#1
Newbie question: I seem to be having a bit of a time reading a scale diagram...confusing to pick out what note goes with which pattern. Any suggestions?
Last edited by pointnplink at Dec 16, 2014,
#5
Quote by pointnplink
Understood.
Take the scale diagram on #3 of this page:
http://www.learnguitarlikeapro.com/chords-on-a-guitar/
I'm not sure where one position (other than the one at the nut) begins, and where it ends.

Usually, we see positions in terms of every 4 frets. (Because 4 fingers.) Some positions span 5 frets, because 1 or 2 notes are a stretch, so to speak.


That said, what you need to realize is the big picture. The notes of any particular scale are all over the fretboard.
#6
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Usually, we see positions in terms of every 4 frets. (Because 4 fingers.) Some positions span 5 frets, because 1 or 2 notes are a stretch, so to speak.


That said, what you need to realize is the big picture. The notes of any particular scale are all over the fretboard.

Okay...well given that the notes of any given scale are all over the fretboard, if you play any given scale in the same key, you will have eventually played a full octave after the 12th note, right?
#7
Those diagrams have fret numbers and the circles in bold are your root notes. I think at first you may be better off learning all the notes on the fretboard and all the notes in each key. (Apologies if you already do, it's just that learning shapes without knowledge behind them could leave you stranded in the ocean without a boat.)
Last edited by derek8520 at Dec 16, 2014,
#8
Quote by pointnplink
Okay...well given that the notes of any given scale are all over the fretboard, if you play any given scale in the same key, you will have eventually played a full octave after the 12th note, right?

Actually, probably after the 7th or 5th or whatever note. Scales (short of the Chromatic scale) tend to be less than 12 notes, so however many intervals are in your scale. What I mean is: Take the major pentatonic scale. This scales has 5 intervals (1, 2, 3, 5, 6). The positions for this scale actually tend to have 2-3 octaves in each position. The same is (mostly) true of any other scale, regardless of how many intervals are in the scale.


Personally, I don't really like scale positions. I think that it makes too many people think that they should be playing in a box, but whatever. I find it more useful to think in terms of intervals or notes than to think in "X scale" or "Y scale position".
#9
So that image is of a pentatonic scale across the entire neck, shown in 7 different positions. The pentatonic scale has 5 notes (Penta). The sixth note in the pattern is simply the root or tonic note one octave higher, then the pattern repeats. That particular diagram is then repeated for a total of 7 times in seven different keys. Each pattern is the same, it just starts on a different note for each different fretboard diagram shown. In reality, you only need to learn this pattern once. You can then move the pattern to start on a different note.

Check out this diagram: http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/guitarscales/majorpentatonicscale.html

I do not know anything about that site, but the diagrams look good. It breaks down one of the fretboard diagrams you were looking at into 5 distinct patterns or boxes. I recommend you learn each pattern starting with pattern 1 and pattern 5. Notice that the bottom of each pattern corresponds to the top of the pattern that follows it. You can put the patterns together to form one whole pattern across the fretboard.

The circle that is shaded black represents the root note which defines the scale. For example if you were to play position 1 starting on the 5th fret, you would be playing an A Major Pentatonic Scale. If you played position 2 starting on the 7th fret, you would still be playing an A Major Pentatonic Scale because the black notes still fall on the A notes. If you want to change to a G Major Pentatonic Scale, you would want to shift the scale shapes so that the black circles fall on G notes. As an example, you could play position 1 starting on the 3rd fret to get a G major pentatonic scale. When learning these patterns, pay attention to where the root notes fall. If you know the patterns and where the root note falls, you can play the major pentatonic scale in all 12 keys.

Although I agree that these box shapes are not the best way to look at scales in general, I do believe they are the best way for a beginner to learn the scales (you may not be a beginner, I am just speaking in general terms). Once you have learned the 5 shapes, learn how they fit together to develop a pattern across the fretboard as a whole. When playing around in this scale, move between the patterns to achieve a more dynamic sound so that you are not confined to one position.

Another thing to be mindful of is the minor pentatonic scale. You can see a diagram of that here: http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/guitarscales/e-minorpentatonic.html

You may notice that all of the shapes are the same! The only difference is where in the scale that the root note falls. That means that once you learn the fingerings for these 5 major pentatonic shapes, you know the fingerings for both the major and minor pentatonic scales in all 12 keys! Knowing this is incredibly useful.

These minor and major pentatonic scales are the foundation of most guitar solos found in rock and blues guitar. After learning these scales, I was very surprised to see that all of the solos and riffs I had learned prior fit into these shapes.
#10
Quote by apbluegrass
I do not know anything about that site, but the diagrams look good. It breaks down one of the fretboard diagrams you were looking at into 5 distinct patterns or boxes. I recommend you learn each pattern starting with pattern 1 and pattern 5. Notice that the bottom of each pattern corresponds to the top of the pattern that follows it. You can put the patterns together to form one whole pattern across the fretboard.

You could do this.


OR

You could learn the notes of the fretboard and then learn the intervals of the pentatonic scale (which you should know anyway) and not bother to memorize pattern after pattern after pattern, as you add more and more scales. Ugh.
#11
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
You could learn the notes of the fretboard and then learn the intervals of the pentatonic scale (which you should know anyway) and not bother to memorize pattern after pattern after pattern, as you add more and more scales. Ugh.


I think this is a solid method to learning scales, chords, arpeggios and what not. Rather than teaching you to play a scale, it teaches you to construct a scale and it does not limit you to a box shape. That said, I think it is a more advance way of looking at it. For intervals to hit home I think you need a good understanding of theory and scale degrees. In my opinion, the pentatonic scale is guitar 101. Having a deep enough understanding of scales to play them on the fly based on their intervallic structure seems like something to focus on later in your guitar experience.

I know there is a lot of debate over using shapes to learn scales. I certainly agree with the approach you recommend for an intermediate/advanced guitarist, but for learning the pentatonic scale for the first time I believe that a shape is the easiest way for someone to understand the basics of the scale.
#12
I can do minor and major pentatonic, also the GM scale. I just have a "smartchord" app on my Samsung phone, and when I click on the scale feature, it does mark the root notes on a fretboard, but there are dots all over it. I'm just not sure which dots to include with which root notes. That, in sum, is my problem. I suppose I could use a minor pentatonic pattern, find it on the fretboard, then use the same method of finding that in finding the others (methinks).
#14
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
You could do this.


OR

You could learn the notes of the fretboard and then learn the intervals of the pentatonic scale (which you should know anyway) and not bother to memorize pattern after pattern after pattern, as you add more and more scales. Ugh.


Well, you'd still be learning pattern after pattern. The "intervals of the pentatonic scale" IS a pattern. (so are all of the intervalic formulas for ANY scale).

What should happen though (and this is a good thing), is that you'd understand the patterns behind the patterns. good stuff…… but if you think memorizing patterns is a bother, then this would be too. and if you think your getting around this whole pattern business….. think again.
shred is gaudy music
#15
Quote by pointnplink
I can do minor and major pentatonic, also the GM scale. I just have a "smartchord" app on my Samsung phone, and when I click on the scale feature, it does mark the root notes on a fretboard, but there are dots all over it. I'm just not sure which dots to include with which root notes. That, in sum, is my problem. I suppose I could use a minor pentatonic pattern, find it on the fretboard, then use the same method of finding that in finding the others (methinks).



All of those dots would fit into the scale you're trying to play. Work out the most efficient way of going from root to root, and then to the next root. Be sure to name out loud every note you play, try name all the intervals from the root too. Once you know which notes are in an A minor pentatonic scale, play those notes starting on an A on the bottom string - this will be the minor pentatonic shape you probably know. Then play those same 5 notes in the same order starting on the second note of the scale, C (still on the bottom string) - this will be the standard major pentatonic shape. Move up to the next note (still on the bottom string) and do the same. At some point (when you get to the E) you'll be better off going back down to the open position to continue these patterns.
Last edited by derek8520 at Dec 17, 2014,
#16
Quote by pointnplink
I can do minor and major pentatonic, also the GM scale. I just have a "smartchord" app on my Samsung phone, and when I click on the scale feature, it does mark the root notes on a fretboard, but there are dots all over it. I'm just not sure which dots to include with which root notes. That, in sum, is my problem. I suppose I could use a minor pentatonic pattern, find it on the fretboard, then use the same method of finding that in finding the others (methinks).


I am not sure I fully understand the problem that you are having. Ultimately, each dot on the diagram is going to relate back to the root notes.

It may help your understanding if you can identify the octaves of the root note and the unisons of the root note. A unison is the same note with the exact same frequency. An octave is still the same note with the octave having twice of the frequency of the root note. (that is probably more physics than you need to consider)

Playing an ascending scale will connect two root notes with the second root note being an octave higher. Sing an ascending major scale: "Do - Re - Mi - Fa - So - La - Ti - Do". The second Do is exactly one octave higher than the first Do.

If you are learning this scale on the guitar, you can find an octave and play the "dots" in between the root and it's octave. The challenge with the guitar is that not all root notes are octaves of each-other... Some are unisons. Additionally, for each note there is more than one position where you can play the octaves. I think the issue you are having is a function of the fact that there are multiple unisons of each note on the guitar. You cannot play an ascending scale from root to root, because some root notes are unisons.

If you learn where the octaves are vs. the unisons you can see which notes of the scale correspond to the particular root notes WITHIN AN OCTAVE.

That said, you do not need to play the scale within one octave. You can jump between octaves to achieve different sounds.

I am not sure if this helps address the issue you are having or whether or not I really understand the issue you are having
#17
A block of 12 frets on the guitar can be broken down into 5 regions, as per this following pattern:



The red circle denotes some pitch, and its octaves and/or duplicates (for example, all the F's in the above diagram. Drag the whole pattern left 1 fret, you get all the E's, and so on).

In my diagram, look at the red circles and the frets they occur at ... these can be used to roughly delineate the regions: for example. the first region roughly covers frets 1 to 3; the second region covers frets 3 to 6; the third region frets 6 to 8; the fourth region frets 8 to 10; the 5th region covers frets 10 to 13. Region one begins again at fret 13 (see it has the same red circle pattern as region one at fret 1).

The picture you showed is populating these 5 regions, using the intervals in the minor pentatonic scale. Shift the above diagram right by 4 frets, will give you all the A's, which are what are being used in the diagram you provided. Now the first region roughly covers frets 5 to 7; the second region frets 7 to 10; the third region covers 10 to 12; the fourth region 12 to 14; and the fifth region frets 14 to 17. Then the first region repeats from fret 17 to 19; second region from 19 to 21 etc.

Notice how the right hand side of one shape in your pentatonic diagram becomes the left hand side of its neighbouring shape (in the next region). After a block of 12 frets (the 5 regions), it all just repeats over the next block of 12 frets (if available).

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 17, 2014,
#18
Gonna touch on a few points here:

Quote by apbluegrass
For intervals to hit home I think you need a good understanding of theory and scale degrees.

Yes, but you should be learning that, regardless of whether you are learning patterns/box shapes or not. So...

In my opinion, the pentatonic scale is guitar 101.

Yes, but why are box shapes?

Because someone arbitrarily decided they are and everyone else went along with it? Because someone looked at the fretboard and went, "It's rectangular! Why not divide it up and play scales in positions"? Seriously, why?

Having a deep enough understanding of scales to play them on the fly based on their intervallic structure seems like something to focus on later in your guitar experience.

Yes, but it's worth getting to that point.

but for learning the pentatonic scale for the first time I believe that a shape is the easiest way for someone to understand the basics of the scale.

I see no issue with this -- with the caveat that they should be learning the basics of intervals and scale degrees at the same time. To me, shapes are like training wheels. And you're supposed to take the training wheels off after a short time. Too many people never bother to take the training wheels off.
#19
Quote by crazysam23_Atax


Yes, but why are box shapes?

Because someone arbitrarily decided they are and everyone else went along with it? Because someone looked at the fretboard and went, "It's rectangular! Why not divide it up and play scales in positions"? Seriously, why?



Because we have 4 fingers, so 4 fret wide boxes makes sense. Also, it works well for arpeggiating chords in that neighbourhood, or adding extensions, and the pattern is easy to recognize.

But it has one major shortcoming for major scale. Pentatonic is fine, because it's always 2 notes per string in box, but for major scale one string has 2 notes in the box pattern (or 2 for the Es). That's where 3nps comes to the rescue.

I don't find there is any single best way to approach scales. The best way, is to approach it from all the best ways you can think of, and choose the strongest one for the task at hand.

For pentatonic, I think I only know 2 ways. One way only has tone intervals on any given string with slides, and the other is box, where 2 strings have a tone and a half interval in every box
(or 3 at iii because of Es again)

I still have my "training wheels". They let me play the guitar the way I play it.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Dec 17, 2014,
#20
Quote by crazysam23_Atax

Yes, but why are box shapes?

Because someone arbitrarily decided they are and everyone else went along with it? Because someone looked at the fretboard and went, "It's rectangular! Why not divide it up and play scales in positions"? Seriously, why?.


No, it's because that's the shape they make….. nobody decided that…. it's just the way it is.


Quote by crazysam23_Atax
To me, shapes are like training wheels. And you're supposed to take the training wheels off after a short time. Too many people never bother to take the training wheels off.


They're not like training wheels at all. They simply represent where the notes of a particular scale reside on your fretboard.

If you want to the sound of the Major scale, the notes you play will reside within the Major scale pattern…. so yeah, knowing that pattern is helpful, and it's not something you forget or avoid, once you get "good".
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 17, 2014,
#21
Quote by GuitarMunky
[snip]

I'm gonna do a both a favor and not rehash the same damn conversation we've had 100 times before.
#22
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I'm gonna do a both a favor and not rehash the same damn conversation we've had 100 times before.

Every time you bring up the same damn point, you are rehashing it.

You said that scale patterns are training wheels, so do you think that players like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Steve Morse, Guthrie Govan, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen,or Paul Gilbert are all beginners?
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 17, 2014,
#23
I don't know how learning scale shapes itself will limit you. They only limit you if you learn them the wrong way or don't understand where they come from. Scale shapes are a way of visualizing the scale.

Of course you could just learn the intervals. That way you would have your own shapes. The thing is, there are always some shapes. You visualize the fretboard in some way. It may not be CAGED or anything like that - everybody has their own way. But even if you just remember how to play a fifth, that's still a shape.

Some people don't pay attention to the sound, they just memorize all the fingerings and I agree that that is not a good way of learning the scales. But that doesn't mean the problem is the shapes itself. The problem is the way they are taught.

Different people learn differently. Some people never learn the CAGED shapes or anything like that but they still use them without really thinking about it. Because they are used in songs. I don't like playing scales up and down. That's just too mechanical to me. So to me the best way is definitely not just learning some shapes and playing them up and down.

Yes, professional guitarists don't think about what box shape they are playing in. They have the scales under their fingers so well that they don't have to think. But they do use 3nps patterns in their playing.

I think the main point is not to just learn the fingerings. It is to learn about the sound and to understand where the scale comes from. The main thing is to understand that most scales are just variations of the major or minor scale. They are most of the time just one note different from either the minor or the major scale. That way you may understand that you don't have to learn hundreds of different scales.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 18, 2014,
#24
Quote by GuitarMunky
You said that scale patterns are training wheels, so do you think that players like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Steve Morse, Guthrie Govan, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen,or Paul Gilbert are all beginners?

I think every single player you listed tends to play in a rather horizontal fashion, rather than playing in a box shape. Yes, they play in "X position" for a few bars, but they hardly ever spend the whole song/solo/whatever in the same position. So, yeah...really bad examples...

Quote by MaggaraMarine
Yes, professional guitarists don't think about what box shape they are playing in. They have the scales under their fingers so well that they don't have to think. But they do use 3nps patterns in their playing.
Some of them do, some of them don't. It all depends on context too.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Dec 18, 2014,
#25
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I think every single player you listed tends to play in a rather horizontal fashion, rather than playing in a box shape. Yes, they play in "X position" for a few bars, but they hardly ever spend the whole song/solo/whatever in the same position. So, yeah...really bad examples...

Some of them do, some of them don't. It all depends on context too.


Box shapes, are not patterns you learn in order to stay within them. You're not supposed to be trapped in the box. You're supposed to learn all of the boxes, and the order they are in, so that wherever you are, if you want to play in one area of the fretboard, you can. Also, if you want to move to the box next door, you can.

It's not a method of "stay in this box the whole song"

Nothing in theory tells you what to do.

There are many ways to know your fretboard. Box patterns are one way. There are other patterns that span up and down the fretboard more horizontally, but you can move horizontally through box patterns without learning anything else also.

Patterns and theory are not options for you to choose from logically. They are ways to understand and visualize the fretboard, so that you can do whatever idea you come up with. It is to simplify and organize sounds in relation to the instrument so that you may wield them. At least, that's what it is to me.

You learn these things so that when you want to play the sounds in a box, you can. So that if you want to go up your fretboard with a certain lick, you can do that. So that you know where the chords you want to play are, when you want to play them or arpeggiate them, and so that you know how to play the lick you want, so that it brings you in the neighbourhood of that voicing, and stuff like that.

If you know of, or use approaches that you find are superior, then please share them. I think that's what places like this are for. But, "box patterns are useless. When you get good, you won't use them." Is simply not a matter of fact. Maybe that's true for you, and how you learned, but a universal statement like that, can be misleading for people learning the guitar.

The way you speak makes it sound like you're some sort of master and we are all children trying to get around with lowly patterns to lead us to no avail. So, show us then. Teach us. Show us better methods. Show us what you can do, what you are capable of, and how your methods let you achieve these things.

Cause I'll tell you what, if I'm in preschool with training wheels compared to you, then you must be some kind of monster guitar player, and I want to listen to shitloads of your music, and learn as much as I can from you.

If you are not a master guitar player, and it was not your intention to come off high and mighty like that, then I think it's about just being careful of the wording you use, and recognizing that not everyone is like you, and that you are actually not certain of what lessons stand between you and a master guitar player. That there might be others here that are a couple steps closer than you, and that might know a little bit better about that than you do. Because if you are not careful, you might end up telling guitar players of much higher calibre than you, that they are wearing training wheels, which is not a very becoming situation I find.

If you would have said something more along the lines of; "I used to use box patterns, but I found learning intervals much more useful for the style of guitar I play, because I don't like being trapped in the same position on the fretboard." That would have been very different. And would have set you up to perhaps learn something and improve, rather than enter into circular conflict.

It's hard to be at once a man that acts like they know everything, and also a wise man, because a man that believes they already know everything, can never learn anything new.
#26
Please consider this scale:

http://www.scalerator.com/cgi-bin/sdispatch.py?root=E&pattern=melodic+minor+(ascending)

Do I play EAGB and E as open notes, and play all the notes in frets 1-5 on each string? If I do that beginning with the low E string, this means that I'll be repeating the A from the sixth string to the fifth string. Even if I stay within the 1st-4th frets, I end up repeating B, from the third string to the second.
I'm using the above website in tandem with my smartchord app under "scales". I want to write down some scales on paper for practicing later. Luckily, this "scalerator" provides the tab for the scales, but I'd rather go by the neck diagram.
UPDATE: Sorry, guys. Since I typed this, I've answered some of my own questions. This seems to be a pretty handy online tool. I'm gonna mess with it some more before I ask any more questions...
Last edited by pointnplink at Dec 18, 2014,
#27
I love a good CAGED/Pattern/Box Shape/Interval discussion! It seems like every thread on the Internet that has a question about playing scales digresses into this discussion...

TS, pointnplink, was your question answered in this thread? Do you have a better understanding about "which dots go with which root notes" in the diagrams you are looking at?

I think jerrykramskoy did a good job explaining this as I understood the question.

Edit: Oops, I see you posted as I was typing this message!
#28
Quote by fingrpikingood
Because we have 4 fingers, so 4 fret wide boxes makes sense. Also, it works well for arpeggiating chords in that neighbourhood, or adding extensions, and the pattern is easy to recognize.

But it has one major shortcoming for major scale. Pentatonic is fine, because it's always 2 notes per string in box, but for major scale one string has 2 notes in the box pattern (or 2 for the Es). That's where 3nps comes to the rescue.

I don't find there is any single best way to approach scales. The best way, is to approach it from all the best ways you can think of, and choose the strongest one for the task at hand.

For pentatonic, I think I only know 2 ways. One way only has tone intervals on any given string with slides, and the other is box, where 2 strings have a tone and a half interval in every box
(or 3 at iii because of Es again)

I still have my "training wheels". They let me play the guitar the way I play it.


For newbies, 3 notes per string is a great way of delaying progress and adding confusion. Plus, it's a simple consequence of joining together the 5 regions.

The cynical side of me wonders: if a teacher wants to get recurring revenues, then making people learn scales, chords, etc by pitch names, and learning scales by 3 nps, is the way to go. I never do this (maybe to my financial detriment, but my students make rapid progress). But ... each to their own.

And I totally agree that the shapes are totally down to "how it is" ... i.e. a result of how the guitar is tuned.

cheers, Jerry
#29
Quote by apbluegrass
I love a good CAGED/Pattern/Box Shape/Interval discussion! It seems like every thread on the Internet that has a question about playing scales digresses into this discussion...

TS, pointnplink, was your question answered in this thread? Do you have a better understanding about "which dots go with which root notes" in the diagrams you are looking at?

I think jerrykramskoy did a good job explaining this as I understood the question.

Edit: Oops, I see you posted as I was typing this message!

I really appreciate everyone pitching in to help me understand this. To answer your question, I've got a lot of info here I want to take the time to truly ponder. I've been playing Am and AM pentatonic for a year now, yet only robotically running through them, not playing them all over the neck. Oh, and I learned the chromatic scale. I must thank secretguitarteacher for that,as well as learning the CAGED system.
I just want to learn some more scales so as to develop finger dexterity.
Last edited by pointnplink at Dec 18, 2014,
#30
Pointplink,
I can vividly remember a time when I could play the minor pentatonic (and blues) scale, just in one region (though I didn't know that!) and then, jump up 12 frets to do the same again an octave higher. I wasn't too sure about the mysterious chunk in the middle though! Best avoid it !! How things changed.

So, I can't tell from your post how far you are down the road with navigating the neck using the pentatonic etc, but you're in for a load of fun.

I really strongly suggest you learn how to navigate your way across a 12 fret block, using the octave shapes ...

I used to practise linking these shapes against a metronome, at faster and faster speeds to put me under pressure, in every one of the 12 possible pitches.

Takes literally 5 - 10- minutes a day, and after a week or so, it really sinks in, and gives you some landmarks to recognise, and work against.

Then you can add in the intervals of a (b)3 and 5, and you're rapidly on the way to neck freedom (so many chords and scales include these).

Good luck! Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 18, 2014,
#31
Hmm...very interesting. Are you telling me that the red dots are a simplified CAGED system for finding notes on the fretboard, such as all the F's, the G's, and so on?
#32
Quote by jerrykramskoy
For newbies, 3 notes per string is a great way of delaying progress and adding confusion. Plus, it's a simple consequence of joining together the 5 regions.

The cynical side of me wonders: if a teacher wants to get recurring revenues, then making people learn scales, chords, etc by pitch names, and learning scales by 3 nps, is the way to go. I never do this (maybe to my financial detriment, but my students make rapid progress). But ... each to their own.

And I totally agree that the shapes are totally down to "how it is" ... i.e. a result of how the guitar is tuned.

cheers, Jerry


Ya, I don't think I would start with 3nps. That's better later, imo. I find the strength of it, is faster runs. Just being able to play 3 notes on a string and skip to the next one, greatly facilitates that. But faster runs aren't until later. I actually played for a real long time without ever thinking of 3nps.

3nps makes piecing things together with chords a little more tough I find also, harder to visualize, and it's a bit longer to learn, because it starts on every degree, rather than every 2 or 3.

Plus, you can kind of fake your way into a 3nps, speed/rhythm wise, by throwing in a #V between your V and vi, which turns your 2 note string into a 3 note string, anyway. That's what I used to do.


I think some people might teach that way, and certainly people advertise teaching guitar real fast without effort, and cut corners kind of giving you fish instead of teaching you how to fish for yourself. Which, I find is actually ok for some people. That's what they want, strum some chords for their favourite tunes around the campfire, and that's cool. But I'm not sure how often it happens really where teachers intentionally obfuscate everything to keep you hooked.

I don't think it's a very good business plan at any rate. I am a firm believer that for stuff like that, word of mouth and reputation is more important. That might be wrong, but I would prefer to do business that way at any rate.

I honestly could go on forever about companies and philosophies of teaching guitar in general. But for all of our sakes, I won't.
#33
I don't understand crazysam's approach much either to be honest.

So the advice is that people should learn the musical alphabet and the theory behind scale construction (along with the basic structure of pentatonic and diatonic scale step patterns) to the point where they can -on the fly- spell out any scale from a given root

They should also learn where all the notes across the entire fretboard so that they can then apply their understanding of scale construction and supposedly "play" any scale on the fly.

And not only are they supposed to learn all this before they learn to play a major scale on their instrument...but this is how they are supposed to learn to play a major scale on their instrument.

Also without the muscle memory, finger strength, and coordination you need to play the scales, applying those concepts to the guitar is going to be challenging. Sure you'll be able to play any scale but you'll have to get your fingers used to moving to the right places which will require practice.

It just seems a like an easy enough thing to say but ultimately a convoluted and impractical approach just to get around using what is a useful learning tool (box patterns).

....and then there's GuitarMunkey's point...after all of that you end up playing those same box shapes anyway (because they ARE the scale).

I don't get how it is useful or practical advice in anyway. It's easy to say and might sound great in theory...but as a practical approach to learning the guitar it seems a little absurd.
Si
#34
While CrazySam's way of thinking is a good one, I would guess that he didn't start to think that way until AFTER he knew how to play major scales inside and out...

It can be a good goal to modify one's thinking that way, but trying to start with that would be like trying to learn chords/rhythm guitar for the first time with jazz comping. You'll hit a wall hard.

The guitar is a symmetrical instrument. Don't turn its greatest strength into your playings greatest weakness:

Patterns are good. Pattern Playing is bad.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Dec 19, 2014,
#35
Quote by pointnplink
Hmm...very interesting. Are you telling me that the red dots are a simplified CAGED system for finding notes on the fretboard, such as all the F's, the G's, and so on?


Those red dots are the basis of any system, really ... they are purely a consequence of how the guitar is tuned. For example, in standard tuning (E A D G B E), if you play any fret on bass string (e.g. fret 6), and move vertically to next string (so fret 6 on A), that is 5 semitones. Move across again to the D string at fret 6, that's another 5 semitones (so 10 in all from the pitch on the bass string at fret 6). So, now slide up 2 frets on the D string (to fret 8) and you now have 10+2 = 12 semitones from original pitch at fret 6 on bass string. You've landed on an octave of that pitch. This entire pattern evolves from that prinicipal. Every possible shape on the guitar evolves from this.

I call the distance in semitones that you get by crossing a pair of strings at the same fret the "vertical interval" ... not a thoeretical term, but the term helps visualise the concept. In standard tuning, all string pairs apart from (G,B) have a vertical interval of 5 semitones. The (G,B) pair has a vertical interval of 4 semitones. Given this, if you cross vertically all strings from bass E to treble E, you get in total 5+5+5+4+5 = 24 semitones, = 2 octaves ... which is why the same pitch name occurs at the same fret on the bass string and treble string. So I've just explained the layout of the dots for the first region.

If you learn the interval shapes (and the octave and unisons are examples of intervals, that are the red dots in my diagram), you will get a great deal of guitar freedom, and a solid way of navigating. To save me a lot of re-typing, I suggest you check out my lessons on this: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/the_basics/drastically_reduce_learning_time_with_intervals_part_3.html (work back to lesson 1 from there ... the links are at the top of each lesson). I think it will help you a lot. Please let me know!! If anything is unclear, especially, let me know.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 19, 2014,
#36
Quote by jerrykramskoy
Those red dots are the basis of any system, really ... they are purely a consequence of how the guitar is tuned. For example, in standard tuning (E A D G B E), if you play any fret on bass string (e.g. fret 6), and move vertically to next string (so fret 6 on A), that is 5 semitones. Move across again to the D string at fret 6, that's another 5 semitones (so 10 in all from the pitch on the bass string at fret 6). So, now slide up 2 frets on the D string (to fret 8) and you now have 10+2 = 12 semitones from original pitch at fret 6 on bass string. You've landed on an octave of that pitch. This entire pattern evolves from that prinicipal. Every possible shape on the guitar evolves from this.


This sounds like what I was doing before discovering the CAGED sys. Starting at any fret on the bass string (EADGBE), say, for example, the fourth fret, I can go up one "vertical interval" to the A string, then down the neck two frets, up one "vertical interval" again to the D string, to get another octave of the original pitch on the bass string. I can do this beginning from both the bass string and the A string.
I can achieve the same results beginning from the A string to get another octave of the original pitch, but on the G string.
If I start on the D string using the same method, similar results, but I must go down the neck THREE frets, then one string up (If memory serves me correctly, as I don't have my guitar here at the office), same results. To find notes on the first string, you go from the B string one up, then SEVEN frets down for same note, up an octave. I think I have that right, but you know what I mean. Is this as good as the CAGED sys, in your opinion?
#37
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I think every single player you listed tends to play in a rather horizontal fashion, rather than playing in a box shape. Yes, they play in "X position" for a few bars, but they hardly ever spend the whole song/solo/whatever in the same position. So, yeah...really bad examples...


horizontal fashion = moving between various positions, utilizing the various patterns across the neck.

so yeah, actually a great example.

who are you into that doesn't utilize scale patterns?


Quote by crazysam23_Atax

Some of them do, some of them don't. It all depends on context too.


They all do. Or maybe there is someone I never heard of that you're into that "doesn't use scale patterns".


Quote by Jet Penguin

Patterns are good. Pattern Playing is bad.



What do you mean by "pattern playing"? and how is it bad?

Like is this bad playing because he moves patterns around?

or maybe he's ignoring patterns, not using muscle memory, but instead thinking of every single note and interval relationship as he plays it? IDK, I'm thinking probably not

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76svWOj8B04
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 19, 2014,
#38
Quote by pointnplink
This sounds like what I was doing before discovering the CAGED sys. Starting at any fret on the bass string (EADGBE), say, for example, the fourth fret, I can go up one "vertical interval" to the A string, then down the neck two frets, up one "vertical interval" again to the D string, to get another octave of the original pitch on the bass string. I can do this beginning from both the bass string and the A string.
I can achieve the same results beginning from the A string to get another octave of the original pitch, but on the G string.
If I start on the D string using the same method, similar results, but I must go down the neck THREE frets, then one string up (If memory serves me correctly, as I don't have my guitar here at the office), same results. To find notes on the first string, you go from the B string one up, then SEVEN frets down for same note, up an octave. I think I have that right, but you know what I mean. Is this as good as the CAGED sys, in your opinion?


Sorry for delay. Been travelling!

If you're happy finding your way around like this (by crossing strings and moving horizontally as needed), then the next thing is to learn the correct names used for intervals, and their corresponding "distance" in semitones.

e.g. 3 semitones is called a "minor 3rd" or "b3". 4 semitones is called a "major 3rd", or simply "3". 7 semitones is called a "perfect 5th" or just "5".

Then. if you know a major triad is comprised of a root (1) [where we measure distances from], a 3 and a 5 (using interval names), you can use the interval shapes for 4 and 7 semitones (and their octaves) and lo and behold, the chord shapes uised as the basis of CAGED fall out. But the point is, you could build any of the other chord types in that same area, or scales and so on, just by knowing these basic interval shapes ... and these occur all over the neck. Hence you reduce your learning.

So, I don't use CAGED ... I learned using the 5 regions, and could see the chords and scales in these regions, and I can then make 3 notes per string by joining neighbouring regions together.

But CAGED is also a good visual system.

The only system I recommend you avoid like the plague, as you're familiarising yourself, is the three notes per string. It's far too easy to get lost with this. Once you're adept with CAGED or the 5 region system, then consider 3 nps, but not until.

My strongest recommendation is learning the interval shapes. They stand you in good shape for everything that follows.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 20, 2014,