#1
How should I go about practicing technique and scales? Should I just be running up and down scales with a metronome? thanks
#2
Play challenging songs with a metronome as well. If you can only scale up or down well, but can't change direction on the fly, economy pick, mute, etc. well, then you won't have good technique. Technique is more than scalar speed.
#3
Metronome it. Try going up the scales on one string and then switch to going back up and down somewhere along the line to memorize the patterns all over the neck rather than getting trapped in one scale. If that makes any sense.
#4
YOUR METRONONE will be your best friend and sometimes your worst enemy .....but USE it your TECHNIQUE will work itself
#5
I know and it doesnt matter how hard I try I can never get sixteenth notes in time with a metronome, eigth notes no problem
#6
Quote by Ritley
How should I go about practicing technique and scales? Should I just be running up and down scales with a metronome? thanks

The thing to ask yourself is "What do you actually want to practice scales for?"

And the answer is not "To get better at playing scales"...after all playing scales is boring to do and even more boring to listen to. Scales are a good warmup and excellent picking practice but that's all that simply playing scales will really do for you, there's absolutely no point sitting there chasing the metronome with them - it achieves nothing in the greater scheme of things. The important thing with scales is knowing how they sound and understanding how they work musically, that should always be your focus when working on scales....Freepower has some good lessons on this.

As far as technique goes, well that's everything you do, every song you learn to play, no matter how simple, is going to improve your technique...as long as you practice it properly. That means being disciplined and honest with yourself, if you're playing it sloppy and innacurately then slow it down and get better at actually playing it before trying to tackle it at full speed.

That's where the metronome comes into play, it's not a speedometer and it's not a talentmeter - it's there for one thing and one thing alone, to help you keep time. Set the metronome to a beat at which you can play something consistently without mistakes and get your timing down. Once your happy with it you can speed the metronome up by a couple of bpm, but if it starts getting sloppy or you start screwing up then you need to slow back down.

For everything you want to learn there will be a speed at which you can play it without mistakes, however there will be situations where the timeframe for learning to play it is simply an unrealistic goal so try not to overstretch yourself, the key to progressing efficiently is to look to see how you can directly improve on what you currently know.

Exercises in general are an important part of practice, they also help you develop discipline as well as your technical skills and there's plenty of them on UG but never forget that exercises aren't your goal, playing is. Exercises are just a means to an end so never fall into the trap of worrying about how good you are at them or trying to get them "better" because that's not you're actual goal, your goal is to get better at playing the guitar, not practising the guitar.
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#7
^Some very good advice, and well put.

Sometimes I get the feeling that people fall into this trap of thinking, "I'm going work on all these exercises, then when I'm good at them, I'll be able to play all these songs I like/play my own songs that I have ideas for".
To me, it works in reverse. Work on the songs, whether your own or learning songs by others. Once you have identified the weaknesses which are preventing you from playing them well enough, that's when you bust out the exercises - when you need something that focuses directly on the weakness you want to improve upon.

As far as practicing scales specifically goes - the only one I've found useful practicing "just because" - ie. not motivated by work on a song, is C major/A minor. You get that puppy down all over the neck, I mean, really get it down, as in every position, with different fingerings, with awareness of the notes, intervals, in your sleep, standing on your head, etc, etc, then you can play every other scale just by thinking of it in terms of modifications of C major - ie. you could play another scale by just thinking - ok, this one is my root note, and these notes need to be sharp/flat. The one exception might be harmonic minor - all the above points hold true about learning it relative to C major/Am hold true, but the fingering takes a little work because of the 1 1/2 steps between the 6th and 7th notes.
#8
You don't have to use a metronome, but It'd be a good idea. Just practice the ascending scale a few times, then go descending.
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