Hello everyone, been looking around here for a long time and alot of the forums has been real helpful and interesting. But now my curiosity has me here making my first post .

You see I have been playing guitar for awhile and I have knowing avoided learning theory and practicing scales. Suppose that I've been working on technique and building up speed and the what not, but now I want to learn scales and theory. A few days ago I made a cool riff and whenever I wanted to make a rhythm part or solo or even add on something to make it longer, it sounded so crappy.... Alot of the time I hear that you should "feel" your music and find out what sounds good that way and I think there is some truth in that, but I beleive that Music Theory and scales would help me find what sounds good easier too.

So my question is how do I go about doing that? Learning the theory?
Would it be important to learn pentatonic or should I go ahead and learn a Mode like phygian or something?

Im asking this because i'm so confused at where to start or even how to start. Alot of lessons talk about stuff like the pentatonic or blues or modes, but what would really help me in improv, or even writing down a basic rhythm or solo.

Sorry if this is a stupid post but i'm just really confused and i guess I just don't have any direction. any kind of help would be really appreciated..........
well, it warms my heart to see somebody on the forums who sincerely wants to improve their playing...first and foremost, i would take note on any bad habits you may have developed previously without knowing it i.e. playing anchored, tightened fist with picking hand, excess tension, etc...to learn more about technique, i would head here


and here is one of the best theory lessons on the site


now, for a beginner to theory and scales, i would definitely start off with the minor and major pentatonic scales


but also to understand how scales are formed...since the pentatonic is the major scale without two notes, i would learn about the basic major scale, which the theory lesson goes over in detail...that should be enough to get you started, after that you should learn the modes of the major scale

this site has some great lessons for everything from basics such as chords to the modes and beyond


most importantly, you should learn scales for what they are - notes, not shapes...make sure to learn more than just 1-2-4 etc...learn to see the scales as intervals and degrees and such, like a classical player would...you should be able to play a note and be able to know where the augmented 4th would be and such...hopefully this helped, good luck to you
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Minor Pentatonic: Learn all 5 shapes and practice it chromatically (going up one fret at a time) starting from the first note of the first box, go up the scal alternate picking (Down, Up, Down, Up) slowly. When you reach the top of the first box, move up the 2 frets and come down the second box...

Going up chromatically, the first scale will be Fminor Pent (we're skipping the open E)

That's 2 shapes down
Once you go up and back down the 5 shapes, start decending first and do it again. Then move to F#minor and repeat climbing the frets mastering as many positions as you can until you run out of room. Once done all possible combo's, move onto something. Try not to spend more than 2 hours on this a day. Practice slowly making sure you hit all the right notes as your picking them.

That's the most used scale and it is very useful to know it. After this, do the major pentatonic and its 5 shapes. Then move onto the major/minor scale modes. Use the shapes where theres 3 notes to a string and practice them in the same fashion as you would these except piking will be (Down, Up, Down "next string" Down, Up, Down "Next String") for ascending and (Up, Down, Up "next string' Up, Down, Up "Next String") for descending.

Last edited by santhony1987 at Jul 12, 2006,