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Old 10-06-2013, 08:34 PM   #1
villanovablues
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Should I play scales 'till perfection?

So I currently know all major and minor scales, the pentatonic scale and the blues scale. I can improvise up and down the fret board no problem, but my improvisation seems random. The emotions that I want to get out of my guitar are not happening, I feel like I am just picking notes until something good comes up. I would like to fix this problem.

I would also like to integrate chords into my improvisation. I was wondering if someone here knows how to help me out or give me some good advice/tips.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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Learn full songs. Analyse those songs. Ask why the guitarist chose to play certain notes over certain chords.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:30 PM   #3
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It seems like you just learnt the patterns on the fretboard. That is not a scale. A scale is a group of notes with certain relations with eachother. As Alan said above, check out why certain notes go with certain chords and how you can get 'better' melodies by mixing it up without being random.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:58 PM   #4
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Think of it this way... you can easily play the c major and a minor on a piano. All white keys. No training. But learning actual music and seeing how it fits is how
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:09 PM   #5
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Yes you should.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:14 PM   #6
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You should try singing the notes as you improvise. You need to learn the sound of every note.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:50 PM   #7
villanovablues
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Thanks for the tips. Now... I shall rule the world.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:25 PM   #8
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I've heard stories about how some people learned scales like crazy and it helped them in the long run. It's worth it I believe. Of course if you want to play more feel, just forget the scales and focus on the feels.

Personally, I put notes into my chords instead of chords into my notes.

Last edited by JunkieDreams : 10-06-2013 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SR7s
You should try singing the notes as you improvise. You need to learn the sound of every note.



+1

Develop different patterns , arpeggios , and exercises too they open the fretboard up to so much creativity.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:29 AM   #10
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Scales and modes are a great way to learn where you are on the fretboard and to stay in tune with whatever key your fellow musicians might be in. The downfall with folks who are heavy scale users are that you lose your individual instinct and feel. It's easy to get caught up in the scale and lose that passionate flair for what sounds great as opposed to where you should be and oh crap I missed a flat there... But! It does depend heavily on what you want to do musically. It's important to be versatile and knowledgeable if your a guitar teacher or play as part of an orchestral group but if you're just a rock or blues man and that's all you want to do? scales aren't as important as feel and a great ear for tone. Mus
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:02 AM   #11
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Learn Red House by Hendrix and see what he is doing in the b minor and major...
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:22 AM   #12
atza
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Try to hear melody you want to play in your minds ear before actually playing it. Try to awoid automatic playing up and down the scales
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villanovablues
So I currently know all major and minor scales, the pentatonic scale and the blues scale. I can improvise up and down the fret board no problem, but my improvisation seems random. The emotions that I want to get out of my guitar are not happening, I feel like I am just picking notes until something good comes up. I would like to fix this problem.


Develop your ear.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JunkieDreams
I've heard stories about how some people learned scales like crazy and it helped them in the long run. It's worth it I believe.

The thing is, learning a scale is more than just drilling some box position(s). You need to learn the notes/intervals, how they relate to each other (how does going from 1 to 5 sound or 1 to 6?), and how the scale relates to chord progressions.

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Of course if you want to play more feel, just forget the scales and focus on the feels.

Personally, I put notes into my chords instead of chords into my notes.

If you REALLY learn the scales -- not just drill the positions of a scale -- then you should know the potential feels of a scale.


Let's take the minor pentatonic scale, as an example. The intervals are 1, b3, 4, 5, & b7. So, in A, that's A, C, D, E, & G. How does it sound moving from A to C (aka 1 to b3)? What about from A to D (1 to 4)? Or C to E (b3 to 5)? Learn the "feels" of the scale by understanding how the notes of the scale interact with each other.
The next step is probably to get a backing track in the key of A minor. Let's assume it's a rather simple track which just repeats Amin, Dmin, & Emin over and over for the whole track. How does playing C sound over Emin? What about C over Dmin? Or maybe A over Emin? Understand that when you play a note that isn't a chord tone, it's going to create some tension. (Some non-chord tones create more tension than others.)

Of course, you should be able to do this with the minor pentatonic in keys, not just in A minor. I just used A minor because that's a fairly commonly used key.
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Last edited by crazysam23_Atax : 10-07-2013 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:58 PM   #15
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Scales, chords, and such aren't just random collections of notes. All those notes have specific relationships and specific sounds.

If you're technically proficient with the scales, start listening for them in music and working stuff out by ear. Remember that they won't usually be played scalewise, so you really have to figure out the notes before you know what scale is being used. Most music will also not use simply one scale all the way.

And apply the same efforts to chords - they're probably more important.

Last edited by cdgraves : 10-07-2013 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:30 PM   #16
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Music is a bunch of moving chords.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:17 PM   #17
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idk why guitarists think they don't have to learn scales....its an instrument just like any other, and they are kind of necessary to be proficient at the instrument.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:11 AM   #18
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Scales are somewhat useful. I recommend them for fundamental technique and ear training. but any technique practiced without thoughts/goals/etc is essentially masturbation.

Dont just run 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Play scales in 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths, 8ths, 9ths and 10ths. play them starting on different notes. play them over different harmonies. It really depends on your goals, but how you run scales (or any technique) should be an offshoot of what you want out of music.

you at Villanova? Come out to WCU and I'll give you some lessons
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson2011
idk why guitarists think they don't have to learn scales....its an instrument just like any other, and they are kind of necessary to be proficient at the instrument.

I don't think anyone was saying that. However, mindlessly drilling scale shapes, without learning about intervals and how notes sound in relation to each other, is largely useless.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villanovablues
So I currently know all major and minor scales, the pentatonic scale and the blues scale. I can improvise up and down the fret board no problem, but my improvisation seems random. The emotions that I want to get out of my guitar are not happening, I feel like I am just picking notes until something good comes up. I would like to fix this problem.

I would also like to integrate chords into my improvisation. I was wondering if someone here knows how to help me out or give me some good advice/tips.



Learn a bunch of songs (and solos) by ear and then play them by memory. That's were it all starts to come together. You can't just learn scales, or just learn theory (if you plan on sounding good). You need to spend some quality time with the context.

In this process you develop your ears, as well as your skills. You learn how to feel the music, and not just think it. This is very important as it relates directly to your stated problem.

Last edited by GuitarMunky : 10-08-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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