Can someone point me in the direction of some scales? I'm looking to build speed and move around the frets smoother at faster speeds. I also need to build strength in all my fingers. I get cramps and not use to using my pinky alot. Also aside from scales are there other things I can do to help me with this? Also get cleaner at hammer ons and pull offs at faster speeds
Quote by Schecter S6S
Can someone point me in the direction of some scales?


There's lots of other useful theory info there too, but the scale stuff starts in the 2nd post.

Before you jump into scales, I would advise you to learn about musical intervals first.

Wikipedia has a decent page with a table of the intervals: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interval_(music)

I suppose you could learn the major scale first and afterwards learn to interpret it from what you learn about intervals though. Actually, I learned the minor scale before the major scale or intervals and it didn't seem to hold me back; I already knew that I liked the "minor sound" so that's what I was interested in learning first. But yeah, aside from the rest of this convoluted paragraph, the major scale is the most straightforward and it should "click" with what you'll soon learn about intervals the easiest.

Try to stay away from memorizing shapes on the fretboard and focus on the notes themselves and how they sound/go together instead.

As for speed building, the important thing is to not play faster than you can handle and do your best job to analyze what you're doing. The important thing is that what you're playing sounds as perfect and musical as possible- once you can do that, then start focusing on speed. Shredding is pointless if you can't get it to sound good.

Maybe this is a bit vague, but I hope it helps. If anything I said here isn't clear to you I would be glad to try my best to correctly answer any questions you have.
Quote by Jesus
Gaza Strip- home. At least it was before I fucked ereythang up...
Sorry for the double post- the first one just got to that size where it crashes my browser instead when I click "submit reply" lol.

Also, posture is essential for the maximum comfort while playing. You need to be able to find the most comfortable position to play in- it's going to give you more endurance, and greatly decrease your risk of injuring yourself. This is especially important with speed techniques and barre chords. As a general rule, it's best to play something with the absolute minimum physical effort possible as long as you can get it to sound good. It's all about economy of motion, and it is developed the best by slow, deliberate practice where you can pay attention to all the fine details of what you're doing.

Pull-offs sound out more if you sort of flick the string as you release it rather than just tap it like a key on a keyboard. Hammer-ons don't really have that problem. This is just a little tip, I suppose.
Quote by Jesus
Gaza Strip- home. At least it was before I fucked ereythang up...
Dawson hit the nail on the head there
I just came here to reiterate something about speed. My guitar teacher has said to me on a few occasions "Don't worry, speed will come" and I must say that it's very true. Speed will develop with increased familiarity, therefore it's always best to building things up from a slow speed and, once you're able to do them properly at that speed, speed with naturally increase it from there...and then once you've come to that point you can train yourself to play like a fast maniac. Clarity and accuracy and smoothness is very important, and as Dawson's already said, being able to do stuff fast doesn't mean that it will sound good. Personally, I've come to recently realise that I have a very detached fretting style which sounds terrible - there's not always flow to what I'm playing. And it sucks because I'm learning jazz it's not so prevalent in my rock playing (because there's distortion to cover up my bad technique lol!. Also, being able to play fast doesn't equal better musicalness either. Just a thought for the interim.

Quote by Schecter S6S
Also get cleaner at hammer ons and pull offs at faster speeds

I've found playing chromatic scales with all the fingers all over the fret board very helpful using only hammer ons and pull offs. Again, clarity is nb.


If you want a song with lots of hammer ons and pull offs, The Trooper by Iron Maiden springs immediately to mind.

In regards to the cramps, what's your wrist position like? Ideally, you want your wrist to your fretting hand as straight as possible
check out this pic (okay it's a bass, but exactly the same thing), very straight wrist.

the caption of this pic really speaks for itself. this is going to destroy your wrist.
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if you're doing this (first pic) then i don't know

In regards to using your pinky, just use it when it makes most sense to. I've seen some people do like three fret stretches with their first and third fingers to reach the note they want when the pinky is a far more economic option. General rule of thumb I use, if the note you want is right under a certain finger, use that one. This goes back to that one finger per fret position stuff. Since I have no idea what kind of style you're playing, find some videos of songs that you're playing and take notice of how the guitarist is fingering the notes and mimic it.

hope this stuff helps
Last edited by UnmagicMushroom at Oct 12, 2013,
It is hard to imagine that anyone is at an earlier stage of learning than I am, but for what it is worth I've been very slowly running up and down this (1st and 3rd fingers) to try and get my fingers to stretch between frets and my left and right hands to aim for the same strings etc. If I go too fast I either buzz or get lots of sliding noise (esp on acoustic) so I slow it down again...


You can hear where the blues scale notes fall in too which helps make you feel like you're better than you are!