#1
People kept telling me that I should break out of the box pattern shapes, so I searched on YouTube a bit, whilst simultaneously thinking about how I should approach it, and then I had an idea: Instead of learning tons of vertical shapes, why not learn the horizontal patterns on the strings, and then link those together?

So I did that, and memorised the F major scale across all strings.
But now comes the gist of the question:

How do I, mentally, shift this picture of the major scale to another key? With a vertical box pattern, it's rather simple, because it's not a whole lot to shift left or right. With an entire fretboard scale, however.. how does one shift that entire heap of intervals on all strings and not get lost?
Last edited by robbit10 at Mar 31, 2013,
#2
You start listening.

You're playing a musical instrument - ultimately the decision about what to play needs to be made with your ears, not your eyes.
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#4
Dont memorize it. If you want to really use scales to their full potential, try and go through the theory aspect too. Find out what makes a scale sound as it does. Eventually, the patterns become more logical than memorized. It dosent hurt to study a bit.
#5
Quote by steven seagull
You start listening.

You're playing a musical instrument - ultimately the decision about what to play needs to be made with your ears, not your eyes.

Easy to say. Every time I tried that (over the years), I was constantly hitting the wrong notes. A scale pattern greatly helps me when improvising or even writing a solo, or a chord progression, etcetera. If I get the time to carefully pick notes, for example if i'm actually writing the notes into Guitar Pro or something likewise, I can do it by ear, without any scales - but as soon as I play live, noodling around the fretboard without knowing where to go just doesn't cut it.

I understand intervals. I understand how to harmonize a scale to reveal fitting chords. I understand most of the basic theory. I understand that scales are not patterns, not sequences, but are a selection of notes that sound good together.
I just don't understand what you mean every time you say "just listen".

Am I supposed to find the notes that fit with another note by listening to the intervals and then travelling that distance on the fretboard? Am I supposed to learn the names of the notes on the fretboard, write out the notes in a scale, memorize those, and then play only those notes? Am I supposed to just wildly noodle around the fretboard and hope I land on notes in the scale? Can you please be less cryptic?
Last edited by robbit10 at Mar 31, 2013,
#6
Quote by robbit10
People kept telling me that I should break out of the box pattern shapes, so I searched on YouTube a bit, whilst simultaneously thinking about how I should approach it, and then I had an idea: Instead of learning tons of vertical shapes, why not learn the horizontal patterns on the strings, and then link those together?

So I did that, and memorised the F major scale across all strings.
But now comes the gist of the question:

How do I, mentally, shift this picture of the major scale to another key? With a vertical box pattern, it's rather simple, because it's not a whole lot to shift left or right. With an entire fretboard scale, however.. how does one shift that entire heap of intervals on all strings and not get lost?



How are you at finding any note on any string quickly and accurately? Mentally if you can do that, it should be easy. But if it takes you say 12 seconds to count up from the nut, then, it's going to be a lot slower, and certainly mentally taxing.

Best,

Sean
#7
Quote by Sean0913
How are you at finding any note on any string quickly and accurately? Mentally if you can do that, it should be easy. But if it takes you say 12 seconds to count up from the nut, then, it's going to be a lot slower, and certainly mentally taxing.

Pretty bad, except for the first two (lowest) strings. If you ask me what note any fret on the E or A strings are, I will answer in about 1 second or less. Any other strings, and I will count up from the nut.

I basically had this plan, in this order:
1) Learn the major scale pattern for all 6 strings, horizontally
2) Link them together
3) Improvise using the giant scale pattern
4) Use relative minor (6th mode, Aolian) to improvise in minor
5) Try and shift to another key
6) Learn all notes on the fretboard

That plan came to be because I came to my guitar teacher with this question, about a week ago:
I have come up with two ways to break out of box patterns. The first one is, I would learn a scale across all six strings, horizontally, and then link them together.
The second one is, I would learn the names of all the notes on the fretboard, then mentally piece together a scale by using interval patterns (the half-step whole-step thing), so that I would then have the names of the 7 notes in the scale (technically 8, but i'm not counting the octave since that doesn't need to be memorised), and then using my knowledge of the fretboard, play those notes and thus play within that scale.
Which one is better?


His answer:
"They are both good"

My answer:
"Okay then. Then I will first learn the first method, and after that the notes on the fretboard, so that I can identify the notes as I play the giant pattern"
Last edited by robbit10 at Mar 31, 2013,
#8
Quote by robbit10

Am I supposed to find the notes that fit with another note by listening to the intervals and then travelling that distance on the fretboard? Am I supposed to learn the names of the notes on the fretboard, write out the notes in a scale, memorize those, and then play only those notes? Am I supposed to just wildly noodle around the fretboard and hope I land on notes in the scale? Can you please be less cryptic?


What happens, eventually, is you get to a point where you just know what sound you want to hear next and your finger goes there.

You get there by ear training, but here's the trick: it turns out that interval recognition isn't actually that useful. What you want to be able to do is hear each note individually in the context of a key center. So you hear a note and you just know, "oh, that's a 5th."

How do you get there? Ear training. But skip the interval practice. Instead use the functional ear trainer (a free download from miles.be) and transcribe. Start with simple melodies, stuff you know by heart, and go from there.
#9
What you're trying to do is mentally overcome 144 different places (assuming 24 fret, 6 string guitar) to play 12 notes (doesn't matter there are many octaves). What you need is to practice and practice.

Listen to what you're trying to solo over, and in your head think of what notes you want where. What melody do you want in, for example, 2 bars of play time? Once you figure out that, hum the melody to yourself, and find those notes on the guitar.

Guitar techniques are just ways of playing notes easier that link together in such a way. And they give different sounds obviously. But what you need to do is think of what note fits where and then practice finding these notes on the fly and being able to think ahead. The main thing is so think ahead.
#10
4 note-per-string scales are great for getting up and down the neck.

practice playing melodies on one string, too. Practice big leaps up and down on a single string.
#11
Not sure if you're doing this, but it might help to think in terms of degrees of the scale while going horizontally across the neck, i.e. root, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, root, etc. Then all you really need to do is figure out the first note on the given string for the key you're practicing.

Ultimately, you'll want a deeper understanding than this; but it's good for doing what you're describing.
#12
you don't have to "mentally shift a picture" or anything, it's honestly two steps:

1. memorize the notes on the fretboard (you can go over a string a day, so you've got 5 days and you'll basically have it)
2. learn the theory behind the major scale

you're done

after that, practice (without a backing track to start) hearing things in your head that you want to play and replicating them on the guitar
#14
Quote by :-D
you don't have to "mentally shift a picture" or anything, it's honestly two steps:

1. memorize the notes on the fretboard (you can go over a string a day, so you've got 5 days and you'll basically have it)
2. learn the theory behind the major scale

you're done

after that, practice (without a backing track to start) hearing things in your head that you want to play and replicating them on the guitar

Well, I already know the theory behind the major scale, so I basically need to learn the notes on the fretboard and then use the theory to get all 7 notes of the major scale in my chosen key and then use those on the fretboard?

I suppose it was not such a smart idea to first expand the pattern and THEN learn the notes on the fretboard.
Last edited by robbit10 at Mar 31, 2013,
#15
Also, most of the times when soloing, throwing in a "wrong" note, may grab the audiences attention. Not everyone is a musician, but they'll know when you're playing a b5, for example, when really you should be playing a 5. However, if you stay on that b5 long enough to grab their attention, you can bend up to the 5 to sound "right" again.
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#16
Quote by robbit10

I suppose it was not such a smart idea to first expand the pattern and THEN learn the notes on the fretboard.


Meh. All roads lead to rome.

Lots of people learn the whole fretboard as patterns and then use that to help them learn the notes. There are many different paths. They all lead to the same place.
#17
One thing I would stop doing is thinking of notes in general in terms of patterns. Yes, there are several natural patterns that emerge because of how notes naturally go from one to the next to the next. However, don't think in terms of patterns. Think in terms of sound, think in terms of composition ideas, think in terms of melodies, etc.

Learning where the notes are on the guitar is great, but you need to go beyond that.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Mar 31, 2013,
#18
It's less about breaking out of the box shapes as it is about learning music in a more intuitive way. I know it's been said already, but it clearly hasn't been emphasized enough: You NEED to transcribe music. I mean, there are ways around it, but it (coupled with the ability to sing relatively in tune) is easily the most important part of learning to improvise/compose/etc. Transcribing really helps you internalize the music.

I say it all the time, but it can't be said too many times: Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive. You have to hear the music first, then describe it with theory. Theory doesn't tell you what to play. It can help you make subjectively "better" decisions, but ultimately your ear tells you what to play. Theory just helps you play it.

I mentioned it already, but singing along with your parts helps a lot. Really, if you can sing something you should be able to play it. I'm speaking strictly in terms of your aural capabilities; clearly you need the chops as well.

Even if you don't have the vocal skills to sing on pitch, what matters is that you're hearing it internally. Singing is just a way to develop your inner voice/ear. This skill is called "audiation."
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Mar 31, 2013,