#1
Hey, just a quick question:

Will learning and playing scales help me play better in general... I mean, I'm really poor at guitar, and I want to improve so I can play more technical stuff which I like, and more cleanly. Apart from practicing my fingering, are there any general techniques to help me play cleanly?
#2
No, they will not. Playing them up and down will not really do anything for you. Learning to use and apply scales to chord changes while adding interesting interval jumps is the key.

Don't play C D E F G A B C

try something like C E A B D C

See what I mean?
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#3
kinda. Playing varied stuff will help me be a more versatile player and better in the long run?
#4
Learn your scales, then once memorized, use them over a backing track in the correct key! This will help you learn the notes in different ways to make a interesting melody.
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Last edited by Xter at Dec 20, 2011,
#5
Playing scales all over the neck and increasing speed will help you a ton when you come to improvising. Remember, theory isn't telling you what to do- it just helps you get to the notes that'll work faster. Until then, they're not very useful but it's an easy way to get an excersice.
Learning a song you can barely play will help and is a lot more fun than scales, but if you want to pick faster a good scale excersice will help more.
There's a good chance that what I've written above is useless and if you take any of the advice it's your own fault.
#6
ahah thanks I should get to work learning some scales, instead of playing sylosis, which is well ahead of me :P

how many scales should I aim to learn? as an average number
#7
Quote by TheBrightBeast
ahah thanks I should get to work learning some scales, instead of playing sylosis, which is well ahead of me :P

how many scales should I aim to learn? as an average number


Learn as many as you can. Learn one a day if you can. In the end it only helps you.
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#9
Playing scales trains your ear which is as important as training your fingers, so learn as many as you can, and listen to them as you play. Note the tonal differences between modes and the three minor scales and their modes. They will make you a more versatile musician. Don't treat them as an excersise.

However, also be aware that the most boring thing you can do with a scale is run up and down it endlessly, and will not serve you very well as the ultimate goal. The next thing, is to use them over backing tracks, targetting chord tones and in conjunction with using arperggios. This will make you a better musician.
#10
You asked how many scales you should learn?
I just learnt the major scale all over the neck, you'll find that scales such as the minor scale are pretty much included in the major scale.
So far, most 'exotic' scales I've come across ( for example, harmonic minor ) are really just minor/major with one added/altered note.
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#12
Xter is right but:

1. You first have to learn the shapes of the scales in order to be able to make alterations of it
2. You have to devote time to learn them properly - here is where you play them up and down until they sink in.

Here is a useful article to help you know how to watch a scale :

http://www.guitarlearningtips.org/music-theory/natural-major-and-minor-analyzed-from-3-points-of-view/

Besides this you can start off by learning the guitar:

Here is an explanation of what guitar modes are and what are the 7 modes including their shapes:

http://www.guitarlearningtips.org/music-theory/guitar-modes-the-guitar-modes-of-the-major-scale/

If you are new to this i recommend that you play them at least 10-20 times each in any key you want to.

After you get used to them play them over a backing track so that you can get used to playing them over a backing track.

When just starting out you can simply play them up and down and be aware of what you hear when you play them and try to notice the impact each mode has over the progression of the backing track you are playing with.

If you are also new to ear training you should consider devoting 15 minutes day practicing this: http://www.guitarlearningtips.org/ear-training/ear-training-intervals/

Hope these articles will help you. Good luck

Paul
#13
^
FFS leave modes out of this.


TS, ignore modes, they won't be of any use to you at this stage and you've got no way of understanding them for a long while yet.

You don't "need to learn shapes of the scales in order to be able to make alterations"

You need to know how the scale is constructed, how the notes function and, most importantly, how it sounds.


Scales aren't magic.

From a technique point of view practicing scales is no more beneficial than practicing anything else - arguably they're less beneficial as you're not practicing anything that's particularly useful in a practical situation.

What scales are is a tool, they help you understand music - which will help you learn other people's songs and also create your own music. Learning "as many scales as possible" is a complete waste of time because theory knowledge is useless to you unless you're able to apply it. Just memorising a scale pattern isn't going to get you any closer to understanding that scale or knowing what to do with it.
Actually called Mark!

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#16
Quote by :-D
At least this'll be an easy response.

NO


I would like to disagree. Read Seagull's post, sums it up quite well.
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#17
lol, i'd agree with :-D
Actually called Mark!

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#18
Quote by Slashiepie
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Seconded. TS, see sig.
#19
Quote by Xter
I would like to disagree. Read Seagull's post, sums it up quite well.

You mean the post in which he explicitly said the following?
Quote by steven seagull
Learning "as many scales as possible" is a complete waste of time

I think you may have misunderstood what he said, or referred me to the wrong post.
Last edited by :-D at Dec 21, 2011,
#20
Learn as many scales as you possibly can is a great idea.

You will be the best textbook the world has ever not read.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#22
Quote by Xiaoxi
Learn as many scales as you possibly can is a great idea.

You will be the best textbook the world has ever not read.


Who doesn't like textbooks though?
It's spelled wiener.
#23
Quote by TheBrightBeast
Hey, just a quick question:

Will learning and playing scales help me play better in general... I mean, I'm really poor at guitar, and I want to improve so I can play more technical stuff which I like, and more cleanly. Apart from practicing my fingering, are there any general techniques to help me play cleanly?


I have learned a couple of scales and they really help out. I have been busy trying to figure out songs like "this old man" and some christmas songs. I know it sounds dumb but i'm just trying to get more techinal and accurate myself.

I figure out whatever i play by ear, but the scales have helped me ALOT in the way that when i start playing a song, i see patterns i learned by learning scales. And i'm not fumbling around the neck like an idot trying to figure out where the next note is. If you have an ear for musi¥c you'll be able to do the same thing. Maybe not with the stuff i'm playing. But it's helped me out by making me more accurate and giving me a much better idea of how to play a song properly.

And not just on 1 string which sounds and looks terrible D:
#24
Learn scales, but also learn how to use them, which is a little more important.

Anyone who advises otherwise is either lazy or foolish.
#25
I practice major, minor and blues scales.
(I just like how the blues scale sounds)

My suggestion is to practice your scales with two objectives in mind:
Practice scales slow enough to play each note cleanly, then pick up speed.
Practice scales all around the neck until note positions are second nature.
(until your fingers automatically go to a note within that scale)

When you're learning a new song -particularly melodic songs- having learned scales and note positions will come in handy.

But like Rik Emmett says: "...it's not just a game of notes, it's the sounds inside your soul."


By the way, I love this website: http://www.chordbook.com/ , it has both every scale you'll ever need and almost every chord and inversion.

A great resource.
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Last edited by Tele1 Kenobi at Dec 22, 2011,
#26
Quote by Theophillis
Learn scales, but also learn how to use them, which is a little more important.

There's no "also", really - if you haven't learned how to apply the scale in a musical setting, you haven't learned the scale.
#27
Quote by :-D
There's no "also", really - if you haven't learned how to apply the scale in a musical setting, you haven't learned the scale.


Of course there is. A lot of music students learn them by rote, especially in early grades with a poor teacher.

That's like saying you can't learn a chord without a song: that's what we do when we first start. We learn an Em, then an Am, then string them together and use them, but to use them, we first have to know them.
#28
Quote by Theophillis
Of course there is. A lot of music students learn them by rote, especially in early grades with a poor teacher.

That's like saying you can't learn a chord without a song: that's what we do when we first start. We learn an Em, then an Am, then string them together and use them, but to use them, we first have to know them.

Maybe they've learned the fingering for a scale, but that doesn't mean that the scale itself has been learned. The scale is a tool for creating music, so until there's been some training in the scale's practical application there's no real learning of the scale there. Nobody with zero construction training grabs an entire toolbox ready to build a house.

The analogy you made isn't quite accurate, either.
#29
I think the best way to explain it is:
Learning your scales is like learning the alphabet.

Just because you can say your ABC's doesn't mean you can speak and read.

However, if you want to learn how to read, you have to learn your ABC's first.

Reciting your ABC's is useless
(unless the nice officer asks you to do so... ),
it doesn't convey any information or emotion...
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#30
Quote by Tele1 Kenobi
I think the best way to explain it is:
Learning your scales is like learning the alphabet.

Just because you can say your ABC's doesn't mean you can speak and read.

However, if you want to learn how to read, you have to learn your ABC's first.

Reciting your ABC's is useless
(unless the nice officer asks you to do so... ),
it doesn't convey any information or emotion...


My point exactly. Some people tend to rote learn scales without application, and this is where the mistake lies: in treating them like an excersise.

Anyway, the discussion is becoming needlessly pedantic and off topic. I think we agree on the most important thing: learning scales makes you a better musician.
#31
Quote by :-D
Maybe they've learned the fingering for a scale, but that doesn't mean that the scale itself has been learned. The scale is a tool for creating music, so until there's been some training in the scale's practical application there's no real learning of the scale there. Nobody with zero construction training grabs an entire toolbox ready to build a house.

The analogy you made isn't quite accurate, either.


You don't have to know how to build a house to know how to use a hammer, to use your own analogy.
#32
Quote by Theophillis
You don't have to know how to build a house to know how to use a hammer, to use your own analogy.

No, but if you don't know how to hammer a nail, knowing your way around the hammer physically isn't going to matter.
#33
Quote by Theophillis
You don't have to know how to build a house to know how to use a hammer, to use your own analogy.

Of course not, but being able to hammer a nail into a piece of wood is a useless skill until you actually start building stuff.
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#34
Quote by steven seagull
Of course not, but being able to hammer a nail into a piece of wood is a useless skill until you actually start building stuff.


That's exactly my point, hence why I said the next step is more important, which is using the skill.

This seems to have been lost on some people.

1) You can learn a scale outside of improvising or composing, and it's useful as a technical exersise, promoting finger and hand coordination, getting legato/tapping/alternate and economy picking up and running, or to improve on these techniques. It also promotes ear development, programming psychological recognition of intervals and scalar steps. Both of these benefits exist outside of actively using the scale to compose/improvise.

2) To actually use the scale requires a deeper knowledge, which doesn't have to be exhaustive.

3) To suggest that you don't need scales to make music is valid.

4) To suggest that learning scales is a useless activity for a musician who is interested in becoming a better musician is idiocy.

That sums up my views.
#35
Quote by Theophillis
That's exactly my point, hence why I said the next step is more important, which is using the skill.

This seems to have been lost on some people.

1) You can learn a scale outside of improvising or composing, and it's useful as a technical exersise, promoting finger and hand coordination, getting legato/tapping/alternate and economy picking up and running, or to improve on these techniques. It also promotes ear development, programming psychological recognition of intervals and scalar steps. Both of these benefits exist outside of actively using the scale to compose/improvise.

2) To actually use the scale requires a deeper knowledge, which doesn't have to be exhaustive.

3) To suggest that you don't need scales to make music is valid.

4) To suggest that learning scales is a useless activity for a musician who is interested in becoming a better musician is idiocy.

That sums up my views.


Even though i agree with you, ask Xiaoxi..
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#36
Quote by Slashiepie
Even though i agree with you, ask Xiaoxi..




Yeah, I saw that. However, the initial question was regarding the validity of learning scales to become a better musician. Being a good musician isn't generally reflected in popularity, the comparative sales of Kurt Cobain to Joe Satriani being just one case in point.