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What is a "Lead Scale"

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Postby rparker » June 20th, 2010, 3:29 pm

I saw this mentioned in a book I recently read, but not sure which one. What is a "Lead Scale". Is it just following down the neck to the body in a scale pattern? Would this be like using the same notes found in a particular scale, but instead of playing low e through high E on about 4 frets, is it more left to right, like covering the E and B strings towards the body from the middle of the neck?
Roy

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Postby dhodge » June 20th, 2010, 4:06 pm

Please don't tell me it was my book! :wink:

I'm more than willing to be wrong on this one, Roy, but I suspect that the use of "lead scale" is simply someone trying to come up with a name for moving a scale through different positions on the fretboard and only using certain strings to do so.

For instance, play an A major scale. Chances are you either used an open position:

Code: Select all
E - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
B - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
G - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - 2 - - - - - - - - - - - -
D - - - - - - - 0 - 2 - 4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A - 0 - 2 - 4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Or the typical "Root 6" position:

Code: Select all
E - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
B - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
G - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D - - - - - - - - - - - 4 - 6 - 7 - - - - - - - - - - - -
A - - - - - 4 - 5 - 7 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
E - 5 - 7 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


But you could also play all the notes of the A major scale along the A string:

Code: Select all
E - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
B - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
G - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A - 0 - 2 - 4 - 5 - 7 - 9 -  11 - 12 - - - - - - - - - - 
E - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


All the A major scale, right? Well, someone might decide to call the last version a horizontal scale because it's all done on one string. Does that make a difference? Not really but it could be helpful in that particular book if the term is being used to clarify other scales and methods further on.

Writers sometimes come up with terms to distinguish their material from others (and that's understandable since so much of the same material has to be covered). "Lead scale," like "horizontal scale" sound very much like guitarist's terms, though. Imagine telling a saxophone player to play a horizontal scale!

Hope this helps.

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Postby rparker » June 20th, 2010, 6:39 pm

Nope, I don't think it was yours. (Although I do need to re-read Part 4 as many times as it takes to commit what you say to memory. I'm a little slow. :oops: :oops: )

I think what I might be asking about is a variation of the last example you had. Just two strings instead of 1. An Am pent scale might look like this: (Well, sort of. Pick your own pattern)

Code: Select all
E - - - - - 5A- 8C - 10D -12E  -- 15G- 17A -  20C- - -
B - - - - - 5E- 8G - 10A- - 13C -  15D - 17E - 20G- - -
G - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Is this what's happening when some fancy-dancy lead playing os going on and they start mid-neck and go down to the body? On minute they're doing some rocking up at the 5th and the next thing you know, they're doing this high screech lead down near the body. All of those notes are part of the Am minor pent scale. Maybe even throw in some D-sharps in there for the Blues scale. :)
Roy

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Postby Alan Green » June 20th, 2010, 10:01 pm

I've heard the term "Lead Scales" used to refer to standard pentatonics, usually by people who didn't know they were called pentatonics (or couldn't pronounce it)


A :-)
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Postby Moonrider » June 21st, 2010, 5:07 am

Lead Scale: a device for measuring weight made entirely from the metal Lead.

:wink:
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Postby Gotdablues » June 21st, 2010, 11:07 am

Well, I've never heard it called Lead Scales before but I think you're on the right track working with Am Pent. A good Majority of Rock music is in the Key of A, and pent is the right scale to use if we're playing rock,

Don't forgo working on string bending and vibrato. Man, I struggled for years trying to play lead, half a dozen teachers and twenty books never explained that if you want to wail on the guitar, you gotta learn how to bend the damn strings. There's lots a good youtubes out there to help you out.




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Postby rparker » July 5th, 2010, 8:45 am

I employed a bit of the "scale" i posted earlier in attempts to go up and down the neck while remaining in key. (right term?) Some of it works and some of it doesn't. I'm still getting used to the playing the right notes at the right time part of the whole progression thing, so this is failing as an extension of that at times.

Gotdablues wrote:Don't forgo working on string bending and vibrato.

I don't do enough slides, double-stops, hammer-ons and hammer-offs. I do plenty of bends and am coming up to speed with Vibrato. I always think that when I do Vibrato that I go over board. When I record and listen to it afterwards, it generally sounds better than what I thought when playing it.

Quite the opposite of my note selection. I'll play that back and wince at least once every 10 seconds. :(
Roy

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Postby Gotdablues » July 8th, 2010, 11:46 am

The only thing I can say about Vibrato is its there to Exaggerrate a note, escpecially the last note in a phrase...

ding ding ding ding ding ding diiiiinnnnggggg~~~~

:lol:




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Postby BradCripps » April 8th, 2011, 11:14 am

A lead scale could just refer to any scale, but used for the purposes of lead?

E.g. if I'm strumming a few chords in the C major scale, but then I start shredding out in A minor/C major, I'm using the same scale but as a lead scale instead of rhythm?

Just my idea, because you could use the A minor pentatonic scale for lead if you play 5th chords.
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Postby Gchord » April 8th, 2011, 6:19 pm

Alan Green wrote:I've heard the term "Lead Scales" used to refer to standard pentatonics, usually by people who didn't know they were called pentatonics (or couldn't pronounce it)
A :-)


Minor Pentatonics and "Blues" scales is what I often hear.
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Postby Johnny Lee » April 10th, 2011, 6:32 pm

I too suspect that this is just some clever marketing term given to a typical pentatonic scale or major scale for the purposes of playing "lead". That's the first thing that would come to mind when I think lead scale. Maybe one that goes diagonally even.
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