This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Tutorial: Breaking down Guitar scales and modes

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by pikachu69, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Ok, so after a bit of discussion on other threads here is my take on guitar theory.

    A few things before we get started:

    In my mind, there is a large difference between learning to read music/ music theory (which most guitar players really don’t like the thought of) and learning GUITAR THEORY. You can learn all the guitar theory you need, and approach it like any other person using theory, without learning to read music. I am going to show you how to master guitar scales and modes WITHOUT learning to read music. You still have to understand music terminologies so there will be a theory element to the discussion but all will be explained in the lessons as if the reader has no experience reading music.

    The only style of music that requires extensive music reading is classical music. I studied classical guitar for a few years up to grade 8 level and could not have done it if I did not know how to read. Now that I don't really play other than for my own enjoyment I don't find myself using this theory knowledge like I used to.

    All other styles of music can be played to an expert level with just the theory knowledge of the particular instrument, never needing to ‘read’ a piece of music. Now I am not saying you don’t ever have to learn to read music, if you want to by all means do, it will help your playing, writing and music appreciation but for the most part, in rock and metal only a limited amount of theory is really used and needed so it seems like a waste of time learning something you are unlikely to use.

    If you know what style you want to play, research the musicians you admire and see what scales/modes they use most often. These are the ones you want to focus on and understand. There is no real point in learning something in case you might need it one day. This is wasted time and energy.

    I intend this to be like a series of mini lessons that will be added on a weekly/fortnightly basis similar to what I would present to my students at their weekly lesson. Because of this the quantity of the lesson may seem small sometimes but it is because it is a small piece of a much larger puzzle yet to be completed but by the time I have covered all I want to cover the reader should then be able to look at the fretboard and just know where all scale/mode options are in any key for jazz, blues, rock and metal within a few brief moments.

    Also, please feel free to ask questions relating to the current and/or past lessons, and to make suggestions for upcoming lessons on subjects you would like me to talk about.

    IMPORTANT:

    These lessons are designed to be used by someone that can already play guitar. It is not a ‘how to play guitar’ lesson but rather how to better understand what the guitar can do for you. I hope this makes sense without seeming rude in any way.

    As this first lesson is quite long I have produced a PDF file for you to download which includes the text above so you can view it all 'off line'.


    Here is the download:
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10584477/Guitar Theory Thread Lesson 1.pdf

    Cheers.
     
  2. prostetnic

    prostetnic Jeff's DI's AGAIN?!

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    This is very valuable! Thank you very much. The lessons look promising, I'll be sure to keep following them. I think I might finally learn my way around the fingerboard. As a suggestion, I think you should point out how, for example E string 1st fret is a F, and D string 3rd fret is F an octave higher, and how this pattern repeats itself over the neck. Of course students figure that out eventually, but it's a helpful thing to know from the start.
     
  3. Dexter_prog

    Dexter_prog New Metal Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    One of my guitar teachers (the best one I had) used to draw the patterns so that I could just shift them to the tonic and get the scale for that note. I find that very usefull for learning scales
     
  4. red_f0x

    red_f0x Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Thanks a lot, mate. Looking forward for future lessons.
     
  5. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Thanks for your kind words and Im glad you found it useful so far. Thanks for the suggestion too, this will be part of an up coming lessons once scale patterns are introduced. It is a great thing to understand to help navigate round the fretboard faster.

    This is also coming in future lessons, It's a great way to work.

    Thanks for your comments so far guys, I will try to get to part 2 soon, but may not be this side of Xmas, it takes a while to type all that up lol.
    Cheers.
     
  6. Fama

    Fama Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Finland
    I'm really looking forward to this, the first lesson wasn't anything new to me, but I think the later ones will help me a lot :)
     
  7. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Ok so after a longer break than planned here is part 2 of my lessons for you all here at Ultimate Metal. I apologize for the time it has taken to get lesson 2 done but all this is written up just to post for you so it takes a while.
    Anyway here it is:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10584477/Guitar Theory Thread Lesson 2.pdf

    Hope you enjoy and I will get onto lesson 3 when I get back from holiday, i am off this Saturday for a week so it may not be for another 2 weeks or so. Post any questions you may have and hopefully I will have time to check while i'm away.
    Cheers.
     
  8. Jormyn

    Jormyn Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Nice lessons, dude. I bought my wife a guitar and we've tried wrapping her head around it a few times, but something about the transition from piano just fucks her right up. The keyboard diagrams in Lesson 1 might be just thing she needs.
     
  9. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Cool, I hope it helps her. Remember to ask me any questions if parts still seem un clear to her I will do my best to help and explain it in a different way.

    I am not a fan of learning from a book or video/DVD as only a live tutor can tell you to play something again and again until it is right or pick up on more subtle things like technique. Kind of like a spotter at the gym. This is why I say to let me know if there is still a drama, I hate the thought of someone learning from me and not "getting it."

    Cheers.
     
  10. Fama

    Fama Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Finland
    Really enjoyed the second lesson too, keep up the great work :)
     
  11. MiniGandalf

    MiniGandalf New Metal Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Very very good work!!!
    Thank you very much,
    hope you keep on writing this lessons!
     
  12. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Thank you so much for your kind words. I will keep writing these for sure as there seems to be a small amount of interest brewing.

    BTW, welcome to the forum. :wave:
     
  13. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I found the time during my holiday to write up lesson 3 so here it is:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10584477/Guitar Theory Thread Lesson 3.pdf

    I hope for the small amount of people following this it has been helpful so far and as I said before, let me know if there are things you want me to cover in these lessons and I will be happy to try.

    Cheers.
     
  14. SavageDoom

    SavageDoom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Reading these is on my list of things to do when I'm not too busy. (I haven't finished reading the first one yet. :cry: )
    But I'd like to show my appreciation and thank you for taking the time to do this. :kickass:
     
  15. MiniGandalf

    MiniGandalf New Metal Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks ;-)
    And i think more and more people will follow this soon, because now your thread is on the sticky list :-D
     
  16. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    So this is what it feels like to be sticky...

    Lesson 4 will be coming soon.

    I would still like a few suggestions from you all about future lessons and what you would like me to discuss. These can be about anything not just scales and modes. If you want to know about chords, arpeggios, technique or anything else guitar related let me know and if there is a few people keen I will continue to write up lessons once this series has finished.
    Cheers.
     
  17. Fama

    Fama Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Finland
    I'm interested in chords, since I do make up all kinds of weird chords from time to time, but I would like to know the basic forms (well, not basic, more like sus and whatnot, the not-so-basic-but-still-quite-often-used ones). I do know the open chords and major/minor ones, even thought I'm pretty bad at playing them.
     
  18. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
    OK, after I have finished writing about scales I will produce a few lessons about chords too. The good thing is all of the theory info that is being covered in this series crosses over to the chords so it will be easier to follow once you have read the scales lessons.
    Thanks for the input Fama. :)

    Cheers.
     
  19. pikachu69

    pikachu69 mixomatic 2000

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Zealand
  20. -Noodles-

    -Noodles- 3 Initals Mixer

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    This thread is very cool.
     

Share This Page