#1
So I have a very specific question about practicing scales. For instance should I just practice them in a different key each day or should I just practice it on one key till I get it up to 160 bmp, and then continue onto other keys getting them up to 160. I'm fairly new to practicing scales so I'd like some advice so I can build great chops. I'd like to thank everyone that took their time to reply to this thread in advance.
#2
In my opinion practicing scales like that is abit pointless. Knowing scales is not pointless, but practicing them all the time is. More often then not you're not going to play scales up and down in songs, so for both building musical ideas and chops i'd recommend taking sections out of songs you like that you can't play yet and work on them, cause chops wise that will benefit you more.

If you necessarily have to practice scales though i'd recommend practicing them over a harmonic backdrop (A static chord vamp or a chord progression) and the singing every note as you are playing it. That's so you can get the sound of the scale into your head, then you have to start making music with it. But i don't believe in learning a lot of different scales without purpose, you always have to ask yourself why you are learning something.

I hope that was useful in some way.
Best Regards
Sickz
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
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Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#3
I'll run through some scales every now and then, usually up and down in every key around the circle of fourths or fifths as fast as I can without hitting a wrong note.
#4
I spend less than 15 minutes a day on scales as a warm up, unless I'm using them to practice a specific technique.

The best way to practice them without spending a ton of time on it is in circle of 5ths order, just straight up and down the neck. It'll take a week or so of focus, and after that it's a pretty short exercise.

Practice 3 note per string scales from the lowest position possible, meaning if you're in, say, C, you'd start on the open low E because the key of C contains an E. When you get to the end of the fretboard, change keys down a 5th and do them all back down to the lowest position.

Once you know them all you can start switching up the rhythms so it's a good workout for both hands.
#5
Quote by cdgraves
I spend less than 15 minutes a day on scales as a warm up, unless I'm using them to practice a specific technique.

The best way to practice them without spending a ton of time on it is in circle of 5ths order, just straight up and down the neck. It'll take a week or so of focus, and after that it's a pretty short exercise.

Practice 3 note per string scales from the lowest position possible, meaning if you're in, say, C, you'd start on the open low E because the key of C contains an E. When you get to the end of the fretboard, change keys down a 5th and do them all back down to the lowest position.

Once you know them all you can start switching up the rhythms so it's a good workout for both hands.

I'm sorry I don't understand what you're saying I have not a clue about music theory sadly.
#6
Why are you practicing scales? I mean, is there a reason or is it just for the sake of practicing scales? Is it for building speed or fretboard knowledge or what? If it's "because scales", IMO that's not a good reason to learn them.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#7
Quote by Black_devils
I'm sorry I don't understand what you're saying I have not a clue about music theory sadly.


Then get started by learning how to build a major scale. There's a basic formula you can look up.

Scales are extremely useful, but only if actually know what you're practicing.
#8
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Why are you practicing scales? I mean, is there a reason or is it just for the sake of practicing scales? Is it for building speed or fretboard knowledge or what? If it's "because scales", IMO that's not a good reason to learn them.

I want to build speed, and picking accuracy.
#9
Quote by cdgraves
Then get started by learning how to build a major scale. There's a basic formula you can look up.

Scales are extremely useful, but only if actually know what you're practicing.

Alright will do, and i'll get started today!
#10
At the end of the day, you will play what you practise. So if you practice running up snd down scales, when it comes to improvisation, that's what your solos will sound like, scalic.

They're good for technique building and finger dexterity, but you should concentrate on immersing yourself in the sound of the scale in a harmonic context.
#11
I don't practice scales for hours, just about 10-15 mins each day to warm up or when im noodling around
it would be good if you know at least a major scale "position" with the root on the low 6th, 5th, and 4th strings, meaning if id ask you to play C major, you'd be able to play it starting at the third fret on the A string, then id ask the F major scale and you would start on the first fret of the low E string or the third fret of the D string etc.
you can then derive other scales from your basic major positions, ex.: lower the 7th note and you get mixolydian, etc.
#12
Quote by mdc
At the end of the day, you will play what you practise. So if you practice running up snd down scales, when it comes to improvisation, that's what your solos will sound like, scalic.

They're good for technique building and finger dexterity, but you should concentrate on immersing yourself in the sound of the scale in a harmonic context.

Dude I know how to play by ear. I know what everything sounds like on the fretboard when I improvise I think sound wise not scale wise. I just wanted to learn how I could build better chops by playing scales I only use them as a warm up playing the minor penatonic pattern 1 left to right. and right to left 5 minutes each.
#13
Quote by SuperKid
I don't practice scales for hours, just about 10-15 mins each day to warm up or when im noodling around
it would be good if you know at least a major scale "position" with the root on the low 6th, 5th, and 4th strings, meaning if id ask you to play C major, you'd be able to play it starting at the third fret on the A string, then id ask the F major scale and you would start on the first fret of the low E string or the third fret of the D string etc.
you can then derive other scales from your basic major positions, ex.: lower the 7th note and you get mixolydian, etc.

I'm working on it I'll buy a book on music theory, and I'll also probably have to memorize all the notes on the guitar. But i'm pretty sure it would be well worth it to get into this stuff. I can play by ear, but i'm pretty sure that learning all these things would greatly benefit me in understanding music more.
#15
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#16
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Why are you practicing scales? I mean, is there a reason or is it just for the sake of practicing scales? Is it for building speed or fretboard knowledge or what? If it's "because scales", IMO that's not a good reason to learn them.


Good luck with chord construction and improvising complex lines without scales! I think it's a good idea to practice a lot of scales, but they're really only useful if you can break them into original ideas.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Dec 16, 2013,
#17
Quote by Elintasokas
Good luck with chord construction and improvising complex lines without scales! I think it's a good idea to practice a lot of scales, but they're really only useful if you can break them into original ideas.

Yeah, I agree. I wasn't saying you shouldn't learn scales. But if you don't know why you are learning them, I don't see a point in learning them. Learning to improvise or understanding music theory is a good reason to learn scales. But learning scales because scales is not a good reason. That was my point.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#18
Practice them using iterative and melodi. Ideas. An iterative, or repetitive, idea would be groups of three, double picking, groups of four, one up two down, etc. A melodic idea would be in thirds, fourths, etc
#19
I didn't read all the responses but I practice scales almost daily. I practice them to learn my way around the fretboard, I also do it to improve speed. Here is how I do it:

Learn way around fretboard:

1. I practice all the natural keys going from one pattern to the next at the top of the fretboard to the bottom of the fretboard.

2. Within each pattern I go from low to high then backwards to high to low

3. When I'm done I go in an "S" shape across the neck from one pattern to the next not repeating any pattern or note

Improve speed:

4. I do three note coils and four note coils on the scale

I hope this helps. For me, learning songs is boring. I would rather just improvise or come up with my own or noodle.
#20
A fun activity to do with scales is just get the patterns and practice them over practice track music. That will help you learn the scale as well as help you learn to improvise.
#21
melodic patterns will take away the boring scale sound and force you to think melodically..a must if your interest is in improv or just creating melodies
#22
Quote by wolflen
melodic patterns will take away the boring scale sound and force you to think melodically..a must if your interest is in improv or just creating melodies

What do you mean by melodic patterns? Just memorize "licks"? I'm sorry but that's NOT the way to go, because those licks are static! Scales just give you a pool of notes that WILL (almost) sound good over certain chords. You can do whatever you want with those notes, but if you learn static licks or "melodic patterns" as you seem to call them, well they are static.

If you just learn licks, you will become a repetitive and boring musician. By learning to use scales well you have an infinite resource for new melodies in improvisation. If you improvise completely without scales, you will likely often hit wrong and dissonant notes.

Also if you know your scales well, you can easily modify your chords in real time and add extensions. Without scales that is just more or less trial and error.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Dec 16, 2013,
#23
Quote by Elintasokas
What do you mean by melodic patterns? Just memorize "licks"? I'm sorry but that's NOT the way to go, because those licks are static! Scales just give you a pool of notes that WILL (almost) sound good over certain chords. You can do whatever you want with those notes, but if you learn static licks or "melodic patterns" as you seem to call them, well they are static.

If you just learn licks, you will become a repetitive and boring musician. By learning to use scales well you have an infinite resource for new melodies in improvisation. If you improvise completely without scales, you will likely often hit wrong and dissonant notes.

Also if you know your scales well, you can easily modify your chords in real time and add extensions. Without scales that is just more or less trial and error.



the link below should expand your scale studies .. thus ..melodic patterns as related to scale premutations of just the scale notes...hardly licks..but you could "lick them" see what this can do your scale studies..keep in mind...ted wrote these in only the key of D...so do them in all 12 keys..this should expand your knowledge of scales quite a bit...have fun

http://www.tedgreene.com/teaching/singlenote.asp

its the 8th post from the bottom of the page..

play well

wolf
#24
Quote by Elintasokas
What do you mean by melodic patterns? Just memorize "licks"? I'm sorry but that's NOT the way to go, because those licks are static! Scales just give you a pool of notes that WILL (almost) sound good over certain chords. You can do whatever you want with those notes, but if you learn static licks or "melodic patterns" as you seem to call them, well they are static.

If you just learn licks, you will become a repetitive and boring musician. By learning to use scales well you have an infinite resource for new melodies in improvisation. If you improvise completely without scales, you will likely often hit wrong and dissonant notes.

Also if you know your scales well, you can easily modify your chords in real time and add extensions. Without scales that is just more or less trial and error.

Well, I wouldn't say without knowing scales your improvising would be just trial and error. I mean, if you know how every note of the chromatic scale sounds like, you don't need to know anything else (OK, it's a scale too ).

If you improvise completely without thinking about scales and aren't good, yes it will be pretty much random notes. But if you have a really good ear and know how every note sounds like, I don't think you need to think about scales any more. You can just think about a melody (yes, the melody will fit a scale but when you play the melody, you just know what notes to hit, you don't need to think about the scale - the melody isn't limited to notes in a scale, it can also use accidentals).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 16, 2013,
#25
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Well, I wouldn't say without knowing scales your improvising would be just trial and error. I mean, if you know how every note of the chromatic scale sounds like, you don't need to know anything else (OK, it's a scale too ).

If you improvise completely without thinking about scales and aren't good, yes it will be pretty much random notes. But if you have a really good ear and know how every note sounds like, I don't think you need to think about scales any more. You can just think about a melody (yes, the melody will fit a scale but when you play the melody, you just know what notes to hit, you don't need to think about the scale - the melody isn't limited to notes in a scale, it can also use accidentals).

Yeah, well. I go like 50/50 in my playing. I hear the melodies and most of the time go by ear, but I kinda use the scales as guidelines and they provide me safety. If for some reason I get lost for a bit, I know I can use scales and chord tones to get back on track.

I guess you could play without thinking of scales at all if you're very very good, but even then I don't think it's really possible to play fast runs. I mean if you play like sixteenth note triplets descending fast, how the hell are you going to anticipate and hear ALL those notes before you play them. I think that would require a superhuman with 2 brains

In my opinion the best way is to use your ear AND use theory. I mean why not? The theory is there to provide you solutions that will work no matter what and if you, for instance if I want a blues sound, I know I can use the blues scale. And if I like want to make it more interesting, I can play the dominant seventh (+ alteres notes) of the next chord before I play the chord to add some interesting tension, etc. It's just way easier to hit the right spot when I know how to do it.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Dec 17, 2013,
#26
^ Yes, of course. And I don't know anybody who doesn't know any scales and can improvise well.

And of course it's easier to figure out the melodies in your head if you know they fit some scales.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#27
Melodic patterns are ways of playing the scale. Not just licks. for example ascending/descending thirds in eighth notes or quarter note triplets that move up or down or whatever.
#28
Quote by macashmack
Melodic patterns are ways of playing the scale. Not just licks. for example ascending/descending thirds in eighth notes or quarter note triplets that move up or down or whatever.

Oh, right. Thanks for reminding that I need to practice those :P