#1
Hello,
I was wondering, what's the point of scale positions. Why don't people just learn the notes in a scale and then learn the notes on the fretboard and then it should work. There is an advantage for sure about learning how to play a scale on the fretboard but I can't figure it out...
#2
I like the "just". "Just" learn the notes on the fretboard.

Do you have a strategy there? How are you going to approach that task? Perhaps you will break the fretboard down into smaller chunks (positions)? Perhaps you will start with all the 'C's then all the 'E's and 'G's (C major chord). Then when you know where all of those are all over the fretboard you could learn where all the 'D's and 'A's (C major pentatonic scale). When you have those five notes down add in the 'F's and 'B's (C major scale).

When learning where those notes are will you pay attention to their relationships to one another? Will you start in a four or five fret range? and as you memorize the notes in that range expand the range out a few frets at a time?

Will you practice playing those notes across all the strings without having to move your hand up and down the fretboard? Will you also practice playing those notes across the strings moving your hand up and down the fretboard?

Or will you just play chromatically up and down saying each note as you go and trying to memorize every note on the fretboard all at once by repetition without any recognition of patterns. Then learn all 12 major scales by rote memorization. Then learn the physical aspect of applying those scales to the fretboard and the finger coordinations required?

When you learn all the notes and all the scales you will notice that there are clear patterns. Making use of patterns to aid learning is sensible. Why wouldn't you?

The point of the scale positions is to help you learn exactly what you suggest learning as an alternative. They are not contrasting approaches to learning the fretboard - they are complimentary.
Si
#3
It really helps some people understand the instrument a lot, lot faster. When you start wandering farther away from the nut a lot of guitarists lose track of the notes, but positional techniques like the CAGED system help them to keep track of what they're playing. It helps some people a lot with improvisation, however I'd prefer sticking to my ears when it comes down to that.

And of course it's good to learn scale shapes on the fretboard. It makes it a lot easier to visualize intervals and scale degrees, which are essential in all of contemporary music. Understanding intervals is understanding the foundation of music, and scale patterns help a lot with those.
Last edited by Kevätuhri at Mar 8, 2015,
#4
If you learn the shapes you'll learn the notes. If you learn the notes you'll learn the shapes. It's just a different way of learning. Ideally you'd learn both at the same time so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#5
You need to learn to play the scales, not just see where the scales are. When you are playing, you don't have time to think about the notes, you need to have them under your fingers. That's what the shapes are for. For some people just playing the different positions up and down helps, for others it helps to play other people's solos without thinking about positions or anything like that. You will still learn all the shapes because your favorite guitarists also use them in their solos.

But yeah, why not learn both (notes and shapes)? They aren't exclusive.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#6
^ this

no need to think of each and every note when you play. by knowing your fretboard and how everything fits together, there is no need to "hunt" for the right notes. we leave that to muscle memory to focus more on the sound, phrasing, making melodies, rhythm etc
Last edited by SuperKid at Mar 8, 2015,
#7
+1 to all this someone should clue in the "only learn C major in one position" people.
"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
#8
Quote by Jet Penguin
+1 to all this someone should clue in the "only learn C major in one position" people.


I like to think that people would figure it out when they realised that not all songs were in C major. The internet has taught me differently however.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#9
A position is just the notes of the scale as they fall across one area of the fretboard. It usually covers about 4 frets and you're playing with 4 fingers, so that works out nice. Once you've learned all five positions of the scale you'll know it over the entire fretboard, and it makes it easier to learn the scale one-fifth at a time.
#10
Quote by Jayerrr
Hello,
I was wondering, what's the point of scale positions. Why don't people just learn the notes in a scale and then learn the notes on the fretboard and then it should work. There is an advantage for sure about learning how to play a scale on the fretboard but I can't figure it out...


It's too complicated for the brain to work that way. You need to know patterns and have muscle memory intuition so that you can play quickly directly with emotion. Knowing note names and which notes are where is too cerebral and too difficult for the brain to improvise that way.

When you improvise it is very fast. You think of what you will play very quickly, and you need to instantly know how to play what you imagine.

I still don't know what notes are in what scale. But I could work it out easily enough by imagining a piano or fretboard.
#11
Perfect! Now I know what the purpose is and I will learn them now... I hate learning things without knowing what they are for and how they are useful...