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> What Scales To Practise ?
aerohit
post Jun 15 2007, 02:55 AM
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Hiya. In order to freely flirt with my guitar, I learned A major and all its modes all over the guitar. But I somehow am not able to produce the kind of noises that would please me. One of the probable reason is because I have not chosen the right scale. Can someone suggest what scale should I choose to begin with, to create some really tasty riffs and licks rock style.

To give a little hint, I like Led Zep, Metallica, Slash and all those rock and roll bands of the 70-80's. So probably some lightning on what scales they worked with would help.

Also, A minor pentatonic box seems to be a pretty popular box. May I know from which major scale,if at all, is it derived from?


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JVM
post Jun 15 2007, 03:14 AM
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QUOTE (aerohit @ Jun 14 2007, 07:55 PM) *
Hiya. In order to freely flirt with my guitar, I learned A major and all its modes all over the guitar. But I somehow am not able to produce the kind of noises that would please me. One of the probable reason is because I have not chosen the right scale. Can someone suggest what scale should I choose to begin with, to create some really tasty riffs and licks rock style.

To give a little hint, I like Led Zep, Metallica, Slash and all those rock and roll bands of the 70-80's. So probably some lightning on what scales they worked with would help.

Also, A minor pentatonic box seems to be a pretty popular box. May I know from which major scale,if at all, is it derived from?


Well, that would be the minor pentatonic. The pattern for that is 32232. I think you're looking at it the wrong way. It's not the a minor pentatonic, it's the a minor pentatonic. There is also a major pentatonic, along with the major scale, and the minor scale, etc.


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AIB234
post Jun 15 2007, 03:32 AM
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a minor pentatonic and minor pentatonic would be the same shape.

a minor would just happen to start on the 5th fret

minor pentatonic is just the generic name for all the scales using that shape.

right?


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 15 2007, 03:59 AM
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QUOTE (AIB234 @ Jun 14 2007, 10:32 PM) *
a minor pentatonic and minor pentatonic would be the same shape.

a minor would just happen to start on the 5th fret

minor pentatonic is just the generic name for all the scales using that shape.

right?


That's pretty much it, although you are talking about one particular pattern for that scale - there are 5 different patterns to play each pentatonic scale, but they are the same for all keys, so you only need to learn them once.


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lespaulrocker
post Jun 15 2007, 06:58 AM
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you'd probably want to learn the minor scale while your at it with the pentatonic scale, the pentatonic is basically the minor scale with some notes taken out to make it sound more neutral
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aerohit
post Jun 15 2007, 08:44 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. But could someone please show some light on what scales did people like Kirk Hammet, Jimmy Page, and Slash use. I would really like to flirt on the same territory as them. Hey Kris I am especially expecting you to answer this.


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Robin
post Jun 15 2007, 09:10 AM
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QUOTE (aerohit @ Jun 15 2007, 07:44 AM) *
Thanks for all the replies. But could someone please show some light on what scales did people like Kirk Hammet, Jimmy Page, and Slash use. I would really like to flirt on the same territory as them. Hey Kris I am especially expecting you to answer this.

I'm pretty sure kirk hammet and jimmy page used the pentatonic scale alot? I'm no expert, but I think they did smile.gif
But if you want to play rock'n'roll the pentatonic scale is awesome, you can also just add a couple of notes here and there to make it more interesting.

http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/guitar_sc...or&get2=Get


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aerohit
post Jun 15 2007, 10:16 AM
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Thanks Robin for the link. But now I have an even more interesting question. I just found out that A minor pentatonic and C major pentatonic have the same notes, of course with different root. So how do you decide whether some piece is in C major pentatonic or A minor pentatonic. To put the same question in a different manner, how is playing In A minor pentatonic different from playing in C major pentatonic.

This post has been edited by aerohit: Jun 15 2007, 10:18 AM


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Ben Howell
post Jun 15 2007, 12:25 PM
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QUOTE (aerohit @ Jun 15 2007, 10:16 AM) *
Thanks Robin for the link. But now I have an even more interesting question. I just found out that A minor pentatonic and C major pentatonic have the same notes, of course with different root. So how do you decide whether some piece is in C major pentatonic or A minor pentatonic. To put the same question in a different manner, how is playing In A minor pentatonic different from playing in C major pentatonic.


Hey there,

Deciding which key a peice is in is where the chord progression wants to resolve to.

By resolve we mean 'end up', or where the listener hears the tonal center.

So whether a peice is in 'A minor' Or 'C major' is down to whether the chord progression resolves to Am, or Am7 etc, or C major, C major7 etc.

So if you had a progression:

Dm7- Am7-G7-Cmaj

That would be in the key Of C major.

If you had the progression:

Em7-Cmaj7-Fmaj7-Am7

That would be in the key of A minor.


Its all where it ends up at, or where your ear hears it to be based around.

I hope that makes sense.

Ben

This post has been edited by benhowell: Jun 15 2007, 02:50 PM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 15 2007, 02:42 PM
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QUOTE (aerohit @ Jun 15 2007, 05:16 AM) *
Thanks Robin for the link. But now I have an even more interesting question. I just found out that A minor pentatonic and C major pentatonic have the same notes, of course with different root. So how do you decide whether some piece is in C major pentatonic or A minor pentatonic. To put the same question in a different manner, how is playing In A minor pentatonic different from playing in C major pentatonic.


That's actually a pretty insightful question!

This is an area of theory that's pretty hard to explain (although Ben did a great job above). I'd just like to add that you need to look at more than just the notes, you need to understand the whole musical framework including the chords as Ben said. The chords give your brain a cue to understand whether you are playing Am Pentatonic or CMaj Pentatonic - the notes on their own are ambiguous.

In theory terms, what you are doing here is scratching the surface of modes - which is a very interesting topic in which different scales share the same notes but are used in a musically different way. If that interests you, I have a lesson on Major modes here.


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aerohit
post Jun 15 2007, 02:46 PM
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QUOTE (benhowell @ Jun 15 2007, 04:55 PM) *
Hey there,

Deciding which key a peice is in is usually where the chord progression wants to resolve to.

By resolve we mean 'end up', or where the listener hears the tonal center.

So whether a peice is in 'A minor' Or 'C major' is down to whether the chord progression resolves to Am, or Am7 etc, or C major, C major7 etc.

So if you had a progression:

Dm7- Am7-G7-Cmaj

That would be in the key Of C major.

If you had the progression:

Em7-Cmaj7-Fmaj7-Am7

That would be in the key of A minor.
Its all where it ends up at, or where your ear hears it to be based around.

I hope that makes sense.

Ben


Thanks Ben.

But lets say we are having a chord progression that ends at Cmaj7. Now when soloing how would I make sure that it sounds to be in C major pentatonic and not in A minor pentatonic, and vice-versa, even when the notes are same for the two scales.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 15 2007, 03:11 PM
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QUOTE (aerohit @ Jun 15 2007, 09:46 AM) *
Thanks Ben.

But lets say we are having a chord progression that ends at Cmaj7. Now when soloing how would I make sure that it sounds to be in C major pentatonic and not in A minor pentatonic, and vice-versa, even when the notes are same for the two scales.


It will sound in Cmaj penta automatically - technically you can play either Am or Cmaj Pentatonic and you will be using the same selection of notes - as I said in my earlier post, its actually the song as a whole that determines the key, including the chords.

I realize that this is confusing ... look at it this way. A scale is a pallette of notes you can use to build a solo out of. If the notes are the same, it doesn't actually matter which of the 2 scales they are from in the context of the song, the results will be identical. Eventually the idea is to move away from individual boxes and just understand the notes in the context of the song. Once you have the key in mind, you know the notes you can play.

However, from an ear training point of view we would make the distinction as the 2 scales sound diferent because you will be playing the notes in a slightly different order, starting from the A instead of the C - this ifference is also taken into account when you design the chord progression (which is based on the scale), so it all works out in the end - the confusion comes from looking at the notes and the chords in isolation.


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Ben Howell
post Jun 15 2007, 03:15 PM
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This is actually quite a complex question (i was thinking about explaining this just the other day actually).

Basically we have keys in music.

Theses keys produce a set amount of notes, and from those notes chords are built.

We then make porgressions based on those chords in a key.

So for the key of C major, we have the notes:

C D E F G A B

From which these chords can be built, from the notes of C major:

Cmaj7, Dmin7, Emin7, Fmaj7, G7, Amin7, Bmin7b5


Without going into modes too much -Check out Andrews great theory article on this, link is above-

If a progression is based around each of these chords, they all have a different feel or vibe (proper word is tonality)

So say you base the progression around the C major chord -by base i mean resolve to, or end up at as 'home'

You'll get a progresion like so:

Dmin7-G7-Amin7-Cmaj7

This will have a 'major' sound to the overall progression.

Base it around Dmin7:

Dmin7-G7-Dmin7

It will have a D Dorian sound- youll have to read through Andrews modes workout to understand this.


Each chord built of a scale, if you base a chord progression around it will have a certain 'sound'.

So if you want a major tonality/vibe, base it around the Cmajor7 chord (for the key of C major).

If you want a minor sound, base it around the Amin7 chord.

Want a dorian sound? Base it around Dmin7, the second mode of C major.


What i will reiterate is that regardless of modes/keys, an interval will always sound the same over a particular chord.

For example play D note over C major7, it will always sound like a major 2nd, regardless of the chords place in a key.

Hopefully this is addressing what you wanted to know.

let Andrew chip in cool.gif

-Ben

This post has been edited by benhowell: Jun 15 2007, 03:44 PM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 15 2007, 04:01 PM
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QUOTE (benhowell @ Jun 15 2007, 10:15 AM) *
let Andrew chip in cool.gif

-Ben


Hey, you're doing a great job smile.gif Part of the problem here is that all of these concepts are so interrelated that its difficult to pull parts out in isolation. All I can says is that when you understand all of this you'll understand all of this smile.gif

Bens point about building chords from the scale is discussed in a lesson here - this may give you some insight.

If you are finding the discussion around modes a little intimidating, just file it away for future reference. The essential part of this is that the scale and chords, along with which of those chords the song resolves to, taken together present to your mind as a whole the feel of the song.

Play the same notes in a different order with the same chords in a different order and you will get a totally different feel.

And finally, which pentatonic scale you use depends on the ordering and resolution of the chords- which is in fact determined by the key you are in.

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Jun 15 2007, 04:02 PM


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sb81
post Jun 15 2007, 06:11 PM
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People have said Minor pentatonic for rock... that's the main scale I play with (being a guitar newb) and I typically play blues with the scale.

Any tips/suggestions how making it sound more rock, and less blues? Been trying to find a different scale to play to make it sound less bluesy, but haven't had much luck.
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Ben Howell
post Jun 15 2007, 06:35 PM
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QUOTE (sb81 @ Jun 15 2007, 06:11 PM) *
People have said Minor pentatonic for rock... that's the main scale I play with (being a guitar newb) and I typically play blues with the scale.

Any tips/suggestions how making it sound more rock, and less blues? Been trying to find a different scale to play to make it sound less bluesy, but haven't had much luck.


One way is through phrasing.

Phrasing is how we play notes, how we arrange them, how we use rythm, timing and how we articulate them.

In blues, most phrases are 'question and answer'- we play one line, and then answer it with a similar line. Check BB kings playing for many examples.

For Paul Gilbert esque- (yes i know im a fusion/jazz instructor but you gotta know you roots cool.gif), they are normally very repetitive, fast and included the b5 alot from the Blues scale. He plays around with patterns, so try making some patterns up based on the blues scale and minor pentatonic.

-Ben

This post has been edited by benhowell: Jun 15 2007, 06:36 PM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 15 2007, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE (benhowell @ Jun 15 2007, 01:35 PM) *
One way is through phrasing.

Phrasing is how we play notes, how we arrange them, how we use rythm, timing and how we articulate them.

In blues, most phrases are 'question and answer'- we play one line, and then answer it with a similar line. Check BB kings playing for many examples.

For Paul Gilbert esque- (yes i know im a fusion/jazz instructor but you gotta know you roots cool.gif), they are normally very repetitive, fast and included the b5 alot from the Blues scale. He plays around with patterns, so try making some patterns up based on the blues scale and minor pentatonic.

-Ben


This is actually the route I took to develop my playing from bluesy to a more rocky sound - I took the pentatonic and started adding legato passing notes - the famous blues flat 5 of course but others as well to give it a more regular feel. You end up putting in little chromatic runs between the scales notes which helps you with speed and regularity.


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sb81
post Jun 15 2007, 07:44 PM
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Thanks Ben & Andrew... so for rock, playing a similar pattern X amount of times maybe followed by a more unique ending will give a more rock'ish sound?

I always end up doing bluesy sounding bends... guess I need to break that habit.
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Ben Howell
post Jun 15 2007, 08:12 PM
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QUOTE (sb81 @ Jun 15 2007, 07:44 PM) *
Thanks Ben & Andrew... so for rock, playing a similar pattern X amount of times maybe followed by a more unique ending will give a more rock'ish sound?

I always end up doing bluesy sounding bends... guess I need to break that habit.


No probs.

I wouldnt say you need to 'break' that habit for bending, you just need to know when to apply it, and certain rules for genres.

Take E minor pentatonic, and make some scalic patterns (patterns based on the scale) to get you from one area of the fretboard to the other.

check out this link for pattern playing:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=z9rAn6lzOxw


Im not an advocate of 'pattern playing' but it has its uses. Notice the pattern repeated.

-Ben


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Leviathan
post Jun 15 2007, 08:27 PM
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Can you guys show me all the pentatonic scales i should learn?
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