I have a Major Scale problem thats been bugging me

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ninthwondernj, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. 1.) OK, so Im reading something about an Intro to Scale and Chord Theory, and as it askes me to look at Cmaj,(C-D-E-F-G-A-B-c) starting with the E string, they say the scale in tab form is:
    G: 2-45
    D: 23-5
    A: 23-5
    E: -3-5

    now if this is the Cmaj scale why does it start at G on the E string and not on note C?? Same thing with its example of the Dbmaj scale starts on G#/Ab....I dont get it! Why doesnt it start on Db??

    2.) my second Scale question is why are there 5 different scale patterns for major, minor and minor pentatonic ?????
  2. yyz


    Aug 17, 2004
    Bumpass, Virginia
    That IS a C major scale it just starts on a G instead of a C. They wanted to give you a bigger perspective so they stretched it out.
    G --2----4--5--
    D --2--3--5----
    A ---3---5-----
    E -------------

    The scale is not limited to just that, that's just the FULL scale octave to octave. They went lower obviously. From C to B to A then the 3rd fret on the E string, G. Hope that makes sense.
  3. im still rather lost? maybe i need a better explanation of what you mean
  4. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Ask the Mod's. They wrote it.
  5. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    take the c major scale and start on any note in that scale

    if you start on g
    its mixolydian mode
    a is aolian mode
    b is locrian
    c is ionian
    d dorian
    e phrygian
    f lydian
  7. According to the merriam-webster dictionary a scale is: a graduated series of musical tones ascending or descending in order of pitch according to a specified scheme of their intervals.

    Basically, a scale is combination of notes arranged from the lowest to highest. Therefore a C Major scale is spelled as C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. Notice the ascending order of these notes. Although we usually spell out a C Major scale as C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, we may begin at any given note within this scale as long as it sticks to the given order of arrangement. Thus, D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D, is also a C Major scale, notice that the notes are exactly the same as the first example, and that the notes ascend in the exact same order. E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E is still a C Major scale, so is F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F, and so forth.

    I would suggest you to make sure that you understand how a Major(or minor) scale is constructed before you attempt to learn anything else. And I would also advise you to stay away from Modes for the time being.
  8. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    This is actually the correct answer, though you can learn theory from books if you're determined. The basics of music theory can take a while to seep in and make sense though, and there are many points to be confused about, so do your homework and don't become frustrated when things don't make sense. If you keep searching you will find your answers, though a teacher will be able to point you in the right direction immediately.
  9. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    I think he's saying that they were just showing you the notes of the c maj scale that were available on the E string in that area of the neck. It's honestly not worth too much angst. A major scale is just 8 notes octave to octave as I'm sure you know. If you're jamming away in the key of c major you don't just play up the scale and down again, right? You make music by playing the notes of c major in a way that sounds good to you. But you're still using the c major scale tones, does that make sense? You're still using the c major scale if you move up to the next octave, or down to an octave below. You're still playing in C major even if your funky jamming doesn't happen to include all the notes in the scale at that particular moment. So don't worry if they showed you where the c maj scale tones are, low on the E string.

    Does that help?

    I'd guess the 5 patterens was related to starting the scale from different positions on the neck. Got any more info?
  10. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    What did you folks do before the internet, and info wasn't at your fingertips? ;)
  11. burntgorilla


    Jan 24, 2005
    Was there any point in saying that? I don't see how that's relevant or meant to help him. If he's only getting his head around the major scale now, then what chance has he got with modes?


    About the five different patterns, they're just different ways to play the same note. To take your C major example, after you play the C on the 3rd fret of the A string, you could then play the D on the 5th fret, or hit the open D string. Like this, there's different options of playing the same note, and the different combinations join up to make different patterns. You could get away with just learning the one pattern, but it might help to learn them all, because they might start on different fingers, so in the middle of a song one pattern might be easier to play than others. For example, the pattern you typed up starts on the second finger, then the 4th fret is hit with the 4th finger, etc. Depending on what you were playing before, it might be easier to play the scale in a different pattern.
  12. LAW


    Jun 23, 2005
    what part of southern nj do you live in. I am also from the pinelands, just wondering where you resid
  13. chasfr


    Jan 4, 2005
    I have a feeling most of the answers are providing too much information, which just makes 'em more confusing.

    Your basic C major scale, "do re mi fa sol la ti do" (Remember "The Sound of Music"?) is available starting on the A string, 3rd fret with the note C, and finishing on the G string, 5th fret, (also the note C, but an octave higher) as several people have diagrammed it upthread. The notes being shown on the E string and lower on the A string than the 3rd fret are the "mi fa sol la ti" of the octave below the one that starts on the A string, 3rd fret. A 4-string bass can't get all the way down to the "do" of the lower octave; on a 5-string where the lowest string is tuned to B, you could play it on the first fret of the B string.

    You can change the key of your major scale by starting the fingering pattern that begins on the A string, 3rd fret, in the above example in another place on the neck. Anywhere you have 3 strings and 4 frets to work with will do. For example, an A major scale could be started with the note A on the E string, 5th fret, and ending on the D string, 7th fret. You'd have a few notes of the next higher octave in your A major scale available on the G string, if you needed them. For B-flat, move up one fret, so you'd start on the E string, 6th fret. Another C major scale is available starting on the E string, 8th fret.

    See if that helps...

    chas ;)
  14. Good luck to you with that.
  15. SO I talked to my teacher and this is what I gathered from what he said...that scales just show you what notes sound good within that peticular key. And its up to the musician to decide which notes from the scale to play in the key and how to arrange them. RIGHT??????
  16. Right.

    And what all these lengthy replies have been trying to tell you is that while C is the root of the scale the author of the TAB you looked at chose to show some lower notes from the scale as well to fill all four strings.

    Usually "key" and "scale" are exactly the same. The key of C major uses the notes of the C major scale, and, conversely, the C major scale has all the notes in the key of C major. It's just that we use the word key when we talk about which notes we're using, and we use the word scale to talk about any set of notes. So we play in the key of C major, using the notes of the C major scale.

    The only times the distinction is important are when our scale doen't contain all the notes of our key. Like when we play using a C major pentatonic scale we aren't in the key of C major pentatonic; we're in plain old C major.