#1
So I'm trying to build muscle memory to become more "used to" understanding which sounds I can get from where on the neck, get into a little theory basically by learning and practicing all the scales I can which will hopefully build dexterity while I'm at it.

But this will be a huge investment if I'm to get where I want to be, does anyone have thoughts or experience with this in terms of what effect this will have on me if I plan to change up my tunings often? I'll be getting into some tapping hopefully and already have a fairly math-y rock playing style, I want to vastly improve that and I figured scales would be the best practice

I mean does anyone like actively practice the same scales in alternate tunings or do you just let your muscle memory go with the flow of the new tuning to see what cool sounds you can get?

Also final question I've never really been into notation or able to "quickly" find the root notes along the neck for the most part, from a creative standpoint does anyone have experience on whether they feel that it's a hinderance or a plus to be actively thinking about what notes you're playing as opposed to simply feeling/memorizing fret positions- while working on scales? In terms of helping you write truly creative music? I mean I'm talking inventive shit like the mars volta or this town needs guns or something. I've found a lot of insane talent that has basically no audience so I'm sure there are a few people like this even surfing the UG boards.

I guess these are really subjective questions but experienced opinions are welcome.
Last edited by Glassjaww at Aug 22, 2014,
#2
Quote by Glassjaww
does anyone have thoughts or experience with this in terms of what effect this will have on me if I plan to change up my tunings often?

If you learn the notes of the fretboard, all you'd have to do for alternate tunings is adjust by however many steps. So, say, you memorized the fretboard notes in E standard.

And you retune to C standard. Now, you just drop everything by 2 steps.

P. S.: Practicing scales isn't a bad way to aid in memorizing the fretboard.
#3
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
If you learn the notes of the fretboard, all you'd have to do for alternate tunings is adjust by however many steps. So, say, you memorized the fretboard notes in E standard.

And you retune to C standard. Now, you just drop everything by 2 steps.

P. S.: Practicing scales isn't a bad way to aid in memorizing the fretboard.

I guess I was talking about non-standard based tunings, dadfad dagfae just all kinds of crazy tunings that I see bands using like this-> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd7q1op4BVw

But I will get to work on that fretboard.
Last edited by Glassjaww at Aug 22, 2014,
#4
Quote by Glassjaww
I guess I was talking about non-standard based tunings, dadfad dagfae just all kinds of crazy tunings that I see bands using like this

What I said still applies, just...it's more involved.

So, in dadfad, you move the notes down 1 step on all the strings except for the low A string.

In dagfae, you would move the notes down 1 step on the low D, F, & high A. On the G string, you'd just be playing the notes of the A strings one step lower. (That would probably be fine, for the major or minor scale...and a lot of other scales.)


For certain tunings, of course, it may help to not think in standard scale shapes at all, but rather to think in terms of what notes you want to use and "build" your desired riffs/licks based on that.


But...let's get down to it for a bit. Ok, there are 12 notes, and they repeat, right? So, if we realize that the pattern is always the same, then the only difference is what note we start on, right? If we start on E, then it goes: E, F, F#, G, G#, A, etc. If we start on A, it goes: A, A#, B, C, D, etc. If we start on D, it goes: D, D#, E, F, F#, etc. See what I'm getting at? By learning to recognize how the notes of the fretboard work in standard tunings, you should be able to easily adjust for non-standard tunings.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 22, 2014,
#5
Quote by crazysam23_Atax

For certain tunings, of course, it may help to not think in standard scale shapes at all, but rather to think in terms of what notes you want to use and "build" your desired riffs/licks based on that.


Ok makes sense, so I should probably practice scales while thinking of the notes I'm playing and not just the physical shapes. Thanks.
#6
Quote by Glassjaww
Ok makes sense, so I should probably practice scales while thinking of the notes I'm playing and not just the physical shapes. Thanks.

Well, yeah. To me, if you're just getting the physical shapes, then you're not getting the scales. (I personally dislike scale shapes completely, but I've talked about that so much that I'm not going to bother.) You need to think about sound, so knowing the notes is most important part.
#7
My take on it. Most likely the largest % of your playing will be on "standard" tuning...whatever standard means to you. Im old school so for me its usually just regular 6 string eadgbe. So definitely for that you will want to just mega-overlearn the fretboard. BTW that is a long(life)time thing

The times I have experimented with alternate tunings, to be honest, I didnt go overboard trying to "learn" the fretboard etc. I actually found it quite easy to come up with cool riffs and sounds etc because it was just totally going by ear and finding a few notes that sounded cool and letting the open strings ring. Im talking about stuff like DADGAD, open G, open D.

Its pretty liberating to just go by your ear and your sense of rhythm and sort of turn off all of the normal calculations like "gee, that was an a7th so I should find where blah blah is on the fretboard." If you do that youll just end up sounding like u do on standard tuning.

A cool thing, if u have a few extra bucks, is to get a cheap acoustic to leave lying around tuned alternate and keep a cassette player or DAW nice and handy.

Then if one of the tunings really began to feel like it could be a significant part of your style, u can "learn" it more systematically.


Of course the whole thing also depends on what style you want to explore. I never aimed to play anything very technical on the alt tunings so I wasnt too worried about finding scales etc. I was just always going for sort of cool strum type stuff with cool chords and maybe a few light "riffs" etc

It does come in handy to know where the root chords are though, lol.

Pure genius here IMO...> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4v-_p5dU34

Peace, JP
Last edited by JohnProphet at Aug 22, 2014,
#8
what if i told you that different tunings use the same 12 notes

when i still played guitar, i played in B/F#/C#/D/A/E. just learn how to use sounds and the shapes shouldn't even be part of the equation
Last edited by Hail at Aug 22, 2014,
#9
One of the big advantages to having an altered tuning is having different intervals between each string. Some tunings will have intervals of a fifth, a fourth, a major third and a minor third. When viewed this way it becomes pretty easy to choose when to skip to the next string and when to slide up to another note or whatever. This is also one of the reasons slide players favour altered tunings.

One of my favourite tunings is called "Orkney" or CGDGCD. This tuning is all fourths and fifths except for the major second between the top two strings. This allows for really pretty scalar runs between strings, kinda like a harp.
#10
Quote by Hail
what if i told you that different tunings use the same 12 notes

when i still played guitar, i played in B/F#/C#/D/A/E. just learn how to use sounds and the shapes shouldn't even be part of the equation

This is basically what I was saying, in my last post. lol
#11
i dont read posts past the OP especially not yours sam