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Old 10-11-2017, 02:25 PM
Uncle Clownmeat Uncle Clownmeat is offline
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Default Website with the best scale fingerings

As you know, there's a million different fingerings for the CAGED system alone. Some seem better suited for electric guitars because the frets are closer together. Do you have a favorite website with the most practical fingerings for scales? I'm trying to master the major scale, the pentatonics, the major and minor blues scales, the harmonic minor, the modes, etc. It's frustrating when I see so many different fingerings for the exact same scales. I don't know which ones to drill into my muscle memory. Or maybe you could suggest your favorite books of scales.

Last edited by Uncle Clownmeat; 10-11-2017 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:08 PM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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I'm looking forward to the replies. I've been taking Justin Sandercoe's course on mastering the major scale, and doing his first pattern. Thanks to this forum I've also bought the art of noodling by Rolly Brown which is also great, Rolly bases the first exercises on the C major scale with plenty of open notes so I'm keen to see that one first.

My initial searches haven't found it but I'm a bit lazy.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:00 PM
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This is an interesting website:

http://www.freeguitarsource.com/Blue...ues_Scale.html
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:10 PM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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Typically, you would learn just a couple of open-position scales: Em/G pentatonic, C maj, A min. Remember, the major and minor are just the "set" of all notes in that key in the 1st position. No sharps of flats in C or Am, so if you know your notes, you shouldn't even need a fingering chart for them.

Then, you "CAGE" 'em up, so to speak, learn a few closed-position movable patterns, one or two octaves only, and learn how to track them by the root/tonic note. DO NOT waste your time memorizing every note of every scale and mode all up and down the neck.

I recommend learning just one or two closed-position patterns for the pentatonics -- the one based on Em/G (aka, Box 1), and the one based on Am/C. Then learn a closed major pattern that starts on the 6th string, and one that starts on the 5th. Remember, these do double duty as natural minor scales, and if you know how it works, you can alter them on the fly to create harmonic and even melodic minor.

At this point, were I your teacher, I would ask you: what exactly are you using these scales for? Are you actually applying them to the music you are playing? Are you analyzing the tunes you play to discover how they "plug in" to the scales and keys you already know? Are you trying to compose music using these scales and modes? If not, then putting the scales to work is definitely the next step.

Why? Because other than certain highly virtuoso styles, you're rarely going to hear a good guitar player play a straight up-and-down two octave scale. Scales are just the building blocks for melodies, licks and riffs. They change direction, jump around, use ornaments and articulations and bends, etc. Best to think of them as part of the key, and fitting into your chords. This approach applies to the simplest of music as well as the most complex, and is the best way to understand how scales work.

Get a few basic scales under your belt, and then start studying/learning solos and riffs to understand how they actually work in music. And I'll let you in on a secret: most of the time, it ain't that complicated. A few basic ones is all you really need. Lots of players know the basic patterns and can play very well, but have no idea what key they're in or what mode they're playing.

So, keep noodling, and start listening, analyzing, and stealing as many licks as you can.

A note on modes: I guess it depends on what kind of music you're playing. In most roots-based styles, dorian and mixolydian are the most common. Jazz -- you're on your own I'm afraid. But I'd get a solid handle on major, minor and penta first. Tackle dorian when you play your first Santa tune....

Last edited by Guitar Slim II; 10-11-2017 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:01 AM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitar Slim II View Post
A note on modes: I guess it depends on what kind of music you're playing. In most roots-based styles, dorian and mixolydian are the most common. Jazz -- you're on your own I'm afraid. But I'd get a solid handle on major, minor and penta first. Tackle dorian when you play your first Santa tune....
You always give great tips and advice.

I know that, musically, modes aren't related this way, but as far as learning the shapes/patterns of them, I've found it really helpful to realize that dorian, for example, is the same pattern as the natural minor with a raised 4th (that's probalby not be the right way to say it, so please correct, but it's a fi instead of a fa) but I put this together for myself and found it useful. http://www.dee.email/OPEN/scalesbetter.pdf
Again, I know this isn't how these patterns are related musically: Dorian doesn't start on the 6th degree, etc. but the sound of the intervals, the pattern you play with your fingers is the same, and I found that helpful to notice.
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Last edited by SunnyDee; 10-12-2017 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:15 AM
zhunter zhunter is offline
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Dorian = 1,2 b3, 4 5, 6, b7
Aeolian (natural minor) = 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7

The important take away is how application differs depending on harmonic context.

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Old 10-12-2017, 12:02 PM
creamburmese creamburmese is offline
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Apologies for the classical refs (but this is what they do)
Here is a free download of the 5 major scale shapes using the CAGED system -

And here is Eliot Fisk on modes Personally I could never get a handle on modes till I saw him relate them to the major and minor scale patterns. All that trying to figure out which scale degree they start on just left me clueless. He also goes through the minor scales...

Just a small typo correction Dorian is natural minor with raised 6th -
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:54 PM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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I'm interested in any links to favourite riffs / solos in the major scale. I've been noodling along to a backing track for several months now and it's working but I need more recipes in my cookbook.
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:06 PM
Uncle Clownmeat Uncle Clownmeat is offline
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I'm overwhelmed by all the fingering variations there are for any given scale. Look at these possibilities for the harmonic minor:

https://www.google.com/search?q=guit...w=1138&bih=549

I need to get a handle on that scale because my jamming pal often plays "House of the Rising Sun." He does it in the key of Am, so I want to play the A harmonic minor over the E major chord. I'm aware of other uses for that scale as well, but my question is about which fingerings YOU think are the most practical -- for all the scales. Suggest a book or a website.

I know all of are hands are different, even if our minds are not.

Last edited by Uncle Clownmeat; 10-12-2017 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:42 PM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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sorry to butt in here again, but I keep seeing first-position scales pop up here -- in the OP's original question and in some of the links posted.

1. You don't really need to worry about fingerings in first-position. You just need to know the scale - and the names of the notes in the first position. In the Am harmonic example, all notes are natural except the G (7th), which becomes a G#. In Am and C, all notes are natural, so all you've got to do is play them. Other keys? Learn your key signatures, and they will tell you exactly what notes to make sharp or flat.

2. You can take this same approach -- spell every scale and learn every note by name -- all up and down the fretboard. But most people don't. We learn movable, fixed-position scale patterns (they work just like barre chords). Learn how these work, and learn just a couple of patterns, and you're well on your way.

Finally, don't know about websites, but you can find the same, most-common patterns in tons of books. If you like, I can chart out and and try to upload a couple of my favorite patterns.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:51 PM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitar Slim II View Post
sorry to butt in here again, but I keep seeing first-position scales pop up here -- in the OP's original question and in some of the links posted.

1. You don't really need to worry about fingerings in first-position. You just need to know the scale - and the names of the notes in the first position. In the Am harmonic example, all notes are natural except the G (7th), which becomes a G#. In Am and C, all notes are natural, so all you've got to do is play them. Other keys? Learn your key signatures, and they will tell you exactly what notes to make sharp or flat.

2. You can take this same approach -- spell every scale and learn every note by name -- all up and down the fretboard. But most people don't. We learn movable, fixed-position scale patterns (they work just like barre chords). Learn how these work, and learn just a couple of patterns, and you're well on your way.

Finally, don't know about websites, but you can find the same, most-common patterns in tons of books. If you like, I can chart out and and try to upload a couple of my favorite patterns.
Why don't people just learn the interval pattern and play that everywhere no matter what note they start on or what the note names are? I'm really asking. I can derive all the note names in any key or scale, but I don't understand why people would memorize which notes are sharps and flats just to play the scale, because the interval pattern is the same no matter what key it's in.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:33 AM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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Originally Posted by SunnyDee View Post
Why don't people just learn the interval pattern and play that everywhere no matter what note they start on or what the note names are? I'm really asking. I can derive all the note names in any key or scale, but I don't understand why people would memorize which notes are sharps and flats just to play the scale, because the interval pattern is the same no matter what key it's in.
Do you read staff notation well? I'm genuinely curious. This seems pretty much backwards from the way a reader would see things -- and not just guitarists, either. If you're reading, of course you need to know where the notes are, and especially where the sharps and flats are.

Most of my students do not read staff notation, but I recommend (even insist) that they learn the names of the natural notes in first position. It allows them to understand the theory in a more formal way, without having to memorize the entire fretboard. And it makes understanding movable chords and scales much easier. And, of course, the CAGED perspective is all about the 1st position.

So, I guess that's why people do it?

Last edited by Guitar Slim II; 10-13-2017 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:32 AM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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Originally Posted by Guitar Slim II View Post
If you like, I can chart out and and try to upload a couple of my favorite patterns.
Okay, take a look at these....

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/06692...f4a9f37a3a.pdf
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:32 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyDee View Post
Why don't people just learn the interval pattern and play that everywhere no matter what note they start on or what the note names are? I'm really asking. I can derive all the note names in any key or scale, but I don't understand why people would memorize which notes are sharps and flats just to play the scale, because the interval pattern is the same no matter what key it's in.
That is pretty much how I see it when composing something or free flow adlibbing. On the other hand I sight read music and for that I need to know names and locations.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:35 AM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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Originally Posted by Guitar Slim II View Post
Do you read staff notation well? I'm genuinely curious. This seems pretty much backwards from the way a reader would see things -- and not just guitarists, either. If you're reading, of course you need to know where the notes are, and especially where the sharps and flats are.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
That is pretty much how I see it when composing something or free flow adlibbing. On the other hand I sight read music and for that I need to know names and locations.
I'm just learning to read for guitar, but I've only been playing about a year and half. I'm using a somewhat different idea, but I'm very interested in pedagogy and how people learn music, so my questions usually stem from that. I suspect that the idea of learning all the note names/how many sharps/etc comes from a classical pedagogy where, when people say they are learning the fretboard, their goal is, generally, learning to sight read. In casual acoustic playing where many people never learn theory, learning the fretboard seems to mean learning the shapes so they can play them and I'm not sure learning all the names and how many sharps, etc. suits their goal, because it seems to, sometimes, produce players who are afraid of playing certain keys because they have too many sharps to remember, which doesn't make sense to me. No matter, though, your answers make a lot of sense. Thanks.
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Last edited by SunnyDee; 10-13-2017 at 05:41 AM.
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