Scales! Give me anything you got!

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by natevi, Dec 27, 2009.


  1. natevi

    natevi Member

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    Lately some of they guys I play with have wanted me to know some scales but low and behold I know none ): So throw anything you got at me, I play alot of jazz and fingerstyle. Just the scale and what key its in would be great. If there are any scale books I would the name of them! Thanks guys!:JAM

    EDIT
    If any of you guys see Jazz III dunlop picks that are old 90's, 80s, 70's.... please send a PM to me if there on ebay or something I love the older picks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  2. GROCNROLL

    GROCNROLL Member

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    Hi Nate,

    There are lots of good reference materials available to help you. One that I would recommend is "The Guitar Grimoire" (there are a whole series of these books and there is one devoted entirely to scales). You probably already know some scales (or at least parts of them), you just don't realize it yet. After all, any time you play a solo (especially a single-note lead), you're using some type of scale. There are also a lot of very knowledgeable and helpful people right here on The Gear Page who'll gladly help you! Good luck with this!
     
  3. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    There's a lot of scales out there, but before we throw names at you I think it would help if you explained how you're getting around the fretboard now. I mean, when you're playing jazz how are you visualizing things?

    The two scales most guitarists start with are the major scale and the minor pentatonic (or blues scale). But keep in mind there's a difference between scales and scale fingerings. If you understand the way a scale works and understand the fretboard you can create a scale fingering in any position you want. But most guitarists learn a scale as a fingering, and are trapped in that fingering. I've had students who wouldn't even recognize the same scale played in two different fingerings. Don't be one of those guys!
     
  4. natevi

    natevi Member

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    I can defiantly recognize different fingerings. I know what I'm doing I just don't know no scales X_X
     
  5. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    OK, so what do you know? Do you know chord voicings? Cowboy chords? Barre chords? That will help us. Better yet, why are they telling you to learn some scales?

    And honestly if you don't have a major scale or minor pentatonic down yet there's no point in learning anything else.
     
  6. natevi

    natevi Member

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    I can Barre Chords. I don't know what anything else is. I would like to Blues and Jazz improvise so if someone tells me to "Improvise blues in E" then I'll know what I'm doing insted of sitting then looking dumb founded.
     
  7. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    There are 2,048 formulas of tones having a 1 tonic within the 12 tones of an octave.

    That means there are roughly 500 different formulas of 7 tones, the most common scale design.

    It all gets reduced to works/doesn't work, two sounds.
     
  8. natevi

    natevi Member

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    So how to get to my basic goal... being able to impro in E or any other key for that matter... don't I need to know scales? I know that anything I play on open A can be played on A on the E string and things like that.
     
  9. Carl_Tone

    Carl_Tone Member

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    First you learn the major scale and the picking and interval exercises related to it.
    There is a youtube video on improvisation by John Scofield which nicely covers that point I just made...and he deals with all the modes as well as the chords each mode can be played over.

    The melodic minor is important to jazz so once again on youtube look for larry coryell covering the melodic minor.

    Also anytime you hear an unfamiliar scale mentioned i.e. when you are reading TGP...google that scale for the fingering pattern and experiment with it so that you get a grasp of it and can determine if you can use it.

    Get some really good arpeggios, like Don Mock's as they go hand in hand with the scales.

    This is where Jack Zucker's Sheets of sound can save you alot of time and research...he has it all there for you.

    Also go through your music collection from time to time and play over & copy lines that you like as it will build you skills fairly rapidly.
     
  10. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    Well there's more to it than scales. And to some degree you have to find your own way. But because you said you know barre chords I can help you.

    This is my approach, and it's similar to what's often called the CAGED method. You take a chord shape and build a scale around it. As you do this, it's important to learn the notes (intervals) in the shape (more on this later).

    Let's start with an A major chord, 5th fret (this is an open E shape if that makes sense).

    1)5
    2)5
    3)6
    4)7
    5)7
    6)5

    Here is what each note is in relation to the chord:

    1)5 root
    2)5 5th
    3)6 3rd
    4)7 root
    5)7 5th
    6)5 root

    Now you can build a scale around that shape:

    1)---------------------------------4-5
    2)---------------------------5-7
    3)-------------------4-6-7
    4)-----------4-6-7
    5)----4-5-7
    6)5-7

    That's an A major scale. An A major chord is built from an A major scale. It's as simple as that.

    This scale will also work for Amaj7, Amaj6, Amaj9, etc. But here's where it gets complicated- If you have Amaj7#11, Amaj7+5, A9, A13, A7b9, Amin/maj7, etc you will need a different scale. So that's a lot of scales to learn (and a lot of fingerings). That's why it's important to learn the intervals when you learn these chords/fingerings, that way you can alter that shape at will. Let's say the chord was Amaj7+5, then you could simply raise the 5th on my pattern:

    1)--------------------------------4-5
    2)--------------------------6-7
    3)------------------4-6-7
    4)-------------6-7
    5)-----4-5-8
    6)5-7

    And here's the arpeggio within that scale:

    1)--------------------------------4-5
    2)--------------------------6-7
    3)------------------4-6-7
    4)-------------6-7
    5)-----4-5-8
    6)5-7

    Now for some of those chords it's not as easy as simply altering those notes listed in the chord, some other alterations are implied. This is where a bit of theory knowledge comes in. But IMO you can get very far with simply the chord's arpeggio and a decent ear. In fact that's what I would recommend, learning the arpeggios around your chord shapes and using your ears for the rest.

    The arpeggios are the frame to see the fretboard with, and the chord voicings and scales hang on the frame. This is why knowing the intervals are so important.
     
  11. kimock

    kimock Member

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  12. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

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    How do you play jazz without knowing scales?!?!?!?
     
  13. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    My first question to you is.....Which of these is correct? I'm confused as to what you want.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  14. A-Bone

    A-Bone Montonero, MOY, Multitudes Gold Supporting Member

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  15. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    I played jazz for quite awhile without knowing more than the basic major and minor scales. I didn't know what harmonic minor was until fairly recently, but I had been playing melodic minor ideas since I started. As I said, if you know the arpeggios as a guide and use your ears for the rest (along with a healthy dose of transcription), you'll end up learning these things by ear.
     
  16. Bejazzz

    Bejazzz Active Member

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    go to Youtube and search for Justin guitar lessons. He has several videos available that demonstarte quick and easy to learn scales. all lessons are free.
     
  17. puckhead

    puckhead Member

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    lets start at the very beginning,
    a very good place to start.
    when you read you begin with A - B - C
    when you sing you begin with do - re - me.

    /live it, learn it, love it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  18. uberpict

    uberpict Member

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    +1

    The Major (7 note) scale and the minor pentatonic are critical and should be learned across the fretboard in all keys. Took me several years to get across the fretboard in one key in the minor pentatonic but the other keys get easier once you start thinking in tone intervals and not the physical patterns.

    I'm still working on the major scale and the different modes across the board. Trying to separate it from the pentatonic is tough once you really get the pentatonic ingrained. More on this later, I had a revelation earlier and was going to start a new thread to discuss the revelation. This seems as good a place as any to bring it up.

    Anyhoo, once you have the major (seven note) scale and minor pentatonic you can move into the major pentatonic which is the same notes as the minor pentatonic but in another key. E minor pentatonic and G major pentatonic have the same notes but the order in which they are played differs and the "feel" is different; major penta sounding pretty and nice with the minor penta sounding sad or moody. These two are the staples of blues (minor) and country (major) so these two are indispensable.

    Once you get your head wrapped around those you can move to the modes of the major scale and, BTW, don't get too hung on learning the pentatonics and slack off on the seven note major scale because that Major Scale comes in handy for the modes. Modes are different notes of the major scale "re-arranged" to fit the root key. Easiest way I can think of to grasp this concept is the difference between the Major and Minor pentatonic and actually I suppose the minor penta is really a mode of the major penta or vice versa. The seven note modes are the same Major Scale of a different key played in the root key like the major and minor pentatonic are the same but start on a different on positions. E Aeolian and D Mixolydian are the same notes but have a different feel and start on different notes. Mixolydian sounding happier and Aeolian is sadder sounding.

    Now I can get to my revelation, I just noticed tonight that the Mixolydian is the same as the major pentatonic but with two notes added in for seven total and sounds more "major-ish" or "happy" sounding. The Aeolian and minor pentatonic has the same notes with two added notes and sounds more dark and brooding. The other modes also seem to correspond to the pentatonics too; Dorian has two notes added in to the minor pentatonic and seems sad sounding and better for blues or more "moody" types of music.

    I had never noticed this relationship before (or had forgotten this if it had been taught to me, apologies to one of my teachers, Trey, I'm sure you knew this) and it was almost an epiphany of sorts. I'm working on Broken Wings by John Mayall and found the Dorian and minor pentatonic both sound good with this darker sadder song. Low and behold it's more similar to the minor pentatonic with the two extra notes added in. I guess it's the flatted third that gives Dorian and Aeolian that more minor sound and the regular third that gives the Mixolydian the Major type happy feel. The Lydian should sound more "Majorish" with the full third, I'm just happy to have the Mixolydian and Aeolian a little more firmly "under my belt" so I'm working towards getting the Dorian learned and will probably start on the Lydian next.

    Whew sorry to be so "long winded' but I wanted to share my newly found knowledge while, hopefully, giving the OP some tips.
     
  19. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Learn Major and Minor. These are the backbone of A LOT of music.

    Then learn Major Pentatonic and Minor Pentatonic. These are scales in their own right, but can be seen as subsets of Major and Minor, and can be played by "leaving out" notes from the Major and Minor (for example, C Major is C D E F G A B and C Major Pentatonic is C D E G A - "leaves out" the F and B).

    It is also important to understand the relationship between RELATIVE keys - C Major and A minor, or C Major Pentatonic and A minor Pentatonic for example.

    Then learn scales that have simple alterations or additions to these:

    Harmonic Minor.
    Melodic Minor.
    Jazz Minor.
    Pentatonic Minor Blues Scale (what many people simply call the Blues Scale).

    Then learn the concept of modal rotation, where each mode is a "rotation" of a "parent scale" (one of those you've already learned) - that is, C major is C D E F G A B - the next "rotation" is starting on the 2nd note - D E F G A B C, which produces D Dorian (or the D Dorian Mode).

    You should also learn modes in their own right - that is, NOT related to some Parent Scale, but it's helpful to know both ways.

    "modes" of scales in the rotational sense are primarily used on "major/minor" type scale to generate 7 modes, and on Jazz minor to generate 7 modes (though in both cases, some modes are less common than others).

    Other "modes" are often really just fingering/position changes of existing scale patterns - so there are 5 pentatonic "modes" but most people don't play them as modes, just as "patterns".

    Finally, I'd learn scales that include more than one alteration or addition, such as [the real] Blues Scale, and then speciality scales like the Whole Tone Scale, the Diminished Scale, and their applications.

    Best,
    Steve
     
  20. jaydub69

    jaydub69 Member

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    This is a joke right?
    If not, The Complete Handbook for Jazz Improvisation is pretty easy to understand.
    Bored me to tears, but seems comprehensive.
     

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