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Old 01-18-2013, 08:14 AM   #1
Narsil11
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Effective way of practicing scales

Hello there,one quick scale question. I 've been playing guitar for 1 year,and " learned" minor pentatonic,blues and major scale. I'm having a bit of insecurity when using different key. I have no problem using these scales in A,but with other keys i just get stucked in pattern box. Any tips? Sry for my bad english.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:25 AM   #2
steven seagull
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Start listening.

Ultimately what's important about a scale is how it sounds, you in turn need to be able to use those sounds to create whatever music it is you have in mind.

So don't just approach scales physically, knowing where to put your fingers is only a small part of learning them. Listen to the sounds within those scales, listen to how they work together and function.

So when it comes to actually playing and using the scale don't start by thinking "where do i put my fingers", start by thinking "what sound do i want?" then you can figure out what you need to do to get that sound
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:54 PM   #3
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Not an expert here but I was told learn the scales, then put a note that doesn't belong inside the scale IN your composition. That's what makes it stand out apart from just playing it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dragulan
Not an expert here but I was told learn the scales, then put a note that doesn't belong inside the scale IN your composition. That's what makes it stand out apart from just playing it.


Sticking to a single formula will make your playing forced and predictable in the long run.
Also, the idea of playing scales and adding random blues/jazz/dirty notes everywhere to make it "stand out" sounds pretty ineffective if you ask me, but that's just me.
You should add certain notes when you feel like adding those certain notes, but not for the sake of "standing out". But hey, if it works for you I'm fine with that.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:48 PM   #5
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Listen to Mr. Seagull! Let's say you're playing an A Minor Pentatonic scale, you begin in the clichè fifth fret, do this box on the first fret, and you're playing in F. To connect the scales, and to be able to jump around the neck, I recommend the Hopscotch lessons on youtube by Joe Cefalu. They certainly helped me with my playing, here's a link:


Also, even if some adjacent notes are not to be found in the scale, if they sound good, USE THEM! That's a general rule of thumb, because you don't need to be a theory necromancer to be creative!
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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+1 to Stevens advice, getting the sound you want it the most important thing you can focus on.

I recommend practicing scales though, both physically and theoretically, so you get a "mind map" of the notes in the scale.

What i do is that i learn scales in:
1) Chord form (Physical)
2) Key signature (Theoretical)

1) This would be learning to play scales through the CAGED system, at the same time i practice where all the chords are in different keys. For example i will practice a C scale (be it major, minor, whole tone or whatever you like) in the C chord form, A chord form, G chord form, E chord form and D chord form. For me this is a great way to learn it. It might be for you, it may not be for you. Everyones different!

2) This would be studying scales in their "theoretical form". Like practicing to know that a Eb major scale have 3 flatened notes, that's E A and B, they become Eb Ab and Bb. Or that G major have one sharpened note, F that becomes F#. Part of this practice is also to learn the notes on the fretboard so well you always know what notes you are playing.

If you like these concepts i recommend the book "The Joe Pass Method". Great book.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narsil11
Hello there,one quick scale question. I 've been playing guitar for 1 year,and " learned" minor pentatonic,blues and major scale. I'm having a bit of insecurity when using different key. I have no problem using these scales in A,but with other keys i just get stucked in pattern box. Any tips? Sry for my bad english.



Read my posts on this link:

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...d.php?t=1584088


It will sort your problem out.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wyldelife
you don't need to be a theory necromancer to be creative!



Stop being frightened of using your brain. Using your brain is fun - don't fear your brain. And stop trying to get out of work and trying to find shortcuts - it's annoying. Theory the most wonderful thing to study on this planet. And then when you apply it to guitar, it's great. It's silly playing guitar and not understanding what you're playing.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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You can do a lot with just a basic minor penthatonic shape, many reknowned guitarist uses it.

Lets say you have the pentha: 1-2-3-4-5

You can try paterns like 1-3-2-4-5, group them in triple like 1-2-3, 2-3-4, 3-4-5, etc.
Even with just 2 notes, you can fool around like doing a patern like
3-4, silence, 3-4 bend, 4-bend, release-4, release to 3, hamer 4 and release.

With a basic pentha shape, you can do a lot of folling around, just take the time to play!
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