best way to find modes and scales on guitar?

Well who doesn't have a question about theory? Come on in and get them answered here. Beginning to advanced theory questions are welcome.
Post Reply
Posts: 7
Joined: June 9th, 2014, 2:35 am

best way to find modes and scales on guitar?

Post by virtouso » June 9th, 2014, 4:17 am

hi. im playing for a while and i have started learning theory for composing. as you know most of the composers are pianists or better say their first instrument is piano because place of notes are obvious and you can find scales easy on it and all my theory teachers teach theory on it. but as a guitarist specially electric guitarist that my first beloved ganre is rock and heavy metal i like to make melodies on guitar and i dont think most of the rock bands make song and melodies on piano or keyboard and move it guitar but there is a problem. how should i find scales and modes on guitar. in many guitar books they introduce some patterns like they name it caged pattern but i think its not sufficient and in professionl mode no one do that because for some techniques like sliding you cant move your hand at all. for example i want to know how joe satriani made "forgotten" as you see his hand moves to all parts of guitar. does he know notes of all sacles in all part of the guitar or just main scales like do major and la minor and after making all of the song he just transposes to other scales. as you know more than 90 precent of scores we see is on do major or la minor. i want to know what most of the great bands do. thank you for helping

Posts: 3
Joined: June 9th, 2014, 9:14 am

Re: best way to find modes and scales on guitar?

Post by Marq-Paul » June 10th, 2014, 10:31 am

For one, you don't need to be a pianist to be a great composer. Not all of them were. So fear not, you can compose for any instrument with your guitar. However, as you noted, it will require an understanding of music theory.

Remember what music theory is, though. It's simply saying "this is how I can make this sound". It's not magic and certainly not overly complicated. It just requires a bit or memorization at the onset. There are patterns though that help you out, as long as you dig for and find them.

As far as Joe Satriani, he does know all the notes on the neck, and all the scales and modes and chords on the guitar. Yes, it can be and should be done. CAGED is a guitar-oriented system to get a handle on where notes are on the guitar. I use it all the time, for all my modes and such. I would follow this progression:

1- memorize all the natural notes on the neck
2- start with major scales. work on one scale at a time, one position at a time (using CAGED is preferred). For each position, learn:
- the scale
- the pentatonic scale
- the chord
- the arpeggio

They all sit nicely within each other.
Once you have all the CAGED positions learned, learn how they connect up the fretboard until you can play the scale/pentatonic/chord/arpeggio anywhere.
3- Start on the next key. I would do this progression: C, F, G (basic keys), E, A, D (guitar-oriented keys), Bb, Eb, Ab, B, and then the rest. If you worked really heard to learn the C patterns, you've done 90% of the work, the rest are basically identical.
4- Start on the relative minor keys. This time though, work on natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor and how they are different. And of course, all the chords, arpeggios, and pentatonics.
5- Start with triads for chords / arpeggios, and later sus2, sus4, 6ths and 7ths, and so on.

Of course, that said, you'll want to know how to notate all this in music notation. Not just tab, if you are going to be a composer. Reason being, once you are able to work out what a tune is in your head, and be able to notate it, you can composer anywhere, anytime, without an instrument. Yes, it can and has been done, but many.

Bottom line, it all depends on how much work you are willing to put in. Good luck!

Post Reply