Some insight on learning guitar scales January 17, 2011
If you are someone who is learning the guitar, one of the first things you learn will be the chords. Chords are combination of individual notes. Learning chords are very necessary in learning the guitar. Chords, which can be considered as the base of guitar learning, are of two types- Major and Minor. Guitar scales are nothing but a combination of these chords to create a musical harmony. The mathematics of music, it is, if it can be termed that way.
Now, let us see more about scales.
What are guitar scales actually? Let us answer this question first and foremost. A guitar scale is a series of notes which are played in an individual manner. Some of these notes which complete a scale can be a complete chord. Scales are of different types- pentatonic scales, major scales, minor scales, chromatic scales etc. Out of the above mentioned scales, major and minor are the ones which are most frequently used.
Let us assume that you need to learn how to play an unknown song or a music piece which you heard. Once you get the knack of scales, it will be a cakewalk for you. Once you get to know more on scales and become good at it, you will be able to play any song you want. Once you get the basics, everything else is easy.
What these people really miss out is that learning scales will boost your guitar skills and musical adaptability tremendously. There are three basic elements of music namely, rhythm, melody and harmony. In order to combine these three elements and be a good musician, you need to know the scales, even if you are a born genius. Otherwise, you will never get to the front stage and be a ‘lead.’
Now, I will give you some basic instructions on beginning to learn the scales. First of all, your guitar should be properly stringed and tuned. I give you these instructions under the assumption that you have some knowledge about the guitar. You can tune your guitar with the help of some standard-tuned musical instrument, an electronic keyboard perhaps. You can also tune it online. There are many websites which give the correct tuning levels for you.
One should seek out the musical relationship in terms of pitch and sound between the notes and chords rather than just mechanically gulping down the names of the chords, scales and notes. After quite a while of practicing, one will certainly get this relation naturally. If you master it, then you are the master.
Scales are determined by sharp notes and flat notes. ‘C Major’ is the chord or scale which is set as the standard. One sharp note ahead of C Major lies G Major and one flat note behind C Major lies F Major. The order of sharp scales further down are D Major, A Major, E Major, B Major, F# (read F sharp) Major and C# Major. The order of flat scales after F major are Bb (read B flat) Major, Eb Major, Ab Major, Db Major, Gb Major and Cb Major.