#1
Hey guys, I've been recently working on my scales. Mainly the process of memorizing them on the fretboard. I'm just wondering whether or not I'm doing it right or if my method of doing is alright.

I've heard some people say that "pattern shapes" or "box shapes" or shapes in general, are not the "right way" to help you memorize scales on the fretboard. My question is, I've learned the theory behind the scales that I'm trying to apply to the fretboard. Such as the major, I've learned the theory and harmonized it, basically I have learned it inside and out. And the only way I've come up with to help me memorize them to the fretboard is through shapes. I've seen alot of websites, give you the shapes but they also give the theory along with it. Is this way alright? I will of course learn them in string groups. My idea is that I'll learn the first 2 strings pretty well, and then the next 2 strings. I'll learn those 4 strings and mess with them and then I'll finally apply the last two strings.

Bad Idea? Good Idea? Any help or advice?
#2
People will always argue about the "right" way or the "wrong" way. The correct method is the method that works for you. If learning the boxes works for you, I'd just do it. It would definately be more practical than learning the scales string-by-string.

I started by learning one box, and how to move it to different keys. Learnt more boxes, combined them all. Easy.
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#3
Its not that learning shapes is the wrong way - its that if thats the only thing you learn you're severely limiting yourself.

If you understand the theory, learn the notes and intervals as well as box shapes. Learn to play scales single string (on every string) as well as horizontally across the fretboard. Practice playing the scale 2nps and 3nps starting from different frets and different fingers - learn the sound of it. If you can harmonise it practice playing triads, diads, chords and arpeggios up the neck as well. Practice the chord scale.

What the scale sounds like is more important than what it looks like on the neck imo.

Edit: If you learn the major scale well enough, and know what scale degree you're playing at any one time, then its really easy to adapt that slightly to play minor scales (inc harmonic and melodic minor), pentatonics and modes.
Last edited by zhilla at Jul 16, 2009,
#4
There's far more practical ways than simply learning the patterns. Associating the pattern with the chords derived from it gives you a much more solid frame of reference and also helps when following a song.

First get yourself a blank fretboard diagram, then choose any major or minor scale. Then write down the 7 chords derived from that scale, just draw them on as full 6 string barre chords, if you can't be bothered working the chords out by stacking thirds they're listed here. Then compare what you've drawn with the full scale pattern, you should have accounted for pretty much every note of the scale.

It may seem like a daft idea but going through that process really helps you understand how scales and chords fit together in a physical sense, and from a practical point of view you'll nearly always be playing over chords in one form or another

Edg's relativity method is also a great way to navigate yound the fretboard..

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=308518&highlight=relativity
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#5
like others said, its not really "wrong" but you should do more than just learn shapes. the problem is that people who do this tend to stick to box patterns and often get stuck in a rut and dont know why.

BUT, the shapes help for sure. the guitar is set up the way it is to make it easier to play. the box shapes are there to help you play through a scale with minimal movement. you should however learn how to move through the patterns so that you can use the whole neck. relating the scales to chords is helpful as well. that way, you can follow chords with your leads and embelish chords easier. so things like inversions of chords and knowing multiple voicings helps.
#6
Quote by TriviumFan717
Hey guys, I've been recently working on my scales. Mainly the process of memorizing them on the fretboard. I'm just wondering whether or not I'm doing it right or if my method of doing is alright.

I've heard some people say that "pattern shapes" or "box shapes" or shapes in general, are not the "right way" to help you memorize scales on the fretboard.


They are simply wrong.

Patterns/box shapes are VERY helpful for learning the scales on the fret-board.

Any "problems" that arise in regards to scale patterns (or any other piece of information) are a matter of personal issues, not the information itself.


I would suggest:

- learn the shapes (get your ears & fingers on them)

- utilize the shapes in context (learn solo's, melodies..... .music)

- learn the theory behind the shapes (there is alot to this, be patient)

- let each bit of information and experience reinforce the next as they inevitably will.


Work on things in a reasonable manner. Like don't try to learn ALL the patterns at once. Start with 1..... like the Major scale. Then move on from there.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 16, 2009,