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The Major Scale – Lesson 7

Iris

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    Maybe this might help someone. I was getting super frustrated trying to play this scale while alternate picking. I realized that I was spending too much time staring at my fretting hand. Once I got the hang of where the frets were, I started looking down at the strings that I was striking and using my peripheral vision to keep track of my fretting hand. Made a world of difference.
     

    Chris Johnston

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    Maybe this might help someone. I was getting super frustrated trying to play this scale while alternate picking. I realized that I was spending too much time staring at my fretting hand. Once I got the hang of where the frets were, I started looking down at the strings that I was striking and using my peripheral vision to keep track of my fretting hand. Made a world of difference.

    Great tip! I'd suggest once you're really confident doing it with your peripheral vision, to return to looking just at your fretting hand and getting used to finding the strings by feel, even if you have to slow down - as there is a lot more chances/places to miss a note on your fretboard if you're not 100% focused on it, but only 6 strings on the right hand side 🤟 hope this helps
     
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    Ids Schiere

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    Why when he says “whole” he started directly from the 3rd fret instead of the second? Shouldn’t we include the 1st fret in the count? I mean skip first then land in 2nd
    The whole step refers to intervals between notes. In this cases PG is explaining the C major scale which starts on C hence the first note is the third fret on the A string. The next note is D which is a whole step up
     
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    Brian Haner Sr.

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    I checked on internet that this is a D major scale
    |---------------------------------
    B|-------------------------------
    G|-----------------4--6--7--
    D|--------4--5--7------------
    A|--5--7----------------------
    E|-------------------------------

    I tried to find the notes of scale myself before looking it up on internet and I came up with this:

    |---------------------------------
    B|-------------------------------
    G|----------------------5--7--
    D|-------- --5--7-8-----------
    A|--5--7-8---------------------
    E|-------------------------------

    What I think that I do wrong is that a major scale strats with 2 notes on the string and then goes one string lower, is that correct?
    I cant understand why the F note (third note in the scale) is on D string 4th position and not on D string third position in the example I found on internet.

    Edit: I think I understand, the 3rd not isnt a F
    Papa Gates says the scale goes: whole, whole, half, but he plays on second string: 3 5 7
    I dont understand that, imo opinion that are 3 whole notes
    I try to understand, but still struggling with some parts
    Edit: i understand now, cause the first note we dont count :) Im getting there :)
    Hi Kim,
    Easy to get confused on this. You don't count the note you're starting on, which is D - THEN you go up a whole tone to E. THEN - a whole tone up to F#. Then a half step to G. etc.
    Make sense?
    So the way you are playing it (on the 5th fret) should be:
    5-7-9 on the A string. 5-7-9 on the D string. 6-7-9 on the G string and then 7-8 on the B string.
    Cheers!
    pg
     
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    Kim

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    Hi Kim,
    Easy to get confused on this. You don't count the note you're starting on, which is D - THEN you go up a whole tone to E. THEN - a whole tone up to F#. Then a half step to G. etc.
    Make sense?
    So the way you are playing it (on the 5th fret) should be:
    5-7-9 on the A string. 5-7-9 on the D string. 6-7-9 on the G string and then 7-8 on the B string.
    Cheers!
    pg
    Thanks for explaining :)
     
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    Noidboyd

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    Feb 26, 2021
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    Probably a silly question, but do I need to know the interval formula for scales? The reason I ask is that I'm memorizing the fretboard and it seems easier to know the the notes and their placement in a scale. The interval formula seems secondary at that point but I might be making it more complicated than it had to be. Anywhoo love the site!
     

    Ids Schiere

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    Probably a silly question, but do I need to know the interval formula for scales? The reason I ask is that I'm memorizing the fretboard and it seems easier to know the the notes and their placement in a scale. The interval formula seems secondary at that point but I might be making it more complicated than it had to be. Anywhoo love the site!
    There's something to be said for both really. For me I refer to the notes in the scale not so much to the intervals. Whether you play C D E F G A B or D E F A B C over a C major chord it's still going to be the C major scale. At the same time it's very handy to know which intervals are present in each scale due to the different color those intervals provide. For example if you play over a minor chord and like to target th sixth it comes in handy to use Dorian because that's a minor mode that has the sixth in it.

    Shortly said, it's nice to know both. The exact notes just so you can name them and relate them to the key and the intervals to make sure you know when and where to use them.
     
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    Noidboyd

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    There's something to be said for both really. For me I refer to the notes in the scale not so much to the intervals. Whether you play C D E F G A B or D E F A B C over a C major chord it's still going to be the C major scale. At the same time it's very handy to know which intervals are present in each scale due to the different color those intervals provide. For example if you play over a minor chord and like to target th sixth it comes in handy to use Dorian because that's a minor mode that has the sixth in it.

    Shortly said, it's nice to know both. The exact notes just so you can name them and relate them to the key and the intervals to make sure you know when and where to use them.
    Awesome! Thanks for the help
     
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    Brian Haner Sr.

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    Probably a silly question, but do I need to know the interval formula for scales? The reason I ask is that I'm memorizing the fretboard and it seems easier to know the the notes and their placement in a scale. The interval formula seems secondary at that point but I might be making it more complicated than it had to be. Anywhoo love the site!
    Not sure intervalic formula is all that important. The important thing is to be able to play the scale, (so you can pick notes from the scale). I don't really think about intervalic formula at all when I play. It would be like thinking about spelling when you talk. I might be thinking bigger picture - like Dorian, arpeggios, etc. - but I'm really just trying to play what I hear. So if you know the scale in a couple of positions, (the more, the better), you should be able to navigate just fine.
    I have a love/hate relationship with theory. Playing vs theory is the very definition of right brain/left brain. There is a place for each - but never at the same time. I know a shit-ton of theory - BUT - I work very hard to not let it get in the way of my playing, especially when I'm creating. The more you know, the more you tend to analyze - which can be paralyzing. I do my best to play something really cool that SOUNDS GOOD and then analyze it after the fact.
    A certain amount of theory is absolutely necessary, but don't let theory get in the way of your imagination.
     
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    Noidboyd

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    Feb 26, 2021
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    Not sure intervalic formula is all that important. The important thing is to be able to play the scale, (so you can pick notes from the scale). I don't really think about intervalic formula at all when I play. It would be like thinking about spelling when you talk. I might be thinking bigger picture - like Dorian, arpeggios, etc. - but I'm really just trying to play what I hear. So if you know the scale in a couple of positions, (the more, the better), you should be able to navigate just fine.
    I have a love/hate relationship with theory. Playing vs theory is the very definition of right brain/left brain. There is a place for each - but never at the same time. I know a shit-ton of theory - BUT - I work very hard to not let it get in the way of my playing, especially when I'm creating. The more you know, the more you tend to analyze - which can be paralyzing. I do my best to play something really cool that SOUNDS GOOD and then analyze it after the fact.
    A certain amount of theory is absolutely necessary, but don't let theory get in the way of your imagination.
    I appreciate the thoughtful reply. Keep on, keeping on!
     

    Ed Seith

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    Not sure intervalic formula is all that important. The important thing is to be able to play the scale, (so you can pick notes from the scale). I don't really think about intervalic formula at all when I play. It would be like thinking about spelling when you talk. I might be thinking bigger picture - like Dorian, arpeggios, etc. - but I'm really just trying to play what I hear. So if you know the scale in a couple of positions, (the more, the better), you should be able to navigate just fine.
    I have a love/hate relationship with theory. Playing vs theory is the very definition of right brain/left brain. There is a place for each - but never at the same time. I know a shit-ton of theory - BUT - I work very hard to not let it get in the way of my playing, especially when I'm creating. The more you know, the more you tend to analyze - which can be paralyzing. I do my best to play something really cool that SOUNDS GOOD and then analyze it after the fact.
    A certain amount of theory is absolutely necessary, but don't let theory get in the way of your imagination.
    Not being a theory wonk, but having a lot embedded that I may not understand, I wonder if it's kinda like driving - you burnt he mechanics of it into your brain so that when the time comes to actually DRIVE, you don't need to think about "turn the wheel like this, push down this foot on the gas x hard," etc. The mechanics of it become second nature and you can reach for the volume and watch the road.
     

    Ids Schiere

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    Not being a theory wonk, but having a lot embedded that I may not understand, I wonder if it's kinda like driving - you burnt he mechanics of it into your brain so that when the time comes to actually DRIVE, you don't need to think about "turn the wheel like this, push down this foot on the gas x hard," etc. The mechanics of it become second nature and you can reach for the volume and watch the road.
    I think that pretty much sums it up. At least for me I don't think about intervals present in a scale or anything like that. I just kind target certain notes over a chord and I'm hindsight may go 'ooh, that's what I used' 😅
     

    Ev3nflow

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    Aug 21, 2022
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    I just bought my guitar a month ago and was so confused where to start. Since I was 15 I had always wanted to play but couldn’t afford to buy the equipment and was so busy with work such school. I figured since I had so much free time on my hands I’ll fulfill my long time dream of learning how to play some of my favorite songs. So I started where my older sister started, playing Metallica songs LOL I know overly ambitious of me.specifically the Black album songs. she told me to start with scales and chords etc, but it can be extremely overwhelming, learning this. Especially bc I found myself leaning on tabs rather than reading actually scripture (which I knew how to do back in middle school). But that was what 12 years ago ? Lol Last night, while I was listening to the nightmare album appreciating the riffs, something in me told me to type Syn’s name on google and BOOM! SYN GATES SCHOOL CAME UP!! i could not believe THE SYN GATES was gone teach me how to play. I’m so excited thank you so much for this!!!!

    sometimes I get the feeling of defeat when I don’t understand something. But I’m not gonna give up. One month down, eternity to go 🤘🏼
     
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    Radu-Cristian Perde

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    I just bought my guitar a month ago and was so confused where to start. Since I was 15 I had always wanted to play but couldn’t afford to buy the equipment and was so busy with work such school. I figured since I had so much free time on my hands I’ll fulfill my long time dream of learning how to play some of my favorite songs. So I started where my older sister started, playing Metallica songs LOL I know overly ambitious of me.specifically the Black album songs. she told me to start with scales and chords etc, but it can be extremely overwhelming, learning this. Especially bc I found myself leaning on tabs rather than reading actually scripture (which I knew how to do back in middle school). But that was what 12 years ago ? Lol Last night, while I was listening to the nightmare album appreciating the riffs, something in me told me to type Syn’s name on google and BOOM! SYN GATES SCHOOL CAME UP!! i could not believe THE SYN GATES was gone teach me how to play. I’m so excited thank you so much for this!!!!

    sometimes I get the feeling of defeat when I don’t understand something. But I’m not gonna give up. One month down, eternity to go 🤘🏼
    Well hello @Ev3nflow ! Glad to see you've found our little community on here, I'm glad you are joining us! We have plenty of things going on including livestream with Papa Gates and Syn but most importantly, the entire community here is super welcoming and will be happy to help you out if you ever need any help!

    Don't fear any judgment, there is none here and I'm looking forward to see you around here! ☺️

    As you said, one month down, an eternity to go so might as well make this eternity as wholesome as can be! 🥂

    - Rad