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PG Explains: Technique

PG Explains: Technique



What are different modes or scales?

A scale is a specific arrangement of seven different notes that, in most cases, will start and end on the same note, climbing an octave or two across all 6 strings in the process. Scales begin with a root note and can be played in any key. Depending on the scale, the intervals between notes will change, which gives scales different sounds.

A mode is a specific arrangement of notes that is built off of a scale. They take scales to the next level, adding different notes, intervals, shapes, and sounds. Each mode corresponds to a specific type of scale, and, unlike scales, modes don’t have to start or end on the root note.

What are the main scales?

In Western music, there are 12 scales. The first scales most guitarists are taught are the major and minor pentatonic scales. The earliest rock guitar players, like Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Chuck Berry, on to stadium rock legends Jimmy Page and Angus Young have popularized pentatonic scales with their lead work.

What are the main modes?

There are seven modes: Ionian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Dorian, Aeolian, and Locrian. They’re similar to scales, but contain different note intervals and create a completely different sound and mood.

How can you use modes and scales?

Scales and modes are essential tools for navigating the guitar’s fretboard. They form the basis of most soloing that guitarists do, and lend vastly different colors to your playing. Each scale or mode has a unique feel, so the more you add to your arsenal, the freer you’ll be in expressing ideas on your guitar.

Which scale is the easiest to play?

None of the scales are easier or harder, per se, but the major and minor pentatonic scales are good places to start, since other modes often build off of and into them.

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Photo by Alex Da Corte

On her eighth studio release, the electroacoustic art-rock guitarist and producer animates an extension of the strange and singular voice she’s been honing since her debut in 2007.

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U.S.-made electronics and PRS’s most unique body profile make this all-American S2 a feast of tones at a great price.

Many sonic surprises. Great versatility. Excellent build quality

The pickup selector switch might be in a slightly awkward position for some players.

$2,029

PRS S2 Vela
prsguitars.com

4.5
5
5
4.5

Since its introduction in 2013, PRS’s S2 range has worked to bridge the gap between the company’s most affordable and most expensive guitars. PRS’s cost-savings strategy for the S2 was simple. The company fitted U.S.-made bodies and necks, built using the more streamlined manufacturing processes of PRS’s Stevensville 2 facility, with Asia-made electronics from the SE line.

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A Gibson Explorer (left) and a Dean Z model.

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In a legal battle over guitar body designs between Gibson and Dean, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 5th circuit has ruled that Dean has the right to re-try an earlier decision by a Texas court, ordering Dean to stop selling guitars that allegedly infringed on longtime Gibson body shapes, including Dean’s V and Z Series instruments, according to a report in Bloomberg Law published on Tuesday.

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