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Scales--where to start?


(@arfinwulf)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 52
Topic starter  

I've decided to learn scales. Yay me! I assume a good place to start is major scales, but what order is best?

Namaste.


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5367
 

The order they come at you in the London College of Music "Grades" is:

Grade 1: C Major and A harmonic minor - 1 octave
G Major and E harmonic minor - 2 octaves

Grade 2: D Major - 1 octave
F and A Major and A harmonic minor - 2 octaves

Grade 3: E chromatic and D melodic minor - 1 octave
E Major and A melodic minor - 2 octaves

Grade 4: E chromatic, D Major, E and D melodic minor - 2 octaves

Grade 5: Transpositional Major Scale patterns starting on 5th and 6th string roots - 2 octaves
E chromatic, Major, harmonic and melodic minors - 3 octaves

Grade 6: Transpositional harmonic and melodic minor Scale patterns starting on 5th and 6th string roots - 2 octaves
F chromatic, Major, harmonic and melodic minors - 3 octaves

Grade 7: Transpositional chromatic Scale patterns starting on 5th and 6th string roots - 2 octaves
G chromatic, Major, harmonic and melodic minors - 3 octaves

Grade 8: Any 2 octave chromatic Major, harmonic or melodic minor scale on 5th or 6th string roots (all 12 tonic notes - so that includes the "black keys")
Any 3 octave chromatic Major, harmonic or melodic minor scale anywhere from 6th string E to A - electric guitar users with 24 frets can do this on root notes all the way up to the 12th fret.

And don't forget the five good old pentatonic scale patterns we use for soloing

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@arfinwulf)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 52
Topic starter  

"And don't forget the five good old pentatonic scale patterns we use for soloing."

Please elaborate.

Namaste.


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5367
 

Try here - all five patterns in one page. there are loads of other sites that provide the same info

Clickety click

And the nice thing about all five patterns is that they're transposable to any key.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@size9)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 36
 

Try here - all five patterns in one page. there are loads of other sites that provide the same info

Clickety click

And the nice thing about all five patterns is that they're transposable to any key.

A :-)

Alan pointed out a really great site!

Remember: The orange dots on these scales indicate the "root" or key the scale is played in. Pentatonic scales are the popular scales to learn in my opinion. They are used most frequently in Rock, Blues & Jazz, But, can be played in almost any genre. Try practicing them with some backing tracks to help you from getting bored! Lol!

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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

Recently I post similar patterns for major scales. Forget the Spanish text and use the diagrams:

http://learningbass.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/escala-mayor-i/

For example, C major. C is in the 8th fret of the 6th string. That is the white dot (every white dot represents a C in this case). For the top diagram, use your pinky in that position and use your index in the 5th fret of the 5th string, and so on. That pattern is usually called "6/4" because you use your pinky (4th finger) over the 6th string.

The middle pattern is called "6/2". Use your middle (2) finger in the white dot of 6th string (you have to play C as well, so you must move your hand). The bottom pattern is called "6/1". Use your index (1) finger in the 6th string.

I will post similar patterns staring in the 5th string in the next few week. Start practicing these patterns, you will need some time. Go up and down, go in thirds, fourths, etc., use melodic patterns, and have fun!


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(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 830
 

Minor pent & blues scales is what I understood & could relate to first.


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(@staffan)
Estimable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 125
 

+1 for the five pentatonic shapes of major/minor respectively. Also practise to start from each root note on the different strings (between 2 and 3 starting points depending on shape).

After you´ve nailed the pentatonics you could easily expand on them and learn which notes to add to build the 7 different "modes" (won´t go in to detail about them yet though - far too much fuzz about modes - but in the future... ).

Good luck!

AAAFNRAA
- Electric Don Quixote -


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(@sean0913)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 65
 

I would agree with those who suggest the pentatonic as a starting point...unless the priority is to study music theory as well. But if not, the good thing about learning the pentatonic scale is it is one of the "safest" scales for guitarists. If you play it at the right spot it's very difficult to have it sound wrong, for many songs.

This way the student (sorry I'm a teacher, I think in those terms) can spend time interacting with the musical potential of these scales, and creating, experimenting with simple melodies and developing confidence.

I'd suggest start off with just the basic 1 position box pattern and experiment with that for a while until there is a strong proficiency and facility in playing through it in various articulations (hammer on, pull off, slides bends etc) and then add the next position, etc.

Best,

Sean

Guitar Instructor/Mentor
Online Guitar School for Advanced Players
http://rnbacademy.com


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