#1
Do I learn the formula of the scale or do I learn the positions or do I learn both?
#6
Quote by grampastumpy
Both.


Both, but- neither is most important. Learn the sound so that your fingers can find the notes in the dark.
#7
Quote by mezzopiano
Both, but- neither is most important. Learn the sound so that your fingers can find the notes in the dark.

This is where the positions are helpful; if you know the sound but don't know the positions, you'll just be flailing and missing in the dark.
#8
Quote by :-D
This is where the positions are helpful; if you know the sound but don't know the positions, you'll just be flailing and missing in the dark.


Yep- but at a certain point the positions go away and you might choose to think of the notes in terms of a number of organizing principles. It's good to learn scales from the point of view of position playing, but it's important not to get trapped in that. What's really important is the sound.
#9
Quote by mezzopiano
Yep- but at a certain point the positions go away and you might choose to think of the notes in terms of a number of organizing principles. It's good to learn scales from the point of view of position playing, but it's important not to get trapped in that. What's really important is the sound.

I don't think the positions ever really "go away", and yes, it's important not to think of scales only as positions.
#10
Quote by :-D
I don't think the positions ever really "go away", and yes, it's important not to think of scales only as positions.


Hmm- I guess what I'm saying is that I first learned the diatonic scales as a set of 7 positions. That worked really well for playing modes. It worked pretty well for playing blues scales too. It worked a little less well for playing things like diminished scales and whole-tone scales, but it was doable.

Then I started transcribing a lot of bebop, where it was mostly a matter of thinking about chords and their extensions. Suddenly I had to make a lot of half step shifts in order to finger things, and positional scales weren't important at all. At that point the positionally oriented box scales started to dissolve into whole-fingerboard fingerings. Later on I started to try to just play what I heard, and I found that the easiest way to do that was to make a lot of really large shifts.

That's what I mean when I say that the positions go away at a certain point- you start to have a lot of choices about where you will play a note. You can't really play highly chromatic stuff if you are locked into the box scales.