#1
Why can't I seem to use scales properly in soloing? I know all the basic scales and have drilled them into my mind, but why can't I use them when I solo? I start off using the scale, but then end up hanging out on the top two strings or just playing the scale up and down. It's as if I forget everything I've worked on. What is wrong with me and how do I break the habit that I'm in? This will frustrate me because I really want to solo, but it's as if I can't. I could talk you to death on using scales, but when it comes to actually using them, I can't.
#2
One thing you can do is learn other people's solos to give your knowledge some context.
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#4
Practice your phrasing. When improvising, use only chord tones. When one chord is changing to another, you may play a bit with all the notes in the scale, but you have to land on the next chord tones when the next chord starts.
#5
When it comes to improvising, I think everyone does this at the beginning. Going up and down the scale, hoping for the best. I cringe when I think of my early live improvising attempts *cringe*.

But what rockingamer2 says is true. Learn some solos and see how they utilise the scale. Steal some licks and slowly you'll be able to create your own.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#6
Do you know what the scale and its component intervals actually sound like? Or are you simply looking for a shape on your fretboard?
Actually called Mark!

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#8
Then that's your problem - forget the shapes for the time being and focus on learning the sounds. If you know what sounds are available to you within that scale then you can decide what it is you want to do with them.
Actually called Mark!

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#9
Quote by steven seagull
Then that's your problem - forget the shapes for the time being and focus on learning the sounds. If you know what sounds are available to you within that scale then you can decide what it is you want to do with them.



the shapes don't prevent you from listening, and they aren't his "problem".

the "problem" is a lack of contextual understanding. forgetting shapes won't help that.
Learning about the scales will. learning actual music will.


Quote by Rockabilly1956
Why can't I seem to use scales properly in soloing? I know all the basic scales and have drilled them into my mind, but why can't I use them when I solo? I start off using the scale, but then end up hanging out on the top two strings or just playing the scale up and down. It's as if I forget everything I've worked on. What is wrong with me and how do I break the habit that I'm in? This will frustrate me because I really want to solo, but it's as if I can't. I could talk you to death on using scales, but when it comes to actually using them, I can't.



you need more experience.

Learn solos/melodies ..... memorize them.... play them..... LISTEN.

study theory...... learn ABOUT the scales...... learn about harmony...... learn about music.


it takes time.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 5, 2010,
#10
Quote by GuitarMunky
the shapes don't prevent you from listening, and they aren't his "problem".

the "problem" is a lack of contextual understanding. forgetting shapes won't help that.
Learning about the scales will. learning actual music will.

But he isn't listening, and i never said shapes were the problem....approaching the guitar as "what shape shall I play?" rather than "what sound do I want to make?" is the problem.

He already knows the shapes , he doesn't know the sounds yet so he needs to stop focussing on the physical aspects for a while and familiarise himself with the aural.

He's not going to "forget" forget the shapes by doing that, they just don't need to be what he's thinking about at this stage.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 5, 2010,
#11
One thing that greatly helped my soloing was learning the notes of a scale all across the fretboard. That way, I wasn't limiting myself to just one shape and I could find different ways of using the scale. This is especially helpful for pentatonics and blues scales
#12
Quote by Rockabilly1956
Why can't I seem to use scales properly in soloing? I know all the basic scales and have drilled them into my mind, but why can't I use them when I solo? I start off using the scale, but then end up hanging out on the top two strings or just playing the scale up and down. It's as if I forget everything I've worked on. What is wrong with me and how do I break the habit that I'm in? This will frustrate me because I really want to solo, but it's as if I can't. I could talk you to death on using scales, but when it comes to actually using them, I can't.


How many solos can you play by memory?
shred is gaudy music
#13
Quote by steven seagull
Do you know what the scale and its component intervals actually sound like? Or are you simply looking for a shape on your fretboard?

+1

I want to expand upon this. Making music is about putting your thoughts down on an instrument. When you only play shapes on the fretboard your music will probably not have the feeling you intended it to have and will not sound good to you. I think that is why you are having problems.

Make sure you know what the scale sounds like. When you can do that, think of a few notes in your head that sound pretty good to you. Because you know that the notes you played in your head were from that scale, it makes it far easier to figure out which notes you must press to play what you thought of.

Of course, we can't always thing of a cool riff in our heads. When this happens, just play around with the scale for a while until you find a group of notes that inspires you. That is how I think scales can be utilized well.
#14
It might also be useful if you stopped thinking of scales as scales, and started thinking in terms of notes, chords, and keys. Sure, it's useful knowing that this shape from this fret is the D Major scale, but it's a whole lot better to know that the notes in D Major are D E F# G A B C# D, the relationships between those notes, what those relationships sound like, and where on the fretboard those notes lie. Then you can stop thinking in terms of scales, and start thinking in terms of sounds.
#15
^ no need to stop thinking of scales as scales. Thats what they are. What you need is to experience them in context....in music.

Knowing the notes and the formula on its own is about the same as knowing the shapes on their own. helpful to a degree, but still no context..

Music is the most important missing ingredient IMO.....though I agree that learning the theory behind it is a good step to take.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 5, 2010,
#16
I've been having a lot of trouble with this too, but this is my opinion. (and if you think all of these comments are overwhelming, just listen to the ones that you agree with) but this is what I think you should try. If you have a looper, record a loop with barre chords. something simple like this backing track.
http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=AZVySnfGwfU&feature=related the chords are C, Am, F, G. So key of C/Am. This about those as barre chords. pick the pentatonic form that has the most chord tones. For the C, you can start your pentatonics on the one that starts on the 3rd fret. then with the Am, you can move up the the standard minor pentatonic, then so on and so forth. it takes some practice. it helps if you can visualize the barre chords on the fretboard, then solo and try to utilize the chord tones. I agree with the guy that said that you should memorize the fretboard too, because you dont want to be staying in the same spot the whole time. After you get a feel of it, then you can add some feeling into it. because if your playing is bad its a little hard to put feeling into it.
"The most important thing about music is energy and emotion, not how well you can play. Technique should be a tool to achieve your vision, not the other way around."
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#17
Quote by biker521

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=AZVySnfGwfU&feature=related the chords are C, Am, F, G. So key of C/Am.


Sorry for nitpicking, but that's in the key of C, not Am.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


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Last edited by rockingamer2 at Jul 5, 2010,
#18
hahaha yeah i know, i was just thinking of scales. it's in C maj =P
"The most important thing about music is energy and emotion, not how well you can play. Technique should be a tool to achieve your vision, not the other way around."
-Jeff Tuttle

More guitar, less ultimate-guitar!
#19
One thing that I feel has been overlooked is that no one has told you to just keep trying. If you keep playing crapily long enough, you'll start catching on to what sounds good when you do it. Honestly, right now it just sounds like you need to get over a hump. Just keep trying, it really will get easier.
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Last edited by Unlockitall at Jul 5, 2010,
#20
Okay man what alot of these people have said is good, like learning how things sound and theory and all that jazz, but the truth is that no begginer or even intermediate musician has a good enough ear to hear all of that, and to understand any of it in context and for it to be useful is just not going to happen right away.

What you really need to start to do is 1. learn each postion of the scale, so if your just doing pentatonic there are five positons. learn all of those as best you can, but dont worry if its not drilled into your head perfect yet, it'l come. 2. learn the scale horizontally on each string as well. so like learn all the notes of Amin/Cmaj on each string, and play them long ways across the fretboard 3. this is kinda hard to explain, but play the notes of the first positon of a scale on the low two strings, then move up to the next two higher strings in the next position and to that all the was starting from the low notes way up to the high notes.

so basically you want to get as comfortable being able to play any of the notes in a given scales with out having to think too much about where they are or wondering if they are wrong. once you can do this you can start throwing in different ways to get to each of the notes, ya know, soloing! its also good to take four notes of a scale and play those. just like those four notes with nothin special added to them. then started changing you play the little four note sequence. but bends, slides, hammer ons, just changed it up a little bit and you will be surprised how easy it will be to make cool sounding solos.
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