A Simple Scale that works as a “Musical Dictionary” – Steve Stine Guitar Lesson


hi my name is Steve Stine from guitar
zoom one of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to things like
music theory fundamental understanding of the guitar is that they think that it
has to be all complicating and difficult and it takes forever to learn and all
those things could be couldn’t be further from the truth it’s actually a
fairly simplistic concept to learn if you do it in order and that’s really the
key and and the other thing is is is why would you learn music theory and I’ve
always told my students too I’ve been teaching for I think like twenty seven
years and you know I’ve taught people all around the world and and you know in
private lessons and at college all kinds of different things and people will say
well why do I need to learn music theory you know I know how to play some chords
and I know how to play scales and things like that
but learning how things actually work and how they work together can really
help you tenfold because you know you can learn songs faster you can
understand song structures easier you can learn songs by ear you can um learn
which scale is most appropriate for the situation you learn your modes and I
mean there’s all kinds of things you know chords and understanding how chords
are created and what notes are in there um and really if you think about it
there’s so much mystery on this fretboard for people they learn how to
play shapes but they really have no idea what it is that they’re doing and then
they’re always wondering why they’re there playing is a bit hollow you know
it’s it’s lacking something well that’s one of the reasons and so in this video
of what I thought I would do is I would just start at the very beginning and
explain to you how music starts how music theory begins and then in the next
video we’re going to keep moving forward we’re going to add on to it so I can
kind of show you how this chronological order element really works so the first
the first place we need to start is what we refer to as the chromatic scale so if
you look at my whiteboard here the chromatic scale is the dictionary of
musical notes now when I say note or tone or pitch I’m
talking about the same thing if I say the note C or the pitch C I’m talking
about the same thing okay now in music we only have the notes a B
c d e f ng there’s no such thing as an H or a Q or something like that it just
goes to G and then it starts all over abcdefg abcdefg on and on and on so if
you think of a piano the white notes on a piano are a b c d e f and g and once
you get to G you start all over ABCDE F and G and you just keep going those are
called octaves when you go from this a to this a it’s an octave okay so even
though a piano of a full piano has 88 keys on it
you’re not playing 88 different notes okay you’re just playing the same notes
over and over and over in octaves so we have the these are the white notes on
the piano note we’ve got a b c d e f and g now we’ve got the black keys that are
in between those as well and we need to learn those to really make this whole
thing make sense so let’s go ahead and take a look at this one so I’ll use my
black marker here so a and B those are two white notes on the piano in between
those there is a black key that we are going to call a sharp now a sharp is its
own pitch okay it looks like it’s related to a but when we talk in terms
of notes it really isn’t it’s its own note it’s a little black key next to two
big white keys but it’s just as important and it’s just as useful but it
is in there okay so a a sharp and B so we actually have a new note that hey
sharp now if you keep moving down the piano and it’s okay if you don’t play
piano I’m a horrible piano player but when you
get to B between B and C on the piano there’s nothing there’s no black key in
between those two okay if we keep going C to C shut or excuse me C to D we have
what’s called a C sharp d to e we have another black key that’s called d sharp
e to F that is another spot on the piano where you do not get a black key in
between the white keys okay and then we have F to G we get an F sharp and then
we have G to a we get a G sharp so already much like the English
language it’s kind of weird because some some get sharps and some don’t and it
looks really confusing there’s a super easy way of thinking about this okay a a
sharp B to C C sharp D to d sharp e to F nothing in between F to F sharp G to G
sharp and then back to a here’s what you need to do if you were just to think of
it this way B and E those two notes don’t get sharps so think a through G
everybody gets sharps except for B and E those are the only two that don’t get
sharps B&E okay there’s no such thing as a B sharp there’s no such thing as an e
sharp if you say B sharp you’re really saying C if you say a sharp you’re
really saying F and people would rather say C and F because it would make more
sense so what winds up happening is the chromatic scale is a series of intervals
or distances between each note a to a sharp is called a half-step a sharp to B
is a half-step B to C is a half-step because there’s nothing in between
each one of these is a half-step increment okay now they have more
specific names and in the course you’re going to learn all of those specific
names like minor 2nd and major second and perfect fourth and perfect fifth and
all those sorts of things but for you right now I just want you to think of
everything in terms of half steps so a 2 a sharp for instance is a half step
a sharp 2 B as a half step therefore a 2 B is a whole step B to C is a half step
C to C sharp is a half step therefore B to C sharp is a whole step
okay so first thing we do is we get used to thinking A through G that’s all we
have there’s no H there’s no Q nothing like that
everybody gets sharps except for B and E there’s no such thing as a B sharp
there’s no such thing as an e sharp now the beauty of that is those are the
notes for every instrument that you will ever play including the guitar this is
what is covering this fretboard over and over
/ okay this is what’s covering a piano or a saxophone or clarinet or a tube or
whatever it might be okay these are the notes there are 12 notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 so a chromatic scale has 12 different pitches now much like the
dictionary that we have for our language our dictionary doesn’t create sentences
it’s just all the words this is just all the notes we have to pull certain ones
out to actually make functional scales out of them whether they’re pentatonic
scales or diatonic scales or modes if you’ve ever heard of any of those kind
of things the major scale the door Amy fossil a jido scale we have to pull
these out and that’s what we’re going to do in the next video
okay right now what I want you to do is I want you to memorize this just take a
little time and think a through G everybody gets sharps except for B&E if
you want to visualize the piano you can if you don’t visualize a piano don’t
worry about it I don’t visualize the piano I’m just trying to show you if
you’ve ever seen a piano how this sort of looks on a piano okay so the second
question I get a lot is people will say well okay but there’s no flats here
you’re just talking about everything in terms of sharps well that’s easy too
what we do is a 2b we have a sharp we have what’s called B flat a – B is a
whole step a – a sharp is a half-step a sharp 2 B as a half-step a sharp and B
flat are the same note there are just two different names for the same note
it’s called an N harmonic ok a sharp and B flat if let me go to my guitar and I’m
going to show you how to how to do this on the guitar anyway but here’s a I go
up to this 6th string 5th fret that’s a 7th fret is B so I have a at the 5th
fret B at the 7th fret in between those is a sharp or B flat at the 6th fret
here is a chart or b-flat I can call it either one it doesn’t matter what I call
it now further down the line it becomes a little more important whether or not
you’re going to call it a sharp or B flat depending on what key you’re in and
that’s that’s again another conversation now don’t worry about it as a guitar
player if I was talking to you about music and I said a sharp you’d know what
I was talking about if I said b-flat you’d know what I was talking about and
you’d also know that they’re actually the same note it’s just two different
names for the same note called an N harmonic so needless to say that B to C
doesn’t have a flat because it didn’t have a sharp C sharp is going to get D
flat D sharp is going to be e flat ok nothing there F sharp is going to be G
flat and G sharp is going to be a flat and that’s what you’re going to call
those if you wanted to refer to them as flats okay now let’s apply this to your
fretboard and then you can decide how far you actually want to take this in
your playing because obviously one of the biggest mistakes that people make
with their guitar is they don’t really know the names of the notes on the
guitar they kind of know this and they kind of know this string and they kind
of know this position but they don’t really know the notes on the guitar and
I’m going to tell you right now it’s it’s not as hard as you think it is it
just takes some of your time so what I’m going to do is I’m going to explain to
you how to approach learning your notes on your guitar and then what you can do
is you can start working on that so you’re going to work on the theory of
this the logic of this and then you’re going to work on the application of it
and then hopefully what you can do is kind of absorb that by the time the next
video comes out okay because we’re gonna move on to the next step all right so
let’s do this you pluck the sixth string that note is
e when you pluck that sixth string you’re hearing e so if I go to the first
fret of that sixth string I’m increasing the pitch by one which is F okay so e to
F zero to one is e to F there’s no sharp so I’m just going from E to F okay then
I move up and I’ve got the next note in the sequence which is f sharp of course
what makes the guitar different from the piano among other things obviously is
the fact that when we look at it we don’t have you know big frets and little
frets it doesn’t work that way F is here F sharp is here they look the same in
terms of size so it isn’t about big keys and little black keys it doesn’t
work that way so we have E we have F we have F sharp okay then we’re going to
keep going we have G mmm a or G sharp excuse me a a sharp B C because there’s
no no half-step in between there there’s no sharp in between there so B to C C
sharp D d sharp and then back to e again so when you get to the two dots you’ve
got an octave zero is e 12 is e so that means 1 and 13 are the same thing just
an octave difference 2 and 14 of the same thing so if you learn the first 12
frets you know the next however many frets if you’ve got 24 frets you know
the next 12 frets okay it’s just a repeat it’s just the octave of those ok
so a lot of times what I would teach this chromatic theory to students I
would say okay those are your notes the F sharp G sharp a a sharp B C sharp d
sharp D and again I’m talking in terms of sharps right now okay and I would say
okay go home and memorize that and then people would go home and they’d come
back and I’d say okay let’s go through those notes and see what you know and
I’d say okay fine B and it go let me see here and then count up and then they
find B and I’d go find D and then they count up and they’d find D so then I got
to me too you got me thinking about real world application which again is my
whole point of creating a theory course is not only understanding the theory but
how to apply it realistically and quickly to your fret board so you could
actually use this stuff okay so what we’re going to do is we’re going to use
the dots on the guitar we’re going to use one three five seven and nine now my
first fret doesn’t have a dot yours might yours my not but we’re still going
to use first fret okay we’re using the odd-numbered frets one three five seven
and nine some people don’t have any dots at all which probably makes us a little
more difficult but you’re going to use the odd numbers 1 3 5 7 & 9 so what
we’re going to do is we’re going to use those for all six strings but we’re
going to use those to help us to memorize where our notes are and what
we’re going to do is we’re going to go back to those primary notes
a b c d e f and g if we can learn where those notes are on each string then
we’re going to know where the sharps or flats are relative to those so it’s a
much quicker way than trying to memorize all 12 notes all the time now again some
people they learned all their notes on their guitar that was very easy some
people struggle with it so if you’re struggling with it that’s why I want to
talk to you about so when you pluck the six string again you hear e if you go to
the first fret you hear F so for the rest of your life he is open and F is at
the first fret that’s how you have to think of it you just absorb that
information and you make it your own the third fret which I have a dot for is G
mm and G it just is okay now if I learn that F is at the first
fret and G is at the third fret by proxy I learned that F sharp big weird huh F
sharp is in the middle F F sharp G G flat okay I’m not going to worry about
that right now I want to learn my primary notes but I’m just showing you
that that’s a really easy way of approaching it so watch this we have a
open F G mmm if we go to the next stop we have a mm if we go to the next stop
we have B well we’re already over halfway we’re at the seventh fret so I
have e F G a and B e F G a and B zero one three five and seven zero one three
five and seven okay so if I just again even if I didn’t
have my guitar I wasn’t in my practice studio or whatever it might be all I’d
have to do is think about it a little bit visualize my fretboard and think 0zi
F is 1 G is 3 a is 5 B is 7 F G a B one three five seven just get it straight in
my head once I’m comfortable with that idea which probably won’t take you very
long then let’s keep going now the confusion happens we know that the 7th
fret is B the 8th fret is where the C is that’s not a dot and the 10th fret is
where the D is that’s also not a dot but what I can do is I can memorize that C
and D surround the on the ninth fret so either the notes
I’m looking for these primary notes are on a dot or they surround a dot and your
whole fretboard will be exactly like that
the note that you want is either on the dot or its surrounding the dot so I have
one three five seven eight and ten one three five seven eight and ten that’s
what I memorize one three five seven eight and ten so again take ten minutes
out of your day five minutes out of your day and you just think about it 1 3 5 7
8 and 10 f G a B C and D and once you absolutely
know those notes you’ll know where the sharps of the flats are relative to
those and then after a while you won’t even think about it anymore so if you
want F sharp well you know where F is it’s on 1 so F sharp is on 2 if you
wanted B flat well B is on 7 so one fret back would be B flat so it’s
a really great way of learning your chromatic scale information which will
get cut up into chords scales arpeggios you know modes I mean there’s all kinds
of things that we’ll be doing with this stuff but it all starts with this basic
theory of understanding what the chromatic scale is how it works and then
applying it to your guitar now what we just did with the 6th string you could
do with the 5th string you could do with the 4th string and the 3rd string and so
on I would just strongly recommend for you don’t do that until you absolutely
learn the 6th string ok don’t move on to the next one until you are positive you
could be in front of 10,000 people playing and you’d know those notes on
your sixth string that’s when you want to move on to the fifth string and again
I bet you could do it by tomorrow or the next day or maybe even by the end of
today you could probably do that if you just really sat and thought about it ok
so this is your opportunity to start learning what’s actually happening on
your fret board as opposed to just relying on chord shapes and scale shapes
that you don’t really understand let’s start breaking all the walls down with
all that stuff and let’s actually start learning what this is and how it works
ok you could literally learn all the notes on this guitar in a very short
amount of time so first step learning the notes on the sixth string when you
feel good about that do exactly the same thing on the fifth
ring okay using the dots either you’re on a dot or your surrounding adapt those
are your two choices okay and then you just keep going you just keep going you
just keep going just keep going do the next string the next ring and so on
until you look down at your fretboard and you know exactly what they are but
remember there’s no hurry don’t be in a hurry take your time and do this right
so in the next video what we’re going to do is we’re going to take this chromatic
scale we’re going to convert this into a major scale and we’re going to learn all
the keys that are available to you in music again very quickly very easily so
you’re gonna walk away going wow that that was pretty cool I didn’t even
realize it that that that’s how that worked okay and if you want to talk
about this make sure you head over to the Facebook guitar zoom community a
group and join it and talk about this stuff okay there’s a bunch of really
awesome guitar players on there right now that help other people that talk
about whatever you know the point of the community page is to be positive to be
fun and to be educational so that’s not it’s not about you know who’s better
than Who and it doesn’t work that way the goal is to get on there ask a
question and have people respond to you because everybody’s learning right it
doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner intermediate advanced this is all stuff
that everybody should learn