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Old 08-10-2013, 02:01 AM   #21
crazysam23_Atax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elintasokas
Well yes, I fully agree drilling scales all day does get boring and that it is a good idea to learn other bands' songs, but learning licks/songs has little to do with actually learning scales imo :P

No, it doesn't, but the point brought up was muscle memory. I'm saying drilling scale shapes is hardly the only way to build up muscle memory.

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But one thing I consider almost as important as learning scales is learning the harmonic functions of chords. Dominant sevenths, diminished triads, secondary dominants etc etc. Really useful if one wants to compose music instead of just playing leads and stuff.

Of course! But's unrelated to the question TS was asking.


We've sort of gotten off topic here. lol.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
No, it doesn't, but the point brought up was muscle memory. I'm saying drilling scale shapes is hardly the only way to build up muscle memory.



Then again, is muscle memory really something you can build? I don't think it's a "skill" you can develop. lol.

And yes, we are getting offtopic XD
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:28 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
Joe Satriani and Steve Vai and the rest would like a word with you...

Most of the "top guitarists" don't naturally use shapes. Rather they use whatever notes & techniques fit the song.


Why would they? Do you disagree that when playing a major scale on the guitar it forms a distinct pattern that is completely moveable between all keys? I do agree that it can be an inefficient method if you let your fingers do all the playing instead of letting your ears guide you, but nonetheless the relationship does exist, that's what my point was. If it's not used as a crutch then I don't see what the big deal is about how people choose to internalize it.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:50 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
No. Minor pentatonic scale has 5 notes (1-b3-4-5-b7) and it's all over the fretboard. It's not just one shape like this basic shape:


Yeah, but what I meant (again, because ''I know it'', but it's hard to explain) is that you have this one pentatonic scale that you can move around AND also find the necesary shapes for it IF you know what "you're doing".

To put it in a better perspective, it's more relevant for a person to know the INTERVALS rather than the notes themselfs.

And after all, it's MUCH easier to learn the notes when you know the intervals and the shapes (which are 100% linked to each other)..


I hope you'll get my point
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:52 AM   #25
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Learning a pattern on it's own is learning where to play "something"...

...but until you properly understand what that "something" actually is, knowing where to find it on your guitar is of limited value to you.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:55 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
Because you break out of the standard box shapes, generally. That's the whole point. In terms of muscle memory, the result is probably the same. But I think most people would find learning riffs/licks from songs to be more fulfilling than drilling scales all day.

Sure it is. But who said you have to drill scales all day in order to learn the standard box shapes? Who said the exercises cant be musical?

Further in order to learn the notes all over the fretboard it can be helpful to break down the fretboard into smaller shapes and learn certain notes first. You could start with learning the natural notes over the first four frets then add two to three frets and then another couple frets etc etc. It's a lot harder to learn them over the entire fretboard all at the same time. You have to start small and work your way up.

There are different systems for doing this one string at a time, one note over the entire fretboard at a time etc. Learning them by way of learning shapes is just a legitimate and has other advantages as well, learning chords and scales at the same time.

The end result is you know the full fretboard completely intervals, note names, sounds, chords. One very effective way of learning the fretboard is to break it down into smaller chunks. Trying to learn the entire fretboard all in one go can be overwhelming. Seriously, it's not rocket science.

In answer to the question: Do I need to learn the shapes...?? No you don't. You don't need to learn the shapes, you don't need to learn the notes and intervals. The only thing you really need to learn is the sounds your instrument makes, the sounds of music, and how to put the two together.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:05 AM   #27
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This is a great thread!!

Iv been stuck in the Box positions of scales for ages and have never been able to move around the fretboard as I wanted without needing to think of the next "shape" to move into.

I have a question though - I was thinking of playing the Major/minor scales and the pentatonics too up and down a single string from each fret. I know the half steps and whole steps that make the scales up and know the names of all my intervals too.
I was thinking that all I need to learn then to learn all other scales is just the intervals really and not worry about the "box shapes".

Is it worth me learning all the notes when Im playing each scale on each string or just the intervals?

Also, how do interval shapes change when going across the strings? That confuses me.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:13 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTaces
This is a great thread!!

Iv been stuck in the Box positions of scales for ages and have never been able to move around the fretboard as I wanted without needing to think of the next "shape" to move into.

I have a question though - I was thinking of playing the Major/minor scales and the pentatonics too up and down a single string from each fret. I know the half steps and whole steps that make the scales up and know the names of all my intervals too.
I was thinking that all I need to learn then to learn all other scales is just the intervals really and not worry about the "box shapes".

Is it worth me learning all the notes when Im playing each scale on each string or just the intervals?

Also, how do interval shapes change when going across the strings? That confuses me.

Well if you don't know the note names and intervals then you don't really know the shapes. They are all a apart of the same thing - learning the fretboard.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:22 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by mjpb
Or should you just learn the notes of the both the major and minor pentatonic scale in every key and not bother with practising it using the pentatonic shapes? Whenever I've heard people talking about the pentatonic scales I've always heard them referring to 'positions' and 'shapes', however I understand this isn't the best way to learn a scale. Thanks


Both!

Position really only refers to where your hand is (specifically, index finger), and "position playing" is an easy way to play without excessive motion.

But it's also critical to learn the guitar horizontally and be able to move effortlessly between positions.

Whenever you learn scales, practice them up and down all the positions non-stop so you have to move from one position to the next easily. Also work out horizontal scale patterns - practice a scale on the E and A strings only, or A and D, etc.

I like to practice my major scales as 4-note-per string patterns, which means changing position every string. It's a really good way to link your melodic phrases up and down the fretboard.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:52 PM   #30
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thanks everyone for your replies, very helpful
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:57 PM   #31
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"Shapes" are just a learning tool. They're only called "shapes" because they look like little geometrical shapes if you imagine lines drawn on the fretboard. They don't convey much information if you never learn the notes they're made of.

Like geometry, there's a lot more to learn than what the shape looks like. It's quite different to say that a triangle "looks like ∆", than to say "a triangle has three sides and three angles that sum to 180" (that symbol may show up as a square on some computers). Which one do you think will help you make your own triangles and recognize other triangles better?

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Old 08-10-2013, 04:04 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpb
Or should you just learn the notes of the both the major and minor pentatonic scale in every key and not bother with practising it using the pentatonic shapes? Whenever I've heard people talking about the pentatonic scales I've always heard them referring to 'positions' and 'shapes', however I understand this isn't the best way to learn a scale. Thanks


There is no universally correct answer to your question. It depends on what your preferred way of learning is. The concept of boxes is easy to comprehend. It allows you to learn things by making small and easy to understand steps. It provides you with something solid you can relate to when learning theoretical principles. Do you prefer this way of learning? Or would you prefer to go straight to scale formulas and attempt to see the fretboard as a whole right from the start? It's your call. Whatever your decision will be, it will NOT determine whether you will end up being a good or bad guitarist/musician. I'm only mentioning this because crazysam23_Atax has a tendency to categorically label boxes as fundamentally harmful. Personally, I think he already lost the argument regarding this topic to evolucian and Blind In 1 Ear in this thread. The actual argument starts on 2nd page.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:09 PM   #33
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well since this thread seems to be super friggin helpful (I learned a lot haha almost got overloaded XD). So how would one practice a scale correctly? Is there any exercise that promotes scale practice w/o using shapes?
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:10 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric_wearing
well since this thread seems to be super friggin helpful (I learned a lot haha almost got overloaded XD). So how would one practice a scale correctly? Is there any exercise that promotes scale practice w/o using shapes?

Honestly, not specifically. However, you can do several exercises to help you learn the notes of the fretboard (which is what I and a few others advocate). This article should be fairly helpful with that.
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