I've been playing a year and i'd say i'm half way with the scale that i'm learning, which is just the pentatonic minor scale. I understand how key changing works, and i know all 5 boxes of the scale and i can link them together etc. At the moment i can play in A minor easily but my problem is when it comes to different keys. I know that all the boxes stay the same when you move them up and down but i just can't seem to do it. Lets say i play in A-minor then need to switch to D-minor i'd play in A minor fine but when it comes to switching to D i wouldn't be able to do it very well. I'd first have to find a D note then try and visualise the scale in D before i could carry on with my solo. So really what would you recommend that i did for this and what excersises could i do to make sure that i nail the pentatonic minor scale? Also i don't know all the root notes yet but i'm working on it. Thanks for any help
Just learn the notes better, besides you need to know what note you're playing to use scales effectively. The nore familiar you are with the notes themselves, not just the root notes, the less you'll be dependent on boxes and you'll find it easier to both move around the fretboard and also change key.
Actually called Mark!

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Ok so you recommend learning all the notes on the fretboard? Seems to make sense going to take a lot of work i better get cracking. I have a program called fretboard warrior will that help?
I learned the low "E" in the first octave then applied that to the other strings starting at the base note of each string of course. Have I got all 144 positions memorized? Heck no, but at least I can figure out what I need and time will do the rest .

What helped me when "tieing" the Pentatonic scales together was this map I found on the web. I hope it helps you too .

Hey RCShadow thanks for the diagram but i obviously didn't explain properly that's part of the bit that i CAN do. I can link the boxes together fine like that etc. What i can't do is go from one key to another properly and improvise well. So for example i could play in G-minor all day no problem, not that quickly and not in time and maybe not very good sounding but still, i'll hit all the notes. I can do the same with all keys. But when it comes to say playing G-minor for 8 beats then switching to D-minor i just can't do it. Well i could, but it would take me a while to figure it out and by the time i do it'll be too late. Well i could do it if i stayed in just one box but if i wanted to use all 5 boxes there's no way i could do it. Like i could finish on say 3rd fret B string, and to change the key to D i'd have to hit either 12th fret D or 10th fret E because that's the easiest box for me and i know where the root notes are for that box because i think that's the simplest. Hope that made a bit of sense
If you want to improvise, link, and create your own stuff, dont limit yourself to thinking of scales as boxes or patterns.

Scales should not be thought of as they are in the picture.
Learn the notes, learn where they are, learn to quickly think of the notes in a certain scale and how to get to them instantly.

Look around the musician talk forum
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Yeah perhaps this topic would have been better in the other forum. But then if we're supposed to learn all the notes on the fretboard is there point in learning scales? And also if you're saying to not think of scales as patterns how are you supposed to know which notes go with each other? Or am i misunderstanding?
I would just stick to learning a particular note and find it on all locations of the fretboard then go to the next note and so on and so on till you have atleast a few down then go back to the scale and try it again. but make sure when you play the notes on the fret board use the same finger each time. ex: hitting all the a notes with the first finger. then going to b then c and so on and so on.
I think maybe I smell some advice discontinuity. What I mean is, I think all the advice is good, it just depends on where you are at in the learning process.

I used the map as a tool when I first started guitar so I could visually see how the shapes fit together. Later, after getting the dexterity down to do these shapes, I then progressed on to wanting to tie them together to break out of a single box. Then later, I wanted to learn the notes so I could get some thoery on how to connect one type of scale to another type of scale.

I hope that makes some sense?

Yeah just learn the progression of notes in the scale, thats what i'm doing right now and it really helps to make everything much clearer so you aren't just learning the positions, that way you can go from key to key a lot more fluidly.