#1
If you don't want to read the rest of the topic: Title sums my question.

If you're interested in a little background:

I've been looking to improving my chops and my speed, so I decided it was time for a nice practice routine/schedule, and one of the topics was "Scales".

So I'm wondering how you guys approach practicing scales. I know all 7 positions/boxes/shapes/modes (call them how you will), have been doing my work on intervals and general theory. 

Until now, I was taking each position, trying to improve speed/play faster. However, I don't see how it will benefit me, besides playing scales faster. It just does not improve my playing musically or my knowledge.

So, let's suppose I'll have 15 min for scales practice, what do you advise? Different fingerings? Keep on trying to improve speed? Something else? I feel I'm missing something!

Thank you!

Best!
#2
You're right, playing a scale faster and faster is pretty useless.  To practice scales in a way that will help you in some way, I suggest improvising.  Put on a backing track and just solo over it.  Don't stay in one position, and don't be too concerned with speed.  Or you could also just try to arrange the notes in rhythmic grouping in a way that makes it a little more interesting at least.  For example:
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#3
Yeah use it in musical context! This way you will be practicing how to use scales creatively 

Also find a song that you like something like Metallica Nothing else matters or something popular and try to figure out by ear what minor pentatonic scale you can use to improvise over it. Like E minor pentatonic or F# minor pentatonic etc. this is fun and massively improves your ears and theory application
Last edited by bocharovpasha at Apr 24, 2017,
#4
You need to think of a scale as a palette of sounds to use.  Diatonic scales all have a major or minor triad off the root, and these provide the focus of the scale.  The remaining 4 notes create expectations in the listener that they will be followed by one of these focal points.  These expectation shave different strengths.  For example, inj major scale, 7 makes the ear want to hear the adjacent 1.  4 makes the ear want to hear 3 next.  Non-scale notes set up much stronger expectations to move to scale notes, and the more stable, where there's a choice.  So, it helps to be aware of these expectations, and know how to honour them (if you want to).  But this has to be combined with good rhythmic knowledge for creating stronger or weaker expectations  (i,e phrasing).

Speed doesn't come into this, other than choice of start and end note in a run, but if you want to get more musical, I suggest you ignore speed, and concentrate on building melodic lines ... you can always dress these up with articulations, and use of bends and vibrato.

It is much more challenging to sound good when speed isn't relied on, but it's also very satisfying.
#5
I practice using a looper pedal, this way I can build a chord progression and practice an appropriate scale over it.
It's much more entertaining and musical to me to have the chords going instead of just doing scales with a metronome.
#6
Yea you need to play to a backing track or get a looper pedal to lay down some rhythm that you can solo over top of.. Then you can focus more on improvising and phrasing instead of just running up and down scales as fast as you can..

The best part, its really fun to practise that way
Last edited by babysmasher at Apr 24, 2017,
#7
ok...let speed be your LAST concern..do you know all major and minor scales in all positions in ALL keys...

this is one of my key teaching tools..there are quite a few players that tell me they know scales in all positions .. and then I ask..in all keys? and mostly the answer is no..and many reply .. I never play in Bb or whatever key ..so why learn it..

so if I asked you..starting on the G note - (D string - 5th fret- 3rd finger) could you play the remaining Eb scale ..

can you harmonize major and minor scales..do you know the inversions of all those chords

do you know melodic patterns..there are well over 100.. just in the key of C..and that's just ascending..

yes getting all the above under you fingers will take a good amount of time..but should you apply it to most pop tunes..you will see many doors open..

what you will realize after getting this stuff under your fingers..is..you REALLY know the fretboard in ALL keys..so that feeling of being lost in some sections of the fretboard is overcome..

so now that you know where the notes really are..you can apply speed all you like..what usually hampers speed is hesitation of where the notes really are..

and moving from key to key is not a mystery any longer..you can play notes of one key and morph into another key of any interval..like G major to Bb major

G A B Bb C D.. B A G....and try this on evey scale step

hope this helps
play well

wolf
#8
Quote by Junior#1
   You're right, playing a scale faster and faster is pretty useless.  To practice scales in a way that will help you in some way, I suggest improvising.  Put on a backing track and just solo over it.  Don't stay in one position, and don't be too concerned with speed.  Or you could also just try to arrange the notes in rhythmic grouping in a way that makes it a little more interesting at least.  For example:
   

Thanks for the tip!
 
I always keep a few minutes of my practice to improvise. But I still need to improve my phrasing, since it sucks, for now... =)
I haven't been too worried with speed. In my schedule, I have "Picking", that will help me with speed (slow and steady wins the race, right?).
Also, I have been using this picking in rhythmic groups. For now, I have been practicing triplets, eighth notes and double triplets. This "5 note" group is really interesting!
Quote by bocharovpasha
  Yeah use it in musical context! This way you will be practicing how to use scales creatively

  Also find a song that you like something like Metallica Nothing else matters or something popular and try to figure out by ear what minor pentatonic scale you can use to improvise over it. Like E minor pentatonic or F# minor pentatonic etc. this is fun and massively improves your ears and theory application

Thanks! This is great, actually!
I'm going to admit that I have some kind of "I can't do it" barrier regarding ear training, and I'm not proud of that.  This new schedule I'm planning has some ear training on it, and I'm sure going to use your advice!
Quote by jerrykramskoy
 You need to think of a scale as a palette of sounds to use.  Diatonic scales all have a major or minor triad off the root, and these provide the focus of the scale.  The remaining 4 notes create expectations in the listener that they will be followed by one of these focal points.  These expectation shave different strengths.  For example, inj major scale, 7 makes the ear want to hear the adjacent 1.  4 makes the ear want to hear 3 next.  Non-scale notes set up much stronger expectations to move to scale notes, and the more stable, where there's a choice.  So, it helps to be aware of these expectations, and know how to honour them (if you want to).  But this has to be combined with good rhythmic knowledge for creating stronger or weaker expectations  (i,e phrasing).

 Speed doesn't come into this, other than choice of start and end note in a run, but if you want to get more musical, I suggest you ignore speed, and concentrate on building melodic lines ... you can always dress these up with articulations, and use of bends and vibrato.

 It is much more challenging to sound good when speed isn't relied on, but it's also very satisfying.

This is awesome advice. Thanks a ton!
Learning about this subject regarding tension and resolution, what takes to what, gets me a little overwhelmed. And the thing is I cannot seem to relate this concepts with practice. 
I understand the notes that feel like "home", and the ones that create tension/expectation. But I'm never able to go "home" the way I intend to. Let me give you and example..
Let's suppose I'm jamming over a Am Rock Backing Track. I use a minor pentatonic (1, minor 3, 4, 5, 7) and/or a minor scale in the 6th position/aeolian. I understant this is very common in rock music/improv. However, I'm not able to create exactly what I'm thinking using this scales. I'm not succeeding in building up to something and resolving in a way that matches the track.
It seems I'm playing some kind of blues, or something that does not fit, on top of the track. And I'm not talking about speed. 
It's frustrating to not be able to notice what causes this... scale? technique used? poor phrasing? none? all of these? It really is a mistery...
I have been working on bending, vibrato, legato (this has been a challenge, especially pull-offs), slides. I'm starting to notice (please correct me if I'm wrong) that depending on the technique used, I can give a different intonation to a note...
Quote by 33db
I practice using a looper pedal, this way I can build a chord progression and practice an appropriate scale over it.
It's much more entertaining and musical to me to have the chords going instead of just  doing scales with a metronome.

Thanks! You are right!
 
I use both the metronome and backing tracks, since my looper pedal has long been sold. I love practicing to backing tracks! =)
Quote by wolflen
ok...let speed be your LAST concern..do you know all major and minor scales in all positions in ALL keys...

this is one of my key teaching tools..there are quite a few players that tell me they know scales in all positions .. and then I ask..in all keys? and mostly the answer is no..and many reply .. I never play in Bb or whatever key ..so why learn it..

so if I asked you..starting on the G note -  (D string - 5th fret- 3rd finger) could you play the remaining Eb scale ..

can you harmonize major and minor scales..do you know the inversions of all those chords

do you know melodic patterns..there are well over 100.. just in the key of C..and that's just ascending..

yes getting all the above under you fingers will take a good amount of time..but should you apply it to most pop tunes..you will see many doors open..

what you will realize after getting this stuff under your fingers..is..you REALLY know the fretboard in ALL keys..so that feeling of being lost in some sections of the fretboard is overcome..

so now that you know where the notes really are..you can apply speed all you like..what usually hampers speed is hesitation of where the notes really are..

and moving from key to key is not a mystery any longer..you can play notes of one key and morph into another key of any interval..like G major to Bb major

G A B   Bb C D.. B A G....and try this on evey scale step

hope this helps


This is gold! And you got into what I was thinking when I opened the post! Thank you!

First of all, the number of "No"s to your questions makes me blush..

How to study all this? 

I don't know if I can say I know all major/minor scales in all keys... I can find the in the fretboard, if I want to. For example, you asked about the Eb scale from the G note on the D string. I'd be able to find the scale in the neck, knowing that G is the 3rd of Eb. For sure, I wouldn't know how to play it up and down from the top of my head, from the point you gave. If I was to play it up and down, I'd have to start from the root. 

Just to make this post short, I only ask: How to practice all this? Should I take random points on the neck, thinking of a key, and start building from there? Should I practice the positions ascending and descending in all keys? 

How to apply all this? 

Thank you all!

Best!
#9
YellowCat You've just won the prize, in my eyes, for the nicest, genuine reply to everyone's advice!

Eventually, knowing useful (to you) scales in all keys/positions is really helpful.  But that won't sort out your current issues.  Part of the problem is that the sparser the use of different chords in a tune, the harder it it is to develop good sounding solos, and the more one needs both knowledge of a large library of pre-learned ideas, plus knowledge of the musical tools that can be applied (that is, the practical applications of theory).  Another problem is that the minor pentatonic scale is not really capable of creating a lot of tension, when its root and the chord root are the same.

So, if you have an Am rock backing track, and that's hammering away of Am, you have quite a challenge, whereas if the track includes G and F, say, then you have some sounds you can bring out.

To help with this, a very useful concept is making use of chord tones (that is, the root, third, fifth and seventh to match the chord type).  Against Am, you can use the chord tone of Am, and Am7 (A C E G).  Depending on the speed of chord changes (if there are any). you can emphasise these more than other stuff you may play ... this doesn't necessarily mean playing loads of As Cs Es and Gs ... it's more about using one of these as a starting note of a phrase (lick), at strong rhythmic points, or of longer duration, and at end of phrase.  If your using Am pent against Am, then the A C E notes are not tension bearing (though).  If the piece is in the key of Am,  A C E are the most important pitches for bringing out the tonality.  The other notes in say A Aeolian become fillers on their way to the A C E and the chromatic notes (those not in A Aeolian) become yet more fillers leading to the nearest of any of the above notes.  

This gives you a heirarchy to experiment with:

The tonal triad pitches (Am here, A C E)
The rest of scale (B D F G), which have some tension (especially the F -> E)
The remaining 5 notes of the chromatic scale in A.

Stick your track on, and experiment.  With the B D F and G, try following each of these by the nearest tonal triad pitch.

If you wany some more ideas about using chromaticism with pentatonic, check out https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/soloing/chromaticism_and_swing_picking.html

Have fun.  Make use of knowledge, but your ears will win (you'll hear when something needs resolving and quick!)
#10
To be honest, the theory and technical stuff won't get real traction until your ears "get it". The ear is the foundation through which all the theory and technique comes to be meaningful. The ear does not know theory or technique, it just knows the way things sound - knowing the way things sound is the basis from which one engages theory or technique as needed to get the sound you want out of the instrument.

You will make the most of your theory and technique studies if you make sure each concept and advancement is examined within the context of real music. For example, if you learn a new scale you should be comparing the individual notes and the whole scale sound to various chords and chord changes - not just comparing the note names, but the sound of those notes and chords. You should be always alert to noticing if a particular line of notes against a chord or chord change sounds good or is familiar, maybe from a song you know, or an idea you would like to develop. In either case, you experiment and discover by listening and playing.

In the long run, the primary attribute of a guitarist is the ability to hear and play accordingly. There is no reason to wait developing this; you should really be approaching everything you learn from the standpoint of "leading with the ear", always with a focus on how what you learned may be used in a song context... not just thinking it, but doing it - playing the song and testing out what you found.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#11
"...Just to make this post short, I only ask: How to practice all this? Should I take random points on the neck, thinking of a key, and start building from there? Should I practice the positions ascending and descending in all keys?

How to apply all this? .."

ok...I wanted to know all this stuff and play professionally..and I studied with a top player for two years and learned much of what I have written to you. Now you may not want to or have to know all this stuff..so take the pressure off yourself first of all...all the things I have suggested would literally take years to get comfortable with..and most players are not ready for that grade of commitment

You should study what you want..at your own pace..if you know the C scale experiment with it ..find out how to start it on any note in it..then move it around to different positions..stuff like that..then if you have some licks using the notes of the scale..move those to other positions also..

now if you are interested in learning some of what I mentioned..begin with some theory and harmony studies..see how a scale sounds and works harmonized..where the chords are and how the circle around the tonic..stuff like that..then take it one key at a time..at some point you will see how the keys work with each other so to speak..and how scales and chords have many links to each other..

and use what you learn in some tunes you know..start with easy tunes first..

In time you may find the inversions of chords a key to many new ways of seeing scales and progressions..
play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Apr 25, 2017,
#12
Quote by wolflen
"...Just to make this post short, I only ask: How to practice all this? Should I take random points on the neck, thinking of a key, and start building from there? Should I practice the positions ascending and descending in all keys?

How to apply all this? .."

ok...I wanted to know all this stuff and play professionally..and I studied with a top player for two years and learned much of what I have written to you. Now you may not want to or have to know all this stuff..so take the pressure off yourself first of all...all the things I have suggested would literally take years to get comfortable with..and most players are not ready for that grade of commitment

You should study what you want..at your own pace..if you know the C scale experiment with it ..find out how to start it on any note in it..then move it around to different positions..stuff like that..then if you have some licks using the notes of the scale..move those to other positions also..

now if you are interested in learning some of what I mentioned..begin with some theory and harmony studies..see how a scale sounds and works harmonized..where the chords are and how the circle around the tonic..stuff like that..then take it one key at a time..at some point you will see how the keys work with each other so to speak..and how scales and chords have many links to each other..

In time you may find the inversions of chords a key to many new ways of seeing scales and progressions..

You sound fairly knowledgeable, I have an issue where in if I am playing in a first position scale between the dots on my neck (say starting on the 6th fret) when I move to another position I get lost almost instantly.
As long as the positions I'm playing have a dot reference I'm OK, any tips how to practice out of this?
#13
Quote by 33db
You sound fairly knowledgeable, I have an issue where in if I am playing in a first position scale between the dots on my neck (say starting on the 6th fret) when I move to another position I get lost almost instantly.
As long as the positions I'm playing have a dot reference I'm OK, any tips how to practice out of this?


ok..here is a short scale exercise - the main point is starting on different notes of the scale..so lets start with the C scale starting on the A string - so we have the sound and feel of the scale in our ears

C D E F G A B C
3 5 2 3 5 2 4 5 fret

ok now we are going to break up the scale and start on different notes of the scale using 3 note patterns

starting on the B String 3rd fret

D E F
starting on the G string 4th Fret
B C D
starting on the B string 5th fret
E F G
Starting on the high E string 5th fret
A B C

notice: you are starting the scale on different notes of the scale .. only three notes on each string --- but you now can see the C scale in different ways to play it starting from different notes in it..and hopefully you don't feel lost

now if you know another way to play the C scale..see if you can use this info in your approach...
play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Apr 25, 2017,
#14
33db Lot of people have this problem.  Can you play the scale shape successfully with your eyes shut?

The answer is to simply shift the shape, unmodified, up or down one fret, and make the exact same hand movements ... without looking at the neck.  When you can do this, then look at the neck.  Play from bottom of scale to top and back, and vice-versa.  Play from the middle octave of scale out to top string and back.  Play from middle down to the bass string and back to middle.  Then go back to previous position.

The critical point is awareness of "distances" from a scale root, rather than awareness of precise frets (and dots).  It is these distance that gives the scale its sound, and ditto for chords.  If you change any of these distances (play wrong fret), you change the scale type, or chord type.  By "distance", I mean how far to the left or right (fret wise) and across how many strings, the various scale pitches are found from from one of its roots.

Personally, I'd avoid three note per string shapes initially, as these are very easy to get lost with.  3 nps is great for legato and speedy navigation of the neck, but not so good when first learning.  
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Apr 26, 2017,
#15
jerrykramskoy
I can see the shape, and I'm at the point where my fingers go where they should more often than not.
But if I am playing in first position A# major, and I want to go the the 3rd position I get lost because I haven't go that dot to land on.
Currently all my reference points are the dots (inlays) on the neck because that's what I practiced.
Does that make sense? I think I just need to practice those things more, but it's a point of frustration at the moment.
#16
Quote by YellowCat


I've been looking to improving my chops and my speed, so I decided it was time for a nice practice routine/schedule, and one of the topics was "Scales".


Until now, I was taking each position, trying to improve speed/play faster. However, I don't see how it will benefit me, besides playing scales faster. It just does not improve my playing musically or my knowledge.

You're kind of contradicting yourself here - on the one hand you want to improve your chops and speed, on the other you don't see  the benefit of practicing scales.  Scales help build chops and speed!  

If you have the shapes down, learn motifs for each - rather than run up and down one note at a time, come up with a cool pattern and move it up and down the scale. Make it more musical and find patterns that speak to you. Tim Pierce recently did a you tube lesson with Allen Hinds  where he talks about the concept of taking a motif and running it up and down within a scale - I think that would be of great interest to you - google it and you'll see what I mean - just forward past the intro jam and they go into it. 

 I would also suggest singing the notes you play as you play - if you can't sing it, you don't know it. 

I'd also suggest learning the scales on two strings only - up and down - that helps you move from position to position without being too boxed in.

Finally - learning actual musical solos that use the scales you are learning is vital to playing musically - so work on that too. 
Last edited by reverb66 at Apr 26, 2017,
#17
33db Not sure I understand.  When you say 1st position or 3rd position, are you referring to fret number, or to region?  

So, for A# major (usually called Bb major), a possible pattern t 1st fret  is

e: 1 3
b: 1 3 4
g:0 2 3
d:0 1 3
a:0 1 3
e:1 3

I think you may be having trouble if you are trying to play the major scale in all 7 possible positions.  I suggest you look in regions.  They are a lot easier to visualise and not get lost, and it's based on intervals, not note names.
#18
Quote by YellowCat


Until now, I was taking each position, trying to improve speed/play faster. However, I don't see how it will benefit me, besides playing scales faster. It just does not improve my playing musically or my knowledge.

If you think of music as a language rarely has talking fast ever been a plus (other than auctions and avoiding an arse kicking).
I think speed impresses people, but in the long run if all you do is blazing licks it gets tiresome, just my opinion of course.

I feel like you have the correct way of thinking about your guitar playing.
I've been trying to learn blues solos on some great old songs lately, and it's pretty easy to learn the notes, but it's harder to get that sweet sound with the subtle bends, slides and phrasing those greats used.
#19
Quote by jerrykramskoy
33db Not sure I understand.  When you say 1st position or 3rd position, are you referring to fret number, or to region?  

So, for A# major (usually called Bb major), a possible pattern t 1st fret  is

e: 1 3
b: 1 3 4
g:0 2 3
d:0 1 3
a:0 1 3
e:1 3

I think you may be having trouble if you are trying to play the major scale in all 7 possible positions.  I suggest you look in regions.  They are a lot easier to visualise and not get lost, and it's based on intervals, not note names.

Sorry, the way I'm learning (relearning) these scales is by using positions in the lesson.
So.
#20
33db This is the CAGED system.

Notice how the right hand side of any shape is the left hand side of a neighbour, and notice where the root notes fall.  Can you see the octave pattern?

E.g. In the above, moving from left (posn 1) to right, we have

root on 6th string, then root on 4th string but 2 frets higher, then root on 2nd string, 3 frets higher aagain, then root on 5th string, 2 frets higher, then root on 3rd string, 2 frets higher, then root on 1st string, 3 frets higher.

Learm that octave pattern, and be able to start at any of the roots, to go left or right.

This will let you quickly locate a shape's root, and then lay out the shape around it.

Because these are a bunch of relative moves (i.e. relative to wherever you started from), this means you can pay less attention to actual pitch names.

For your current problem, start the octave probem at A sharp (B flat). on 6th string.

The octave pattern will give you a frame of reference that is just as useful will all other scale types.
#21
jerrykramskoy Thank you for your kind words! It's been a pleasure to be around here discussing this matter with people who has a lot to teach! I thank you and the other guys on this thread for that!
I started learning a long long time ago, but only now some things are taking shape. This tension/resolution is one of them!
 
Right after I read your post, I started practicing on an Am BT I like to use. It is very nice, and at the same time surprising, to be able to play an think about what I'm doing, to be able to notice what I'd like to do, and know that the means to do it are right there in front of me.
I started with the minor pentatonic, adding notes from the scale and chromatics as I felt more confident... It was a really nice practice session. 
Having the patience to learn about what resolves to what has been very interesting to me. It seems, however, that all the 5 notes from the pentatonic I use have good resolutions, or don't create a lot of tension (as you have mentioned). Even the 4th, or the 7th are able to support the end of a phrase (to my ears). So, I ask you guys to give your opinion on this!
It also seems that 2nd and 6th create even more tension. And tension grows if out of the scale notes are used. 
The lesson you linked is very helpful! Thanks!
 
Just a note on out of the scale notes:
There is a video from a workshop taught by Victor Wooten, and he says that every note can be used in any scale... 
He continues saying that the chromatic scale has 12 notes without repetition, and diatonic scales have 8 notes. So he gives the example of a C Major scale on a piano, which is composed only by white keys. If a person closed his/her eyes, and chose a key at random, he/she would have 8/12 (or 75%) of chance of landing on a "good note". However, if the player landed on a black key (or "bad note"), there would be a white key on both sides of it, and the player could easily go to that correct key, by walking only a semi tone. The lesson is: You are never more than half step away from the good notes.
 
I believe this is a nice way of thinking, since we can experiment with scales, even with chromatic, and resolve in a way that is more pleasing to our ears!
PlusPaul You are absolutely right!
I should start using more my ears, or maybe trusting them a little more! Thanks for the insight!
wolflen Thanks for your replies! I appreciate them and take all of your advice into consideration.
I have always been the curious type. I like to know what things do, and why they act that way. In music, it is no different. So, maybe I don't have to know all this, but I sure want to! And to see friends like you taking your time to help is something I'm very grateful for.
You are right when you say I should take the pressure off my shoulders. Music theory can be very overwhelming, and the way to apply this can be overwhelming as well. It is just a hobby for me, since I have a job in a total different area, and just can't commit to music the way I'd like to. However, I have taken classes for some years, andI don't know why, some things never got solid in my head, both theoretical and practical, too. 
find out how to start it on any note in it..then move it around to different positions..stuff like that..then if you have some licks using the notes of the scale..move those to other positions also..

This is a very good answer for the original question, and I'll use it for sure!
I wonder how much time I'll take to learn the rest of the thing you have mentioned. Be sure you'll hear me again asking about them! :P
33db Hey! If I may try giving my 2 cents, I'd advise you to get of positions and boxes, and start practicing/soloing on one string, or two at a time. This helped me a lot, and maybe will help you too! =)

[quote="reverb66]You're kind of contradicting yourself here - on the one hand you want to improve your chops and speed, on the other you don't see  the benefit of practicing scales.  Scales help build chops and speed!  

reverb66 Sorry if I was unclear! I want to practice scales, and see benefit of doing so! 

I'm just trying to study scales without having to go up and down the fretboard at the maximum speed I can. I do this also, by the way, to practice other aspects of my playing, like picking, legato, hand sync, etc.

What I'm more concerned is approaching scales from a musical perspective. Differences and nuances, intervals, uses, etc. There are so many scales and possibilities, that I feel a little overwhelmed with this subject. 

And thanks for your inputs!

I confess that I'm not very much on the creative side. My motifs/phrases always sound "meh" to me. But I have a couple I like, and always try to come up with new ones!

Singing is a good advice. Do you mean singing "with" the notes, trying to reach them, or just their names?

I'll search for the video you mentioned!

Thanks for the tips!

A lot of good stuff is being discussed here. This is awesome!

Thank you, guys!

Best!
#22
Quote by YellowCat

33db Hey! If I may try giving my 2 cents, I'd advise you to get of positions and boxes, and start practicing/soloing on one string, or two at a time. This helped me a lot, and maybe will help you too! =)
I was literally just doing that this exact moment, paused to read this, also using just the lower 2 strings (high e and b) so I can toss 5th's and 6th's etc in there.
Ha ha! The Internet.
#23
For major/minor scales I practice 3 note per string mostly, and sometimes 4 note per string scales.

I always start in the lowest possible position for the scale, regardless what scale degree it is. Ascend the position, move up, and descend the next position. Do that all way up to the highest position possible, and when there, add one flat/sharp (changing the scale by a 5th/4th) and come back down to the bottom of the fretboard.

I also do a rhythm ladder with those scales. First quarters or a staggered quarter 8th 8th thing, then straight 8ths, then triplets, then 16ths. One trip up and down the neck for each rhythm.

You can also do your hammers/pulls with the scales. You can practicing running them up and down one string at a time, or two strings, or whatever...

Scales and arpeggios are great warm up and technique practice material. You basically just pick a technique that you want to work on and use it with the scale. All kinds of scale patterns can be thought up. If your fretboard knowledge is shaky, working out all the scale and arpeggio patterns on your own is an extremely effective way of getting all the note names/place under your fingers.
#24
Here's are some exercise for you that will help you musically that don't focus on speed:

1) play your scale to a metronome and set the metronome at a slow enough bpm.

2)  play the scale pattern in whole notes once, then do it in half notes, then in triplets, then in quarter notes etc.. Do these in succession - this really helps you interiorise different rhythms and you can really feel the switch from one to the other organically when improvising.  After you've mastered that , mix and match these within a scale pattern to mix it it up, so start tyhe scale in half notes and then switch to triplets mid-scale etc..

3) do the above exercise but add accents - for example, accentuate every third note so that it's significantly louder than the others.  Then do this for every second note etc.  Accents are  one of the most ignored aspects of electric guitar playing. Y


 
#25
Once I memorize all the positions of the scale, I'll put on a backing track or record a quick vamp, then solo using those shapes. No sense in learning the shapes if you can't make music with them. This way, your speed/accuracy/articulation improve along with your musicality. Plus, it's a hell of a lot more fun than just drilling shapes for hours on end to a metronome or a click track. If the track is too fast, space out the notes instead of subdividing. 

“We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.”



silentfall.bandcamp.com