Well I have been playing bass guitar for about ehhh 7 years or so.. but I always learned by ear and just wrote original pieces. I never took the time to learn all the technicalities of scales and reading music and what not. I have just decided that I would like to educate myself on the basics of chords and scales and all that. SO..
I am aware that the major scale construction consists of (Whole steps and Half steps) :
And the minor scale:
My question is, do all other scales have a basic W/H construction like this that can be played on any root note?
And if so, what are the WH constructions?
If anyone could shed a light on this, I would be very appreciative!!
Yes all other scales have a basic W/H construction.
However there are thousands of scales out there. Some are traditional, while others are not.
Here’s a site that lists a lot of scales:
I could be wrong here, but I don’t think you need to know the WH constructions. It sounds to me like you have a pretty good grasp of music theory. Plus you could figure out the WH constructions of a scale.
I think your next step should be learning about modes. Essentially they open up the entire guitar for any Major or Minor Key you are playing. And on top of this, it will give you new WH constructions that you were asking for.
Basic Music theory tells us most songs are played in one Key. A Key consists of 7 notes. Scales / Modes help us map out those 7 notes around the guitar.
So you are tired of the Major and Minor traditional sound? If yes, then modes will throw in 5 more types of Scales that change up that sound but stay in the Key.
Take the C Major Scale. C, D, E, F, G, A, B
C = I, D = ii, E = iii, F = IV, G = V, A =vi, and B -vii
The Modes match up as: Ionian = 1, Dorian =2, Phrygian =3, Lydian =4, Mixolydian =5, Aeolian = 6, and Locrian = 7.
You already know the Ionian and Aeolian pattern. Ionian is your standard Major Scale pattern. Aelian is your standard Minor pattern.
Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian are mostly a minor scale sound. Ionian, Lydian, and Mixolydian are a major scale sound. While Locrian is a diminshed sound. They follow the same guidelines as your basic triads within a standard key.
So why are modes different scales? Modes will stay in the key but give you different starting points and thus give you different scales.
Look at the D Dorian for example. It’s the same notes as the C Major scale, but it’s a different WH constructions.
D Dorian – D, E, F, G, A, B, C.
W, H, W, W, W, H, W
By learning the traditional modes you will learn 5 more types of scales. And it’s the same idea as the scales. Once you learn the pattern you can move it anywhere on the guitar to fit the Key you are playing in.
It’s a lot of info. That website talks about modes too. If you have questions though, feel free to email. Good Luck.