i was just wondering if anyone would be able to
help me with some advice. lately with soloing
and improvising i feel i really need
some help to see scales as notes as opposed to
"shapes" and ways to do this.
i find myself, for example, if we talk Am pentatonic.
from the 5th fret of the high E all the way to the octave
on the 17th, on the G string to the E i feel quite comfortable
and i know my way around, but anything apart form that i feel
totally lost and sort of not knowing where to go.


e-------------------------------10 12 10-------------------------------
b--------------8 10/12-----------------------13 10--------------------
g---5 7/9------------------------------------------------12 14 16 19--

sorry for bad illustration.

that sort of thing im comfortable with but everything else
lower notes etc im lost.
even in minor and major sacales
would learning scales in all keys on one string
be my best bet,
thank you very much
The way I learned all the notes on the fretboard was by reading in all the positions. Then you encounter/see each note as "the note", rather than just a place on the fretboard that you learned from the scale shapes. It's not a shortcut, but if you can read competently in all positions, you will know all of the notes.

I think learning all the keys on one string may be slightly beneficial, but will more likely serve as a wild goose chase, where you pick up and retain only a small amount of what you spent your time on (and it will take hours and hours). If you truly want to know each note on the neck, it's a matter of associating each note with it's name, and if you do it in the context of music (by reading), it will give you a deep and meaningful understanding of those notes.

btw I like to see the shapes and the notes, rather than one or the other. Both perspectives are beneficial and serve to reinforce the other.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 13, 2009,
It's not necessarily about what you see - it's usually about what you hear. You need to make sure you're really listenting to what you're playing as opposed to just moving your fingers and hoping for the best.

As you move round the fretboard pay attention to what's coming out and listen for the same familiar patterns and relationships between notes. If something sounds boring stop playing and ask yourself why it sounds boring. Look back at what you played and figure out how you could change things to make it more interesting to your ears. You don't necessarily need scales to do that, it does help immensely in terms of giving you a defined structure to work round but ultimately it all boils down to the same thing, playing around with the other notes at your disposal and seeing how they work.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Mar 14, 2009,
i think you need to just spend more time practicing and it will come. maybe spend the next 2 days or so playing/soloing on the a minor pent in the 3rd postion, then in a few days move up to the 8th postition etc. while i agree that its import to play by what you hear, its very hard, especially if you're somewhat of a beginner, (which im guessing you might be?) to play and solo by ear. it takes a lot of practice.
im sort of intermediate actually (bout 4 years)
i do realise my question sounds quite newbish, but i know a fair bit of theory and scalular stuff, its just i found myself being
a bit repetitive and need to open the fretobard a bit more and incorporate , not neccesarily cram every note under the sun into a solo. but have the availability of notes there,
which i find i dont have at the moment. thask for all the suggestions so far im definitely going to put them into practice