Total Guitar Ultimate Scale Book

Discussion in 'Tab & Music Forum' started by Jefro, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Jefro

    Jefro Senior Stratmaster

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    Does anyone have this book ? I recently downloaded it and finally got around to printing it off and I'm finding it a little confusing :confused:

    I've never took lessons and have never been taught the theory behind notes, keys, scales, pitch etc etc...

    So I'm wondering if anyone has it and can offer some insight or perhaps someone knows of a simpler route I can start off on ?
     
  2. Jefro

    Jefro Senior Stratmaster

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    To shed a bit more light to my situation I'm have a bit of trouble understanding this whole "Root Note" vs "Open/Unfretted" or this whole "notes lower than the root note placed without need to change hand position" ?

    And how I'm actually suppose to read these Scales or in what order they get played or which notes is struck and in what order etc...
     
  3. Offshore Angler

    Offshore Angler Senior Stratmaster

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    Jefro, IMNSHO, memorizing scales is a waste of time. You can have every scale in the world memorized but if you don't know how and why to apply it it's really just musical trivia.

    All of the modal scales use the exact same scale, we just shift the root. The root is the "tonic" note, which is the same as the key you are playing in. So in the key of A, A is the root, in the key D, D is the root, and so forth.

    The whole deal is laid out for you on yor guitar neck. Look at the low E string. Notice that some notes like F,G an A are two frets apart. Other notes such as B and C, and E and F are only one fret apart.

    Why is that? Because scales are not about notes, they are about intervals.

    Please re-read that sentence above. It is the very core of the whole thing.

    DO NOT look at scales as memorized notes. If you instead, look at the intervals ( number of frets ) between them something really cool will happen. Once you realize it's the intervals that count do the following:

    Starting with a root note on the low E string, let's say the 5th fret, use your ears to play a major (do-re-me...) scale using the lowest three strings without moving your
    hand.

    Now, once you can do that, move to another root note, lets try the 8th fret. By keeping the same fingerings you just changed keys. Yeah, I know that was stupid and everyone knows how to do that, but do it again. Instead of thinking about which note it is by name, just count from the root note 1,2,3, where the root note is 1, the second note is 2,...

    Now, play the Root, the Third note and the Fifth note. Those are the basic chord tones (1,3,5).

    Whoa! What's this? The chord theory and scales just got tied together!

    OK, that's great if we want to play simple melodies over major chords, but what about something a little more advanced?

    Well, we know the minor chord has a b3, which is musician-speak for you lower the third note by a fret.

    Looking at the C scale we see the notes are

    CDEFGABCDEFGABC... no sharps, no flats, not nothing. Just the easy notes.

    Let's look at the distances between the notee by the number of frets.

    C -D is 2 frets ( a whole step in musical terms)
    So are D -E, F-G, G-A, A-B.

    The notes E-F, and B-C however, are only one fret apart. (A half-step).

    So if we represent a whole step by "H" and a halfstep by "h" we see a pattern just emerged.

    C (H) D (H) E(h)F (H) G (H) A (H) B (h) C


    and this will be the same patern of distances between the notes (intervals) for any key - H-H-h-H-H-H-h which is easy to remember since it is two HHh's with a H between them.

    Well, that was a bunch of letters and reading but why do guitar players give a rat's rear about all this?

    Well, remember the minor chord we were taking about? Dropped 3rd, right?

    OK look at the C scale again.

    C (H) D (H) E(h)F (H) G (H) A (H) B (h) C and then start not on C but on A:

    we get - A (H) B (h) C (H) D (H) E (h) F (H) G (H) A

    or interval-wise HhHHhHH.

    [OK, stop and take a deep breath -we changed nothing, if we look at the example for A and count from the C we still end up with HHhHHHf!)

    We are using the same notes, but the intervals have shifted because we changed the note we started counting from.

    And look what we get. The 3rd tone is dropped a half-step! Guess what, we just learned that the C major scale works great in A minor AND NOW WE KNOW WHY!

    Lets do it again starting with G

    G (H) A (H) B (h) C (H) D (H) E (h) F (H) G

    Or HHhHHhH

    Compare this the intervals if we start counting on C an we see we have a 7th tone dropped a half step. So what is a Dominate 7th chord? A chord where the 7th note is lowered half a step. So:

    The C major scale will sound great over a G7 chord.

    Lot's to absorb there but lets recap -

    We forgot abut memorizing ( always good!) and just looked at the spaces between the notes. We learned one scale fingering that we can move around the neck.

    If we want a minor sound, we can play a C major scale over an Am chord.
    If we want a Rock sound, we can play a C major scale over a G7 chord.

    Now, remember I said to think in terms of numbers?

    (We're about to tie the whole thing together now!)

    Look at the Am example - the C is the third tone. If we have any minor chord, we look at the root's major scale use that note's ( the thirds) major scale. ( I this case the root is A and the 3rd is C)

    Look at the G7 example - the C is the 4th tone. If we have any Dominant 7 chord, we look a the root's major scale and find the note that is the 4th tone and use that note's ( the fourth's) major scale.

    Since we know that a third is one string over and down half a fret, a fourth is one string over...we can find these scales really easily. In other words, buy shifting around the neck we can play all these examples in every key.

    There are 5 more starting notes we didn't use. Musicians liek to use terms like Locrian, Dorian, Ionain, Phrygian,Mixolydian, etc, to name them, but you don;t need to worry about the names.

    You now have 7 scales you can use in any key. Some are minor, some metal sounding, some rock sounding...

    Once you understand this above, you can work into other scales like the Harmonic Minor or the BeBop, and they'll be easy because you are now thinking in terms of intervals, and know when to use a certain scale.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  4. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

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  5. Sleepy

    Sleepy Strat-O-Master

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  6. RussV

    RussV Senior Stratmaster

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    I found a copy of the book online. As Offshore Angler says, move the scale patterns so the root matches the key you are playing in, or chord you are playing over. You play the notes of a scale in any order to create melodies, guitar solos etc. I'd concentrate on a couple of scales to start off with. The 'Minor Pentatonic' and 'Blues' scale are probably the most popular in rock and blues. Use them over major chord\major 7th chords.
    An example of the 'Blues' scale from the past is the the riff to Creams 'Sunshine of your love' which can easily be played with the pattern where the root note is on the 6th string. Although this is bit unusual in that most players will try and avoid playing a too many scale notes in sequence.
    The dorian mode is useful over minor chords. All three scales use basically same pattern with just one or two notes added or taken away.
     
  7. Steelskin

    Steelskin Strat-Talker

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  8. Offshore Angler

    Offshore Angler Senior Stratmaster

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    DO learn the classic major scale ( aka the Ionain) before all others. It is the foundation for your chords and everything else.

    The blues and pentatonic scales are prety handy too, but don't get to reliant on them on the beginning.
     
  9. jerryo

    jerryo Strat-Talker

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    We humans hear the sound of the interval .... get a feel for the intervals
     
  10. pcorajr

    pcorajr Strat-Talker

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    Tagging this for later consumption.

    I had a hard time getting this in my head as i started my music career as a Trumpet player. the guitar lets you visualize the patterns better than any other instrument.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  11. Offshore Angler

    Offshore Angler Senior Stratmaster

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    That's the cool part. In my earlier post by learning a single fingering pattern you now have 49 different scales you can use!
     
  12. Offshore Angler

    Offshore Angler Senior Stratmaster

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    Well, that's not exactly what I'm saying. The point I'm trying to get across is that the C major scale is also an Am scale and a G dropped 7 scale. So if you are playing in Am or G7, you can use the C major scale. In other words, any major scale - we can now call it the Ionian, is also a different mode of the other keys. The same notes, CDEFGAB are used in 6 other scales in 6 other keys.

    By referring to a different note within the C scale as the root, which is determined by what key we are in, we've adjusted the scale intervals to fit the melodic content we desire.

    The one thing we never want a beginner to do is think in terms of "Key of A = 5th fret, key of G = 3rd fret" etc. Thats a really bad habit that is almost impossible for some players to break later on.

    Letters for notes (EGBDF, FACE ) are great for reading music, but you need to understand the numbers and intervals when improvising or composing to be able to do this on the fly and apply it musically. Once you learn the sound and texture of the differnet modes you'll be able to apply them and navigate through them effortlessly.
    And remember, you are not locked into notes of any scale. It is only the melodic framework. You can add any note you desire to it in your melody.
     
  13. Jefro

    Jefro Senior Stratmaster

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    Thank you very much sir!

    Your 1st post has really helped me understand this a lot better. Also, my whole reasoning behind this isn't to memorize the scales but to learn how and why to apply them and actually start learning notes or the fretboard etc...

    And Sleepy, thank you very much for the link to that thread. Now I have a bunch of studying to do once I'm finished cooking dinner :D