#1
So i've been playing for 4 months now and just really got into practicing my scales ( i almost never did before because i wanted to learn the barre chord grips ) and i basically use JustinGuitar's online course and other Youtube teachers but the thing is they all suggest starting w/ the minor pentatonic scale.

So i've been practicing the scale for the past few days and i got my picking up to about 70bpm @ 16th notes and even though i don't feel like i've hit a wall, i feel like i'm practicing it for nothing.


SOOOOOO basically (lol) should i just learn the major scales instead and ignore the minor pentatonic? I want to get into blues and improvising someday and i basically need to know what scale to practice and what speed to aim for.

Lol i hope someone reads this - i know i wouldn't xp
G(g)od was like: "Make you an ark of gopher wood; rooms shall you make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with pitch."

And i was like: "What's gopher wood?"
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#2
speed isnt relevant. both major and minor penatonic are good for learning first, pick one and stick with it
#3
Yeah, most people get caught up with trying to practice playing fast. Just play with the scale and see what you can make of it.
Pamposh’s final question before drifting into a state of transcendent ecstasy was, “But Master, if everything is an illusion, then why does anything matter?”

To which the master replied, “It may all be an illusion, but it’s a very real illusion.”
#4
Improvise with the scale over a backing track. It really helped me understand when I was learning that stuff. It also gives you a chance to be creative so it doesn't feel that much like practise.
Vision is the art of seeing things invisible to others.
#5
Stick with minor pentatonic.

Make sure to learn ALL 5 positions, for some reason most people only learn the first position, and many teachers only teach the first pos.

While learning and practicing these, say the root note out loud when you get to them
(Learn all the root notes when learning the 5 positions)

This will take much more then just a few hours of practice time, you want to play in key from open position to the 22-24th fret.

In the end you will not only learn the entire scale, but also learn what every note on the fretboard is. If you move the root note to the next tone in the scale, you now know the major pentatonic scale,

From here there are only a few notes left to add into the minor pent (blue notes) and you have the blue's scale.

With all this knowledge you are no longer playing in "boxes" as a lot of scale neigh Sayers would put it because you can choose to leave the scales and play notes that shouldn't belong but feel/sound right with the direction your going with your improv, then bring it back.

Edit:: in case it's not clear, Minor Pentatonic is imperative for improving the blues.
Last edited by ToXyN at May 27, 2011,
#6
tbh id advise sticking with the first position of the minor pentatonic until you get a good feel for improvising on it before learning the other four. It will only serve to confuse you and encourage you to run before you can walk. Definately learn where the root notes are. A good way of doing this is to play scale runs where you start from different roots in the position.
#7
Quote by knutjob
tbh id advise sticking with the first position of the minor pentatonic until you get a good feel for improvising on it before learning the other four. It will only serve to confuse you and encourage you to run before you can walk. Definately learn where the root notes are. A good way of doing this is to play scale runs where you start from different roots in the position.


I would agree for a place to start, but he has done this already.


So i've been practicing the scale for the past few days and i got my picking up to about 70bpm @ 16th notes and even though i don't feel like i've hit a wall, i feel like i'm practicing it for nothing.
#9
I would suggest learning some Black Sabbath and early Metallica riffs. "Jump in the Fire" is a good, slow pentatonic riff. When you get to harder stuff you'll discover that it's pretty similar, only faster!

Right now focus on playing ON TIME!!

As you get confident with playing at a certain speed, increase it a little. Again you should feel totally free and confident before you increase it.

To me there is no better way to get all over the fret board than those early metal riffs. Try stuff like "Fade to Black" and "One," they all basically use the same scales, even the same frets!

"One" is similar to "Wish You Were Here," and then you'll discover you can bust into classic rock, grunge, country...

Whatever.

Just get proficient at one thing and know it well. When you get bored of it, either go to something more difficult or change styles.

Say: Metallica -> Megadeth

Or Metallica -> classical guitar! or blues!

The family tree of music is all connected through the pentatonics, and you can even find Chinese and Japanese patterns, Native American patterns, Arabic and Jewish stuff, etc. These are all just slight variations on pents, adding or subtracting a note here or there or playing with a little different feel.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

#10
You say it's important to learn root notes, but what for? For me it's only information what key I'm playing in, but what are the other practical advantages?
#11
It's important to know what note to resolve to, I would also memorize the fourth and the fifth so you can focus on those notes when playing over a normal 12 bar progression.

Also, I found that when I was learning to improv with the minor pentatonic it helped a lot to force myself to play non-consecutive notes in the scale to avoid just running up and down the scale. Learning how to bend also is a key component towards making the minor pentatonic work for blues.
#12
for words of encouragment to a fellow begginer. Ive recently been learning and improvinsg with the 5 differant pent patterns all in G and i have to say from learning to use this its increased my playing ability and feel for it no end. im still only a begginer myself realy but for whats its worth stick with learning them seriously. you wont regret it and like the guys sead when your comfortable with using them and playing with them a bit find a backing track. youtube has loads of them for slow bluesy stuff. small precise steps m8 its working for me anyways. hope that helps
#14
Quote by Sumka
You say it's important to learn root notes, but what for? For me it's only information what key I'm playing in, but what are the other practical advantages?


The Practical advantages you will notice very easily. Simply load up a backing track in any key you want, solo in that key and try ending your phrases on the root note. You should immediately hear the way it "fits" instead of just hearing random notes.

As someone else stated it is very useful to learn the 4 and 5 as well which is pretty easy also. the first Tone in the scale should be the root, the next is a flatted third (in minor pent) the third tone is the 4th of the keys major scale, the fourth tone is the fifth.

So for the 5 notes you get :: Root (main tone/key) - Flatted 3rd - 4th - 5th - flatted 7th.

In Am pent. starting on 5th fret 6th string(low e) you would have ::

A - C - D - E - G If you notice A - D - E is I IV V in the key of A.

This is also why you CAN play Am pent over A major progression. the flatted notes sometimes don't fit well at all, Other times the flatted notes sound great (nice blues sound) If they don't fit, you can try F#m pent (which would be A Major pent) you can move the root tone up one in F#m and it will become A instead (which is how you use the A major pent)

Lots of information to keep you busy for a long time lol.. Good luck
#15
Thanks a ton guys, and following up on a comment, i have improvised using the first position scale to a few songs, so i'm not just playing it up and down. After the first comment over a week ago, i just started learning solos that i really liked xD - turns out i'm actually able to play them up to speed so that's good news, and i just started learning the 2nd position so thx a lot guys!

JustinGuitar ftw =D
G(g)od was like: "Make you an ark of gopher wood; rooms shall you make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with pitch."

And i was like: "What's gopher wood?"
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