#1
Today, I decided to learn scales. So I looked up how to work them out and such and the various positions to play them in. I read that I should work with one position at a time until I can play it well or improvise in it.

But now you see, I really don't understand what is meant by 'improvise', as when I think to improvise, I get the idea to play random notes within the pattern. Clearly that is not the idea to have.

Also should I learn all the scales in one position or learn one scale in all the positions?

(I currently started with the major scale)
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#2
Alright, let's start haha.

To improvise on guitar is to not plan out anything before hand, just listen to the music, and just follow what sounds right to you. It's not random strings of notes within the scale, but a sequence of notes played with different timing/inflection/amount.

Personally, i love blues and blues improvising on guitar. nothing beats that for me. I learned all the minor pentatonic scales (and the blues add ons to them) and eventually I was improvising quickly.

To get a real feel of improvisiation, check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLNz8XGQMnA

The guy just set a song in the background to play (for the key of the song and a beat) and just went at it.

When you learn how to do it, it'll blow your mind
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#3
Don't learn scales as just boxed shapes. Learn the notes of the scale and the notes of the fretboard. Then you will be able to move around instead of just being stuck in one position.
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Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#4
Quote by Junior#1
Don't learn scales as just boxed shapes. Learn the notes of the scale and the notes of the fretboard. Then you will be able to move around instead of just being stuck in one position.


Don't the 5 positions move the scale up and down the fretboard?
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#5
yeah you can literally just learn the box shapes and then switch the 1st position around on the low e to find the note/key you want. then everything just shifts frets
Quote by captaincrunk
This isn't a guitar forum.

Try WebMD.


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www.ultimate-guitar.com

#6
Quote by fear-the-reaper
yeah you can literally just learn the box shapes and then switch the 1st position around on the low e to find the note/key you want. then everything just shifts frets


If you check this page, in it there are the 5 position, but I am a little confused about the shapes exactly. I understand the E shape with G being the root note, but for the other shapes, G is not the root note? Do I need to move the shapes until the root note is G?


Then my next question is if I want I want to play the G-major scale starting on any string, the patterns will always work?
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#7
I am also confused on the whether or not I can move say an "E" shape minor pentatonic anywhere which is position 1 on JustinGuitar. Does it mean that I can move the "E" shape and start anywhere on the fretboard or will it only work if I start on an E? Or do I just learn position 1 "E" and then when I want to move around the fretboard I have to play a D shape instead? I have tried watching videos and reading lessons and I still am not really sure what I am supposed to do with them. I have been playing guitar for about 2 years now and I want to start really making progress by learning scales correctly.
#8
Learn the notes on the fretboard.
Learn the notes in the scale you're trying to learn.

Those two pieces of basic information will answer all these questions for you and clear up the confusion. Remember, a pattern alone is not "a scale" - a scale is a sequence of notes, the pattern is simply where those notes appear. For example, Em pentatonic is the notes E G A B D, that's all, jut 5 notes. If you locate every instance of those notes on the fretboard you'll get the patterns you're looking at.

If you simply look at patterns without also looking at the notes and intervals that actually make up the scale you're always likely to get confused. You really need to know where the notes are on the fretboard to ground everything and provide a frame of reference. Without knowing the notes it's all just a bunch of dots in seemingly arbitrary patterns.

As far as improvising goes, it's making music - and music doesn't start with your instrument, it starts with you. Put the guitar down and stick a backing track on...listen to it and think of what sounds will fit over that backing track. Sing your ideas, that will help a lot, especially if you're not great at "visualising" sounds - even better, record them so you can listen back to things and change alter them if need be. Once you've got some kind of idea in your head, then you pick up your guitar and figure out how to reproduce that sound on your instrument.

If you sit there with the guitar in your hands at this stage all that's going to happen is your hands will wander up and down scale patterns. It takes time to get into the habit of thinking music, once you've developed that habit a bit you can just pick up the guitar and play.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at May 20, 2010,
#9
Quote by rock.freak667
If you check this page, in it there are the 5 position, but I am a little confused about the shapes exactly. I understand the E shape with G being the root note, but for the other shapes, G is not the root note? Do I need to move the shapes until the root note is G?


Then my next question is if I want I want to play the G-major scale starting on any string, the patterns will always work?


The best way to learn scales is not to memorize shapes but to understand intervals. That way you can play any scale starting from anywhere on the neck and you don't even have to memorize the notes of the scale (although it is very helpful).
Last edited by althebold711 at May 20, 2010,
#10
Quote by rock.freak667
Don't the 5 positions move the scale up and down the fretboard?

Yes they do but if you just memorize the 5 shapes, you then have to memorize how to connect them all. If you memorize the notes, you kill 2 birds with 1 stone: you learn the shapes and you learn how they connect to each other.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#11
STEP ONE: Learn the notes on the fretboard
STEP TWO: Learn the scale of your choosing, not just the shape but the notes.
STEP THREE: Play those notes in the same progression in other places on the fretboard. Do so with an understanding of the intervals between each note rather than the shape they happen to be in on your fretboard
STEP FOUR: Profit!
#12
Quote by AndyR83
STEP ONE: Learn the notes on the fretboard
STEP TWO: Learn the scale of your choosing, not just the shape but the notes.
STEP THREE: Play those notes in the same progression in other places on the fretboard. Do so with an understanding of the intervals between each note rather than the shape they happen to be in on your fretboard
STEP FOUR: Profit!


Well I know the notes within the scales, I just need some time to remember them as I don't have them memorized.

But say I record a 12 bar blues progression G, I should use the G major scale in it right? But when I listen to I really have no clue as to how I want my improvising to sound like. If I try to play something, I end up playing random notes making it sound like nothing.
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#13
So put the guitar down and figure out what you want to play before you pick it up.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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