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Guitar scales
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Guitar scales
Subject description: Share some cool note combinations
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Just figured I'd share this scale that I like to play on the guitar. It has an oriental feel (at least for ignorants of oriental music like me). I haven't bothered looking up what the notes are on a keyboard... maybe I should but then I'd probably find it's some boring common thing.

Anyway, play with lots of hammer-ons and pull-offs. Smile

o points where you should put your fingers.

If anyone has some other cool, obvious, difficult or easy scales to share, please do!

Code:
oo-o--
--oo--
o-oo--
o-oo--
oo--o-
oo-o--

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Last edited by Antimon on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Guitar scales
Subject description: Share some cool note combinations
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Code:
oo-o--
--oo--
o-oo--
o-oo--
oo--o-
oo-o--


Maybe that works better ...

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ah yes of course, thanks Jan! Smile
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D.Miñoza
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i like this one a lot..

"A" tonality "Hirajoshi" scale for standard tuned 6 string twanger:

---------------------12---13
------------------12--13----
--------------10---14-------
----------10---14-----------
------12---14---------------
--12--13--------------------

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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice sounding scales, Antimon and Miñoza Smile

Many of you string pluckers probably know about All-Guitar-Chords.com. Lots of useful tools there, among them chord and scale -finders. E.g., I entered Antimon's scale, using the 'reverse scales' feature to see what it could be classed as and find all possible positions.

BTW, I found it easier to use this fingering for Miñoza's Hirajoshi scale (it breaks the beauty of the two notes per string pattern though...) :
Code:

--12---
--12---
----3--
----34-
--1-34-
--12---

(Edit: Those are finger numbers not fret numbers. Each dash is a fret - like Antimon's diagram, but with numbered fingering suggestions)

Sorry, no scales from me at this stage Embarassed

DJ
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D.Miñoza
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

nice, DrJustice ...

here's another position (same scale, Hirajoshi w/ "A" tonality) that covers the midsection of the fretboard:

--------------------12-13---
----------------10-12-13----
--------------9-10---------
---------7-9-10-------------
-------7-8----------------
--5-7-8-------------------

with a nice drone behind it, you can play all over the fretboard...fun fun fun

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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just found that you can use all-guitar-chords.com with a query string, which makes it possible to post a link to e.g. the A Hirajoshi scale in full. Kind of handy, that Smile

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool scales and variants, Dan and Are! I find that I'm more likely to break out into vibrato when playing higher up on the fretboard.

I may have browsed past all-guitars.com, but I wasn't aware of that scale resource (and other stuff). Neat!

/Stefan

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D.Miñoza
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

DrJustice wrote:
I just found that you can use all-guitar-chords.com with a query string, which makes it possible to post a link to e.g. the A Hirajoshi scale in full. Kind of handy, that Smile

DJ
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that's a cool website, thanks for the link..

gonna mess with that egyptian scale... see what happens Smile

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Shocked

so .. erm .. for the uninitiated .. how do them diagrams work? what do the numbers mean?

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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jan, the diagrams by Dan are tablatures (a bit squashed by proportional fonts, I believe). The X-axis is time. The Y-axis is the strings (I guess you had that one figured out!), with the low E on the bottom and the high E at the top - as if you where hunching over your guitar and looking at the fretboard while playing. The numbers are the frets positions. (How to Read Guitar Tabs)

The diagram by Stefan and me are (relative) neck diagrams. The X-axis is the frets, the headstock is to the left and the body to the right. In my diagram the numbers are your fingers, 1=index finger, 2=middle finger, 3=ring finger and 4=pinky. The strings are arranged as for a tab. Since no fret is specified, the pattern is meant to be played anywhere on the neck. Scale diagrams are also often vertical instead, like this. For a compact ASCII representation, I reckon the style Stefan used is pretty efficient.

DJ
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

the numbers in my post are the fret numbers (for use in the key of "A" on a standard tuned guitar).. and the whole pattern/grid can be moved up or down the neck to transpose to another key, etc.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

DrJustice wrote:
I just found that you can use all-guitar-chords.com with a query string, which makes it possible to post a link to e.g. the A Hirajoshi scale in full. Kind of handy, that Smile

DJ
--


That is pretty neat, looks like I might have a good look at that site.
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Oskar



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

When it comes to scales, I'm totally schizophrenic! Shocked
On the one hand, I like the fact that scales give me a clever box of tools to work with, freeing me up to concentrate on timing, tone, textures and so on - all the intangibles, ye ken...

On the other hand, my over-reliance on scales and "box-playing" makes me so boooored with my own playing I want to, in the words of the late great George Carlin, "have an involuntary protein spill..."

I suppose it's a bit like what Robert Fripp, John McLaughlin and clever-clogs of that ilk say it: It's good to learn scales and all that as long as you can get to that "I don't rightly know what I'm doing right now" mode, or maybe something like "Learn all you can, then forget it all."

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

^ I see what you mean, Oskar. Most of the time I "just play", but then I may suddenly recognize that I'm using a certain scale and key. At other times, I may have been sitting there playing, and I wonder what scale and key is this, whereupon I make a conscious effort to find out just out of interest.

I don't think I ever thought: Right, now I'm going to play scale X in the key of Y, except when running through scales for practice.

DJ
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm like that really, I have no idea what scales and keys I am playing. I just play stuff that sounds good to me and fits in.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My thought with the first post was show-and-tell of a scale that I've found by playing randomly. I liked the other scales that were posted - mostly because it's good to try something else. I tend to get "stuck in a rut" with the guitar, i.e. if I play randomly I end up playing the same stuff I always play. It's good to force yourself into unknown territory sometimes.

I have a hunch that some of you have a greater repertoire than me, allowing you to improvise with greater freedom of movement, if that makes sense - not easily becoming bored of yourself.

/Stefan

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

^ I'm not one of anything like a great repertoire - still a beginner really.

I have to modify my last statement in my previous posting somewhat, in that I do sometimes start out with a scale (e.g. like those posted here), but then I quickly forget and just go where the playing takes me (which is not necessarily anywhere interesting Neutral).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
I tend to get "stuck in a rut" with the guitar, i.e. if I play randomly I end up playing the same stuff I always play.


Ah a man after my own heart!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

no scales from me, usually doesn't even bother to 'play' scales/solo (as I hear many other guitarists do). I'm more into coloring chords (with notes/melodies inbetween and/or 'hidden' in them = altering the chord progression slightly either rhythmically and/or picking different notes), often with help of delays of course. Very often in that "don't really know fully what I'm doing" mode.

I also often try to play as if I were two guitartists at the same time, that calls for being creative! And many things I'm coming up with are based on that I often question myself: "what happens if I...".

I'm considered among friends to be quite good on guitar, but I feel like I most often don't know what I'm doing. I would be terrible if I were supposed to teach anyone... and if my playing were in notation I wouldn't have any clue if it would be the right scale or correct chord(name) on that notesheet...

I must say that it feels kinda strange knowing my "incompetence"...

/mike

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't have a favorite scale, because while much of music is theoretically constructed of scales, I don't always think directly of scales when I improvise.

One thing I wish I knew and applied when I first started playing the guitar was how to practice the major scale thoroughly. A thorough practice of the major scale should include:

- All 7 triads of the major scale. So from the C major scale, the triads are: D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor, and B diminished.

- All 7 tetrads ("7th chords"), which are the same as the triads with the 7th degree included.

- Intervals, both in relation to the root note, and the broken intervals.

The Graham Clark Scale method covers all of the above nicely:
http://www.grahamviolin.com/Scales.htm

For Westerm music (rock, jazz, American country/bluegrass, etc.) there are really only two scales that are needed to be practiced with a thorough method like Clark's - the major scale and the melodic minor scale. By applying the Clark method, one also practices the 7 modes of each scale - its like getting 14 scales for the price of 2. The harmonic minor scale and its seven modes might be worth a look, but is not as frequently used as the other two. Lately in jazz, the harmonic major has become a hip scale to study and practice. Matt Otto, one of today's young guns of jazz saxophone, has a well-regarded book devoted entirely to the harmonic major scale. Here is a free lesson, which includes a link to his book: http://mattotto.org/?cat=188

Masaya Yamaguchi published three books of scales that are also quite good. The Thesaurus book catalogues all the known scales. The Pentatonics book lists 66 pentatonic scales - that's more than the famous Slonimsky scale book. The Symmetrical Scales book has a similarly thorough collection of symmetrical scales. While the Thesaurus theoretically has all the scales, the Pentatonics book has additional material to help you use the pentatonics in improvisation, and the 3rd book has similarly applicable material for its topic.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ta, Gov!
Inasmuch as I play scales, I stay close to minor and major scales, throw in the odd spot of chtomatic jiggery pokery, a flattened second or seventh, stuff like that. I also like to play "wrong" scales, like if I'm in C major, when I get to the Dominant (G) I mayplay a E major across that, then return to a C major scale, or maybe a G- or F major scale. or even a Bb major scale. It all depends on what I feel the tune needs, or what type of spanner I want to throw in the works at the time.
I tend to think more of what the chord progression, and what the melody is rather than think in terms of specific scales. One might possibly call it "recontextualisation" or something, but that'd be a bit pretentious, so I'll just call it "wrong" scales.
I tend to either anticipate the next chord(s) in a progression or "dwell" on the previous one(s).
Sometimes I just adhere strictly to the melody and play around with timing, phrasing, attack, texture and what have you.

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"wrong" scales sounds about what I do!

Nearly all the time I have no idea what chord name, scale name or note name I am playing.

I keep meaning to learn what the hell I am doing, I have many books on the matter but I find them all boring as hell.

Timing, phrasing, general feeling etc seem more important to me. Its amazing what you can do with just a few notes.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:


Timing, phrasing, general feeling etc seem more important to me. Its amazing what you can do with just a few notes.


Yeah - the guitar often works as a percussive instrument really. And you have a greater control of timbre with the hands-on grip of he strings with both hands, damping, damping/striking, bending, than you have with say mallets.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Last night, I and two friends played a piece live that we'd worked out just a few days before. The piece included a "cadenza" for me, in which called for me to improvise something in the key of D, gradually transitioning to G.

When I was younger, I would have noodled with the D natural minor or D major scale. These days, I try to compose on the spot. For this "modal" improvisation I looked to the work of masters such as Pat Metheny, Persian musicians, etc. who can make a lot of music over just one tonality.

For example, Metheny improvises over a piece that is essentially in the key of E despite the moving bass lines and the harmonies he superimposes on top of the E tonality during his solo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAdhzfoCgKU

Another example of a great improviser (Jan Gabarek) improvising over a tune that is in the key of E"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzSRemRHwZI

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