All Scales Work Better if You Do THIS! (JUST ONCE)

Learning about scales, (like the Major and Minor Pentatonic Scale) is one of the most classic forms of guitar practice that we use for learning how to build more involved ideas with the scale patterns. That said, it is not the scale pattern alone that powers our scale knowledge on the guitar. Rather, it is the concept of musical use through, "Tonality."

 

 

 

 

 

When we learn to understand specifically how a scale forms Major or Minor we become more involved in scale musicianship (a deeper knowledge of how scales are used to create music).

 

This can be a problem however if only one of the tonalities starts to take over the scale geometry for us. Playing only in one tonality will take away from the contribution of sound that is important to us as musicians. 

 

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When it comes to learning how to use scales, often times it’s not what you do in the practice of them, but rather it’s "how" you do it that matters the most. 

 

Guitar players generally don’t study scales like a horn player would, and we typically don’t approach learning scales in the same way that a piano player would study them. Guitar Players tend to learn scales by memorizing geometrical patterns.

 

Now, today I’m going to show you - using just one exercise - how a scale can be approached so that the tonality of the pattern will be the focus of what it is that you’re learning to hear. 

 

Tonality, (if you’re not familiar with that term), it refers to organizing music around a central note. What we often call the Tonic. See scales promote either a Major or a Minor tonality based upon how we end up pointing toward a Tonic note of the scale pattern.

 

 

 

 

MINOR TONALITY:

Example 1).
The scale pattern below is a popular low-region Minor Pentatonic shape for the key of, “F Minor.” Play it through to learn how it sounds…

 



If we explore the note names of the above scale shape, we discover that our “F Minor Pentatonic,” has its naming notes of, “F” sitting on the 4th and 2nd strings. 

 


 

MELODIC STATEMENT - MINOR:

In order to connect the scales tonality, all we need to do is create a melodic statement that points into the Tonic note of, “F.” To demonstrate how this works within our pattern, I’ve composed a simple 2-measure idea that I’ll teach you right now. 

 


 

 

Coming up next, I’m going to go over how you can make a simple change to our pattern so that it relates into a major key.

 

But, before we head into that, I want to tell you about a special promotional offer that’s related to my; Handouts Collection eBook.

 

                     ____________________________________________________
 

I wanted to take a minute to let you know, that if you want to learn even more about scales and theory I have a great offer for you.

With any donation over $5, or any merchandise purchase from my Tee-Spring store, I’ll send you free copies of THREE of my most popular digital handouts.

One is called, “Harmonized Arpeggio Drills” (it’ll train you on developing your diatonic arpeggios).

Another one is my “Barre Chord” Handout which includes a page showing all the key signatures along with a chord progression that applies barre chords.

Plus, you’ll get my Notation Pack! It has 8 pages of important guitar worksheets for notating anything related to; music charts, guitar chord diagrams, and TAB.

As a BONUS, (from my "Over 40 and Still Can't Play a Scale" video), I'll also throw in a breakdown of all of the chords that are diatonic to the "F Major" scale.

As an EXTRA BONUS for my Phrygian Dominant video, I'll also throw in a breakdown featuring all of the chords that are diatonic to the Phrygian Dominant scale.

Just send me an email off of the contact page of CreativeGuitarStudio.com to let me know about either your donation or your Merchandise purchase and I’ll email you those digital handouts within 24 hrs.   

                       ____________________________________________________

 

 

SHIFTING TONALITY:
When we develop our scales, the work that we put into each pattern on the neck can be expanded further by going beyond a single tonality, (we don’t want to get trapped viewing the scale shape “seen and practiced,” as just one tonality).

 

We need to view the shape as having both Major and Minor tonality and then apply our practice time toward phrasing worked out melodic lines. 

 

We can use work at melodic composition as a way to become 10x better at not just committing the scale pattern to memory, and hearing the scale’s sound from each root note, but we’ll also get better at creating music with the scale shape. 

 

Next, let’s study how the Minor Pentatonic scale, (and the associated melodic statement) from our first exercise can be studied from the direction of the “Major” tonality.

 

 

 

 

MAJOR TONALITY:

Example 2).
The shape of the scale pattern design for establishing the "Major" tonality is the exactly the same shape as was used in our first Pentatonic pattern. Except now, the roots are focused on the scale tone of, “A♭.” Play through the scale shape (below) to learn how it sounds… 

 


 

With the note of "A♭" getting the focus as our root, we gain a new tonality out of the orientation of the scale tones toward the sound of, “A♭ Major.” Study the scale tones as shown below.




If we explore the note names of this shape, we find out that our “A♭ Major Pentatonic,” has its naming notes of, “A♭” sitting upon the 4th and 1st strings.

 

MELODIC STATEMENT - MAJOR:

The next thing we’ll do is connect the scales tonality, all we need for that is to create a melodic statement that points into the Major Tonic note of, “A♭.” To demonstrate this with our pattern, I’ve composed another 2-measure melodic idea. 

 



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7 Things I Learned From Practicing Major Scale (CHANGE YOUR WORLD!)

Getting into all of the benefits of scale practice and staying on top of your scales forever is not as complicated as some people would make it out to be. Scales are the foundation of our musical language and that means you must understand everything that they have to offer...

 

 

 

 

In fact, becoming fully aware of everything that scale practice offers us can be boiled down to just seven things. So, in this video, I’m going to show you the "7 things" that every well studied guitar player gets from the practice of scales. 

 

WATCH THE VIDEO:

 


If you work on your scales you can count on these seven things to start developing within your guitar playing rather fast and the best part is that they will stay that way in your playing forever. No more playing notes up and down the neck without these important skills after doing this!

 

In this lesson I’m going to show you seven things that you’ll learn after practicing the major scale. These are seven benefits that happen once you really dig in and start spending a lot of time organizing the notes that we have available from playing scale patterns. 

 

This is extremely important because once a guitarist starts practicing the Major scale that work will carry over to many other ideas, and scale study is excellent because it helps with not only developing shapes and connecting patterns, but the really cool thing is that it when you study scales you start to also get better in several other areas as well. 


 

 

 

 


NOTE RECOGNITION:
Let’s get right into this and start off with the first thing that you’ll learn after you begin practicing the Major Scale.

 

The first benefit that you’ll discover from practicing the Major scale is a much better recognition for the notes on the neck.

 

Example 01). The scale tones are connected to our musical keys, so along with learning the notes on the neck you’ll get better at knowing sharps and flats in each of the key signatures.

 


 

DEGREES /INTERVAL AWARENESS:
Along with the notes of the scales and learning about the key signatures, another excellent by-product of learning scales happens to be learning more about the scale's degrees and their connection to intervals. 

 

The step-wise order of tones can be seen as a series of numbers and these are the degrees of the scale, and they allow us to think universally about how notes align and how we can extract chords and arpeggios from the scale tones.

 

Example 02). Intervals are a valuable tool to understand as a musician and they are directly tied to scale practice.

 


Coming up next, I’m going to explain how scale study also helps with octaves, fret-board geometry and unique melodic options… 

 

But first, I want to tell you about a special promotional offer so you can get a collection of some of the most valuable handouts that I have here at my studio, it’s my; Handouts Collection eBook.

 

                     ____________________________________________________
 

I wanted to take a minute to let you know, that if you want to learn even more about scales and theory I have a great offer for you.

With any donation over $5, or any merchandise purchase from my Tee-Spring store, I’ll send you free copies of THREE of my most popular digital handouts.

One is called, “Harmonized Arpeggio Drills” (it’ll train you on developing your diatonic arpeggios).

Another one is my “Barre Chord” Handout which includes a page showing all the key signatures along with a chord progression that applies barre chords.

Plus, you’ll get my Notation Pack! It has 8 pages of important guitar worksheets for notating anything related to; music charts, guitar chord diagrams, and TAB.

As a BONUS, (from my "Over 40 and Still Can't Play a Scale" video), I'll also throw in a breakdown of all of the chords that are diatonic to the "F Major" scale.

As an EXTRA BONUS for my Phrygian Dominant video, I'll also throw in a breakdown featuring all of the chords that are diatonic to the Phrygian Dominant scale.

Just send me an email off of the contact page of CreativeGuitarStudio.com to let me know about either your donation or your Merchandise purchase and I’ll email you those digital handouts within 24 hrs.   

                       ____________________________________________________

 

OCTAVE LEARNING:
Octaves are by far one of the most important ideas that we have as guitar players, and there’s no better way to learn the guitar's octave patterns than by the study of scale layouts.

 

Example 03). Octaves provide a map across the neck for us to understand positions along with learning both vertical as well as, horizontal note pattern alignment. 

 


 

 

Scales also help us understand how octave patterns can be mapped between string groups like this next example where we have a 5th to 2nd string octave of “C.” In this case the octave travels toward the guitar’s head-stock.

 


 

 

We can also use octaves to understand more about the span of the unison tones by mapping the octaves to a different direction of the guitar. In this next example (below) an octave reaches from the 5th-string over to the 3rd-string. 

 


 

 

FINGERBOARD GEOMETRY:
Another cool thing that the study of scales will help with is getting a better understanding of fingerboard geometry. 

 

Fret-board geometry is the way that a group of notes in one area of the guitar neck can be thought of as existing in other regions of the guitar fingerboard. 

 

This topic includes two concepts for how notes can exist in the other regions of the guitar fingerboard. They could be seen as either as unison tones, (same notes) or how tones will exist on the neck in another tonal range, (same tonal names, but in a different pitch).

 

Example 04). If we look at how the geometrical design of the notes of a 5th-string root “C” major scale in 2nd position directly connect to the geometry of the same notes of a 6th-string root “C” Major in 7th position, it becomes obvious that we have identical designs. 

 


 

 

Another topic scales help us with is more melodic options. It’s a big factor for every guitarist who’d like to get better at the way they perform a guitar solo. 

 

Playing a decent solo requires a guitar player to introduce unique sounds and those often come out of playing unique shapes.

 

Example 05). This layout (below) is a very popular pattern of the “Major Scale.” The shape itself, is built off of the 5th string root. 

 


 

By isolating specific areas of the shape, we can produce options across the sound that can offer - not only a unique geometrical design but also, (this group of isolated tones I’ve highlighted) could be an interesting collection of notes to use within a solo. 

 


 

Isolating unique shapes across a scale pattern can in turn offer guitar players a unique sound.

 

 

 

 

RHYTHM and TIMING:
The next thing that I want to cover is how practicing scales can help you learn a lot more about dealing with rhythm. 

 

The important thing with rhythm and timing comes down to how scale practice affects your development of a higher level of perfection with the control of Rhythm Duration and of course with how you apply it which directly relates to a guitar players sense of timing.

 

Example 06). When a student practices developing scales every book and every teacher will stress how important it can be to also develop a sense for playing those scale tones in different duration notes against a metronome. 

 

Below is a common one octave “C Major” scale pattern. Play this scale pattern first at the duration of eighth-notes and then play it again as 16th notes, (use a metronome). 

 


 

TECHNICAL PROFICIENCY:
The final topic has to do with how after you start practicing the major scale you’re going to start to develop an increased sense of “Technical Proficiency,” (or what is often called Left and Right Hand Co-ordination and Control). 

 

A great technical drill that we can start doing with patterns on the neck is the application of Scale "Sequencing." Try taking the scale degrees of a Major Scale and playing them in the sequence indicated below:

 

Example 07). "Scale Sequencing" drill.



Guitar technique gets a huge boost from the practice of scales and it’s one of the main reasons that scales are part of the 1st group of things that are studied on most all other instruments; like Piano, along with all of the Brass and Woodwind instruments!

 

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50% of Guitarists NEVER Learn This (DO IT NOW - I'M BEGGING YOU!)

Is it easy for you to take something that you're playing and make a change to the placement of its notes, or to the order of the sum of its parts? If not, then you need to watch this video. In it, I’m going to show you how to understand the art of transposing... 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are not sure how to transpose, then the lack of this knowledge will hold you back from playing better riffs and better guitar solos. 

 

And, that's not the worst of it because not knowing how to do this will make you more susceptible to remaining stuck playing your lines in only certain areas of the guitar neck. 

 

WATCH THE VIDEO:

 


 

 

THE TWO TYPES OF TRANSPOSING:

Type 1). The "Cut and Paste" approach
Here, we change the position placement of what we're playing on the neck. This will keep the geometrical shape, but it will result in changes to the key signature. This approach would be considered as true method of transposing in music.

 

Type 2). The "Duplicate /Clone" approach
The other approach is the duplication, or "clone" approach. This transposing approach is more of a "guitar neck" oriented idea and it operates by keeping the exact same notes, (the unison tones) but create a "clone" of them by re-locating them to another fret-board region. 

 

Ideally, you would want to be as fluent as possible in both of these techniques. Sadly, almost half of the players out there do not understand either of them at a high enough level.

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS TRANSPOSING?
Even if you’re not playing very many gigs right now, there’s something that you, (as a guitar player) should be able to do on your guitar, but sadly only around 50% of players actually know it. This idea is called transposing and it is super valuable!

 

If you know a scale pattern, (or any melodic pattern) and if you have committed that pattern to memory, the pattern layout should be worked through a procedure that is called being, “Transposed.”

 

The process of transposing means that we will make a change to the placement, or to the ordering of a part. Traditionally, to transpose a piece of Music, it means to Change the "key" of that piece. 

 

For example, a piece of music in a major key can be transposed to another major key; or the same thing can happen in a minor key - it can be transposed to any other minor key.

 

Let’s explore this idea further, because it is without any doubt one of the most significant guitar playing concepts that we need to learn.

 

 

 

  

THE "CUT and PASTE" METHOD:
We’ll call our first transposing method, “Cut and Paste.” This method is essentially the musical method of, True Transposing. 

 

The Cut and Paste method changes the position placement, as well as the musical key of a melodic idea. One bonus of this cut and paste method is that it keeps the original ideas shape, so it is very easy to execute on the fingerboard.

 

Example 1). The scale example below is a popular mid-region along the neck “A Minor” Pentatonic Scale shape.Learn how to play it on your instrument.



Example 2). If we transpose the shape from example one laterally along the neck dropping it down a whole-step it becomes the, “G Minor Pentatonic.” 

 


 

Example 3). If we transpose the pattern laterally again - dropping it an additional whole-step down - it becomes the, “F Minor Pentatonic.” 

 


 

 

Coming up next, I’m going to go over another form of transposing that involves note cloning. This idea is really beneficial for when you want to perform a guitar solo. 

 

But, before we head to that, I want to tell you about a special promotional offer that's related to my new; Handouts Collection eBook. 

 

                     ____________________________________________________
 

I wanted to take a minute to let you know, that if you want to learn even more about scales and theory I have a great offer for you.

With any donation over $5, or any merchandise purchase from my Tee-Spring store, I’ll send you free copies of THREE of my most popular digital handouts.

One is called, “Harmonized Arpeggio Drills” (it’ll train you on developing your diatonic arpeggios).

Another one is my “Barre Chord” Handout which includes a page showing all the key signatures along with a chord progression that applies barre chords.

Plus, you’ll get my Notation Pack! It has 8 pages of important guitar worksheets for notating anything related to; music charts, guitar chord diagrams, and TAB.

As a BONUS, (from my "Over 40 and Still Can't Play a Scale" video), I'll also throw in a breakdown of all of the chords that are diatonic to the "F Major" scale.

As an EXTRA BONUS for my Phrygian Dominant video, I'll also throw in a breakdown featuring all of the chords that are diatonic to the Phrygian Dominant scale.

Just send me an email off of the contact page of CreativeGuitarStudio.com to let me know about either your donation or your Merchandise purchase and I’ll email you those digital handouts within 24 hrs.   

                       ____________________________________________________

 

 

NOTE CLONES /DUPLICATION:
The next transposing method is more of a guitar based approach rather than what we’d consider a text-book musical approach and it’s what we’re going to call a “Note Duplication,” (or “Note Cloning”) idea. 

 

What this method does is it keeps the notes the same, but re-locates them to another fret-board region.

 

Example 4). [remember our original idea]… It was that, “A Minor Pentatonic,” performed in the middle of the neck, it went like this.

 


 

 

Example 5). If we apply note cloning, the scale layout from example four can function in other areas of the neck as well. Here’s the same scale of, “A Minor Pentatonic,” but this time performed in the upper fingerboard register. 

 


 

 

Example 6).  If we apply another note clone, our scale layout can function in one more area of the neck. Here’s the same scale of, “A Minor Pentatonic,” but this time performed in the lower fingerboard register. 

 


 

The "Note Cloning" method can be extremely helpful for playing a riff or a guitar solo, because it offers guitar players a few other options along the fret-board. 

 

These other options mean that we will never feel compartmentalized into playing our phrases in only one "comfortable" region or neck location. 


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