#1
hey guys.

um, well ive been playinga bout 4 years and up til now have just been trying to challenge myself with progressivly harder songs, playing faster, finger exercises, ect.

Ive got a basic understanding of music theory. well actually a pretty good understanding, but i guess i need to kind of apply that to guitar.

ive learned bazillions of chords, how to construct a chord and all, but on scales ive only learned basically the major, minor, and basic pentatonic scales.

now I want to start getting into improv and start bringing everything ive been working on for 4 years together. and so my question is....what are the best scales to start learning? like whats the best direction to go in and stuff?

and suggestions where to go? or any good scale books? any tips?

appreciate any responses.
Guitar is LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#3
The best scales to begin learning are the major scale and then the minor and major pentatonic scales in that order. The major scale is the foundation of Western music, and the pentatonics are the most commonly scales used in rock-type music, though minor is far more prevalent than major. Yes, you said you knew them, but how well can you apply them and how well do you understand their construction?

Either way, where you want to go from here if you understand those scales well enough depends on your influences and what you want to play. So what would be your influences and style(s)?

I'd recommend against the "Guitar Grimoire" series other than to use them as reference books. They won't actually teach you about the structure and fundamental usage of the scales which is what you really need to understand. I'd sharpen your theory skills a bit using the sticky in this forum and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory so you understand how the scales are built. Use the "Grimoire" series for quick reference.
#4
Quote by pinktie
A post posted by the good gentlemen known as pinktie
Good sir, I have an absolutly splendidly smashing repost about improvising, if I may say so myself. You may be interested in it:

_________________________________
I think you should take it back a step. If I said you were playing major/minor scales (instead of pentatonics) would I be right? Well take a step back and start playing the simple pentatonic scales.

Once you've learnt a few shapes (2 or 3 is fine) of the pentatonic scale, you probably should try to focus on what you feel is the right next note and play REALLY slow. Try to listen to some of those slow expressive blues solo's to get what I mean. Whilst doing this, try to become proficient at moving around the fretboard and between shapes. Aim to be able to slide between 3 or 4 notes on the same string.
Copying a singers phrasing and rhthym is generally a good idea to when learning how to improvise. And I dont mean metal singers/screamers, who sing really fast. Copy something slow. This is how people started writing those slow blues solo's.

Doing this will get your phrasing (by copying those singers) and your technique (by moving between shapes) ready for doing some real solo's (as in, stuff that sounds good).

Than after you've got all that down and when you're good enough to say that you personally enjoy what you're playing (it took me a couple of years to enjoy my pentatonic wankery), you'll be ready to move on. Than study the major scale, the intervals behind it, the way these intervals create harmonic/melodic consonance and dissonance and watch melodic control by marty friedman. Pretty much look for and study as much theory as you can eat. And analyse solo's, ask yourself, why do they sound good?
At this stage you should start realising that the same note can sound better or worse over different chords and some notes sound better or worse when followed (or preceeded) by some notes. Exploiting this will enable you to control what you're solo's are going to feel like, instead of blindly looking for the right note.
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#5
Quote by pinktie

ive learned bazillions of chords, how to construct a chord and all, but on scales ive only learned basically the major, minor, and basic pentatonic scales.


That's plenty of scales.

There seems to be a huge misconception everyone has about scales and improvising.
You've probably tried improvising with those scales, and said to yourself: "That
doesn't sound very good. There must be a better scale to use." WRONG

You can search forever and you'll never ever find this magic scale, because the
scale is not the problem. I'm afraid the problem is .... you! You just don't know
how to improvise using a scale.

Until you know what the notes mean and how they function and how they sound
in various contexts, all you have is a bunch of notes that you don't know anything
about. So, you're going to be limited to hitting "random" notes or "running up
and down the scale". You have no intent in your playing and don't know how to
use the notes to say anything, so it's no surprise you're not going to sound good.

There's 2 ways you can learn about scales: 1) learn some solos others have done
and look at how they've used scales in thier playing 2) do scale studies to train
your ear and fingers in various ways you can organize and play a scale.

Beyond that, you just keep trying to practice improvising. At some point your ears
and fingers begin to catch on and you can start saying something.
#6
Quote by edg
That's plenty of scales.

There seems to be a huge misconception everyone has about scales and improvising.
You've probably tried improvising with those scales, and said to yourself: "That
doesn't sound very good. There must be a better scale to use." WRONG

You can search forever and you'll never ever find this magic scale, because the
scale is not the problem. I'm afraid the problem is .... you! You just don't know
how to improvise using a scale.

Until you know what the notes mean and how they function and how they sound
in various contexts, all you have is a bunch of notes that you don't know anything
about. So, you're going to be limited to hitting "random" notes or "running up
and down the scale". You have no intent in your playing and don't know how to
use the notes to say anything, so it's no surprise you're not going to sound good.

There's 2 ways you can learn about scales: 1) learn some solos others have done
and look at how they've used scales in thier playing 2) do scale studies to train
your ear and fingers in various ways you can organize and play a scale.

Beyond that, you just keep trying to practice improvising. At some point your ears
and fingers begin to catch on and you can start saying something.
We're sorry edg.

Anyway, nice post.

I know everyone copies everyone else in solo's and that, like with some short licks and phrasing ideas, but does anyone else feel a bit dirty when they do it?

Like I'm writing a song now, and I'm going to copy bits from where the wild roses grow, and suddenly I feel damn dirty.
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      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#7
Quote by demonofthenight
We're sorry edg.


I know everyone copies everyone else in solo's and that, like with some short licks and phrasing ideas, but does anyone else feel a bit dirty when they do it?


absolutely not. its fun and highly educational.

Quote by demonofthenight

Like I'm writing a song now, and I'm going to copy bits from where the wild roses grow, and suddenly I feel damn dirty.


If thats what your doing, I would feel dirty to.

stealing ideas from a particular song and calling it your own is dirty, learning other peoples music for fun and education is not.
shred is gaudy music
#8
Quote by GuitarMunky
absolutely not. its fun and highly educational.
Why did that sound like an add to me?
Quote by GuitarMunky
If thats what your doing, I would feel dirty to.

stealing ideas from a particular song and calling it your own is dirty, learning other peoples music for fun and education is not.
You make it out as if I'm copying a whole song. I"m just stuck for a melody for my second part, I wanted something slow and sombre, I'd just listened to where the roses grow and so I'm going to take 2 or 3 nice sounding melody notes and use them to start my melody. Yet even 2 or 3 notes still feels a little dirty.

And heaps of guys take licks and progressions of each other, are you saying that they're all dirty too? Or just me? So every one that uses the 12 bar blues is dirty?
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[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#9
Quote by demonofthenight
Why did that sound like an add to me?


im not sure what you mean, but I was saying that learning other peoples music is a positive thing. I dont feel dirty about it at all, in fact I enjoy doing it.


Quote by demonofthenight

You make it out as if I'm copying a whole song. I"m just stuck for a melody for my second part, I wanted something slow and sombre, I'd just listened to where the roses grow and so I'm going to take 2 or 3 nice sounding melody notes and use them to start my melody. Yet even 2 or 3 notes still feels a little dirty.



Well, if that works for you. Your the one that said you feel dirty, why be offended by someone agreeing with you?

I don't really have a problem with what your doing. If it gives you something to work with thats great.


Quote by demonofthenight

And heaps of guys take licks and progressions of each other, are you saying that they're all dirty too? Or just me? So every one that uses the 12 bar blues is dirty?


Just you!!

Obviously I dont feel that learning other peoples licks is bad ( see my 1st answer)
thats the reason I posted in the 1st place.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 16, 2008,