Less Boring Ways To Practice Scales

author: tarrei date: 10/13/2010 category: soloing
rating: 9.4 / votes: 60 
I always find these exercises boring where you just play chromatic frets up and down the strings, move up one position and so on. So I started thinking of more exciting ways to train fingering technique, string changing with alternate picking and learning scales. I will make a few lessons with patterns that are great training for the above mentioned things. And a note before beginning: Start SLOW! Your brain will memorize the motion way better if you play it slowly first. This will make your playing more satisfying as it will sound better, and that's what we all aim for, right? Part 1: Learning Pentatonic scales and changing strings Again and again you'll find this Tab to train the E minor pentatonic scale:
e|-12-15--------------------------------|
b|-------12-15--------------------------|
g|-------------12-14--------------------|
d|-------------------12-14--------------|
a|-------------------------12-14--------|
e|-------------------------------12-15--|
Theres nothing wrong with this tab. It's only boring to play all the time. So, to spice things up a bit you could play this:
e|-15-12----12---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
b|-------15----15-12-15-12----12---------------------------------------------------------|
g|-------------------------14----14-12----12---------------------------------------------|
d|-------------------------------------14----14-12-14-12----12---------------------------|
a|-------------------------------------------------------14----14-12-14-12----12---------|
e|-------------------------------------------------------------------------15----15-12---|
It looks really long at first but once you get the hang of it, it sounds great! You'll find this pattern in many solos. You can then do the same thing with alternate picking, so just alternate between downstroke and upstroke. You'll get a fluent movement in this pattern. By sliding this Pattern up and down the Fretboard you will get the Minor Pentatonic scale in any key. For example "moving" the 12th fret to the 5th, you will get the A minor pentatonic After accomplishing this one you can move up or down one step in the scale. Moving down would look like this:
e|-12-10----10----------------------------------------------------------------------|
b|-------12----12-10-12-10----10----------------------------------------------------|
g|-------------------------12----12-9----9------------------------------------------|
d|------------------------------------12---12-9-12-9----9---------------------------|
a|---------------------------------------------------12---12-10-12-10----10---------|
e|--------------------------------------------------------------------12----12-10---|
(This scale can be played in a rather unusual fingerset by placing your pinky on the 12th fret. This is extra pinky training.) Moving up would look like this: (It is a bit trickier though!)
e|-17-15----15---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
b|-------17----17-15-17-15----15---------------------------------------------------------|
g|-------------------------16----16-14----14---------------------------------------------|
d|-------------------------------------17----17-14-17-14----14---------------------------|
a|-------------------------------------------------------17----17-14-17-14----14---------|
e|-------------------------------------------------------------------------17----17-15---|
Use this pattern with any scale you want to learn. Makes it really enjoyable. If you want to learn scales other than the minor pentatonic there is a great help to see where the notes are here.
More tarrei lessons:
+ Less Boring Ways To Practice Fingering For Beginners 12/10/2010
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