Originally Posted by: snpfarm1. Each note is indicated by a circle with a number in the circle.
I know the "Red 1" indicates the root note but what about the other circles with numbers?[/quote][br]The numbers are scale degrees. Those numbers are incredibly important because every scale is made from an interval formula: the distance between each note. Those intervals are labelled with numbers 1-7 for diatonic scales, 1-5 for pentatonic.
The interval formula & resultant scale degrees are why the scale sounds the way it does.
Learning this & internalizing it is the process of ear training & how you learn to play "by ear" or how you subconsciously automate sounds in music to memorize them.
These tutorial covers the basics of scale degrees. They are from my older GF course.
C major scale for beginners
A minor scale for beginners
After that I have tons of other tutorials that go much deeper into scales: how to use, understand, apply, practice, etc. But for now, just start with those beginner tutorials.
Originally Posted by: snpfarm2. Does it matter in which order you play the notes of the particuliar scale or just put something together that sounds good? I guess thats where improvising comes in so I may have just answered my own question.
Yes, it matters very much because each scale degree has it's own unique sound within the scale. So in order to play a certain melody, lick, riff, musical phrase you have to know which note makes that sound.
The simplest example is if you want to play Mary Had a Little Lamb, you have to start on the major 3rd, or it will not be correct.
Thereafter the entire melody is determined by scale degrees:
Those are the scale degrees for that melody. Any other, or different notes, are wrong & will make the melody sound incorrect. If you understand that concept & how to apply it on the guitar (i.e. scale degrees on the fretboard), then you can play the melody in any key all over the guitar.
This principle works for any & every lick, riff, song. All of them, everytime, all the time.
It's how some people can "play by ear", or pick up licks or songs quickly. They are seeing scale patterns on the fretboard & understanding that certain shapes consistently create certain, specific sounds. Even when self-taught players say they don't understand music theory or they don't necessarily know the scale degrees work. Scale degrees are exactly what they are using & relying on.
Scale degrees are also important because they are the basis for building chords: how they are formed & played.
Scales & chords relationship
[quote=snpfarm]3. I would think that once you start you should at least start with the root note.
When you first start learning & practicing scales it can help to start & end on the root note so you can keep them physically & conceptually organized. But eventually you should start on different notes of the scale, while keeping the root note & all the scale degrees in mind.
This is because when you play actual music a melody, riff, lick or song might start on any given note of a scale!
So, yes, scales degrees are extremely important. :) Hope that helps! Please ask more if necessary. Best of success!
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