#1
Supposedly they tell you how to solo, but I can solo fine without them, really. HOW do they tell you how to solo, please tell me in as few words as possible. I learned how to write music by hear, and it actually sounds harder to memorize a bunch of stuff that you might not use, all from some robotic formula used by thousands of people already. It seems like it would more natural and help you be more creative just to improvise.
#2
Scales don't tell you how to solo, they are a way of organizing notes for a variety of situations.

Having a developed ear is a great thing to have and will make implementing theory knowledge much easier. But remember, there is much more to music than just scales. Chords and how they interact (aka Harmony) is just as important, if not more so, to gaining a thorough understanding of music. In my opinion, a guitarist who lacks a basic knowledge of harmony is a sad sight to see.

Check out the music theory link in my sig.
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#3
Quote by rockingamer2
Scales don't tell you how to solo, they are a way of organizing notes for a variety of situations.

Having a developed ear is a great thing to have and will make implementing theory knowledge much easier. But remember, there is much more to music than just scales. Chords and how they interact (aka Harmony) is just as important, if not more so, to gaining a thorough understanding of music. In my opinion, a guitarist who lacks a basic knowledge of harmony is a sad sight to see.

Check out the music theory link in my sig.

theory makes guitar soooo boring
#4
^yeah if you have no idea what it actually is.

Quote by xcamero360
Supposedly they tell you how to solo, but I can solo fine without them, really. HOW do they tell you how to solo, please tell me in as few words as possible. I learned how to write music by hear, and it actually sounds harder to memorize a bunch of stuff that you might not use, all from some robotic formula used by thousands of people already. It seems like it would more natural and help you be more creative just to improvise.


You fundamentally misunderstand what a scale is and how to utilize one. What you described is how all beginners view scales, as a mechanical formula that helps you with the shreds. Scales come in a variety of different forms, and can be applied to different situations, but they don't tell you "how to solo".

And everyone who knows anything about guitar playing learns by ear and improvises anyway but most still learn theory, because it's dumb not to.
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#6
Practicing scales is more about building dexterity, strength, etc.
Scales are not pieces of music, or parts of solos. That's a common misnomer. They help, you shouldn't avoid them all together.
Study chord construction, that's where you will gain insight about creating riffs and solos, believe it or not. I know it seems like it should be the other way around.
#8
I agree with rickyvan, I learnt one or two scales and they help with just picking faster. I usally just run through a pentatonic scale when I am bored of learning the tab I am currently learning. Just gives you something to do and something to practice like playing a cool riff.
#9
Quote by xcamero360
Supposedly they tell you how to solo, but I can solo fine without them, really. HOW do they tell you how to solo, please tell me in as few words as possible. I learned how to write music by hear, and it actually sounds harder to memorize a bunch of stuff that you might not use, all from some robotic formula used by thousands of people already. It seems like it would more natural and help you be more creative just to improvise.

Your solos most likely use a scale, even if you don't think about scales.

Scales don't really make good solos. It's how you use them. And this is where you need your ear.

You shouldn't see scales as limiting. For me they are more of a reference point. I know what the different notes in a scale sound like and I also know what the notes outside the scale sound like. So they help me with my ear.

Scales also help with your muscle memory.


I know an amazing guitarist who said he never practiced scales. He learned it all by mimicking his favorite guitarists. And I think that's a good way to do it. Just playing scales up and down can be boring. You want to make music with them.

But yeah, do what works for you. Some people are motivated enough to practice playing scales up and down. Other people get bored by that and it doesn't help them at all. And to learn something you need to be motivated. If you don't want to learn something, you won't learn it. But it's a lot about the way you learn it. There are many different ways, and different ways work for different people.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#10
Maggaramarine is right when he says "Your solos most likely use a scale, even if you don't think about scales". The solos you are playing are based on scales whether you are aware of it or not. 99% of time a large portion of what you play has a direct relation to some thread of music theory. I was playing guitar for years knowing very little basic theory and I thought I was playing OK. When I started to learn piano I started understanding more theory (For me personally it's easier to understand on piano). When I attempted to relate the scales I was learning on piano to what I already played on guitar I found that the solos I was playing on guitar were based in large part on established scales. This may sound obvious to anyone who study's music theory but for me (at that time) it was a revelation.

To me you can learn to play by just working at it, copying other player or trying to come up with stuff on your own and that's fine if that's how you want to do it. The other way is to learn a little on your own, then get into related areas of music theory to expand your playing. Too many people think of learning music theory as a long intense, boring thing to study but in many ways it can be a shortcut to more creative playing.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Oct 2, 2015,
#12
Also, you aren't being original if you don't learn scales (because "using scales is so mainstream"). You are using the scales without knowing about it.

Same goes with theory. People think when they don't learn theory, they are somehow breaking some rules and doing something really unique, when what they really are doing is most of the time pretty simple and easy to explain. Well, sometimes it's something more complex, but it's still not breaking any rules. If they knew theory, they would also know that.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#13
I love playing scales. Turn on a modal backing track or what ever kind of genre of backing track I want, and surf over the entire neck. If you know your scales, you can modify them and try an endless amount of techniques with them.
#14
Quote by xcamero360
Supposedly they tell you how to solo, but I can solo fine without them, really. HOW do they tell you how to solo, please tell me in as few words as possible. I learned how to write music by hear, and it actually sounds harder to memorize a bunch of stuff that you might not use, all from some robotic formula used by thousands of people already. It seems like it would more natural and help you be more creative just to improvise.


two things:

1) yeah you wanna learn your scales so you can use them to segue into harmony, tension, resolution, and intervals. scales in the grand scheme of theory are a very minimalistic building block

2) you're absolutely right. some of the people in this thread learned the stupid people way and think that's the only way to do it. that's the way i learned too - i fell right into the trap you described in your post, learned all my scales and modes and like 2 years later i realized "oh wait, i don't know how to play music!"

you should still learn the fundamentals just to learn them and have a more in-depth understanding. i don't see learning scale shapes as learning theory. learning what scales are and how they play into the grander scheme of things, however, is as useful as learning anything else - there's no bad knowledge unless that knowledge is going to inhibit you, as is often the case with running up and down patterns

stick with learning by ear. i fully believe it's the best way to learn music and technique. beyond that you want to reinforce your understanding with as much knowledge as possible so you can increase your efficiency and processing capabilities beyond just training your ear.
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