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My name is Will, and I'm Theory Ignorant

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BigWig Will, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. I've been going along the past few months trying to learn some theory to make my playing easier, and I've been able to learn some interesting things that have helped me out, mostly with fretboard knowledge and reading music. But there's on thing that keeps on bothering me. What is the difference between a scale, a chord and an arpeggio? Or is there any difference between any of them? I know how major and minor arpeggios sound like, but are they basically just like chords on a guitar played out? any help would be appreciated. Thanks
  2. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    okay... i know a little, but not much... here goes...

    a scale is a set of notes that sound pleasing... the most popular is the major scale, it has 8 notes and goes do-re-mi... etc... you can probably recognize minor scales too

    a chord is when you play 3 or more notes from the scale at the same time... an arpeggio is when you play the notes from the chord one at a time. The reason a minor arpeggio sounds different is because you're using notes from the minor scale to make it... whereas a major chord or arpeggio takes notes from the major scale. Lots of scales share some of their notes, so its the notes that make them different that will allow you to tell them apart

    Sorry if that's hard to understand... it's a little difficult to explain on here, but i'm sure someone will be better at it than i am..

  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Some scales don't sound "pleasing"; some are dissonant & that's not a 'bad thing'...at all. ;)
  4. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    a scale is a set of notes that makes up a particular key....

    arpeggios are the R-3-5-8 of a scale

    a chord is certain intervals in the scale played at the same time.

    my definitions are very rough, and i apologize for that, as im still learning theory myself, but hopefully they will give you at least a vague idea/ im sorry i cant explain it any better. im sure someone will come along and clarify it more.
  5. arpeggio:
    The sounding of the tones of a chord in rapid succession rather than simultaneously.
    A chord played or sung in this manner

    Music. A combination of three or more pitches sounded simultaneously.

    Music. An ascending or descending collection of pitches proceeding by a specified scheme of intervals

    (compliments of dictionary.com, my knowledge of it's existence, and my girlfriend's ability to copy and paste!!!! hope this helps!!!!!!!)

  6. Merci Beaucoup Tout le monde

    It was a big help. Even the ones who though their definition's were bad. I've been having trouble discerning between the 3 when I read some lessons online etc. now things are a lot clearer. Thanks again!