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Old 09-04-2012, 07:40 AM   #1
PeaceReeper
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Best way to learn scales/modes/arpeggios and how to apply them?

So I'm a metal-head at heart, and I'm putting together a practice routine, and part of it is learning scales. I'm familiar with the five shapes of the pentatonic/blues scales, and I'm ready to learn some more. I know the major and minor scales, but I'd like to get familiar with all the modes and with how to apply scales in context. The book that came recommended for this was the Guitar Grimoire book, but that book occurs to me as being more of a reference than anything instructional, and I don't believe that practicing boxes of scales in triplets/quintuplets/pentuplets will teach me anything practical. So I ask you, experienced guitarists of Ultimate-Guitar, what book/website/routine/exercise was the most useful to you for learning scales in a practical manner?
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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Metal primarily uses the minor scale and employs accidentals here and there. If you think you already know the minor scale look at how some of your favourite songs use it.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:23 AM   #3
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I just jammed with backing tracks on youtube i find that to be very beneficial especially if your just getting used playing outside the usual pentatonic stuff because then you can hear what mode would be useful for each key and style but i mainly just use the pentatonic scales with aeolian and dorian thrown in
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:27 AM   #4
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In all honesty, metal is more about technique than it is about musicality. Since metal rhythms are either primarily power chords or riffs, they leave a lot of room for the lead to pretty much do whatever they want. As long as you know the key of the rhythm then the particular scale you use to solo with is fairly arbitrary, provided you're not just constantly playing notes that are half steps away from the rhythm.

As far as learning scales. Learn the intervals of the scales and construct the box patterns yourself. It'll be so much easier to internalize them this way. Take your favorite solos and dissect them and learn what they are doing and what rhythm they are playing it over to get a feel for what you think sounds good and apply that to your own playing.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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I'm not looking to improve only my metal playing; just my playing and understanding of scales in general. I've been looking at Frank Gambale's "Modes: No More Mystery" and Mick Goodrick's "The Advancing Guitarist", but the first one doesn't really tell you anything about how to apply the modes themselves, and Goodrick's book is not very easy to understand. Like, what in the world is a "mode vamp"???
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceReeper
So I'm a metal-head at heart, and I'm putting together a practice routine, and part of it is learning scales. I'm familiar with the five shapes of the pentatonic/blues scales, and I'm ready to learn some more. I know the major and minor scales, but I'd like to get familiar with all the modes and with how to apply scales in context. The book that came recommended for this was the Guitar Grimoire book, but that book occurs to me as being more of a reference than anything instructional, and I don't believe that practicing boxes of scales in triplets/quintuplets/pentuplets will teach me anything practical. So I ask you, experienced guitarists of Ultimate-Guitar, what book/website/routine/exercise was the most useful to you for learning scales in a practical manner?


You already know the scales you need to learn.

It's a very common mistake for relatively inexperienced musicians to worry too much about scales, and not enough about their ears and understanding of chord construction and harmony.

You really don't need to know the modes right now. For now, you're better off simply as thinking of the modes as just accidentals, and until you reach the point where you can listen to a song and notice which accidentals it's using JUST BY EAR then studying the modes is a misdirection of your energy. eg, you should be able to listen to a song and say, "interesting, that sounds minor but the sixths are all major."

Until then, don't study the modes. They're largely a waste of time.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceReeper
I'm familiar with the five shapes of the pentatonic/blues scales, and I'm ready to learn some more.

no
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceReeper
I know the major and minor scales, but I'd like to get familiar with all the modes and with how to apply scales in context.

no
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceReeper
The book that came recommended for this was the Guitar Grimoire book

no

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Old 09-10-2012, 12:04 AM   #8
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...care to elaborate?
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:10 AM   #9
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:03 AM   #10
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no

Can you get interviewed by somebody? I'd pay to watch that. "What do you think abo-" "no" "I didn't even fini-" "no"
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:17 AM   #11
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:48 AM   #12
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Yeah, troll indeed.
So apparently it would be counter-productive to learn the scales and modes and I'd be better off just learning them by learning songs... but what if I want to? Does anyone have an answer?
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:51 AM   #13
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If you really want to learn scales and modes, you should PM Xiaoxi for advice. He is a zealot for this stuff.

I would try write some useful advice but I gotta hit the hay. I'll reread the thread tomorrow and see if I can help.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:54 AM   #14
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Can you get interviewed by somebody?

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Old 09-10-2012, 02:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hydra150
If you really want to learn scales and modes, you should PM Xiaoxi for advice. He is a zealot for this stuff.

oh you motherfu.....


I'M GONNA SETTLE IT RIGHT HERE AND NOW:

you don't "apply modes/scales" to your playing or music. They're just physical exercises to get your fingers moving and your ears/muscle memory familiar with the right sound. You don't think or use scales in any musical situations.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:12 AM   #16
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oh you motherfu.....

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Old 09-10-2012, 02:24 AM   #17
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Trolls... trolls everywhere.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:49 AM   #18
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no one's trolling, fyi
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:56 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by PeaceReeper
Yeah, troll indeed.
So apparently it would be counter-productive to learn the scales and modes and I'd be better off just learning them by learning songs... but what if I want to? Does anyone have an answer?

If you want to, which you should do of course, then play them to backing tracks to hear them in context.

A mode vamp is more or less a static, or at most, very slow moving chord progression.

Scales and modes are good, so learn them, but not just for the sake of it.

You need to train your ear to recognize the sound of them, so eventually you don't rely on the physical aspect of the pattern.

That's why it's important to play them in context; i.e backing tracks.

Last edited by mdc : 09-10-2012 at 04:57 AM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:43 AM   #20
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If you 'know' the major scale but don't know the modes, you need to get a better understanding of the major scale. Besides, what most people refer to as 'modes' on the internet is actually not modal playing, it's starting the major/minor scale on a different root. I get where the confusion is coming from, but there are lots of rules that should apply before you can actually speak about 'modes'.

Basically, learn the major scale. Learn how to construct it. Learn how to build chords from it (the entire progression). Learn it all over the neck, every sequence, every arpeggio. Then start looking into 'modes', but honestly, I doubt you'll need them any time soon if you haven't 'mastered' the major scale yet.
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