Topic: Connecting Scales

Ok Jerome ... I'll be the first to pick your brain again

I know my minor pentatonic scales (now I'm working on my major pent scales) ... but in regards to the minor scales, how do you connect them to create solos?

I know that if you are using pattern #2, it automatically connects to pattern #3, and the same for pattern #3 to pattern #4 ... but I've seen something somewhere that shows a progression from a part of say pattern #2 connecting to pattern #3 and so on ... not necessarily playing the entire pattern but bits of one, then connecting to the next pattern, etc

Does that make sense?  I've seen it before but I cant find it ... maybe you can explain it a little easier

Thanks bro!

Electric:  Gibson Les Paul Studio, Schecter Omen 6, PRS SE Custom
Acoustic:  Fender Talman, Yamaha
Amp:  Fender Super Champ XD/Line6 Spider III 75

Re: Connecting Scales

Welll... that's a complicated question.  It really relates to how the fretboard is laid out, and I've found primarily that what it takes is a shift in how you think about the fretboard, and a lot of practice.   And I'll state for the record that this isn't something I'm particularly skilled at, but it has been a recent focus of my practice sessions, so I can only share with you the strategy I've taken to address that weakness in my playing.

I have taken the view that there are only five scale patterns for modal scales, period.  For the purposes of this exercise, I have abandoned any notion of key, and focus purely on those five patterns, as all modes can be played using them.   Since I'm a CAGED method kind of guy, I like to think of those patterns in terms of the chord shape they relate to.  The C pattern, the A pattern, the G pattern, etc...

This makes it much easier to tie the scales together, as that is how they "flow" down the neck.  For example, play an open C, then play C at the 3rd fret (the "A" shape).    Then go back and play the C scale in the open position using the C pattern, and then play it at the third fret using the A scale pattern.   You've just extended your "box" by one position.   Move down the neck and play C at the 5th fret using the G shape.  Play the C scale there using the G scale pattern.

When you can play those 5 patterns well enough that you can move down the neck fluidly,  then then next step is realizing where on the scale you wish to start.  The best way to do that is to know where the root is for any of those 5 shapes.  I know when I'm in C that the root is on my index finger and pinky, for example.  For E and G shapes, it's the index finger or whatever finger is on the Fat string (and skinny for G).  That kind of thing helps you locate chords quickly.  You may have heard me say that you are never more than three frets away from any major chord.  This is why.

Anyway!

Want to play in A minor at the open position?  That's still the C scale pattern.  You're just starting your scale on the A and playing through to the A.   you can pretty much play any of the modes this way.

Times like this I really wish I could link images into the forum, as it's the best way to demonstrate it.

Anyway,

Here is the C scale pattern.  It's shown in the open position, but it's completely portable all over the neck.  It's my personal favorite as it is a natural fit for your hand on the neck of the guitar, too.  You may know it as "pattern 1."

http://chrisjuergensen.com.hosting.doma … major1.gif

Now here is A pattern, or pattern 2.

http://chrisjuergensen.com.hosting.doma … major2.gif

Imagine this one sitting two frets down from the C pattern above.  Then get on your guitar and play these patterns in that manner.  C in the open, and A on the second fret.  You'll see how they tie together.

Now move that entire shenanigan down two frets from the open position.  Same patterns, though.  You just went from playing C in two position, to playing D in two positions.

So that's a lot.  I hope it reads clearer than it writes.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Connecting Scales

Wow ... I just got that and never realized it ... the explanation made it clear but the pic helped ... once I saw it, it tied it all together .. so with the "C" formation in the first major pentatonic you can move that pattern down and keep the same "C" formation but not have an open "C" but have a different open chord sound?

Electric:  Gibson Les Paul Studio, Schecter Omen 6, PRS SE Custom
Acoustic:  Fender Talman, Yamaha
Amp:  Fender Super Champ XD/Line6 Spider III 75

Re: Connecting Scales

Right.  And lets not get hung up on the pentatonics.  The pentatonics are major or minor scales with two notes dropped out.  If you can play the scales, the pentatonics are already there.

You could look at it this way.  Answer the following question.  "Where on the neck are all the C major chords?"

There are five of them.

You are probably most familiar with these two.

Open C
3nd fret A shape

Then there are these:

5th Fret G shape

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

8th Fret E shape  You probably know this one, too.

E    -8-
A    -8-
D    -9-
G    -10-
B    -10-
e    -8-

And 10th fret D shape

E    -12-
A    -13-
D    -12-
G    -10-
B    -x-
e    -x-

Every one of those chords is C major.  You can see how the chords link together as you work down the neck.  Learn to play the associated scales for those shapes, and you can play scales down the neck, too.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Connecting Scales

Thats awesome, thank you very much. That really helps me
in my self taught guitar learning. I'll be looking at this thread a lot. Thanks Jerome and Admin,  Chordie getting better all the time.

one caper after another

Re: Connecting Scales

That helped out alot Jerome .. again, thanks as always!!!  Now if I can just get those darn barre chords down!

Electric:  Gibson Les Paul Studio, Schecter Omen 6, PRS SE Custom
Acoustic:  Fender Talman, Yamaha
Amp:  Fender Super Champ XD/Line6 Spider III 75

Re: Connecting Scales

OK. Here is an example of what I mean.  C major in the open C, A and G forms.  See how they all tie together?

C form.

A form

G form

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Connecting Scales

Have you ever thought of writing a "learning theory for dummies or chordians" book?

Electric:  Gibson Les Paul Studio, Schecter Omen 6, PRS SE Custom
Acoustic:  Fender Talman, Yamaha
Amp:  Fender Super Champ XD/Line6 Spider III 75

Re: Connecting Scales

I don't know about writing it, but I'm pretty happy with my little notation system.  Pretty amazing what you can do with Visio.

Anyway, here is a better diagram showing how they overlap.

The red is the C shape, the yellow is the A shape, and the green is the G shape.  I think it gives a better representation of how they flow together.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Connecting Scales

jerome.oneil wrote:

Right.  And lets not get hung up on the pentatonics.  The pentatonics are major or minor scales with two notes dropped out.  If you can play the scales, the pentatonics are already there.

You could look at it this way.  Answer the following question.  "Where on the neck are all the C major chords?"

There are five of them.

You are probably most familiar with these two.

Open C
3nd fret A shape

Then there are these:

5th Fret G shape

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

8th Fret E shape  You probably know this one, too.

E    -8-
A    -8-
D    -9-
G    -10-
B    -10-
e    -8-

And 10th fret D shape

E    -12-
A    -13-
D    -12-
G    -10-
B    -x-
e    -x-

Every one of those chords is C major.  You can see how the chords link together as you work down the neck.  Learn to play the associated scales for those shapes, and you can play scales down the neck, too.

5th fret G shape should be:
e  -8-
B  -5-
G  -5-
D  -5-
A  -7-
E  -8-

8th fret E shape should be:
e  -8-
B  -8-
G  -9-
D  -10-
A  -10-
E   -8-

10th fret D shape( or 4 srring barre chord) should be:
e  -12-
B  -13-
G  -12-
D  -10-
A  -x-
E  -x-

You have the right idea, you've just flip-flopped the strings.

Give everything but up.

Re: Connecting Scales

Ah. Good catch.  Strings is upside downed.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Connecting Scales

That said, try not to only practice scales or that is what you will play when you throw out a solo. Once in a while, try playing a melody on only one (or two) string linearly - up and down the neck.

Start to get familiar with the pattern of whole and half steps in a major or minor scale. That kind of linear playing helps you think of musical lines that sound more like singers or horn players, which our ears tend to like. It makes for lines that are easy to hum along with. A good example of this is the guitar in the Cure song "Just like heaven" - it just descends through the scale more or less but you can whistle it in the shower. You see Pat Metheny do the same kind of linear thing too. This is also a good way to start linking up the scales you know, in the different positions.