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#1
What the topic says. I'm fairly well versed in music theory, but I don't know how to go about applying the major scale to the fretboard. If I knew the fretboard I suppose I would be able to do it more easily.
Which key should I learn first? Should I bother with shapes? how do I make/ find different positions along the neck etc.
are there any methods that work best?
finally are there any solos that I can analyze that use the major scale in all different positions on the neck?
I smile because I have no idea whats goin on
#3
^That answer does him no good if he doesn't know how to utilize those notes he knows.

Start with the key of C. Yes bother with shapes, best thing to do is get a book. I recommend Berklee Guitar Level 1, its what my school is teaching out of and it works great.
Yes bother with shapes. Don't cement them into your mind, because you'll want to break those shapes later. But the shapes help divide all the "nonsense" into smaller, feesible parts.

Check this out: http://12bar.de/scale_generator.php
That will help a LOT.

Anymore questions just ask or PM
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#4
all-guitar-chords.com

A really good reference point for chords, scales, modes and several tools to help you find the scale of a riff or the chords to a scale. That's where I learned the notes.
#5
Quote by Blurry 505
^That answer does him no good if he doesn't know how to utilize those notes he knows.

Start with the key of C. Yes bother with shapes, best thing to do is get a book. I recommend Berklee Guitar Level 1, its what my school is teaching out of and it works great.
Yes bother with shapes. Don't cement them into your mind, because you'll want to break those shapes later. But the shapes help divide all the "nonsense" into smaller, feesible parts.

Check this out: http://12bar.de/scale_generator.php
That will help a LOT.

Anymore questions just ask or PM

Learning the notes is the first thing you have to do if you want to LEARN scales.

Learning shapes is not learning scales and has extremely limited use if you don't know what those shapes are comprised of, why they exist and when and how to use them.

Notes first, then intervals - shapes last.
Actually called Mark!

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#6
Yeah learning the notes is essential, but what I meant was don't sit and try and only learn all the notes on the fretboard. That comes later.
Quote by Guitardude19
The world is a fucked up place.


Tele's

"Oh I'll play the blues for you"
#7
No, that comes first. If you don't know the notes on the fretboard then you can't apply anything you learn anyways, so what's the point.

TS : learn the notes on the fretboard, then learn how to form major scale, memorize them all, and implement them ALOT before you move on.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#8
one question, when I learn the notes is there a best way to do it?
I was thinking if I learned the notes in the Major triads diatonic to the C major scale that would be the most beneficial (CEG, FAC, and GBD) and map them all the way around the neck
I smile because I have no idea whats goin on
#9
Learn them in the way you will be applying them most. When I learnt the notes I was a huge blues guy, so I would make up tiny boxes that I could use when jamming, and now I know the neck. If you are a rythm player, learn them in chords, if your a lead player, learn them in boxes.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#10
Quote by The_Sophist
Learn them in the way you will be applying them most. When I learnt the notes I was a huge blues guy, so I would make up tiny boxes that I could use when jamming, and now I know the neck. If you are a rythm player, learn them in chords, if your a lead player, learn them in boxes.


I find this a kind of limited point of view. I think nothing should be broken down into lead and rhythm to be a good guitarist you need a well rounded repertoire.

I basically decided to learn the fretboard by sightreading, but will look at it in different ways along the way
I smile because I have no idea whats goin on
#11
This is limiting, and that's what we want. If beginners don't chunk the information then they are going to be overwhelmed and ****ed in the long run.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#12
def learn the shapes and learn to connect the shapes going up and down the fret board after that its just a matter of knowing what key you are in which of course would require you to know your notes at least along the top string. now with that you can start to sound good but you really are limited to you know the whole fretboard because then nothing can stop you from play the major scale anywhere in any key.
#13
oh and def use all-guitar-chords.com it has everything you need for learning scales and more
#14
Quote by fenderuser93

are there any methods that work best?


Well what worked best for me was basically:

Learn the shapes of the major scale finger positions.

Learn the shapes of the major triad arpeggios over the neck.

Learn the shapes of the minor triad arpeggios over the neck.

Learn the shapes of the diminished triad arpeggios over the neck.

Practice and play the shapes of those within the harmonized chords of the major scale. Do this in a number of different ways, horizontally and vertically on the fretboard.

Practice and play all the diatonic interval shapes -- ascending and descending in the scale.

Learn the shapes of extended 7th arpeggios. Practice and play them with the harmonized chords of the major scale.

Learn the shapes of other meaningful patterns. Practice and play as above.


After a while, and you won't have to go through nearly that entire list, you'll not only know what the notes in the scale are, you'll know what they sound like, how to move your fingers without thinking to play them and begin to understand how to use them by seeing how the shapes connect and relate to each other. You might still have to think a little bit about what the note name is, but given all this, you'll get them quicker, and so what? -- I think it's a lot more important to instantly identify the scale degree and what it's going to sound like.
#15
Quote by fenderuser93
What the topic says. I'm fairly well versed in music theory, but I don't know how to go about applying the major scale to the fretboard. If I knew the fretboard I suppose I would be able to do it more easily.
Which key should I learn first? Should I bother with shapes? how do I make/ find different positions along the neck etc.
are there any methods that work best?
finally are there any solos that I can analyze that use the major scale in all different positions on the neck?

i think some might say not to learn the shapes but i think thats just non-sense. the shapes are there for a reason: to play through the scale with minimal movement. so they are actually quite useful. that way you could play through different scales or modes without too many position shifts.

i guess just start with the Cmajor scale. but while you are learning the shapes make sure you learn the notes within the shape as well, which is something i never did at first. i know the notes now, but before i just practiced the shapes. also, you should also learn how to connect the shapes together so that you dont only play in positions. learning the notes makes this easier. when i learned how to do it, i just went by the souds. i still dont really think about note names, but i am able to find the notes. practice sequencing as well. there are lessons on youtube and other places online about sequencing. they will be useful when playing solos.
#16
Exactly, the shapes help you USE the scale after you've learned it.

You can't use the patterns effectively until you know what they represent though, that's why you need to learn the notes on the fretboard - otherwise you can't see simple things like the same notes being repeated throughout the pattern or find your root notes.
Actually called Mark!

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#17
I'm studying the Major scale from ZeGuitarist's article and I'm pretty satisfied with my progress, but now there's one thing that I somehow can't figure out.
In this article I'm learning the Dorian position and it says that "it starts from the second note in the scale" and I don't have the slightest idea what that means. Is anyone willing to explain this to me? Let's say I'm playing the C Major scale, so would that "start" be the D note?
#18
^Yes, but the intervals that you were familiar with in C Major, have now changed.

The notes in shape 2 are the same as shape 1. The only difference, is that your start and finish note is D, not C.

Try and remember to call these root and octave respectively.
Last edited by mdc at Feb 24, 2009,
#19
Quote by skeleb
I'm studying the Major scale from ZeGuitarist's article and I'm pretty satisfied with my progress, but now there's one thing that I somehow can't figure out.
In this article I'm learning the Dorian position and it says that "it starts from the second note in the scale" and I don't have the slightest idea what that means. Is anyone willing to explain this to me? Let's say I'm playing the C Major scale, so would that "start" be the D note?

There's not really any such thing as the "dorian position" - it's all really just the major scale.

Modes are nothing to do with shapes or "what note you start from" - the same shape applies for several scales depending on the context.

C D E F G A B is the C major scale, a big part of why is because it's ingrained in us. We pretty much expect notes to follow on in a certain pattern and resolve to a certain tone. That means that for the most part no matter what you do with those notes on their own they're going to want to pull back to that C note.

Modes come about when you manage to shift that tonal centre away from the more obvious major scale or relative minor. It's very difficult to do that alone, you really need some sort of accompaniment to override that strong pull to the major root. That can be a bassline or chords but the chords have to reinforce the mode, a static chord works best, you can make progressions of a sort, but they're not exactly chord progressions because they don't resolve, you need to something that'll keep things hanging.

If you have a context that keeps your tonal centre as D and stops the music resloving to the stronger, more stable relative major or minor then the notes C D E F G A B will become D Dorian. That's how modes work, the shapes don't mean anything out of context, neither does the order you play things in.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Feb 24, 2009,
#20
Learn the major scale in boxes. There are five boxes for each key. Play them to a metronome through the circle of 5ths. All five boxes for C then G the D ect... do this while saying the notes. (Not every time) I used to do it once saying the note names and then once without.

My way of learning. I think it's foolproof.
#21
Quote by steven seagull
There's not really any such thing as the "dorian position" - it's all really just the major scale.

Modes are nothing to do with shapes or "what note you start from" - the same shape applies for several scales depending on the context.

C D E F G A B is the C major scale, a big part of why is because it's ingrained in us. We pretty much expect notes to follow on in a certain pattern and resolve to a certain tone. That means that for the most part no matter what you do with those notes on their own they're going to want to pull back to that C note.

Modes come about when you manage to shift that tonal centre away from the more obvious major scale or relative minor. It's very difficult to do that alone, you really need some sort of accompaniment to override that strong pull to the major root. That can be a bassline or chords but the chords have to reinforce the mode, a static chord works best, you can make progressions of a sort, but they're not exactly chord progressions because they don't resolve, you need to something that'll keep things hanging.

If you have a context that keeps your tonal centre as D and stops the music resloving to the stronger, more stable relative major or minor then the notes C D E F G A B will become D Dorian. That's how modes work, the shapes don't mean anything out of context, neither does the order you play things in.

If you've read the article, you'd have noticed I didn't mention modes anywhere. All I'm doing is dividing the pattern of notes in the Major scale into 7 "boxes", which are easier for beginners to memorize. It would be quite silly of me to go and explain modes like that, of course shapes =/= modes, but that wasn't what he asked

Also, it's a scales article for beginners... I'm nowhere near getting to explaining modes in my UGG.
#22
Quote by ZeGuitarist
If you've read the article, you'd have noticed I didn't mention modes anywhere. All I'm doing is dividing the pattern of notes in the Major scale into 7 "boxes", which are easier for beginners to memorize. It would be quite silly of me to go and explain modes like that, of course shapes =/= modes, but that wasn't what he asked

Also, it's a scales article for beginners... I'm nowhere near getting to explaining modes in my UGG.

Sorry, didn't read the article therefore not ain a position to criticize it, just reacting to the same old misunderstandings about modes as usual

I still don't think it's a good idea to even introduce mode names into things - it just sets people off thinking the wrong way.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Feb 24, 2009,
#24
Quote by steven seagull
Sorry, didn't read the article therefore not ain a position to criticize it, just reacting to the same old misunderstandings about modes as usual

I still don't think it's a good idea to even introduce mode names into things - it just sets people off thinking the wrong way.

No offence taken, mate

Also, maybe you're right, but on the other hand it (very briefly) introduces readers to a complex concept that I will be clearing out later on... I don't know if that lives up to the disadvantage of getting people confused, though. We'll see about that later!
#25
Quote by ZeGuitarist
No offence taken, mate

Also, maybe you're right, but on the other hand it (very briefly) introduces readers to a complex concept that I will be clearing out later on... I don't know if that lives up to the disadvantage of getting people confused, though. We'll see about that later!

Hey Ze, where can I learn theory after having learned everything from the link I posted above?
I'm that dude with the fro.
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#26
Quote by steven seagull
Learning the notes is the first thing you have to do if you want to LEARN scales.

Learning shapes is not learning scales and has extremely limited use if you don't know what those shapes are comprised of, why they exist and when and how to use them.

Notes first, then intervals - shapes last.


Well if you learn a scale shape on the guitar, and you've learned the sound of the scale based on that shape, and you've played music using your ear and your knowledge of those shapes, and if you properly associate the scales sound with where the notes are on the neck, then you have "learned" the scale.

Knowledge of notes, or intervals are reinforced by knowledge of the shapes. Learning the shapes 1st does not interfere with the persons ability to learn the others, if anything, it helps.

While I agree that the theoretical knowledge of scales and music in general is a good thing, I completely disagree with your insistence that one can't "learn" and apply musical concepts (including scales) in any other way. Many players that know music by ear, and experience it on their instrument, but don't have a theory background, are great players/musicians, and are not limited by what you consider to be a lack of knowledge.


Quote by steven seagull


You can't use the patterns effectively until you know what they represent.


Yes, actually you can. You have ears.

*not saying you shouldn't learn theory, only that it is unnecessary, and counterproductive to spread these kinds of misconceptions.

Quote by steven seagull

Modes are nothing to do with shapes or "what note you start from" - the same shape applies for several scales depending on the context. .


modes, like any scale has something to do with shapes, because they create shapes on the fretboard.

Learning the D dorian is D to D with the key sig of C (no sharps or flats), teaches a person the relationship between a mode and it's parent scale. It's 1 part of the picture, and it's quite fundamental to a complete understanding.

Steven, I understand where you're coming from and it's great that you promote learning theory and learning the notes on the fret-board, but I have to say that it would be really impressive to see you promote learning theory without spreading these misconceptions about the usefulness of shapes, or about the "limits" of players that choose not to study it.
It's not necessary to be condescending or to downplay one approach in order to promote the other. There are many paths to success as a musician/guitarist. Accepting that is an important part of understanding musicianship on a deeper level.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 24, 2009,
#27
Quote by GuitarMunky
Well if you learn a scale shape on the guitar, and you've learned the sound of the scale based on that shape, and you've played music using your ear and your knowledge of those shapes, and if you properly associate the scales sound with where the notes are on the neck, then you have "learned" the scale.

The problems is that for many guitarists, after they've learned the shapes they just solo or improvise by hitting random notes that fit into the pattern of the key.

Without the knowledge that you are playing an F, how can you avoid that note when playing a C major chord? If I was using your method I would have to play in all the positions enough that I could find out where all the F's are, probably thinking they were all seperate notes. Then I would have to remember all the positions of all the F's and know to not play each over C major.

However, if you learn the notes then you would be able to use you ear to find out what each note sounds like over any given chord, then you could apply that knowledge to all the F's or C's on the fretboard.

Quote by GuitarMunky
Knowledge of notes, or intervals are reinforced by knowledge of the shapes. Learning the shapes 1st does not interfere with the persons ability to learn the others, if anything, it helps.

I would say that knowledge of shapes is redundant if you know the notes on the fretboard and the notes in a key. Once you know these two things you just start to view the fretboards as the notes it is made up of, not various patterns.

Quote by GuitarMunky
While I agree that the theoretical knowledge of scales and music in general is a good thing, I completely disagree with your insistence that one can't "learn" and apply musical concepts (including scales) in any other way. Many players that know music by ear, and experience it on their instrument, but don't have a theory background, are great players/musicians, and are not limited by what you consider to be a lack of knowledge.

I would say you can learn and apply musical concepts without learning the notes on the fretboard, but it would be a lot less effiecient in terms of time and effort.
#28
You're missing the point though - the threadstarter is asking about learning the major scale, and at the end of the day learning shapes is a very small part of learning scales. Learning the notes and intervals tells you the shape, the shape alone tells you nothing.
Actually called Mark!

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#29
Quote by 12345abcd3
The problems is that for many guitarists, after they've learned the shapes they just solo or improvise by hitting random notes that fit into the pattern of the key.




That's when it's time to take it further and learn more. If they don't choose to do that, it's not because they learned shapes. Avoiding the shapes wouldn't make them any more ambitious, it will however deprive them of a very useful tool.

say all you want about the shapes.... the fact is they are relevant, and useful. No need to be condescending about their use. They are as valid a piece of the puzzle as anything else.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 24, 2009,
#30
Quote by steven seagull
You're missing the point though - the threadstarter is asking about learning the major scale, and at the end of the day learning shapes is a very small part of learning scales. Learning the notes and intervals tells you the shape, the shape alone tells you nothing.



like i said, you have some good points, just leave out the misconceptions and condescending attitude about learning shapes, and you have some great advice.

woops... double post. sorry
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 24, 2009,
#31
I don't have anything against shapes, I just don't think they offer much from a teaching point of view. They help you use a scale but when it comes to learning about what's actually going on they're kind of redundant.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#32
Quote by steven seagull
I don't have anything against shapes, I just don't think they offer much from a teaching point of view. They help you use a scale but when it comes to learning about what's actually going on they're kind of redundant.

This, obviously. Why do you think I wrote an article about scale shapes, only AFTER writing one about scale formation, explaining notes and intervals and whatnot?

You NEED that knowledge in order to understand what it is you're doing when you're playing a certain shape. This understanding will lead to the point where you're not even aware you're using "shapes" anymore, you're just seeing the Major scale as a whole.

Quote by Froboarder
Hey Ze, where can I learn theory after having learned everything from the link I posted above?

You know I'm going to do some shameless self-advertising here :p
No, seriously, if you haven't checked out the UGG, try me. Link to the first chapter in my sig... but there's other, maybe better guides for you out there:
- "The Crusade" by JoshUrban: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/general_music/the_crusade_part_i.html
Very helpful guide to theory, much more in-depth than the great, but somewhat limited article you refered to...
- I can only recommend MT forum, check it out regularly for great and very educational discussions about music theory
- Going outside of UG: www.justinguitar.com
Last edited by ZeGuitarist at Feb 24, 2009,
#33
Quote by GuitarMunky
That's when it's time to take it further and learn more. If they don't choose to do that, it's not because they learned shapes. Avoiding the shapes wouldn't make them any more ambitious, it will however deprive them of a very useful tool.

But you can learn more straight away, then there would be no need to learn any shapes. Once you know the notes of the fretboard and the notes in any key, learning shapes will be useless.

Learning shapes isn't detrimental to your playing, but if someone plans on "taking it further" then learning shapes is just a waste of time.

Quote by GuitarMunky
say all you want about the shapes.... the fact is they are relevant, and useful. No need to be condescending about their use. They are as valid a piece of the puzzle as anything else.

But why wouldn't you just learn the notes?

Classical violinists, for example, learn the notes on the fingerboard and learn the notes in various keys. There are no shapes involved in the thought process, the idea of shapes doesn't even come into it. You could make shapes out of the keys, but they are never used.

Why can't the same thing be done with the guitar? If you could either learn shapes, then learn the notes on the fretboard and the notes in keys or just learn the notes on the fretboard and the notes in keys which one would you do?
#34
^ Gawd.

I don't think it would be worth the time to argue this with you. And actually we've done it before so I know it's a waste of time. Thanks for reminding me why posting at UG is pointless.
#35
Quote by GuitarMunky
^ Gawd.

I don't think it would be worth the time to argue this with you. And actually we've done it before so I know it's a waste of time. Thanks for reminding me why posting at UG is pointless.

lol
I do vaguely remember bringing up this point but I think that time I gave up first.

I'm not trying to argue for the sake of it (honest), I just think learning shapes is unecessary if you ever plan on learning the notes of the fretboard (and you didn't reply to my carefully constructed violinist point )
#36
12345abcd3 and GuitarMunky... you're both correct, and neither of you is wrong.

It's easy. There's two different ways of learning the Major scale: either you learn the notes on the fretboard, plus the notes in each key (12345abcd3), or you learn to use the scale shapes and practice them up to the point where the position of the notes in key comes natural (GuitarMunky). Now, you two have been arguing throughout this entire thread, which method is best...

... but there isn't a better way, because it all depends on the player! If anything, each player should decide FOR HIM- OR HERSELF what method he/she wishes to use, to learn the Major scale... if somebody is more comfortable learning the notes on the fretboard first, fine. If somebody likes to use scale shapes at first, that's fine too!

Of course, 12345abcd and steven seagull are both correct when they say that better understanding of the Major scale can't come from brainless playing of scale shapes alone... understanding the construction of Major scales through intervals is essential to be able to use shapes in a non-brainless way! But through "understanding of the shapes" using knowledge of intervals, the position of the notes in key should come natural even when using shapes!

So:
- GuitarMunky: you're right, shapes are a valuable tool in learning the Major scale, and (only!) combined with knowledge of intervals, learning the notes comes natural over time
- 12345abcd3: you're right, learning the notes straight away is a good method of scales practice as well (but don't deny the advantages of shapes as a great tool or "leverage" in scales practice!)
- Which method to use is UP TO THE PLAYER ONLY!
#37
Quote by ZeGuitarist
12345abcd3 and GuitarMunky... you're both correct, and neither of you is wrong.

It's easy. There's two different ways of learning the Major scale: either you learn the notes on the fretboard, plus the notes in each key (12345abcd3), or you learn to use the scale shapes and practice them up to the point where the position of the notes in key comes natural (GuitarMunky). Now, you two have been arguing throughout this entire thread, which method is best...

... but there isn't a better way, because it all depends on the player! If anything, each player should decide FOR HIM- OR HERSELF what method he/she wishes to use, to learn the Major scale... if somebody is more comfortable learning the notes on the fretboard first, fine. If somebody likes to use scale shapes at first, that's fine too!

Of course, 12345abcd and steven seagull are both correct when they say that better understanding of the Major scale can't come from brainless playing of scale shapes alone... understanding the construction of Major scales through intervals is essential to be able to use shapes in a non-brainless way! But through "understanding of the shapes" using knowledge of intervals, the position of the notes in key should come natural even when using shapes!

So:
- GuitarMunky: you're right, shapes are a valuable tool in learning the Major scale, and (only!) combined with knowledge of intervals, learning the notes comes natural over time
- 12345abcd3: you're right, learning the notes straight away is a good method of scales practice as well (but don't deny the advantages of shapes as a great tool or "leverage" in scales practice!)
- Which method to use is UP TO THE PLAYER ONLY!


It's all beneficial. no "only if's " about it. There are many valid approaches.... period.

btw you've just impled that "my way" is the shapes way. I know my notes, I know the theory, and I know the shapes. I embrace all perspectives. That's the difference between my view and abc/seagulls. So while their suggestion to learn the notes is a good one (duh), the idea that it's the only way to learn a scale is simply incorrect.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 24, 2009,
#38
Quote by ZeGuitarist
12345abcd3 and GuitarMunky... you're both correct, and neither of you is wrong.

It's easy. There's two different ways of learning the Major scale: either you learn the notes on the fretboard, plus the notes in each key (12345abcd3), or you learn to use the scale shapes and practice them up to the point where the position of the notes in key comes natural (GuitarMunky). Now, you two have been arguing throughout this entire thread, which method is best...

... but there isn't a better way, because it all depends on the player! If anything, each player should decide FOR HIM- OR HERSELF what method he/she wishes to use, to learn the Major scale... if somebody is more comfortable learning the notes on the fretboard first, fine. If somebody likes to use scale shapes at first, that's fine too!

Of course, 12345abcd and steven seagull are both correct when they say that better understanding of the Major scale can't come from brainless playing of scale shapes alone... understanding the construction of Major scales through intervals is essential to be able to use shapes in a non-brainless way! But through "understanding of the shapes" using knowledge of intervals, the position of the notes in key should come natural even when using shapes!

So:
- GuitarMunky: you're right, shapes are a valuable tool in learning the Major scale, and (only!) combined with knowledge of intervals, learning the notes comes natural over time
- 12345abcd3: you're right, learning the notes straight away is a good method of scales practice as well (but don't deny the advantages of shapes as a great tool or "leverage" in scales practice!)
- Which method to use is UP TO THE PLAYER ONLY!

Thanks for the eloquent intervention, you make some very good points (and I know that my username is a bitch to type ).

GuitarMunky, we may as well agree to disagree because I can't see either of us convincing the other anytime soon.
#39
Quote by 12345abcd3
Thanks for the eloquent intervention, you make some very good points (and I know that my username is a bitch to type ).

GuitarMunky, we may as well agree to disagree because I can't see either of us convincing the other anytime soon.



Well, it's true that you will never convince me that a useful piece of information is anything but useful. If you are unable to make the connection yourself, or are just to stubborn to admit it, that is your own problem.
#40
Quote by GuitarMunky
Well, it's true that you will never convince me that a useful piece of information is anything but useful. If you are unable to make the connection yourself, or are just to stubborn to admit it, that is your own problem.

Do you really want to keep arguing? I've accepted your opinion, yet you continue to tell me straight out that I'm wrong.
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