#1
My guitar teacher wants me to learn all 7 major scale patterns so I can play all the modes/etc. But I find whenever I sit down with a backing track and try to use a particular pattern it sounds so boring. I just end up going up and down the scale various ways. Who cares if I can play any mode/any key if when I do it sounds like garbage?

When I practice a pattern I end up thinking in terms of shapes the whole time so I end up doing things with my fingers that have no basis in sound but it's like I'm trying to outline shapes. So I play a series of notes that outline a triangle, or a spiral, etc. It doesn't sound musical, but since I'm supposed to learn a pattern which is a visual thing, I end up thinking visually.

How do you guys learn scale patterns, and is it even worth it? I mean, most solos sit almost entirely in the first pentatonic box that everyone learns, even if they add the 2nd and 6th it's still the same box.
#2


You are wrong. Listen to your teacher, he is your teacher for a reason.
What?! There's a clean channel on my amp?!

Quote by GoodOl'trashbag
omfg i totally forgot about that, you sir are jesus christ.
#4
Quote by Legion6789
Actually he's not my teacher anymore, I fired him.


Biggest mistake you'll ever make

It's not his fault that you sound boring. Learning sclaes in boxes if useful because it helps you find the right notes. You dont just learn scales and suddenly become a great improviser. Its your note selection and techniques that make you a great improviser.
#5
Quote by mrbabo91
Biggest mistake you'll ever make


Maybe, maybe not.

If somebody's trying to learn to improvise, yes, eventually they're going to have to learn the major scale all over the fretboard, but that strikes me as a lousy place to start.

The music teacher at my high school - who taught several now big-name jazz musicians, FWIW - had an approach that makes a lot more sense.

Learn the pentatonic scale. (I'd go further and say just one position.) Now USE it for a while. Play it over chords. Listen to what you're playing. Play with others and listen to what they play while you play chords for them, go back and forth.

Then slowly add more positions of the scales you already know and more scales - but only add them as the student is able to apply the scales and positions he knows musically. The patterns of frets, then, flow from the sounds, not the other way around.

So that's my advice to the original poster: learn one position of the minor pentatonic scale (start with the root-on-the-low E position). ANd then USE IT. Over chords. With others. Listen to what you're playing. Once you feel like you're able to express yourself with that, it's a small leap to expand it to the full minor scale. Then add the major scale.

GOod luck!
#6
Quote by Legion6789
My guitar teacher wants me to learn all 7 major scale patterns so I can play all the modes/etc. But I find whenever I sit down with a backing track and try to use a particular pattern it sounds so boring. I just end up going up and down the scale various ways. Who cares if I can play any mode/any key if when I do it sounds like garbage?

When I practice a pattern I end up thinking in terms of shapes the whole time so I end up doing things with my fingers that have no basis in sound but it's like I'm trying to outline shapes. So I play a series of notes that outline a triangle, or a spiral, etc. It doesn't sound musical, but since I'm supposed to learn a pattern which is a visual thing, I end up thinking visually.

How do you guys learn scale patterns, and is it even worth it? I mean, most solos sit almost entirely in the first pentatonic box that everyone learns, even if they add the 2nd and 6th it's still the same box.


It sounds boring because you're not thinking enough. You're too concerned with the shape and not getting the sound of the notes in your mind. Scales help because once you know how a scale sounds you have a name for that sound and you can associate the two in your mind.

I'll be honest, I don't learn scales any more, I try and think more in intervals but that's beside the point, I've been playing long enough and know enough scales that I can do that. I know a tonne of scales and I know their sounds, I know how to use them. I'm not saying I'm some kind of awesome player but I have a basis of knowledge to work from.

I'll say it again: stop thinking in shapes, the shapes are a guide but they don't tell you what or how to play, they're purely incidental since once you change tuning (if you do so of course) they'll be different anyway. The sounds will stay the same though.

Stop running over shapes and start listening to everything a whole lot more, you'll find the scales more useful if you do.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Sep 12, 2011,
#7
Most musicians don't even use teachers. They typically play everything by ear. As for learnong different scales try using minor scales and if you have the fingers for it the harmonic minor and diminished scales and arpeggios.
#8
Learn a scale a day.....that is what i try to do....and try to just play what you feel....but in the parameters of the scale.....sort of just let the music come.....

You should also get your teacher back or get a new one. I would kill for the chance to have a guitar teacher to ask questions and learn from.
I haz gotten gud
#9
With respect to the teacher thing. I'd love to have a good teacher. It's just very difficult to find one. I've been through 6. If anyone knows any good teachers in Toronto let me know.
#10
Quote by shikkaka


You are wrong. Listen to your teacher, he is your teacher for a reason.



THIS GUY/GIRL IS GENIUS ! LISTEN TO HIM/HER !!
#12
Quote by Legion6789
With respect to the teacher thing. I'd love to have a good teacher. It's just very difficult to find one. I've been through 6. If anyone knows any good teachers in Toronto let me know.



Six teachers in how long? On what grounds are you leaving them?
#13
I'm open to the possibility of there being some pretty bad teachers at local music stores and whatnot, but I'm finding it hard to believe that one can go through 6 teachers and the problem is consistently with them. It honestly sounds like Legion gets frustrated because the teachers try to walk them through stuff that they don't want to do or they have trouble using.
#15
6 teachers in 2 years.

1st: He parked illegally when he came over for a lesson and wanted me to pay for the ticket. I didn't tell him to park there. He got really mad, I figured it wasn't worth continuing.

2nd: This guy was nice, but he was never prepared. 45 mins of every lesson was spent with him writing out scales/notes/diagrams by hand. Left only 15 minutes for actual instruction.

3rd: He kept telling me how much Les Paul's suck, mine included cause they "can't hold tuning". He also insisted on only teaching me acoustic songs even though at the time I didn't own an acoustic and told him I'd really like to focus more on hard rock/classic rock.

4th: This guy is good, a friend of mine actually. But the friendship got in the way of lessons. He'd come over for a lesson and I'd pay him $50. But all that would happen is we'd hang out and listen to music or watch videos. No teaching. He ended up going on tour in Europe and I just never resumed "lessons".

5th: Only saw this guy once, he would only teach jazz, which I'm not interested in.

6th: The most recent guy. He just wouldn't address the problems I would have with technique. He'd give me these solos to learn which were cool, but he wouldn't show me how to do the techniques. For example, he gives me this fast solo to learn that's full of sweep picking mixed with tapping. Two techniques I've never spent any time on and that we've never talked about in lessons. I say "Cool, sweeps, can you show me how you do those?" He plays some big six string sweeps really quick and says "Just like that... just practice it a bit and you'll laugh at how easy it is." That was a couple weeks ago. I ended up looking up some videos on youtube on sweeps and have been practicing 3 string sweeps. But I'm still really rusty at it and definitely a ways away from tackling anything close to the solo he gave me.

So now I'm just figuring out stuff on my own. I'd like to find a good teacher, someone with some kind of actual plan or road map. Something where I can see what techniques and songs we're going to learn and see a progression.
#16
Your reasons are legitimate; if you would like, I can help you with sweeping and scales via skype. I won't charge you unless you ever decided to take regular lessons with me - sykpe lessons aren't for everyone.

PM me if you're interested.