View Full Version : Scales

11-01-2002, 02:03 PM

i have a question:
when im practising scales, i only do them up and down the fretboard, i find it kinda boring to just do that over and over!
So, i have john petruccis book Rock Dicipline, and he says that you should experiment with scales and Steve vai used to practice scales 3 hours a day in his 9 hours schedule, and he says that you should practise scales with melodic patterns, so what do they mean, and how do you and how does steve and john practice those scales?? anybody:)

11-04-2002, 08:01 AM
Hi JEM555,

Some ideas:

scale: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Exercises focusing on intervals:
Thirds: 1 3 2 4 3 5 4 6 5 7 etc ...
fourth: 1 4 2 5 3 6 etc ....

also try 5th, 6th, 7th, octaves

3-note sequence: 1 2 3 2 3 4 3 4 5 4 5 6 etc ....
4-note sequence: 1 2 3 4 2 3 4 5 3 4 5 6 etc ...

5 notes, 6 notes, etc ....

melodic idea:
1 8 7 6 5 4 3 1 || 2 etc ...

based on triads:
1 5 3 1 | 2 etc ....

Hope that will get you started ...


11-04-2002, 11:39 AM
Hi there...

my friend Abi once wrote a book, and he talked about practising scales... he also explained a cool way to experiment with unusual melodies.
Number the scale like that ( example: C Maj )

Now... get out those White Pages ( phonebook ) and play through a page.
Seriously, take a phone number like.... dunno... 323-7542
You might not only get some unusual scale degrees ( you can play a LOT of different melodies out of a simple scale with 7 ( or 8 if you include the octave of the root ) notes )


11-04-2002, 12:12 PM
Hey Eric,

Yeah, I remember Abi doing this stuff. It's amazing how well phonenumbers can sound :-)


11-04-2002, 12:50 PM
Did ya read the book ? He listed some examples. One music school´s number ( lots of 9s and 8s ) was like the dullest two-note melody in the world. What a coincidence.
Here´s a quote from one of his columns:
"Imagine you wanna use the A Minor Pentatonic ( A-C-D-E-G ) to play different melodies without repeating any note or leaving one out. How many melodies could ya possibly come up with ? 120 !!!
Now imagine we´d add the octave of the root ( A ) so we´d have 6 notes. This would enable us to play 720 melodies !
A major scale incl. octave of the root has 8 notes. This would give us the possibility to play 40.320 different melodies
If we´d just play one of the notes twice in each melody ( giving us 9 notes instead of 8 ), the number would be 362.880 variations !
And we didn´t even talk about rhythmic variations and phrasing yet. Let´s take a look at those 40320 possible melodies. Lets just assume that only one percent of that would be worth playing ( = sounding interesting )... did anyone of us ever attempt to play 403 different melodies on an 8 note-major scale, just to try it ?"

from his "In Vivo Guitar" column

Cool, huh ?

11-04-2002, 09:27 PM
yeah, I've read his book - is just bloddy awesome. Too bad it's only available in German - but I guess it would be hard to bring all of Abi's humour accross....

FYI here's a link to the book http://www.abi-r.com/Home/The_Book/the_book.html


11-04-2002, 09:33 PM
Hi there,

yeah I guess the humour and stuff is one problem that prevented this book from being translated so far...
I recommend it to all my students cuz it´s a great introduction to all the important theory etc, and there are some great ideas in there...

...checking out the link...


11-04-2002, 09:37 PM
BTW, the soundfiles on that site rule... some great playing and great sounds there... currently listening to the medley...

11-05-2002, 09:10 AM

I'm wondering what scales do you guys memorize? One of my friends told me that I should juz memorize the Maj scales. If I'm suppose to solo in say D Dorian than I should juz solo in the key of C Maj but starting on the D note.

Do any of you all do that? Or do you memorize the individual fingerings for the different modes?


11-05-2002, 09:53 AM
Hi metallibeast,

Thinking just major scales is a good way to start out, ie if you wanna play D dorian ya think C major, or E Phrygian = C major.

In the long run this will not be very effective as you want to focus on the mood, colour of each mode, which forces you to
1) think from the actual root.
2) to set all other notes in relation (their sound, tension, mood) to the root.

Hence, starting out with thinking of the related major scale is kind of a bridge to get to the correct notes - but you should get to the point where you can play all modes from any given root.

Here's just one example of how you can practice this:

Pick a major scale fingering, say G major. Now figure out the fingering for G Dorian. If needed think of F major. next g phrygian, g lydian, etc ....

Then move somewhere else on the fretboard without thinking of the root but using the same position. Play major, dorian, phrygian, etc .... if necessary check back ...

Another idea:
Pick a root and build up the modes just by using intervals. Say, Dorian: 1 2 b3 etc .....


Bongo Boy
11-07-2002, 05:06 AM
Related to Guni's comment above:
Pick a root and build up the modes just by using intervals. Say, Dorian: 1 2 b3 etc ..... An idea I just ran across for the first time (in The New Harmony Book) is the idea of memorizing the pattern (or degree-locations) of the semi-tones in each of the modes. The idea (as I interpret it) is that you can select any note whatsoever as your fundamental starting point, then run up the scale in whole tones, adding in two semi-tones in their proper locations, depending on chosen mode. I have no idea how practical this is.

For each of the modes, here are the semi-tone locations (by degree):

I 3-7 (i.e., for any Ionian, a semi-tone occurs at III and VII)
D 2-6
P 1-5

NOTE: As a mnemonic, notice that for these first THREE modes, the position starts at THREE (III), and the semi-tone positions are 4 degrees apart. Note that the starting position decrements by 1 in each successive mode (3, 2, 1) (duh).

L 4-7
M 3-6
A 2-5
L 1-4

NOTE: As a mnemonic, notice that for these last FOUR modes, the semi-tone position starts at FOUR, and the semi-tone positions are 3 degrees apart. Again, the starting position decrements by 1 in each successive mode (4, 3, 2, 1).

This makes is fairly easy to whip out "D Locrian" without resorting to pencil & paper. This seems like a cool little memory device--only you can tell if it actually has any practical value.

Originally posted by Guni
It's amazing how well phonenumbers can sound :-)

e.g., 867-5309 :D

My apologies to Tommy Tutone, wherever they may be.

12-18-2002, 10:12 PM
Hey,do any of you guys give German lessons ? :D

12-19-2002, 06:00 AM