I'm just making sure that it acceptable and beneficial to go ahead and learn the scale shapes/boxes as long as I am making a conscious effort to learn what notes the scales contain. I know that knowing the notes on the fretboard and knowing the notes in individual scales are extremely beneficial, but when it comes to improvising, it's hard to think about and concentrate on individual notes/note names. I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to this but it can be hard to tell sometimes as the scale positions are somewhat shunned from time to time. Thanks

Also, can pentatonic major and minor scale shapes be derived from the major and minor diatonic box positions by just leaving out the appropriate notes? I.E. you can sort of learn the positioning for two scales at once?
You have to understand the intervals that make up the scale in both the number formula (1 2 3 4 5 6 7) and in tones and semitones. If you understand that, the patterns don't hinder your playing their just an expansion of your knowledge. You'll know how to use them. You'll also start coming up with your own.

And yes the pentatonic scale is basically the major scale with missing notes.
Quote by Wizards?
Confusius says, "No motherfucker!

Call me Kyrl, pronounced Curl

DOIN DAT FUNKY DANCE
Absolutely. Scale shapes are an incredibly convenient learning tool. You just have to remember that the shape is just a byproduct of the way the guitar is designed, and that scales themselves aren't shapes.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Quote by confusius
You have to understand the intervals that make up the scale in both the number formula (1 2 3 4 5 6 7) and in tones and semitones. If you understand that, the patterns don't hinder your playing their just an expansion of your knowledge.

learning the scale shapes will never hinder your playing. You don't have to understand them to make music with them. (but if you want to you should of-course)

TS:

Don't ever be afraid to learn or utilize scale shapes. Alot of people would mislead you into thinking they are "bad".... but its not true. Learn as much as you can/want theory wise, but don't let bad advice stop you from learning something valuable like scale patterns.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 18, 2008,
Sure, scale shapes are very important for learning to play something quickly and easily, and they're good for general reference. As you said, though, it's important to learn the theory behind them; it's very beneficial when you can just say to yourself, "Oh, that's why this pattern can be constructed in this way."

Also, the pentatonic scales are derived from the major and minor scales anyway, so it'll be very helpful to learn the positions as they relate to the scales they're built from.
Is it also true that as I begin to gain more and more experience, i'll have to rely less and less on the established boxes/shapes for structure and navigation? Kinda like i'll just know what sounds are where on the neck and where I would need to go to continue a run, lick, etc.
Is it also true that as I begin to gain more and more experience, i'll have to rely less and less on the established boxes/shapes for structure and navigation?
You will (hopefully, but almost certainly if you practice) eventually reach a point where you freely improvise all over the fretboard and that's when the guitar really becomes a lot of fun. You'll obviously always remember how to play an Am pentatonic between frets 5 and 8, but the other ones will simply be what you use. Other than that, you'll have to think about it, but that's okay. Personally, I only know that 5 8 Am pentatonic shape on all 6 strings, but I know a lot of 2, 3, and 4 string licks all over the fretboard (a lot of arps) which allow me to create massive licks spanning 15 frets. Knowing where desired notes are on the fretboard, both my memorization of notes as well as having the ear to know that when you play 2 frets higher, you know exactly what that will sound like, is helpful for that as well.

I've been playing for close to a decade, and a lot of this has only come to me in the last 12 to 18 months, so don't feel as if you should be able to do what I've described in a few weeks. That's a completely unreasonable goal. However, you should see it (or something like it) as an exciting future for your playing and something to achieve in the long run.
^^That's really good to hear. It encouraged me alot. I have to keep reminding myself that my soloing and playing in general is going to take years to develop into something that sounds decent. I watch videos of my favorite guitarists(blues and classic rock) playing mind blowing solos and I have to tell myself that It took them years of playing before they reached the level that they're at now.
I'm just making sure that it acceptable and beneficial to go ahead and learn the scale shapes/boxes as long as I am making a conscious effort to learn what notes the scales contain. I know that knowing the notes on the fretboard and knowing the notes in individual scales are extremely beneficial, but when it comes to improvising, it's hard to think about and concentrate on individual notes/note names. I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to this but it can be hard to tell sometimes as the scale positions are somewhat shunned from time to time. Thanks

Also, can pentatonic major and minor scale shapes be derived from the major and minor diatonic box positions by just leaving out the appropriate notes? I.E. you can sort of learn the positioning for two scales at once?
Personally I think its better to think "what interval am I playing" instead of "what note am I playing." Probably just me though.

Also, anyone noticed that even "rock stars" still use shapes? I've seen hendrix, clapton, jimmy page and the guitarist from iron maiden use shapes in some or all of their solos.
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[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
*-|-*    (_)     `-’
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L.``````
Quote by mike
Also, anyone noticed that even "rock stars" still use shapes?
Are you serious?
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
Quote by Ænimus Prime
Are you serious?
What, you've never seen clapton pentatonically wanking?

I'm just saying, shapes arent that bad.
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*-|-*    (_)     `-’
|
L.``````
Mate, what I was getting at was how absurdly obvious it is that guitarists use shapes. Shapes are inseparable from guitar, they're there no matter what.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
Quote by Ænimus Prime
Mate, what I was getting at was how absurdly obvious it is that guitarists use shapes. Shapes are inseparable from guitar, they're there no matter what.
oh

Well I'm sure classical guitarist dont use shapes, amirite?
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[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
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[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
*-|-*    (_)     `-’
|
L.``````
Shapes are inseparable from guitar, they're there no matter what.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
I study the classical guitar and we use shapes too. Not in the same way I would when I improvise, but if you study classical guitar you'll realize there are also patterns and shapes that pop up a lot.

I agree with Aenimus. You can try and avoid them and you may not think shape wise but what you're playing will fall into some form of shape or pattern.

And in response to Guitar Munky, hindering wasn't the best word I could have chosen I do find it pointless when someone learns a pattern to a scale and never learns how to apply it. I know the pattern to play hungarian minor rather comfortably, but I haven't studied hungarian or other eastern european music, so I have no idea how to use that shape. Is it making my playing worse? No. Is it making it better? No.

In the end, the important thing is to learn as much as possible so that when you need the information it's cleanly stored on your hard-drive and you can just pull it out and use it rather than having to look through some old fashioned filling system for hours.

Quote by Wizards?
Confusius says, "No motherfucker!

Call me Kyrl, pronounced Curl

DOIN DAT FUNKY DANCE
Quote by Ænimus Prime
Shapes are inseparable from guitar, they're there no matter what.

exactly. Thats all there is to it.

Its pretty amazing to me that people would debate whether or not you should recognize that fact. It's even more amazing that people would actually suggest that you not utilize that knowledge.

Quote by confusius
You can try and avoid them

Why would you want to?

Quote by confusius

and you may not think shape wise but what you're playing will fall into some form of shape or pattern.

exactly. So there is no reason to avoid recognizing what's there and there is no reason to avoid utilizing that knowledge.

Quote by confusius

And in response to Guitar Munky, hindering wasn't the best word I could have chosen I do find it pointless when someone learns a pattern to a scale and never learns how to apply it. I know the pattern to play hungarian minor rather comfortably, but I haven't studied hungarian or other eastern european music, so I have no idea how to use that shape. Is it making my playing worse? No. Is it making it better? No.

Open your ears and listen. Just because you haven't officially studied a scale out of a book, doesn't mean you can't use your ears and make music with it. Learning something, and then utilizing it to make music is never "pointless".

What is pointless is not learning a pattern because you heard somewhere that it hinders your playing, and is pointless.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 19, 2008,
Scales have shapes. Triads have shapes. Arpeggios have shapes. Chords
have shapes. Intervals have shapes.

When you learn enough of these, you begin to see how they relate and how they
help you to understand what notes mean and be able to improvise them quickly
enough without having to think of note names all the time.
Quote by GuitarMunky
Why would you want to?
Duh, because I know the fretboard so well I dont need them
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[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
*-|-*    (_)     `-’
|
L.``````
What is pointless is not learning a pattern because you heard somewhere that it hinders your playing, and is pointless.

That's why I apologized for using the word hindering! T'was the wrong word and I took it back.

And I'm not saying you should avoid them, I was saying that you can try to avoid them if you want them, by not thinking about them, but in the end your playing keeps falling into patterns and shapes. I don't know why you're disagreeing with me if in the end we're saying the same thing.

Open your ears and listen. Just because you haven't officially studied a scale out of a book, doesn't mean you can't use your ears and make music with it. Learning something, and then utilizing it to make music is never "pointless".

That's exactly what I'm saying. Learning something but not learning how to use it is not a good idea. Learning to use it is. I never said that learning how to use something was pointless.

Quote by Wizards?
Confusius says, "No motherfucker!

Call me Kyrl, pronounced Curl

DOIN DAT FUNKY DANCE
Quote by demonofthenight
Duh, because I know the fretboard so well I dont need them

LOL okay man, if you say so.

Quote by confusius
That's why I apologized for using the word hindering! T'was the wrong word and I took it back.

And I'm not saying you should avoid them, I was saying that you can try to avoid them if you want them, by not thinking about them, but in the end your playing keeps falling into patterns and shapes. I don't know why you're disagreeing with me if in the end we're saying the same thing.

That's exactly what I'm saying. Learning something but not learning how to use it is not a good idea. Learning to use it is. I never said that learning how to use something was pointless.

Ok man. I guess I wasn't just arguing with you, but with that point of view in general.

I think pretty much anyone is going to strive to learn how to use them. I mean, why wouldn't they? Whether they learn how by reading a theory book, or by just using their ear, the end result is the same......Music (hopefully)

Quote by edg
Scales have shapes. Triads have shapes. Arpeggios have shapes. Chords
have shapes. Intervals have shapes.

When you learn enough of these, you begin to see how they relate and how they
help you to understand what notes mean and be able to improvise them quickly
enough without having to think of note names all the time.

exactly.

being aware of the shapes is always a benefit, it never takes anything away from your playing or musical ability.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 19, 2008,