Here ya go.HI all,
I'm needing some help here. I have all 5 of my pentatonic Maj & Min boxes more than memorized. I just took a lesson and my teacher said I need to focus on, and memorize, the major scale up and down the neck.
Up until now, I have only memorized and used the first position major (if it's even considered the first position)
I found that when I was trying to memorize all of my pentatonics that it was fairly easy because of the boxes. They are very clean and all boxed up.
Now with the major scale, there is so much overlapping that I'm struggling to find a way to really memorize it. I've tried to add in the extra notes (4th and 7th) to my pentatonics but it doesn't seem to be working well.
One thing that also helped with memorizing my pentatonics was using my triads up and down the neck to quickly tell me where I am and what box/pattern goes over that triad. I'm not finding it all that easy to do the same trick with the major scale.
Am I correct that I've also noticed different people/books have different patterns to their Major scales? For instance, in the second position of G major, my book tells me to play the F# on the A string and the B on the D string at the 9th fret, but I could also play them both on the fourth fret and not have the big stretch, the notes would just be a little lower than playing them at the 9th fret.
Can anyone help break my confusion? I know there has to be an easier way to go about this than the way I'm currently doing it.
Starting with G major is how I've been going about it. I know that once I get G, I'll simply incorporate it to the other keys.
I believe the overlapping is what's holding my brain back and I just haven't had the aha moment quite yet. Thanks for any help!
To simplify, learn the key names in order of the number of sharps and flats in increasing order, then learn the order of the sharps and flats.Strongly recommend the following in this order because you should be able to play each major scale in one position:
1. Learn the "structure" 1st (i.e. whole step - whole step - half step - etc.). But don't rely on this because it's inefficient. Professional and many good amateurs know the scales by their individual notes but learned them AFTER first "understanding" the major scale structure.
2. Learn the individual notes in each major scale by rote (e.g. A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G# / Ab,Bb,C,Db,Eb,F,G. / B,C#,D#,E, F#,G#,A# / Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G,A /etc.).
Write them ALL down and say them aloud 3-4 times a day; first with your "cheat sheet" and then without it.
Soon you will recognize a recurring pattern of sharps & flats involving the number 7. Figure it out on your own. You can do it.
Within two weeks, you should know the notes of all 12 major scales.
3. Everyday, after you say all 12 major scales aloud, practice your major scale fingerings going very slowly for the first week and speak aloud the individual notes.
This will allow you to "self-teach" yourself both (a) the notes on the fingerboard and (b) the major scale notes and their fingerings.
The late great player, studio musician and educator, Howard Roberts, said that one of the greatest ironies of life is that to learn something quickly you must go about learning it slowly. This is fantastic advice.
I and many of my friends did this 32 years ago. After learning all of this and using it almost daily for a year I stopped playing and practing for 14 years because of graduate school and my very demanding career. Then, out of the blue, I was asked to sub for a guitarist who quit abruptly in a band that had a few gigs left on its schedule. I quickly learned the tunes by slowly writing out charts for each tune and I ran through my major scales - both aloud and fingerings - as well as basic chord construction and arpeggios. Like magic it soon "came back to me" like it was yesterday --- all because I put the time in decades earlier to really learn all 12 scales and their fingerings!
Some things in life you should spend a lot of "upfront" time to learn well (e.g. multiplication tables, knots like the bowline, your Social Security number, colors of the visible light spectrum "RoyGBv" which will help you learn resistor codes if you dabble in electronics, notes of the major scales and chords if you are serious about music, etc...) because these things will likely never change in your lifetime!
Take it or leave it.
To simplify, learn the key names in order of the number of sharps and flats in increasing order, then learn the order of the sharps and flats.
Key of C no sharps, no flats.
f# c# g#d#a#e#b#
F B flat E flat A flat D flat G flat C flat
b flat e flat a flat d flat g flat c flat f flat
Add a sharp or flat for each key you move right.
(Key of) G: 1 sharp. F#
D: 2 sharps. F# and C#
A: 3 sharps F#, C#, G#
Same method for flat keys
F: 1 flat: B flat
B flat: 2 flats: B flat, E flat
.Go to your various positions and pick out melodies - old country tunes, folk songs, Christmas carols; tunes you are very familiar with. Improvise off the melodies.