<table border="0" align="center" width="90%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td class="SmallText"><b>Jace wrote on Fri, 06 October 2006 00:22</b></td></tr><tr><td class="quote">
Thanks Ken. I found a site that showed 3 scales it said I should learn. I printed off the first one. All it says is Major Scale but I don't know what letter it is (a c g etc.)so I'm a might confused. But I'll take your advice and work on one song and scale at a time.
Theory is hard to get, but once you get it, it will make your playing a ton easier.
Here's the deal with major scales, and how they relate to the fretboard.
You should already know that each fret will raise or lower the tone a "half-tone (or step)." If you skip a fret, you play a whole tone. Play an open E, then fret the 1st fret on the E string, and you're playing F (a half tone up from E), one more fret is F# (a whole tone up from E), one more, G, etc.
A major scale is made up of the following steps. "Root" is the first note of the scale, and indicates which scale it is. If you start on the A (5th) string, you're playing A major, etc.
root, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step
So sit down with your guitar, and fret the following on any sting.
Open, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12
Congratulations, you've just played a major scale. Notice that from root, it's whole, whole, half, etc...
The key relationship you want to make is between the steps, and where you fret. Try this (it's easier if your guitar has a cutaway). Pick any note on the fretboard as root, and then play the whole, whole, half, whole patern from there. Try it from C (third fret on the A string). C Major scale, just like that.
So now you have one pattern for playing a major scale. But there are other patterns, too, which is what you are probably looking at. It doesn't give you a key because it will be the same pattern no matter what key you are playing in. Because it's the same pattern no matter what scale it is, you can play that pattern from (almost) anywhere, and it will be a major scale. You can play scales and not even know what key they are in, just by using that scale pattern.
So why are scales important? Because every song is in some key, and if you can play in that key, you can figure out the song. Scales are the root of chords as well. A major chord is the root, third, and fifth note of it's associated major scale. All of the modes you have heard about are based on major scales.
Theory will make you a better player. It's one thing to figure out which notes should be played, but understanding *why* you play those notes, and not others is a huge step.
Good luck, and practice a lot.
Someday we'll win this thing...