#1
Hi there. Been playing guitar for about 18 months now and hitting a bit of a wall with regards to getting better.

I know open chords, getting better at barre shapes and generally having a good time

Am now trying to practice scales and how to use them. I know the Major and Pentatonic.

However, just playing up and down the scales is amounting to not much use Like I say, i know the sclaes (those 2 anyhow) but am struggling to do much with them.

Does anyone have any tips/tricks or advice to become more accustomed with scales? Some sort of practice technique would be great.

Thanks
#2
For now, just keep practicing the scales. It's going to seem a little "forced" at first, but you need to keep doing it. Do you practice with a backing track? That will help, too. There are several good backing tracks on UG. You can also buy backing tracks at most guitar stores. If you're unsure what a backing track is... It's an instrumental song missing a specific part, such as bass, drums, lead or rhythm. As you play the backing track, you supply this missing part. It's a good way to practice with a band who never grows tired of your mistakes or wanting to do the same piece over and over again.

Here the are:

http://artists.ultimate-guitar.com/backingtracks

How to get more accustomed to scales? Keep playing them. That's the only way to do it.
Just takes time.
#3
Quote by Mr77
Hi there. Been playing guitar for about 18 months now and hitting a bit of a wall with regards to getting better.

I know open chords, getting better at barre shapes and generally having a good time

Am now trying to practice scales and how to use them. I know the Major and Pentatonic.

However, just playing up and down the scales is amounting to not much use Like I say, i know the sclaes (those 2 anyhow) but am struggling to do much with them.

Does anyone have any tips/tricks or advice to become more accustomed with scales? Some sort of practice technique would be great.

Thanks

You're spot on, playing up and down scales isn't an awful lot of use and not a particularly effective use of your time.

Instead of playing the scale and learning patterns start playing around with the sounds contained within the scale. Learn the notes it contains, learn the functions they have within that scale and play round with different intervals to hear the different options you've got for moving between notes.

Ultimately the major scale is the most important one, that's the cornerstone of western music. Learn the notes on your fretboard, learn the interval pattern of the major scale and learn how to harmonise it to derive a chord sequence...that's going to take a massive part of the guesswork and mystery out of understanding music.
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#4
A good idea is to play over the top of songs you like.
Put on a good song, play notes that fit until you work out the scale/key by ear.
And then solo over the song using the scale.
This not only trains your ears, but your improv at the same time.
#5
When I started scales I didn't really understand what they were for - sounds silly but true.

It comes later (or did for me) when you learn a particular solo etc it clicks in your head which scale it's using.

You REALLY start to use the scales when writing solo's etc. Make sure you know major & pentatonic's etc.

So in short they may not seem useful now but they will in time
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#6
Find some easy blues tunes, figure out which key they are in, and improvise using your scales. Just play around, if you're in the right key, the pentatonic will sound great. Atleast this is what I've been doing for years.
I've moved on to playing metal lately and creating my own tunes (two of them which are on my profile) where I always improvise my solos using an appropriate scale. Some of the responses I'm getting is that my solo's sound very bluesy while they're still rock/metal, which I guess comes subconsciously from me just playing around to all kinds of blues when I started playing the guitar.

Keep at it and you'll find it becoming easier to play along and improvise to stuff =)
#7
Find some songs you know well and try to play them. The first one you learn to play will take you a while as you learn string bends, slides and hammer on / pull offs but it is well worth it once you get through the initial steep learning curve. Have a go at Sweet Home Alabama as it has alot of techniques in it.
#8
Quote by pkgitar
Find some easy blues tunes...=)


Care to suggest any?

PM me them if you would be so kind.

Thanks

And thanks for all the tips everyone!