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Old 12-22-2012, 12:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Which scales do you use?

Im trying to get some ideas and opinions on scales and modes. If you don't mind, list some of your favorite/most used scales along with what kind of style you use it in.

Like most guitarists, I started with the pentatonic and blue scale. I still use the blues scale a lot, I love the blues. I started getting into the Dorian mode, I really it's sound. Natural harmonic minor is another one I became fond of. It has a cool, classicalesque sound that works great with metal. Randy Rhoads used it quite a bit. Lately I've been abandoning scales and doing some improv, which Is fun. But I'm still curious to know what scale I'm using when I do so, because even though Im just making it up, I know it has to fall under a certain scale.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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All of them. I don't limit myself. I used to hate modes because i was forced to learn and memorize the patterns on flute (very hard when you can't see what you're doing) but then I realized how beneficial they really are. I also love pentatonic, whole tone, and octatonic scales.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Are there not any that just really stand out to you and make you think "wow, I really like that one"?
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Chromatic because I only score horror films and play Smile.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There really is only once scale, the chromatic.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Are there not any that just really stand out to you and make you think "wow, I really like that one"?
Not really, they all start sounding the same after awhile lol. What really stands out for me is certain keys no matter what the scale is... like D minor for example, that key stirs emotions in me. I'm not sure if that's some form of synesthesia or what, but there are keys that do that to me, even if it's just the scale.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you have the pentatonic scale down and modes down then you could start on your major scales, and different fingering positions of each key. Theres also differnt styles of practicing the minor pentatonic that come in handy as well. Different techniques of picking you can incorporate into your play using any of these scales. For instance knowing when to rake the strings amidst a solo, and things like that. I'm not sure exzactly where your at learning wise or how much you prefer to advance, but the possibilities are endless really. I'm getting to where I almost know what sound a certain string is going to make without always focusing on what key I'm playing in. Venturing unknowingly into the major from the pentotonic while soloing from simply experimenting so many times. Of course their will be plenty of hicups, and it doesn't happen overnight, but I'm getting to where I can fumble along out of just the pentatonic, and make it sound decent. After so much repetition over weeks, months, years I'm finally expanding, and developing my repertoire enough to where I can combine the two along with some of the modes, and it not sound forced or thought out. Meaning I'm not thinking as hard about where I want to go next, and if its the right fret or scale or mode. Still I'm nowhere near where I'd like to be, and don't practice as much as I should anymore. Whenever I do think I've achieved something I youtube something to humble myself cause no matter what the song or style of whatever I've just learned. There is always somebody out there who will blow your mind and make you feel like its your first day on guitar after you've heard them play.

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Old 12-22-2012, 03:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Also, the minor pentatonic for me anyways was what layed the foundation for expanding my fretboard horizons. After a while just residing within the confines of the pentatonic grew boring. Even though its fun learning it and the sounds that come from it are wicked amazing, but I think the thirst for more options of sound, and riffs, licks, etc is what every musician strives for. Although I still learn different ways to make new sounds with the pentatonic too. Alternating your picking can open doors to tasty sounds and licks in a scale you've played a millions times. Then sometimes you just simply stumble onto something, and think, how did I do that? Its easy to get in ruts, and become frustrated, but even playing something the same way for however many times can be beneficial cause on the millionth and 1rst time for no apparent reason something may present itself that was an offshoot, and direct result of all the fundamentals you practiced and played.

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Old 12-22-2012, 04:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've learned the c major scale. I've got a pretty good grasp on memorizing scales. If I really sat down and put a lot of time into it I'm sure I could learn all the major scales in a relatively small amount of time. Memoizatiom isn't really the problem, it's all the little techniques and nuances that you mentioned that go into getting a good sound that's the difficult part. When I'm jamming I just do a lot of improv, I really don't know which scale or mode im using. But if I have a written song ill actually sit down, learn and experiment with different modes/scales.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've learned the c major scale. I've got a pretty good grasp on memorizing scales. If I really sat down and put a lot of time into it I'm sure I could learn all the major scales in a relatively small amount of time. Memoizatiom isn't really the problem, it's all the little techniques and nuances that you mentioned that go into getting a good sound that's the difficult part. When I'm jamming I just do a lot of improv, I really don't know which scale or mode im using. But if I have a written song ill actually sit down, learn and experiment with different modes/scales.
That comes with time, and its extremley frustrating I know. I wish I had more of a effortless flowing sound. Also I dont think you necessarily have to know what scale or mode your in. I mean if you know what key your in then you have an idea of where you can venture in and out of. At the end of the day if it sounds good it fits. Without getting into music theory and all of that. The scales, and modes really dont really change just the positioning, and root notes in relation to where you are on the fretboard if that makes sense to you. Once it becomes second nature to you the two may co-exist in perfect harmony without you realising it. Persistant repetition and reapeatedly practicing it once recognized is when you can start to embelish the spicy little extra's. For me anyway, it may come more natural to you I dont know but I have to work at it. What I hope to achieve one day is to make my play look and feel as effortless this guy makes it look in this vid and all the other great guitartists I admire.

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