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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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Learning Scales and Modes

I am just beginning to learn about scales and modes, and was wondering if anyone had some helpful advice on how to approach this. I've bought a lot of books, but not exactly sure where to begin other than starting with the major scale. I have bought the Guitar Fretboard Workbook which seems to help writing out the exercises for me.

Any tips that have worked for you? It is very important to me that I learn this. I don't really know where to begin. Do I just start memorizing and playing? I do have a speedy memory. I have learned so far about the 5 basic root note patterns and how to ascend down a string a half and whole step. Hopefully nobody mocks the beginner here, but we all had to start somewhere.

I did have the guy at the music shop tell me he was working on memorizing one scale/mode per week. Is this overkill or a good idea?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 05:10 AM
 
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Re: Learning Scales and Modes

The first scale i learnt was the A minor pentatonic (very common scale in rock music) thats a good one to learn easy as well you'll know it in a minute (seriously), and my teacher also gave me another six to learn which were the A,B,D,E,F#,G major scales and i thought i also might learn the C locrian as well (i got these in about a week and a bit). All those scales except for the A and B all follow the same pattern there just played in other places on the fretboard.

Also i found this excellent program and i can't recommend it enough its called fretpro. Its a very simple program that shows you EVERY scale and chord there is, it also doubles as a training tool to recognise where the notes are located on the fretboard it gives you test that you set yourself. Anyway if you want that heres the link

http://www.tabguitarlessons.com/

So anyway hope that helps.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Learning Scales and Modes

Mike, I will definitely check out this program. I like free! How do I know what part of the fretboard to learn these positions on or does it really matter? I'm sorry if I seem silly, but this can be some tough stuff. Is it unnecessary to attempt to learn all the scales and modes or should I just focus on the ones I will commonly use. I want to write music so this is why I desire to learn all this. I play rock and classical guitar; some folk. I also want to learn it because I want to enhance my understanding of the fretboard and how chords are formed.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 06:03 AM
 
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Re: Learning Scales and Modes

Doug Dopplers DVD is pretty good for learning scales and modes, its got some good exercises too.

its about $40 from the bay and worth every penny.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Learning Scales and Modes

I never thought of looking for a DVD, thanks. I don't shop on-line, but I'll see if I can get it at the music shop I go to. Maybe youtube.com too? I was surprised to discover a week ago that you can watch guitar lessons on youtube. I'm not real computer savvy, but I am getting there. I was scared to death just buying a new computer a few weeks ago. Big purchases make me queezy.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 01:19 AM
 
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Re: Learning Scales and Modes

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Originally Posted by guitar_chick View Post
How do I know what part of the fretboard to learn these positions on or does it really matter? I'm sorry if I seem silly, but this can be some tough stuff. Is it unnecessary to attempt to learn all the scales and modes or should I just focus on the ones I will commonly use. I want to write music so this is why I desire to learn all this. I play rock and classical guitar; some folk. I also want to learn it because I want to enhance my understanding of the fretboard and how chords are formed.
Most scales are in a 4 fret space so for example take the A minor penatatonic that starts on the 5th fret and the furthest note away would be on the 8th fret (see below for example). When you look at some scales you might see the whole fretboard covered with notes in weird patterns and shapes, just look for something over a 4 fret distance and also one that looks the easiest and simplest to play.

Most Pentatonics will look like this, some may differ in shape.

A minor Pentatonic:
...5....6....7....8..
|-o-|---|---|-o-| If you find a scale that has that pattern try and
|-o-|---|---|-o-| play that thats the easiest i think anyway.
|-o-|---|-o-|---|
|-o-|---|-o-|---|
|-o-|---|-o-|---|
|-o-|---|---|-o-|
^ most common scales will have a row of notes like that, make that your starting point, so find that then move up 3 frets then that will be the furthest note you will have to play. Remember "position playing" helps when doing scales.

Most major scales will have this type of pattern:
G Major:
...7....8....9...10..
|-o-|-o-|---|-o-|
|-o-|-o-|---|-o-|
|-o-|---|-o-|---|
|-o-|---|-o-|-o-|
|-o-|---|-o-|-o-|
|-o-|-o-|---|-o-|

So if you find those in amongst all the other notes then i suggest you play that.
As for learning all scales i suggest stay away from the Chromatic and Whole Tone scales they're pointless IMO.
Try to learn as many scales as you want they will help improve co-ordination, and they can be used to construct solos, riffs, and lead parts they can even be used to make a whole song you just have to be creative and mess around with and experiment until you get a sound and rhythm you like.

Anyway i hope that helps and i didn't confuse you.

Last edited by Mike239; 05-02-2007 at 01:29 AM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Learning Scales and Modes

Thanks, Mike! It does make sense. The past few days I've been writing out major and natural minor scales by knowing the root note alone. I'm seeing a pattern with the 5 basic root note shapes. So the key is not to just rot memorize, but see the pattern. I notice pattern #1, according to the book I'm reading with root notes on the 2nd string 2nd fret and 5th string 3rd fret, the notes for that scale fall in the same sequential order on the fretboard. No matter where you are on the fretboard the order stays the same for pattern #1 within that type of scale.

The workbook I bought seems to be helping. Writing the notes out and having to think about the spatial relationships, is helping to make it click for me. I know it will take time, though.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-04-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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Re: Learning Scales and Modes

The key is to hear the sound of a particular mode and know what notes create those sounds . Also how do these notes relate to the chords in the music?
Example: theres an A Minor chord playing in the background Stevie Ray would choose to play an a pentatonic scale( a,c,d,e,g), Al Di Meola would choose a minor scale(Aeolian mode-natural minor a,b,c,d,e,f,g,a), a neo classical guy like Yngwie would play a harmonic minor scale( a,b,c,d,e,f,g#,a) -someone else might play c major( c,d,e,f,g,a,b,c) over the a minor chord.
The least confusing way to do this is to start everything in the key of a minor/c major(a,b,c,d,e,f,g,a) no sharps or flats. You can use the open a string to hear the effect or quality of the scale as you play thru . Does it sound happy(major)? Sad(minor)? Exotic(harmonic minor)? Like science fiction(Diminished,augmented,whole tone-the "outside stuff")? Add notes to your scales..add a flat five to the a minor pentatonic scale(a,c,d,d#,e,g). Hit the open a string then play e(12),d#(11),d(10) on the high e string. You've heard this on countless blues and classic rock songs. All the best
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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Re: Learning Scales and Modes

Hey..I agree that learning scales is imperative to becoming a better, more fluent guitarist. I always found learning scales to be a very intimidating, daunting task, but its well worth the effort
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 05:17 AM
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Re: Learning Scales and Modes

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayspeak View Post
Hey..I agree that learning scales is imperative to becoming a better, more fluent guitarist. I always found learning scales to be a very intimidating, daunting task, but its well worth the effort
2 years later
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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Re: Learning Scales and Modes

LMAO...Didnt say it was easy
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doug doppler , harmonic minor scale , minor scales , stevie ray

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