on both pentatonic and major scale patterns. To listen to these free guitar lessons go to either iTunes or Talkshoe.com and search for "guitar theory" or "Desi Serna."

How to learn guitar scales:

* 99% of popular music is Pentatonic and Major scales.
* Scales aren't just for playing guitar solos.
* Rhythm guitar players can benefit from scales too.

Guitar players don't need to learn a bunch of scales.
Guitar players need to learn the theory behind all the different ways of playing and applying the pentatonic and major scales. When a player learns guitar scale theory properly, they'll have 99% of the music they listen to covered. That's the truth! If a guitarist wants to explore additional guitar theory and more exotic scales later, then they'll have the proper music theory foundation to do it.

Pentatonic Scale Patterns On the Guitar
The pentatonic scale creates the simplest patterns on the guitar neck and the theory behind it makes it very easy to apply. Guitarists use the pentatonic boxes to play melodies, riffs, lead guitar solos and bass lines. All styles of popular music utilize this essential guitar scale including pop, rock, blues, country and jazz. Some classic songs that utilize the pentatonic scale, and make great learning material for any guitar theory program, include:

“Lowrider” War (G minor pentatonic scale)
“Lady Marmalade” Patti LaBelle (G minor pentatonic scale)
“Susie Q” Creedence Clearwater Revival (E minor pentatonic scale)
“My Girl” The Temptations (C major pentatonic scale)
“Wish You Were Here” Pink Floyd (G major pentatonic scale)
“Tweezer” Phish (A minor pentatonic scale)
“Purple Haze” Jimi Hendrix (E minor pentatonic scale)
“Breakdown” Tom Petty (A minor pentatonic scale)
“Pawn Shop” Sublime (E minor pentatonic scale)
“Turn Off the Light” Nelly Furtado (E minor pentatonic scale)
“Honky Tonk Women” The Rolling Stones (G major pentatonic scale)
“Hey Joe” Jimi Hendrix (E minor pentatonic scale)
“Yellow Ledbetter” Pearl Jam (E major pentatonic scale)
“Sunshine of Your Love” Cream (D minor pentatonic "blues scale")
“Baby Please Don’t Go” Them/Van Morrison (F minor pentatonic "blues scale")
“Iron Man” Black Sabbath (B minor pentatonic "blues scale")
“Roadhouse Blues” The Doors (E minor pentatonic "blues scale")
“Heartbreaker” Led Zeppelin (A minor pentatonic "blues scale")
“Maggie May” Rod Stewart (D major pentatonic scale)
“Sir Duke” Stevie Wonder (B major pentatonic "blues scale")

Rhythm Guitar Players Use the Pentatonic Scale Too
The purpose of learning how to play the pentatonic scale, or any scale for that matter, isn't limited to guitar riffs and solos. Even rhythm guitar players can study guitar theory and utilize occasional scale phrases. Guitar theory further teaches that pentatonic scale notes can be added to basic chords and create rich new sounds.

Compose On the Guitar with Pentatonic Scale Theory
There's one more thing about learning the pentatonic scale all serious guitar players should take into consideration. The pentatonic scale isn't a scale unique to only fretted instruments. All instruments utilize music theory and the pentatonic scale including singers. Many songs have pentatonic scale vocal melodies, keyboard parts, horn parts and more. These things can be worked out and arranged on guitar with the right music theory knowledge.


Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna (Google me!)
http://www.Guitar-Music-Theory.com
Scales, Chords, Progressions, Modes and More
# 9
psnolet
Registered User
Joined: 07/04/07
Posts: 2
I would like to add something that is easily overlooked in the effort to learn all of these different scale patterns whether it be a simple pentatonic scale, a blues scale or a whether you are working at grasping the modes. One thing that will accelerate your learning of scales, fretboard and when to use them because all scale patterns are movable is to learn where the root note(s) are in the scale. An easy way to do that is to start on the root note and learn the pattern from there, instead of the not on the low E, that way you are able to move the pattern to a different key a bit easier once you learn the patterns. So , say for example you are learning the blues scale patterns in A, start every scale on the root note then once you have all of the patterns learned then pick another key and figure out where to play the same patterns on the neck and keep doing so until you know where to play the patterns in any key. It takes a bit of persistence at first but after a while it becomes natural.
# 10
dvenetian
Registered User
Joined: 04/23/06
Posts: 627
Originally Posted by: Horns_up6This is where modes come into play, actually. Look at all the notes in the Gmaj (Ionian) scale: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G. Now, the Ionian scale starts AND ends on G. The Dorian is the second mode which starts and ends on A: A, B, C, D, E, F#, G, A. Phrygian is the third and begins and ends on the third note, etc. So if you are playing a solo over, say, G, C, D, G... when the G chord is being played, play a lick in G Ionian, When the C is played use C phrygian, etc... It's very helpful if the chords in the progression can be found in the key tone scale. i.e. all the chords you gave above are in the Gmaj scale, which makes it whole lot easier. So as long you know the modes, and play a scale that relates to the chord(s), you'll be alright.

Hi Horns, I believe that music offers so many possibilities in originality and creativity. If it sounds good, it is good. From playing in Key, modulation, using altered scales, improvisation, the skies the limit with many opportunities.
looking at your idea soloing over a G, C, D, G...Progression. G Ionian sounded good over the entire progression.
When trying the C Phrygian; C-Db-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb...over the Cmaj chord something interesting happened; "The Mother of God" came down the Milky Way surfing on a Violin . She pointed, extracting a razor thin Bolt of Lightning from her finger that melted my Humbucker into puddle on the floor....... I quickly switched pickups and moved to Dmaj. Suddenly an instant message appeared floating on the puddle that said "Try that again and I will smite thee with Great Vengence"..................... Out of spite, I Accepted the Challenge, when BAMM, a huge Frozen Crystal Ball crashed right through my roof making a sound like a telephone off the hook. A Voice broadcasted through the Ice and said " You want Dissonance??? I'll give you Dissonance". A visual appeared through the Crystal Ball. It was Vanessa Mae... Dispite the fact that Frostbite was setting in, Thinking swiftly, I scooped up my humbucker and poured it back into my Les Paul before it hardened. I then scrambled for my camera, only to discover it had been left on and was already recording ...... Luckily, the camera worked this time (such a tempermental piece of crap) and this is what I saw as she played this extremely technical piece in Gm to show how vast the creative spread that music has....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQ798THmR5Y

Although the notes in C Lydian would have been the safer choice to the G,C,D,G progression, The Lydian really wouldn't change or brighten much in this particular voicing. The G Ionian would take control and own it outright.
C Phrygian was an interesting study. The Phrygian notes compared to the notes of the progression in the Key of G were;
Progression:
The Gmaj chord; G-B-D...In comparison; G-Bb-Db = G diminished
The Cmaj chord; C-E-G...........\\........; C-Eb-G = C minor
The Dmaj chord; D-F#-A.........\\........; Db-F-Ab = Db Major
If theory of Parallel modes were applied here, it would be;
G Ionian = G-A-B-C-D-E-F#
G Locrian = G -Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb-F (same notes as C Phrygian)
The G Locrian/C Phrygian shared 2 out of it's 7 notes with the G Ionian. The Combined notes become The Chromatic scale.
G-Ab-A-Bb-B-C-Db-D-Eb-E-F-F#-G
It's Something I hadn't realized before....
# 11
John Freiberg
Registered User
Joined: 07/24/07
Posts: 1
Practice scales along single strings in addition to playing them in position. This is a very important and often overlooked process.
# 12