hello i have mastered the "five patterns" scale method on guitar but it seems to me it is a little stupid method because you dont actually know what notes are you playing you just know in what key you play and blast the notes of the pattern. Pianists dont have patterns they learn the notes of the scale by heart. is it better if you work like that with the guitar? i think patterns have an advantage when detuning to D standard tuning, you can still use them without getting confused that notes have changed positions. whats is your opinion what do you do with your scales? sorry for the bad english
Last edited by intheye87 at Jun 16, 2015,
To be honest I don't know the actual notes of any particular scale but I have a good idea of the notes on the fretboard and that helps me to work on a song, improvising solos etc. I learned some of the hundreds of patterns out there and it's pretty cool messing around with them while jamming with friends.
I would like to spend more time on the music theory but I can't.
Keep rockin'!
If you play from sheet music like a piano player you need to know the notes.

Most guitarists play by ear, but if you do play by sheet music learn the notes.
"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. This is my religion." -- Abraham Lincoln
I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination and maybe some of the other folks here could better explain this but I'd recommend learning the intervals between notes.
For example if you're using the C Major scale and you know the intervallic formula WWHWWWH you can work out those intervals on the fretboard both horizontally and vertically and how they sound relative to each other.
Also, if you know the intervals it'll help you quickly figure out the notes in the scale. So if you're on the tonic (C) and you know a major second interval on the fretboard you can quickly find your way to D etc etc.
However, if you want to learn all the notes in the scale, I don't see how that could hurt you, it will be up to you to put the work in! Just keep at it!
both. you should know what you are playing. when putting together a solo it is very helpful to know the notes. if you wnat to end the solo on the same not as the next chord then knowing wher they fall is very helpful.
Pattern playing without knowledge of what's represented in a pattern is limiting ... but if you learn interval shapes (which exist in every single scale, chord), you have visual control over what you're doing, with a firm knowledge whether a given interval played against a given chord will clash or not. If you know and choose to clash, you can easily get away from the clash.

I never ever think about pitch names when I'm improvising (other than to initially locate myself).

I never think of pitch names when I'm composing music either.

If everything is done solely based on knowledge of what pitches exist in a given chord or scale, the mental effort becomes way way harder.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jun 20, 2015,
Quote by cdgraves
Know the notes, and practice your scales in all 12 keys. Knowing where your notes are in every key is fundamental to advancing musically, as it's essential for constructing chords and improvising.

I agree with the 12 keys ... but you really don't need to know the note names all the time. Music is about interval relationships along with rhythm, and these relationships are independent of which notes are involved.

If you slide a barre chord up the neck, all the notes change, but none of the interval relationships within that chord change ... unless you make a mistake with the fretting, and accidentally change the shape. Ditto with a scale shape.

If you know that playing a b2 against a 1 is clashy, then this is simple to remember. Thinking of "Bb clashes with A, B clashes with A#, C clashes with Db ... (and all the enharmonic equivalents)" is, for me, way too much effort.

Which is why beginners can make a lot quicker progress with intervals and their shapes first. Every one I've taught has been able, within a week of little practice, to visually recognise some of the intervals in a ton of chord shapes I showed them ... if I'd given them note names, they'd have been struggling ... I want them to progress to quickly being able to play intervals I call out while I play something, so they get to hear the effect ASAP.

So, note names are necessary at some stage, but I really don't think they are the focus (for improvisation and experimentation) ... but if you have to read music notation, then of course, you have to translate that to pitches on the guitar.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jun 22, 2015,
Here's a good practice method: play those 5 patterns without reading a guide. Now play from the low root of one pattern to its 2nd root. From the 2nd root it should be linked to one of the other patterns, so play the other pattern from there. You want to be able to link between patterns midway. Also remember you can use the same pattern 12 frets higher, so try linking that 2nd root of pattern 1 to pattern 2, but 12 frets higher. Force yourself to think while playing and your brain will write to HDD rather than keep it in RAM (long-term vs short term memory)
memorize all notes of the fretboard, that way you automatically know the notes of whatever scale you're playing
Last edited by ryanpeppers at Jun 26, 2015,
If you learn the notes of the scale + the pattern, you'll eventually just passively learn every note on the fretboard.
ayy lmao
Quote by jerrykramskoy
I agree with the 12 keys ... but you really don't need to know the note names all the time.

knowing the note names should be involuntary. At some point, with practice, it becomes impossible not to know what you're playing.