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Music Theory
27 Apr 2010 19:37 | Quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010
I have been trying to figure out scales and keys for a long time and I'm getting no were. there seems to be to much to learn and no one seems to have an answer as to were to start or were to go once I start. should i learn major scales from A to G? or should i learn something else first?
also i do not understand the meaning of key. i get that the key is determined by the root note of the scale you are playing, but when it comes to chords and progressions i am lost.
27 Apr 2010 20:41 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
United States
Lessons: 1
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Karma: 31
start reading up on it. a key is made up of notes that fit in the key... theres so really good lessons on this site about it... when i have the time ill give an in depth explaintion... or carlsnow will just type up 7 pages before i do haha
27 Apr 2010 20:50 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
EMB5490 says:
or carlsnow will just type up 7 pages before i do haha

Haha that's a LOOOOOOONG time XD (just kidding carl, you type just fine lol)
27 Apr 2010 22:14 | Quote
Joined: 01 Oct 2008
United States
Licks: 1
Karma: 18
Chill dude. It'll be fine. Just pay attention on here and look up some lessons. I've been playing for over two years now and am just starting to get the hang of it. It's better to be able to apply knowledge like this than just know it. It's like being godly at math but protesting writing utensils.

28 Apr 2010 05:05 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
United States
Lessons: 12
Licks: 42
Karma: 38
It is a pretty broad subject, try and narrow down to a specific issue you are having and you will get a direct answer. Otherwise, check out my lessons, or lessons from JazzMaverick, Afro, Carl or Bodom.

Rock on
28 Apr 2010 09:13 | Quote
Joined: 14 Apr 2010
Karma: 3
Scales are beautiful. If they are not, then you are playing them wrong.

Explore them!
28 Apr 2010 15:08 | Quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010
i want to be able to improv solo. and also to be able to under stand people when they say play in E#
29 Apr 2010 08:38 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
there are a lot of people here who know way more about this stuff than i do, but i feel like i can explain things in layman's terms so i'll give it a shot. starting with scales... a scale is just playing a sequence of notes that are the same distance from each other relatively. for instance maybe you've read about the major scale, and how the pattern is "whole whole half whole whole whole half"... steps, that is. if you start with any note and play this sequence it's a major scale. but you can start on C, or you can start on G. each scale has different notes in it. and thusly each is in a different key (C and G respectively). even though they are the same scale.

on the guitar, this basically translates to a different fret on the neck. if you learn the "pattern" of the major scale and play that on the 3rd fret, it's G. if you play it on the 8th fret, it's C.

so now back to your question, if you "solo" you can play a riff that is based in the key of C. if you take that same pattern (play notes with the same relative distance from each other) starting on a different fret, it is in a different key.

one example of this that i discovered recently is the song "say it ain't so" by weezer. in the recorded track, weezer has all of their instruments tuned down a half step. (D#, G#, C#... instead of E A D). so when i first learned it, i tuned my guitar down and learned the song.

since it's way more convenient to have a guitar tuned normally, i retuned the guitar. but you can STILL play the song the exact same way on the guitar. same frets for the chords, same frets for the solo. the only difference is that each note you are playing is 1/2 step higher than it was before. and although i never did figure out exactly what key the song was originally written in, if you play it all a half step (1 fret) up, you are playing the same song, just in a different key.

hopefully that drawn out description helps you understand what keys are. NOW, if you want to be able to solo in a certain key... well, join the club. i am at the point where i can dissect a song and USUALLY (with the exception of the weezer song mentioned) figure out what key it's in based off the solo or the major/minor chord progressions. but as for just picking up a guitar and chugging in the key of X... haven't quite gotten to that point yet.

p.s. i love that your arbitrary key that you used as an example is E#.
30 Apr 2010 14:45 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
This will sound complicated but here goes: Sometimes all we want to know is what we need to know to do what we want to do. The problem is we often find that we need to know more than what we think we need to know to do what we want!
30 Apr 2010 15:30 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
There are many places to start but this is what helps me: The mother of all scales is the Major scale. All or most scales are built from this scale.

Lets start with C Major and work up from there: CDEFGAB. C is the root note or key of the scale because the scale starts on C. This scale is also called C Ionian. If you take this same sequence of notes and start on the next note D, the scale is a D Dorian scale. DEFGABC. And the root note or key is D. The next note is E. Again, using the same sequence of notes but starting on E you have E Phyrgian and the root note and key is E. EFGABCD.

This is just a start but if you continue on you'll get through all 7 notes or modes using this particular sequence of notes.
30 Apr 2010 16:53 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 23
7 pages


1 May 2010 10:20 | Quote
Joined: way back
Karma: 9
Haahahahahah! Oh my God, that just made me LOL! Oustsmarted us all.

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