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    I'm learning major and minor scales on guitar in the five different fret positions which is simple enough. But then some minors are the same i.e A minor and C major. So if you were to play a solo in A minor what would make it A minor as wouldnt it just sound like C major?? Also what can you accomplish after learning them? Should I be focussing on pentatonic etc instead? I'm so confused I'm yet to meet a tutor who actually tells me anything I need to know.. trying to figure everything out for myself. please give me advice n what I should learn if I want to improve at guitar...
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    (Original post by jojosephine)
    I'm learning major and minor scales on guitar in the five different fret positions which is simple enough. But then some minors are the same i.e A minor and C major. So if you were to play a solo in A minor what would make it A minor as wouldnt it just sound like C major?? Also what can you accomplish after learning them? Should I be focussing on pentatonic etc instead? I'm so confused I'm yet to meet a tutor who actually tells me anything I need to know.. trying to figure everything out for myself. please give me advice n what I should learn if I want to improve at guitar...
    Well done for noticing that, so many guitarists and bassists I meet I ask if they know say 'A minor' and they stare blankly at me and say "but isn't the song in C major, I don't know C major".

    What makes them sound different is how you stress certain notes in that scale. Try this: just improvise on A minor but ALWAYS start on an A and end on an A. It will sound like you are playing in a minor key. Now play the same scale but ALWAYS start and finish on a C (e.g. 8th fret E string, 5th fret G string). It will sound like you are playing a major key even though your fingers are following the same general 'route' as they did for the A minor.

    The reason for this is, as you rightly pointed out, that the notes are exactly the same in both scales - what makes something minor or major (and a number of other possible choices called 'modes') is the order in which you play those notes. In many ways you could say that how something sounds is greatly determined by your own personal intentions. This is why when beginner players play a note outside of the scale it can sound wrong, because they never meant to put that note in, but when a blues player throws in some notes that exist outside of the normal A minor scale it sounds good.

    Hope that made some sort of sense.
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    (Original post by atheistwithfaith)
    Well done for noticing that, so many guitarists and bassists I meet I ask if they know say 'A minor' and they stare blankly at me and say "but isn't the song in C major, I don't know C major".

    What makes them sound different is how you stress certain notes in that scale. Try this: just improvise on A minor but ALWAYS start on an A and end on an A. It will sound like you are playing in a minor key. Now play the same scale but ALWAYS start and finish on a C (e.g. 8th fret E string, 5th fret G string). It will sound like you are playing a major key even though your fingers are following the same general 'route' as they did for the A minor.

    The reason for this is, as you rightly pointed out, that the notes are exactly the same in both scales - what makes something minor or major (and a number of other possible choices called 'modes') is the order in which you play those notes. In many ways you could say that how something sounds is greatly determined by your own personal intentions. This is why when beginner players play a note outside of the scale it can sound wrong, because they never meant to put that note in, but when a blues player throws in some notes that exist outside of the normal A minor scale it sounds good.

    Hope that made some sort of sense.
    Thankyou very much. You're the only person to respond
    Should I focus on pentatonic scales? and what can I achieve from knowing these?
    I don't know what is the best thing to learn for a guitarist who wants to start writing their own music?
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    (Original post by jojosephine)
    Thankyou very much. You're the only person to respond
    Should I focus on pentatonic scales? and what can I achieve from knowing these?
    I don't know what is the best thing to learn for a guitarist who wants to start writing their own music?
    You shouldn't focus all your effort on one area, make it as broad as possible to give you the greatest depth of knowledge to build upon.

    A lot of people who write music don't neccesarily have a great understanding of the ins and outs of music, but I would definately say it helps speed up the process.

    Learn all types of scales: minor and major, pentatonic, harmonic, melodic, all the modes. These are all meaningless without putting them into context so it is important to just experiment with them - try and play them over songs, write melodies with them, just generally mess around using them. If you don't practice actually using them and trying them out, then learning them is no more than stamp-collecting - music has to be a creative process.

    This won't be easy or quick but the way most people learn music is by actually doing. At first you may feel totally lost as to when, where and how to use scales, but by practicing (and I personally think the best way is playing over songs you like) you will start to understand the where, when and how of it.

    Don't neglect learning chords either! They are intrinsically linked to the scales in how they are used and form the backbone of almost all pieces of music.
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    (Original post by Absinth)
    Forgive me if I'm missing something here, but doesn't A minor differ because it has a raised seventh? (Then again I play piano, not guitar!)
    A natural minor (which is what people refer to when they say A minor) has exactly the same notes as C major. A harmonic minor raises the 7th of the natural minor by half a step - perhaps that is what you are thinking of?

    Anyway, it doesn't make any difference what instrument you play - the basic 'rules' of western music are the same irrespective of instrument.
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    (Original post by Absinth)
    Ah yes, I was thinking of A harmonic minor. I never really play natural minors.
    Harmonic minor is my favourite scale. Sounds much sexier than natural minor.
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    (Original post by atheistwithfaith)
    Harmonic minor is my favourite scale. Sounds much sexier than natural minor.
    xD
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    (Original post by atheistwithfaith)
    Anyway, it doesn't make any difference what instrument you play - the basic 'rules' of western music are the same irrespective of instrument.
    It does... outside of guitar based music/rock/blues an unadorned minor is more commonly harmonic minor rather than Aeolian.
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    The best thing would be to get a book (or even look on line) on the basics of harmony.

    The point of pentatonics comes from blues I guess. It is a good way to start improvising because if you are playing over simple progressions like a I-IV-V or a ii-V-I then each note of the root pentonic sounds pretty good whereas with the full major scale, there are some notes that need to be used carefully in the right places and on the right beats.
 
 
 
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