#1
I'm a newbie to the guitar, actually been learning for bout 2 months. I spend my time on the guitat learning songs i like mostly as i figured its the way that i'll get to practise my chord changes with more fun involved.

Should i be practisiing scales as well? what'll they do to my guitar playing/learning?
#2
the biggest thing it does is improve you improve skills but it also helps with making your own songs which is important. also you can transcribe songs by ear if you know your scales well
#3
yup heavydt is right also u should learn to move all your fingers including ur pinky and just strum and pick out chords well. also dont use the same finger for notes..try using every finger possible so u can get them moving which is important
#4
well there are 2 types of scales really.. actually there are probably more.
The two that I am familiar with are

Major/Minor scales - notes
and
The Pentatonic Scales - Soloing stuff

Eventually when you learn both you can put the two types together
>(I'm not to that point yet though)<

arpeggios are important too! -for speed and dexterity

I'm a big fan of the pentatonics/// Major scales not so much.

When playing a song, you play ONLY the song (maybe some modifications here and there)
But the majority is- the specific notes IN sequence.

When playing a pentatonic. (once you learn the skeleton patter and advanced tricks) You can play for hours, making up your own stuff- never repeating. You become the music- and you really hear what YOUR style is.
- to Make ourselves more than we are
#5
I can't to be honest, I really don't think there's an awful lot to be gained from practicing scales.

Now, knowing and understanding scales is a different kettle of fish but there's a whole lot more to scales than patterns on the fretboard. Likewise you can use scales to construct exercises to help you with certain techniques and again that's very useful. However, just sitting there and practicing scales for the sake of practicing scales isn't all that useful.

If you've only been playing 2 months I wouldn't worry about them too much, or at least don't think of them in terms of scales yet...instead think of them in terms of the specific techniques you're practicing as in "This is a picking exercise, this is a bending exercise, this is a sliding exercise etc".

You can look deeper into scales when you're in a position to use the knowledge, if you want to do that now you can but you're probably better off focussing on the technical aspects of playing for the next couple of months. Keep practicing chords and work on building your finger strength and dexterity. Learning about the major scale is where theory starts, and doing that will teach you how chords work musically and also understand how individual notes work over those chords...but like I said you don't need to learn everything at once, it's easy to overwhelm yourself with knowledge.
Actually called Mark!

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#7
Replying to what seagull said,

The technical aspect of playing? If one isnt practicing a song, chords, or various little tricks, then what is one doing? Just playing 1.2.3.4.5 on each string as quickly as possible to improve speed and bending random strings (important, but there are better ways)?


It seems like you contradicted yourself a few times -its kind of confusing, but I still disagree with some of what you said. There is a Lot to be gained from practicing the scales (woo pentatonics).

It seems like in music, there are 3 types of guitar playing.
Chord playing-
Riffs-
Soloing-

The best songs contains all 3 of these aspects. Where do Scales fit in? Scales help you learn the different sounds on the fret board. The scales will help you find out what notes sound good together and the different patterns one can play to achieve harmony.

Most all riffs/ guitar hooks can be seen in the patterns of the scales... (Pentatonics especially), and all soloing is done from scales, improv or not. Scales help with dexterity and play an important role in the creation of new music (if you choose to take that route).

> It is important not to get overloaded true, but you make the scales sound like they are arduous, confusing, upper-level aspects of guitar playing. When they are not any of those things. They are straight forward and extremely helpful in learning the sounds of the guitar (If they are taught correctly).


Music is just a progression of rhythmic patterns- Sound waves repeating various patterns (whether rhythmic or tonal )- that is all it is.
- to Make ourselves more than we are
#8
Quote by J0hnY
Replying to what seagull said,

The technical aspect of playing? If one isnt practicing a song, chords, or various little tricks, then what is one doing? Just playing 1.2.3.4.5 on each string as quickly as possible to improve speed and bending random strings (important, but there are better ways)?
...

Apologies for chopping a load out...there's a lot of stuff you can, and indeed SHOULD practice in isolation if you're a beginner.

Bends for example, I did indeed spend a lot of time bending random strings to pitch, because there's little point trying to play something that involves a specific technique until you've first learned the technique itself. I don't think there IS a better way to learn bends, if you try to learn them within a song then you just get frustrated becasue it all goes to crap when you reach the bend because you an't do it.

So I spent time familiarising myself with my target pitches, then bending to them. Likewise i did exercises constructed from scale patterns to practice picking and to help improve the synchronisation of my hands, not to mention other techniques like hammerons, pull offs and slides. Right hand technique benefits from exercises too, not just picking but also learning different strumming patterns and also muting techniques. Again, something like palm-muting is best learned in isolation...spend some time learning the technique itself before trying to use it. It's all boring as hell but it's something you benefit from later down the line. It takes a bit of time to get to grips with the guitar and get to the point when you can finally start doing something meaningful with it.

Exercises have a place in the greater scheme of things, but exercises that are constructed with some kind of practical purpose in mind...you're always practicing them with the goal of becoming a better guitarist, not becoming better at the exercises themselves. That's why I downplay the usefulness of simply playing scales, because all it really does is make you better at playing scales. Running up and down a scale pattern doesn't help you understand it any better or know how and when to use it - that only comes with time and experience, the more you use scales and look for them when learning new songs the better you understand them.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Jan 5, 2009,
#9
Quote by steven seagull
That's why I downplay the usefulness of simply playing scales, because all it really does is make you better at playing scales. Running up and down a scale pattern doesn't help you understand it any better or know how and when to use it - that only comes with time and experience, the more you use scales and look for them when learning new songs the better you understand them.



Just playing a scale, yea pretty pointless except for the finger/picking work. Once you have the scale down though, you can start to add on notes that are outside of the pattern (this is when you start to use the tricks)- It is much easier to make stuff up from this point, than from a position of no straightforward fret-board knowledge.


-You said it yourself, the more you use them, the better you understand them.

Well, I'm for scales
- to Make ourselves more than we are
#10
You're missing my point though, playing scales isn't the same thing as using them
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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#11
The one thing I do think I gained by learning some scales early on was increased dexterity in my pinky finger. As a completely self taught player I've never had anybody standing over me yelling at me to use all my fingers. Thus, I got into the nasty habit of only using two for most things (index and ring.) Scales like the major scale were what got me using all four fingers and that in and of itself caused my skills to improve significantly in a fairly short period of time.

Scales are great for putting together your own music. I improvise and record random things I come up with all day long, and I'd never be able to do it if I didn't know some scale patterns. The increase in finger dexterity that you can gain by playing them properly is a nice added bonus.

More important, though, is understanding WHY scales work the way they do. The technique loses much of it's impact without an understanding of the theory behind it. That's the part I'm trying to teach myself now.
Andy Fox
Hard rock guitarist
I play a Jackson DK-2 and an Ibanez RG through a Peavey 6505+ stack
Last edited by AndyR83 at Jan 5, 2009,
#12
Dude scales are the entire key to solo'ing. Am Pentatonic all day son.
The times they are a changin'.....
#13
So I'm curious what "welly_59" The Thread creator thinks about all of this.
- to Make ourselves more than we are
#14
yeah, what say you, welly?

as for my thoughts - learn em! at least the Major and Minor scales...after that it's easy to think in terms of how other scales relate to these...ie what notes are left out in the pentatonic versions, what intervals are different in other modes...i can't imagine playing without some degree of familiarity with scales
#15
been reading but aint replied till now, seems like i was called out!

i think if i've got some spare time i'll go through scales a bit but i'm not going to put it into my learning practise for now