#1
I was just wondering what you guys considered to be more beneficial. Do you sit and practice scales up and down or do you just practice them via improvisation. I cannot force myself to sit and practice scales going up and down. So, most of the time im improving. What do you guys think is the most beneficial? Strict playing of the scales up and down or just practicing them through improvisation?
#2
when learning new scales = definitely going boringly up and down.
just practicing other stuff = chromatic gogogogogo
#3
little from column a little from column b
i luf da grammer knotziez

gear: (i wanna fit in)
ibanez tbx150r
phase90
lil big muff pi
weeping demon
esp viper100
boss chorus
other junk
Quote by donkey the wise
Well played Sir sFsKroniK
yay m special
#4
practicing scales is really boring lucky me i have a spider jam so i can solo and improvise and what i do is look at the scales see where to go and slowly get better at scales.
Gear:
Guitars/ Basses:
PRS SE singlecut w/Tremolo
Epiphone Sg
Epiphone Thunderbird

Waiting in the wings:
Squier Strat mod
(soon to start)

Amps:
Line 6 Spider JAM
Peavey Max 115 bass amp
#6
Practice of scales is only really useful when you attempt to exhaust every finger combination available up and down the scale, which I do recommend btw. Do both.
#7
Quote by rockadoodle
I was just wondering what you guys considered to be more beneficial. Do you sit and practice scales up and down or do you just practice them via improvisation. I cannot force myself to sit and practice scales going up and down. So, most of the time im improving. What do you guys think is the most beneficial? Strict playing of the scales up and down or just practicing them through improvisation?



learn & memorize scales

practice & play music
shred is gaudy music
#8
I do scales up and down, in sequences of three or four (e.g. play through C scale in sequence of fours = C D E F D E F G E F G A F G A B etc etc)
I do arpeggios up and down (e.g. C E G D F A E G B F A C etc). Or every combination of each arpeggio (root position or inverted) through each pattern.
I do interval studies up and down the scales (e.g. diatonic fourths = C F D G E A F B etc etc)
I work through the scale with some bends trying to bend to diatonic target notes. Then I'll play the normally fretted target note right after to check myself.

I try to spend a decent amount of time practicing these sorts of exercises and any others I can come up with in different ways everyday. Mixing it up like this challenges my mind so I need to pay attention and don't get bored. It also prevents my fingers from getting to used to playing the notes in the same order over and over again. Always with a metronome.

I will also spend a decent amount of time every day just improvising in a scale and coming up with licks and phrases, runs, and other sounds. Sometimes with a backing track somtime just a drum track, sometimes just a metronome - Always with a steady beat.

Then I'll spend time just jamming without using set scales. I will just be as free and crazy as I possibly can worrying only about the sounds and not caring if it is a set scale, roaming freely between keys, modes, and chromatic ideas. It's a sonic adventure. Often with no other accompaniment or metronome at all.

For me each way of practicing is fun, challenging, and rewarding in it's own way. What are the lyrics from that Metallica song "boredom embraces the boring mind".
Si
#9
Quote by rockadoodle
I was just wondering what you guys considered to be more beneficial. Do you sit and practice scales up and down or do you just practice them via improvisation. I cannot force myself to sit and practice scales going up and down. So, most of the time im improving. What do you guys think is the most beneficial? Strict playing of the scales up and down or just practicing them through improvisation?

Learning through improvisation is infinitely more beneficial. Think about it; when you're playing music, you're not going to be running up and down the scale over and over again. If you want to play it in a couple positions to get comfortable then go ahead, but IMO there's no point in practicing to become proficient at something that has little practical application.

If you practice the scales in a free improvisational context, you'll be able not only to understand the scale (its intervals and notes), but you'll see how the unique characteristics of each scale can be used to create interesting and colorful licks. Sometimes it's also beneficial to limit yourself in terms of notes. For example, if you want to learn the E minor scale for example, instead of working with E F# G A B C D, just force yourself to work with E F# and G. This will force you to work on your phrasing; because you have limited harmonic and melodic options, you're going to really have to work on techniques to squeeze as much out of three notes as possible.

That's another way of looking at it, but the main point is that the improv will be ten times more useful. Hope this helped.
#10
^^ Thanks for the replies. I was just wondering because I spend alot of time improvising. When I play, improvisation takes up most of my playing time. I think it's safe to say that I probably spend more time improvising than playing songs, practicing scales , practicing chords, etc. Improvisation holds much more appeal to me than just mindlessly playing scales. I was just wondering if this was a beneficial approach to my playing.
#11
Quote by rockadoodle
I was just wondering if this was a beneficial approach to my playing.

Absolutely. You're practicing playing music, and your ultimate goal is to play music.
#13
Quote by ouchies
Practicing them up and down help you learn to visualize them (when you first learn the shapes) and help you with your technique (picking, fretting, legato, w.e)

I think improvisation helps more with technique because you're forced to combine various techniques to create good lines, for example mixing picking with legato.
#14
Quote by :-D
I think improvisation helps more with technique because you're forced to combine various techniques to create good lines, for example mixing picking with legato.


Improvising probably does help with technique and helps someone link ideas together.. like legato and pinking but what if the person was bad at picking and/or legato?

A certain level of technique is required before being able to do "cool things" when you improvise.

Thats what I've always believed anyway and thats what I see in a lot of guitar players.
#15
Quote by ouchies
Improvising probably does help with technique and helps someone link ideas together.. like legato and pinking but what if the person was bad at picking and/or legato?

A certain level of technique is required before being able to do "cool things" when you improvise.

Thats what I've always believed anyway and thats what I see in a lot of guitar players.

If you're bad enough at picking and legato to not string any sort of line together, you're likely in the earliest stages of guitar playing and will avoid pretty much anything but basic chords. And I wasn't referring to anything "cool", just playing the guitar.

I see your point, I'm just speaking from my experience.
#16
Quote by :-D
If you're bad enough at picking and legato to not string any sort of line together, you're likely in the earliest stages of guitar playing and will avoid pretty much anything but basic chords. And I wasn't referring to anything "cool", just playing the guitar.

I see your point, I'm just speaking from my experience.



Combing alternate picking and legato is pretty cool .

What I meant was, not being robotic.

Guitar playing is like playing a sport. You have to actually practice a sport, but when you're not playing, you have to (or should) exercise too. The better shape you're in, the more you'll be able to do on the field.

So improvising is like playing the sport and exercising is like.. doing exercises. When you have all that technique down you can combine them and use them more freely.

I'm speaking from experience too.. I teach at my high school (yeah my own high school) and I travel around and go to clinics and stuff during the summer. So I see a lot of guitar players.
#17
Quote by ouchies
Guitar playing is like playing a sport. You have to actually practice a sport, but when you're not playing, you have to (or should) exercise too. The better shape you're in, the more you'll be able to do on the field.

I know, but if you're playing the sport you're getting practice as well. If you can play constantly that's going to be very beneficial and will build the fundamental skills. That's why, for example, my tee ball team way back when had no practices, just games. We would build the fundamental skills without potentially boring ourselves.
#18
playing guitar is also like other forms of sports too. chess for example. once you've got your mind trained to it, you will never get worse.
#19
Quote by :-D
I know, but if you're playing the sport you're getting practice as well. If you can play constantly that's going to be very beneficial and will build the fundamental skills. That's why, for example, my tee ball team way back when had no practices, just games. We would build the fundamental skills without potentially boring ourselves.


And you guys didn't exercise ?


Whatever.

We each have different views, but I think its safe to say that both are beneficial for playing and at some point they will both have to be practiced.
#20
Quote by ouchies
And you guys didn't exercise ?


Whatever.

We each have different views, but I think its safe to say that both are beneficial for playing and at some point they will both have to be practiced.

We didn't exercise because we were young; first we made sure we had the fundamentals down. Since we were about 7 (I think 7, it's at least 10 years back) the games reinforced fundamentals because the game was so new.

Anyway, like I said, I see your point and I'm simply offering mine.
#21
Why people think "practicing scales" = "going up and down the scale", I just
don't understand. No doubt, doing that forever WOULD be boring. However,
you can also use your imagination and/or get a book of SCALE STUDIES, which
really is all about PRACTICING SCALES.

USING scales in improvisation HAS to be done. However, it's NOT a substitute
for practicing scales. If you're always just using the scale in improvising in order
to practice it, the downside is you'll just settle into comfortable ruts. You're not
specifically stretching your comfort zone as to what you know about and how
your fingers can traverse scales in new ways. Scale Studies DO that specifically.
If you do them enough, you'll find new things showing up in your improvisation
all the time.