Guide To Learning Scales

author: TONfan01 date: 07/21/2004 category: scales
rating: 6 / votes: 31 
Ok. heres the deal with this article. I am writing this to show people not the only way to learn and practice scales just my own way. Keep in mind that you are your own player and u need ur own style, thats why I'm goin to leave my specific style of playing out of this article as best as I can. This article is really for people who are at least somewhat coordinated as far as their fretting hand and picing hand working in unison are concerned. If you do not already know the basic scales (pentatonic minor scales) then learn them before reading any farther in this article. Ok, now that we have all that out of the way lets begin the article. Take the simple pentatonic patterns in the E position. Begin to play the scale in the "0" position ( pat. 1a), play the scale slowly just up and down it. slowly increase the speedto as fast as u can play it, without slowing down, shift the pattern a half step up (or 1 frett) and continue playing fast. Continue this as you continue to shift up throughtout the keys. So in other words play the scales in this order using just the primary box (pat. 1a), keys: E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E. Stop when you get to the 12th frett pattern. If you cannot play these scales at a fast pace consistantly then get to a resonable speed for you and do the same thing. eventually you will become faster.
pat.1a:

  |--accending----------| |----------decending-------|
|--------------------------0-3-0---------------------------|
|---------------------0-3---------3-0----------------------|
|----------------0-2-------------------2-0-----------------|
|-----------0-2-----------------------------2-0------------|
|------0-2---------------------------------------2-0-------|
|-0-3-------------------------------------------------3-0--|
As you play the scales and shift throughout the different keys, play the scale accending and decending. Ok now that you can do this, play box 2 ( pat. 1b) in the same way. Just shift throughtout the keys, you can even play the keys accending then decending, that would look like:
up,E,F,G,A,B,C,D,down,E,D,C,B,A,G,F,A.
After you are able to do this, just do the same with each box. Try playing this exercize using single picing, double picing and even triple picing.
Box1(pat.1a)
Box2(pat.1b)
Box3(pat.1c)
Box4(pat.1d)
Box5(pat.1e)

(pat.1b)
|---------------------------3-5-3-----------------------------------------|
|----------------------3-5---------5-3------------------------------------|
|-----------------2-4-------------------4-2-------------------------------|
|------------2-5-----------------------------5-2--------------------------|
|-------2-5---------------------------------------5-2---------------------|
|--3-5-------------------------------------------------5-3----------------|

(pat.1c)
|--------------------------5-7-5------------------------------------------|
|---------------------5-8---------8-5-------------------------------------|
|----------------4-7-------------------7-4--------------------------------|
|-----------5-7-----------------------------7-5---------------------------|
|------5-7---------------------------------------7-5----------------------|
|-5-7-------------------------------------------------7-5-----------------|

(pat.1d)
|---------------------------------7-10-7----------------------------------|
|--------------------------8-10-----------10-8----------------------------|
|---------------------7-9-------------------------9-7---------------------|
|----------------7-9-----------------------------------9-7----------------|
|---------7-10----------------------------------------------10-7----------|
|-7-10-------------------------------------------------------------10-7---|

(pat.1e)
|-----------------------------------10-12-10-----------------------------------|
|---------------------------10-12-------------12-10----------------------------|
|--------------------9-12-----------------------------12-9---------------------|
|--------------9-12-----------------------------------------12-9---------------|
|-------10-12-----------------------------------------------------12-10--------|
|-10-12------------------------------------------------------------------12-10-|
When you are able to do these scales in the way that I have said, you now need to take it to the next level to see more of how these scales are linked. Begin again in the key of E in the "0" position. play box 1 which is inthe "0" position and play the scale up and down. When you get back to the low note, shifht in to box 2. This is still in the same key when played in the third position. Play through all the boxes up and down and try to flow. It is important to play this exercize both at a slow tempo and a fast tempo, this has its advantages such as: 01. While playing slowly, you will be able to see your mistakes and correct them as they happen and not let them become a habbit. 02. Playing at slower speeds makes playing at faster speeds easier, and visa versa. 03. Playing slowly alows you to control ur speed alot more, also known as playing in time. One of the worst things for someone to do while jamming is to play out of time. 04. When you do finally play at fast tempos, you will more than likely have the acuacy that you had at a slow tempo because you have alowed the correct way of practicing sink in to your muscle memmory. If you are still reading my article by now, thankyou, cause it is kind of long but heres more. Once you have played every scale for each key and you pretty much know the frettboard as far as the miner pentatonic scales are concerned, it is time to start over again, and do all of this that you just did but with some added techniqe. play the scales with all hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, vibrato, bends. play in tripellets quadrupellets, everything you can think of. then mix some of them, like play a scale with more than one techniqe. heres an example( pat. 2a)
(pat.2a)

|------------------------------------------------5-3----3------------------|
|----------------------------5-3---------------------5----5-3-5-3----3-----|
|---------------------------------4-2----2-4^--------------------4----2h4^-|
|--------------2------2^------------5--------------------------------------|
|-------2--2-5--5b---------------------------------------------------------|
|-3h5----5-----------------------------------------------------------------|
After you fell that you have mastered these scales and you know them really well, jam with some one or record a chord progresson and loop it, then solo over it. if you have already done this, I recomend moving on to a new scale such as blues or the major scale. and the rest is pretty much self explanitory. A good book to buy for scales is: "The Ultimate Scale Book" by Troy Stetina. A good web site to go to is: AllGuitarChords. PS. Any suggestions or questions, just post a reply and I will read them. Any advice that I didn't mention would be great cause I always want to learn more.
Comments
Your captcha is incorrect