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Old 02-13-2013, 10:16 PM   #1
Kerbache
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Scale shapes

Hello, as obvious from the title this problem I have is about the dreaded scale shape ruts.

I used to be stuck in the dreaded pentatonic, minor, major and harmonic minor box position. To over come this I learned all of the box shapes for each of these scales all over the fretboard and my soloing became much more interesting inventing licks and runs using different scale shapes, I can do this in any key. But now am bored and feeling very frustrated as I did when I knew only 1 scale shape I feel I have not progressed as I should have.

I know how to make scales using formulas but I never use this information as I know all of the scale shapes for the scale. I know the notes of the fretboard (not as well as I should) but I tend to ignore this information as I can quickly identify where the root of the note of the scale I want to use is and then revert to using only the scale shapes in that key. I know how to construct arpeggios but again I find myself using the main arpeggio patterns that most people feel they should learn.

I don't know what to do. My ear is "ok" as in I can identify different intervals, scales and chords by ear but I still revert to using those ****ing scale shapes when I want to write something new.

I am really stuck I know I should play what I hear in my head but everytime I do I end up reverting to the same old box positions.

Has anyone been in this situation before and found the right path out? If so please help, I am thinking about getting guitar lessons to help me get out of this nightmare. Also I have been playing for around 9 years.

Cheers
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:17 PM   #2
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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You're in a rut because you're not thinking enough about what you're doing. You need to spend more time thinking about the sounds you want to create and less time just running over scales and licks you know.

The shapes are fine, the shapes are extremely useful in fact... but only if you think about how you're using them rather than just letting what you do become rooted in using them rather than thinking about the sound.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:13 AM   #3
cdgraves
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Think horizontally!

As I suggest frequently, learn your 3-note-per-string scales from the lowest to highest notes on the neck. Not the lowest scale root, but the lowest note in the scale on the neck. That's either E or F on the low E string, up to D or C#/Db at the top of the high E string.

Then learn 4-note per string scales (5 notes on the Low E if E natural is in the scale).

Work on 2-note per string 7th chord arpeggios.

Work on playing pentatonic patterns horizonatally, moving up and down a set of strings.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:57 AM   #4
bondmorkret
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As cdgraves said, practice scales horizontally to see how they unfold across a string. Also, try learning your scales starting from each available finger!
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
Kerbache
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
You're in a rut because you're not thinking enough about what you're doing. You need to spend more time thinking about the sounds you want to create and less time just running over scales and licks you know.

The shapes are fine, the shapes are extremely useful in fact... but only if you think about how you're using them rather than just letting what you do become rooted in using them rather than thinking about the sound.


Do you mean in the context of what chords are going on the background?
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:15 PM   #6
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerbache
Do you mean in the context of what chords are going on the background?


I mean you need to think more in general about the sound you want to produce more than what you need to do to achieve it. Once you have a sound in your mind producing it is relatively trivial if you know your instrument but the first step is definitely getting a sound in your head first.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:12 PM   #7
Kerbache
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I mean you need to think more in general about the sound you want to produce more than what you need to do to achieve it. Once you have a sound in your mind producing it is relatively trivial if you know your instrument but the first step is definitely getting a sound in your head first.



So say for example I'm given a backing track to solo over, instead of quickly finding out which key its in then reverting to old box like tricks I should be listening to it a few times over thinking what to play instead of playing something quickly?

I like the idea of that.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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Exactly that. Also, if you do this enough and think enough while you're doing it getting the ideas from your head to the fretboard becomes a much faster process. Do it enough and you won't need to think about it any more, you'll just be able to play the ideas as they come to you.

It's like learning to speak a language:
First you have to learn to speak at all (technique)
Then you have to learn the words (scales)
Then you have to learn syntax and sentence structure (licks, other solos, analogy is a little shaky here)
Then, finally, once you've done all that and you know how it all fits together... fluent speech. It takes a lot of practice though, strangely, haha!

Good luck
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