#1
So I've been playing about 7 months now and I'm sort of at a crossroads - It has been recommended to me to learn chords and scales etc. and I'm quite happy to do that if it's necessary to improve, however my question is - If my primary focus is modern metal (Just about all I've been doing for the last 7 months is playing Parkway Drive songs) what are the benefits of learning chords? And how do I practically apply scales to improving?

As a sort of general background to my current ability - I can fluently change between 8 different basic chords (C, E, G, D, A, Am, Em, Dm) as a result of the last 3 or 4 days of learning them - And over the course of my grinding out Parkway Drive songs I can play 'Home is for the Heartless' and 'Alone' the whole way through with a reasonably high degree of consistent accuracy, and various other riffs from their songs - I struggle with the speed in a lot of songs from their 'Horizons' album and as such cannot play them accurately the whole way through - I have been using a metronome for 90% of practice time.

The reason I ask these questions is because I don't feel that grinding out songs from tabs is the most effective way of improving, and I'd eventually like to learn to transcribe for myself.

Rather than just saying 'Learn scales cos dey are gud' could you please elaborate on WHY they would be beneficial to my improvement.

Any input appreciated

Thanks in advance.
#2
From personal experience, I found that learning scales improved my speed for lead parts. They're great warm-up practices, especially starting out slow and gradually increasing speed as you play them. I learned some basic chords first (mind you, this was ten years ago, and both of my parents were music teachers) but started working on scales about a year into playing. From there I worked on adapting my ear so that I could play along with songs without using tabs - in fact, I didn't learn to read tabs until about three years in, and I've forgotten how to read proper notation (I was a classically trained pianist from age 5 to 15, I quit when I picked up the guitar). I've learned some basic theory here and there, but basically utilize scales as a means to working out chords in songs, even songs I'm writing.

Hopefully that helps, that's just all personal experience and my explanation of importance.
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#3
Scales aren't as important as recognizing intervals. What you want to do is learn what each of the intervals sound like, THEN go to working out scales and chords. That's how I learned it, and it helped me quite a bit.

As for the importance of scales, please see SteveHOC's post, as that sums it up pretty well.
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#4
Any specific scales I should be focusing on? Minor Pent is supposedly widely used and fairly basic, so I played that off a justinguitar tutorial, which got me wondering how it had practical uses - Also I've only just begun looking into theory, so I'm not entirely certain what recognizing intervals entails?
#5
yes learn bits of everything. you will probably go through fazes where you learn something a lot for a few weeks, get bored and switch. its all good.

scales and chords help you learn theory, gain a good musical ear, and help your dexterity. you will never play chords well if you just focus on playing lead and scales and vise versa.

ask yourself this - most people who wrote those songs? how did they write them? you gotta know some of this stuff. of course, some skils are more suited for styles of music opposed to others.

many times you hear of guitarists who didnt have formal training, however, A they have a crazy good ear and given talent and B - they natural comprehend the theory they need for thier music...despite they never formally learned it, they have taught themselves how to make the chords and scales work for them.

lastly - its kinda a cheap shot if you dont have one but PLAY ACOUSTIC TOO! its harder or your hands, and its clean so mistakes and skill come through more. playing acoustic in addition to electric will make you better.

another reason is that you cant shred really on acoustic the same way, so to do breakdowns and leads, you have to think differently.

yes - many metal bands do acoustic stuff or covers. off the top of my head? "so cold" by breaking benjamin. and i think that cover kicks butt.
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#6
Quote by ikey_

ask yourself this - most people who wrote those songs? how did they write them? you gotta know some of this stuff.


Often when I'm listening to something I like, I think about the instrumental writing process, but without theoretical knowledge I don't have a clue - I'm thinking the key to unraveling the writing process is with my own transcription and interpretation of their songs.
#7
im way to ****ing lazy to read the whole thing...
read till the part where u said something abt parkway drive.

anyways.
yeah learn power chords.
PRACTICE YOUR PICKING.
yeah scales and all that bullshit, but mainly dont forget to learn songs by ur fav bands
if u cant play it full speed yet, learn it half speed, build it from there.
#11
I've got GP5, but I figure to actually compose an original I'd need to have knowledge of scales etc. or I'd just be sticking random notes around and hoping it sounded good...
#12
Quote by Viscerus
I've got GP5, but I figure to actually compose an original I'd need to have knowledge of scales etc. or I'd just be sticking random notes around and hoping it sounded good...


WRONG AGAIN!

thats how i write most my shit? at least before
i just started learning scales after 6 years of playing.... and thats mainly coz im learning shred now. for riffs man, just trust ur ears.
Last edited by ScytheZone at Feb 24, 2013,
#13
@ ScytheZone: dude, stop quadruple posting.
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#15
Quote by ScytheZone
WRONG.
might not be the MOST effective. but yeah u gotta do it.


No, you don't have to do it this way. I trained my ear and didn't learn tabs until three years into playing. I had a major advantage this way to know when tabs were wrong and surpassed many players of my age because I wasn't dependent on other's (often wrong) interpretations of songs.
OffsetOffset
#16
Quote by SteveHOC
No, you don't have to do it this way. I trained my ear and didn't learn tabs until three years into playing. I had a major advantage this way to know when tabs were wrong and surpassed many players of my age because I wasn't dependent on other's (often wrong) interpretations of songs.



u should have also trained in being less of a douche.