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The fun starts here, as far as I’m concerned. Scales, wonderful, beautiful, useful scales. Where the music travels farther than the outskirts of infinity from your guitar. All of the reviewed and recommended online guitar lessons, including most of the beginning guitar lessons teach basic scales. The source of Music Sweet Music, flowing from your fingertips. So this is a Review of Chapter 7 of the Online Guitar Theory class I am taking at the college.

Sometimes I get a scale stuck in my head and it rattles around inside all day long. It is quite helpful to me as a guitar student. The more I think about the scales and rhythms, the better guiar player I become. The better player one becomes, the more fun it is, the desire just gets stronger to grab your guitar and play it, anything, it’s just that hard to resist, so go do it, NOW. But read this first, please.

A basic scale is a congregation of tones/pitches all in alphabetical order, using different intervals, all within the same octave. Basic scales are scales which use no accidentals. Called Stepwise scales, because the 7 notes are unaltered and occur simultaneously in order.

To clarify this, we call an 8 tone scale, Diatonic. Meaning that all seven notes in said scale are present, plus, the primary harmonic [root note], or lowest note is repeated, thus an octave in range is created. All are unaltered notes. Diatonic is a latin word, it means “to stretch”. Musical notation involving only notes proper to the key in use, without chromatic alteration.

Concerning basic scales, it is important to note that only 1/2 steps exist between the B and C notes, and E and F notes. All other steps are whole steps [two 1/2 steps]. So it is imperative to know exactly what mode or note each scale starts on in order to determine the proper intervals. Thus making every scale a unique scale. In fact certain scales may be considered modern. Not of the basic scale family, the “blues” scale is of the twentyith century.

A chromatic scale is not Diatonic in nature, because it lists every note and half note, including the octave, thus having 13 tones in full. Chromatic scales are some of the most appealing scales to the human ear.

Scales are the backbone of arranging tones into a certain intervalic orders. The first note is called a keynote, and the last note, or the octave is also called a keynote. There are 7 basic scales which use 7 tones and no accidentals. Listed In alphabetical order below:

Note: ^ stands for where the half notes are indicated.

1. Aeolian Scale.           A B^C D E^F G A [A is the octave].
2. Locrian scale.            B^C D E^F G A B [The eighth note is always the octave]
3. Ionian.                    C D E^F G A B^C [The eighth note is the octave]
4. Dorian.                    D E^F G A B^C D [The eighth note is the octave]
5. Phrygian.                 E^F G A B^C D E [The eighth note is the octave]
6. Lydian.                    F G A B^C D E^F [The eighth note is the octave]
7. Mixolydian.               G A B^C D E^F G [The eighth note is the octave]

Each scale uses different fingering positions. Different intervals require different fingering positions . Thus we have 8 different sets of intervals. In essence, if one learns [and stores the info in their muscle memory] the fingering positions one of the 7 basic scales, those fingering positions can be used on every note in the chromatic scale as a starting point, to produce 12 full scales of alphabetical order and name. Using the low E string only [guitar]. With 6 strings, there are nearly endless patterns of scale arrangements available. If you know your finger positioning and intervals. This applies to the guitar.

Every time I play my guitar, I choose the scale or scales which suits the music or my mood. I play lots of freestyle music. One of the most interesting and beautiful things about scales is the relationship each one has to each other. Each scale has a pivot note which allows a smooth transition into the next appropriate scale. Practicing scales ad nauseum is the only way I know of to become instrumentally proficient at them.

I have been having some confusion with understanding where to place my fingers on the neck of a guitar when reading the musical notation presented in this book. Meaning, the guitar neck is not logical compared to a piano or keyboard. Musical notation was designed for the piano. I did some research. I got out my first guitar books from the early ’60’s. Classical Guitar Technique 1 and 2. By Aaron Shearer.

I suspect that because the guitar is a relatively new instrument, and not generally considered an orchestra instrument, musical notation does not generally account for the guitar. The guitar is broken down into positions on the neck. A position consists of 4 consecutive frets. A fret for each finger on the left hand. If you are right handed guitar player. The first position consists of open strings and notes located on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th frets. The second position consists of notes on the second, third, fourth and fifth frets. , Etc.

A specific position is indicated by a Roman numeral written directly above the note or notes to be played in said position.

On a personal note. Knowing and using scales properly is the most useful musical vibe I have learned. It allows me to express my emotions depending on my mood. I am a freestyle player. Scales are very cool tools. Much of this books information is familiar to me. Not in such an organized manner. I was drilled in scales as a kid. Classical guitar teachers 50 years ago were real teachers, not just good guitar players. I had one 50 minute disciplined lesson every week. My teacher taught me that practice was fun. That was essential for me to know. And I still practice and then play every day. Knowing how to mix and blend scales, where the pivot notes are is a wonderful thing.

Read my online guitar lesson reviews by clicking the 3 words you just read. Read the other 6 chapter reviews and midterm assignment below. All are related to education of the guitar.

Guitar Players

Music Theory Internet Guitar Class Assignment 1

Online Guitar Lessons Chapter Two Exposes Big Secret

Chapter Three Online Guitar Class

Online Guitar Lesson: Music History & The Evolution of Musical Notation

Guitar Lesson Review Chapter 4 Review

Guitar Lesson Review Chapter 5 Review – Time Signatures

Guitar Lesson Reviews Basic Intervals

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