#1
Sorry if I posted this in the wrong place, mods. I should have asked this a long time ago. I came across a website: http://www.scalerator.com/?optionsDisp=none&root=C&pattern=dorian&tuning=EADGBE&size=30
for reading scales. I'm not very good at reading scales, so I turned to this site for help. Having trouble separating out the various positions, currently for the Dorian scale in the key of C. I am writing this down on a sheet for future reference when practicing. What exactly is the purpose of this site, and is there a better one where the positions have already been separated?
UPDATE: I tried separating out the positions starting from the right, and working my way back to the left. Seems to make differentiating the positions within the scale much easier. Is this a good idea?
Last edited by pointnplink at Jul 30, 2015,
#3
Quote by cdgraves
I'd ditch the software and use my instrument for all learning. If an instrument and sheet of music are good enough for all of history's badass musicians, they're good enough for today's students.

Okay, so that brings me to the problem of separating out the positions from a scale diagram. How to do that?
#4
Position is literally just where your index finger is located on the fretboard.

Rather than thinking just in terms of position to start, sit with your guitar and work out your regular major scales as just 3 note per strings patterns*. The positions will emerge naturally, because that's just where the notes are on the fretboard. When you get the end of one position, move up to the next scale note and descend in the next. Start at the very lowest scale note you can, even if it's not the root of the scale (ie, open low E if you're playing C major). Don't worry about modes and stuff yet, because that refers to concepts that really don't make any sense until you've already learned your scales and keys.

I'm sure there are a lot of guides online for this, and it's OK to look stuff up for reference when you're learning, but it's extremely beneficial to work this stuff out on your own as much as possible. If you need, use the diagrams to verify what you've done on your own.

*There are other "position" scale patterns that are not strictly 3 notes per string, and those are fine to learn as well, but 3 note per string is a lot easier to communicate via the internet. I find it's also easier to move between positions that way. This is just for sake of practice and learning, and you will likely play these things differently in actual music.
#5
Quote by pointnplink
Okay, so that brings me to the problem of separating out the positions from a scale diagram. How to do that?

Well basically there's two ways of thinking about it:

1 - Play them three notes per string. So pick a note on the lowest string, play it and the two notes above it, then move to the next string up and play the next three notes in the scale. Repeat until you run out of strings. This should give you the same shapes you'd find in just about any other lesson. So if you take the C Dorian example you posted the link to and apply the process, starting on C on the low E string:


e|---------
b|---------
g|---------
d|---------
a|---------
e|-8-10-11-


That's the first three notes of the scale. So then you pick the next note in the scale on the string above. In this case the last note on the E string is Eb, so the next note above is F:


e|-----------
b|-----------
g|-----------
d|-----------
a|---------8-
e|-8-10-11---


Then you have three notes on that string:


e|-----------------
b|-----------------
g|-----------------
d|-----------------
a|---------8-10-12-
e|-8-10-11---------


Just as a note: three notes per string is generally what you'll find because that's usually the most you can fit on a string with one hand.

2 - Don't worry about prescribed positions. This isn't to say that you shouldn't know scales up and down the fretboard, but that working with strict positions is kind of... not pointless but it's not what you should be doing really. What you should be doing is thinking about what you need to play and where you need to be to play whatever comes next and working with the notes that are available to make those things work.

That said... this approach is hard. Really really hard. It basically relies on you already knowing scales so it's really not something for beginners who are starting out. This is the ideal though; freedom from positions and just playing what you need to make the sounds you hear in your head.
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#6
I have noticed that playing scales slowly gives me an opportunity to monitor what my fretting hand is doing. I think this is important because I have small hands, and maintaining a static fretting hand position alleviates my hand getting "lost" (to some degree). My hand position begins to "collapse" the closer I move from low E to high E, especially when attempting to play fast, and fatigue sets in. From there, the attempt to reposition my hand to the static position destroys my spatial perception, and, of course, my accuracy. Scales, even played robotically, from the same position each time, also gives me a chance to control the gathering tension in my hand. My thumb is a barometer which measures this. The more relaxed my thumb is, the more relaxed my entire hand seems to be. If my thumb is properly positioned in relation to both my ring and pinky finger, the more likely my entire hand is properly positioned. However, I cannot allow my thumb to get lazy, to be dragged along by the rest of my hand toward the heel of the fretboard. Suddenly changing position in the direction of the headstock will be blocked by the thumb, now parallel to the neck. A traffic jam. I can also confirm how parts of my fret hand can actually adhere to the finish on the neck. Therefore, I loves me sum scales, played slowly and deliberately.
But of course I'm no expert....just tryin' to maximize what I've got. ;>
Last edited by pointnplink at Aug 1, 2015,
#7
Quote by cdgraves
I'd ditch the software and use my instrument for all learning. If an instrument and sheet of music are good enough for all of history's badass musicians, they're good enough for today's students.


Yeah, we should disregard modern things because old things were good enough back in the day when they were the only options. While we're add it, the Rolling Stones made it without Facebook so don't bother promoting your band there. Jimi Hendrix never used sweeping so don't bother learning it. Robert Johnson made his career without an electric so turn your amp off. Kurt Cobain didn't use internet forums to ask questions about guitar so why are you still posting here?
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#8
^ +1.

Not using something because you didn't have the option doesn't mean it might not be useful now that you do have that choice.
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#9
Quote by theogonia777
Yeah, we should disregard modern things because old things were good enough back in the day when they were the only options. While we're add it, the Rolling Stones made it without Facebook so don't bother promoting your band there. Jimi Hendrix never used sweeping so don't bother learning it. Robert Johnson made his career without an electric so turn your amp off. Kurt Cobain didn't use internet forums to ask questions about guitar so why are you still posting here?


all the best musicians came pre-guitar and pre-internet so cdgraves is right except that TS should take it a step further and play a real instrument
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