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Scales,modes and the other stuff im just confused  

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(@steveobouttorock)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 87
26/07/2004 3:06 am  

This is me first post so i dont Know if im doing this right, anywhom...

I've been playing for a couple months now and I've recently wanted to start making solos, me friends say i just have to use scales and modes and i have no idea what im supposed to do with them, i've been trying to figure em out but i have no idea what im supposed to do with them or how they change with key or anything, so i pretty much have no idea when it comes to scale theory :? Would somebody please sort this out for me once and for all.

be good at what you can do-


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(@paul-donnelly)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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26/07/2004 5:27 am  

Don't worry about modes for now. They are basically just more scales, but they tend to confuse people a lot. A scale, as you may know, is a set of notes, with one note that the scale begins on. That note gives the scale it's name. When you're soloing over some chords, it's a good idea to pick a scale that fits well with them. When you play only notes from that scale, you have a better chance of playing something passable.

When you're playing in a key (which is all the time for most people), your song uses mainly notes from the scale that key is named for. The chords in the song are likely to use only notes from that scale, although they may not. The melody will use mostly notes from that scale as well.

If you're just writing solos with no backing chords, you don't have to worry about which scale you use. Just pick one you like and play around within it. There are lots of sites that list scales, I'm sure someone here can suggest one. Note: it's not necessary to use any particular scale to construct a solo, but you'll have a very difficult time doing if if you're just picking notes out of the air. Feel free to try it though.

EDIT: Basically, playing within a scale reduces the number of notes you have available. That way, you have a much easier time building up recognizable patterns. At the very least, you'll have the pattern of notes in the scale. You can hardly fail to make that abvious. On top of that, you'll have the patterns of any riffs and rhythms you choose to use. Patterns are important because a listener feels lost without them. They work kind of like landmarks in a song.

EDIT REDUX (or, "I can't believe I don't shut up!"): Make sure you're saying something in your solo. Even if it's something like, "I want a cheese sandwich." Content is important. Remember that even only one good note is better than a flurry of bad ones. If you like the note you're on, don't be in a hurry to change it. Just ride it, for as long as you like.


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(@snoogans775)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 297
26/07/2004 6:04 am  

there are only two things I would say about solos off the bat since I'm not sure how much you've played

Licks:they're usually 4 or 5 notes, and if you're wrting a guitar solo, they're a great way to spring into the process, just play around with the notes, but try to keep them close to the original

Modes: it's completely your decision whether to learn modes or not, it's not standard knowledge, and they are very hard to learn without a good teacher, just look at the mode discussion in the theory forum, pretty confusing stuff

any road, soling dooesn't happen by magic, just learn and apply, and eventually you'l have one of those magic practices we all come to have

I don't follow my dreams, I just ask em' where they're going and catch up with them later. -Mitch HedburgDid you see that!


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(@snare)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5
28/07/2004 12:02 pm  

umm could anyone take the pain to tell exactly what a key is....i understand that way u hold the strings would make a chord like we have the E chord A chord C ,G and etc.Then there's this thing called major and minor and pentatonic scales made of a pattern of certain notes like A major scale is like..
A B C# D E F# G# A
what and how would a key be explained?

http://www.mekaalhasanband.com/sampooran/media.htm <---- Mekaal The True definition of a Musician.


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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28/07/2004 1:24 pm  

A key is the notes and chords that are organized together. They come in pairs: a major and a minor - the related minor key starts from the 6th note of the major scale... so A major and F# minor are related keys.

You've got A major:
A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#-A

and F# (natural) minor:
F#-G#-A-B-C#-D-E-F#

and they both use the same notes. The difference is in the tonic, or keynote - if it moves around A, it's major... if it moves around F#, it's minor.

Chords are built from the scale notes diatonically, which means you use notes from the scale. In A major, the chords will be:

A major - B minor - C# minor - D major - E major - F# minor - G# diminished

The whole collection of notes and chords is called a key, just to be able to communicate that range of things quickly.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@blutic1)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 280
29/07/2004 7:44 pm  

If you want to solo. 99.9999999999% of guitar players start with the Minor pentatonic scale. Learn it, live it, love it.


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(@steveobouttorock)
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Posts: 87
30/07/2004 1:44 am  

right.... but what do you do with the scale to make a solo

be good at what you can do-


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(@blutic1)
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Posts: 280
30/07/2004 2:28 am  

Think of it like this: Try to use only 15 letters out of the alphabet to tell me a short story. The scale is your mini alphabet. There are 5 notes in a pentatonic scale, seven in a major or minor scale, right? So you use those notes to create a solo. There is no magic formula. You play one note after the other, but not necessarily in order, to make a musical story. Think of Mary had a little lamb: B A G A B B B A A A B B B B A G A B B B ... or Star Wars C G F E D C G F E D C G F E F D - play those notes at the right time for the right duration and your not only playing the song, you're playing a solo if something else is backing you up.

Or look at it like this: Notes are your colors to paint a picture with. Red envokes passion while blue seems to envoke a cool feelings. Minor scales have a certain mood, so do pentatonic scales. What you do with the colors / notes is only up to you. You can get some tab and paint by numbers to see what others have done. But in the end you have to invent your own appoach.

My teacher started me soloing by having me stay in a minor pentatonic scale while he played chords in the key. At first I could only go straight up and down the scale. Soon I was bending and sliding and playing random notes. Then I started to put things together better and better.

Like the commerical says; Just Do It.


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(@paul-donnelly)
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30/07/2004 5:08 am  

right.... but what do you do with the scale to make a solo

You play notes from within it. It's just like trying to solo using any notes, except you have fewer to choose from. Fewer choices = Fewer ways to screw up. Just play notes from the scale randomly at first if you don't know what to play. The only way to learn is by doing it.


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(@steveobouttorock)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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31/07/2004 3:04 am  

what would be a good scale to use? I play punk an grunge if that helps

be good at what you can do-


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(@blutic1)
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Posts: 280
03/09/2004 6:23 pm  

Most people start working with the minor pentatonic because it is widely used and easy to learn.


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 Pup
(@pup)
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09/09/2004 10:14 am  

what would be a good scale to use? I play punk an grunge if that helps

Pentatonic scale.....


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(@call_me_kido)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 188
11/09/2004 1:39 pm  

I agree with all of the above. The Pentatonic scales, both major and minor, are excellent scales to start with. I also beleive its important to explain why. The most obsious answer being, for example, the fact that pentatonics usually contain only chord tones for a backing harmorny.

When you construct a chord, and then a progression this is what your dealing with. C is a good example:

C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C (tonic repeated)

these are are the chords in the C major scale

C - Dm - Em - F - G - Am - B7b5 - C

a common progression to solo against which works well with both major and minor pentatonics would be....

C - Am - F - G or I - vi - IV - V

When you play the major or minor pentatonic scales here are the notes your taking from your normal major/ionian scale.

Major Scale C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C

Pentatonic Major C - D - E G - A C

This effectively eliminated notes not found in your chords (except for the IV "F")

In many cases the harmony is perfect for accompanying chords because passing tones are eliminated (also eliminating the chance for landing on a passing tone for two long).

Kido


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(@steveobouttorock)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 87
12/09/2004 2:38 am  

my terachers been explaing it well and i can understand it clearly now, but thanks all of u

be good at what you can do-


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