Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

How many types of scales are there?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Mike Money, Jun 22, 2003.


  1. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I know the basic scale in all keys... pentatonic, is it called?

    But anyways how many other types are there that i get to start learning?
     
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    There is a ridiculous amount of scales.

    Major(ionian), minor(aoelian)

    plus the other modes(dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian,locrian)

    plus the two minor modes, harmonic and melodic

    then there are pentatonic scales.

    then there are unknown amounts of strange scales from all over the world, that may or may not include the 12 notes that we know.

    And of course every one of these scales can be applied to every key.

    And I'm sure i'm missing a few important ones :p
     
  3. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Oh lordy... pentatonic is "the basic scale" now is it? :D

    Ok, well, here are some basic ones:

    Major (t-t-s-t-t-t-s)
    Harmonic Minor (t-s-t-t-s-aug2-s)
    Melodic Minor (t-s-t-t-t-t-s)
    Natural Minor (t-s-t-t-s-t-t)

    Where t = tone (whole step), s = semitone (half step), and aug2 = augmented 2nd (which is 3 semitones).

    In addition to that, there are the modes of the major scale:

    Ionian (t-t-s-t-t-t-s)
    Dorian (t-s-t-t-t-s-t)
    Phrygian (s-t-t-t-s-t-t)
    Lydian (t-t-t-s-t-t-s)
    Mixolydian (t-t-s-t-t-s-t)
    Aeolian (t-s-t-t-s-t-t)
    Locrian (s-t-t-s-t-t-t)

    These are formed from different degrees of the major scale. Ionian is the same as the major scale, Dorian is formed from the major scale starting on the 2nd degree, Phrygian is formed from the major scale starting on the 3rd degree, etc.

    It's important to think of these as scales in their own right, rather than as forms of the major scale.

    You will notice that natural minor is the same as Aeolian.

    The Pentatonic scale is a 5 note scale, formed from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th degrees of the Major scale.

    Minor Pentatonic is a 5 note scale, formed from the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th degrees of the Natural Minor scale.

    The Blues Scale is a 6 note scale, which is the same as minor pentatonic, but with the addition of the flattened 5th.

    There is also the chromatic scale, of course, which is just every note. Then there's the whole tone scale, which is just t-t-t-t-t... each note a whole tone above the last.


    There are more scales, such as the diminished scale, and the modes of the melodic minor, but methinks you don't want to be getting into those yet.
     
  4. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Too many, I don't even think Jaco could memorize all of them...
    Major(ionian), minor(aoelian), modes(dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian,locrian)
    2 minor modes, harmonic and melodic, and the pentatonic scales.
    In &$&&$*^sane man...
    ||_-soto-_||
     
  5. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
  6. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    And the whole note scale...can't forget that one. :p
     
  8. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I didn't. See my post :D
     
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    d'oh...how did I miss that :p


    Is there also an Augmented scale?
     
  10. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Not that I'm aware of. According to Levine, the scale associated with the augmented chord would be the whole tone scale.
     
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    that's what I was thinking too.

    I knew about the diminished scale, and then my thought process went...well if there is diminished there must be augmented, but then again, an augmented scale is likely to just be the whole tone scale, or a scale very very similar to it.
    :p

    at anyrate, I'm sure jaco knew ALL these scales. at least in his prime.
     
  12. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    my personal favorite is the mongolian scale, 1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7, 1. think thats right
     
  13. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    that's neat...I almost mistook it for phrygian...then I realized the natural 3rd. :D
     
  14. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Is that a major 7th or a minor 7th? If minor, then that is also the 5th mode of the harmonic minor. Which is like Phrygian, but with a major 3rd.
     
  15. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Scales schmales..

    All you need to know probably 99% of the time is Ionian, Dorian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Major and Minor Pentatonic.

    This should get you happily through the vast majority of rock, 12 bar blues, reggae, ska, funk, pop, metal... and everyone will think you're right on the money :)

    No but seriously tho, those I mentioned I think are the easiest to use and probably the most applicable to every day music, jams, songs, gigs etc. One you have those down, i.e. so you can use them and recognise where and when to use them, you can move on.


    That said, Melodic Minor has some awesome modes, and the chords derived from it are nice n' tasty!

    Last time I posted I was moaning about never getting to use flat 5ths in my basslines. Then I had rehearsal that night and my band have come up with a chorus with the progression GMaj > Gdim > DMaj > Ddim - yeeehaaa! flats 5ths are the way forward baby, I'm gonna hit 'em with the weirdest jazz lines I can muster :D
     
  16. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    it's a major 7th in the mongolian