#1
When learning scales... should I learn them in all 5 positions? Or should I just learn the scales in the first position, and get a basic understanding of some important scales?
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#2
Learn the notes of the fretboard and learn scales as notes. Learning patterns is limiting.
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#3
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Learn the notes of the fretboard and learn scales as notes. Learning patterns is limiting.

yeah, but should i learn all 5 positions in a particular scale, or should i just learn the first position in as many scales as i can?
Gear:
Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar Ash
Bugera 333XL 212
Dunlop Original Cry Baby >> Korg Pitchblack Tuner >> MXR Carbon Copy >> Boss DS-1
#4
Quote by trutrojan8
yeah, but should i learn all 5 positions in a particular scale, or should i just learn the first position in as many scales as i can?


Did you actually read what I said? Seriously?
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#5
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Did you actually read what I said? Seriously?

i did but i didn't really understand what you were trying to get through.
Gear:
Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar Ash
Bugera 333XL 212
Dunlop Original Cry Baby >> Korg Pitchblack Tuner >> MXR Carbon Copy >> Boss DS-1
#6
Quote by trutrojan8
i did but i didn't really understand what you were trying to get through.


1 - Learn the notes of the fretboard (as in E F F# G G# A blah blah blah).

2 - Learn scales as notes (as in E minor E F# G A blah blah blah).

3 - Combine two knowledge bases into playing that isn't limited by shapes.

4 - ???

5 - Profit.
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#7
Zaphod I do agree on learning the intervals and the notes, but I do also believe he should learn to visualize the neck as a cage diagram to view it in positions, but no when he changes positions, that's how my "teachers" taught me to do it.
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#8
Quote by notsee
Zaphod I do agree on learning the intervals and the notes, but I do also believe he should learn to visualize the neck as a cage diagram to view it in positions, but no when he changes positions, that's how my "teachers" taught me to do it.


If you know the fretboard and your scales well enough then you don't need shapes, once you know the two well enough you should just be able to see the fretboard as a set of notes you can use.
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#9
Haha, True enough but I think it takes longer to identify things that way, cage visualization means you don't have to think about the notes because you know every pattern and how to run into each pattern accordingly without having to know the notes, I know a certain pattern makes up a C major scale, or the major scale in general. As long as the musician knows which degrees of the scale they are within and how it pertains to the harmony, it shouldn't really matter. It's harder to learn all the notes up the neck and hardly any guitarists actually do that, most prefer to look at it as a set of interconnected cages, as in a link of chains. Most guitarists if you ask for a note on the fretboard they go to the most common location to them anyways.
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#10
But how are you suposed to identify root notes within a pattern, or know where to play a pattern, if you don't already know how to play the notes?

Patterns come into play once you've already learned the scale, they help you navigate around the fretboard and also give you visual references that you can match up to intervals. However, you can't learn anything about the scale itself from them, you don't know what notes and intervals it contains, what chords it fits over, what context to use it in etc.

The patterns themselves are of no consequence, taken out of context they don't mean anything. They only have meaning when you associate them with the fundamental qualities of the scale.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Oct 14, 2008,
#11
I actually made the same mistake when I started out

Yes you should know all 5 positions, because they come in handy when constructing arpeggios and chords, as well as scales (which way you can play chords, scales and arpeggios all over the fretboard), BUT, you must understand the theory behind a shape, otherwise it's pointless (which intervals, root notes, which notes you are playing). Shapes are quite useful when you understand what they mean.
#12
Quote by Thunderstorm
I actually made the same mistake when I started out

Yes you should know all 5 positions, because they come in handy when constructing arpeggios and chords, as well as scales (which way you can play chords, scales and arpeggios all over the fretboard), BUT, you must understand the theory behind a shape, otherwise it's pointless (which intervals, root notes, which notes you are playing). Shapes are quite useful when you understand what they mean.

Yup, me too

Wasted a lot of time that way too
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#13
Quote by notsee
It's harder to learn all the notes up the neck and hardly any guitarists actually do that, most prefer to look at it as a set of interconnected cages, as in a link of chains. Most guitarists if you ask for a note on the fretboard they go to the most common location to them anyways.


Exactly, look at how much most guitarists suck as soloists compared to any other instrument; guitar is the only instrument in the world where people say things like this.
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#14
I agree - it's probably the only musical instrument where there's a significant percentage of players that not only don't know any music theory but even actively discourage it.

Any other instrument it's understood that you do your time with the donkey work and boring crap before you get anywhere...we guitarists have it easier than anyone yet we're still collectively the laziest musicians on earth. We have an instrument that is cheap, portable and simple to use. It's also ridiculously simple, you play one note with one finger, can play chords if we want and because of the direct contact with your hands you have an incredible degree of control over the sound...compare that to the poor saps on the brass instruments where they have to use several fingers just to play one note, or a violinist with no frets to make sure you hit the right note, or a piano player who may have a more versatilie instrument but is going to have a hard time lugging it to the train station for a bit of busking, or down to the beach for a late night barbecue.

We've got the easisest instrument in the world, yet some of us are too lazy to learn the most basic things about how it works musically. Boys will spend hours trying to crack a level on a video game, girls will watch a music video over and over day after day to learn the dance steps, but learning 12 simple notes is too much like hard work for some "guitarists"...it's downright embarassing.
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#15
Quote by steven seagull
Yup, me too

Wasted a lot of time that way too


Hehe, well fortunately I only wasted 2 months or so, but slowly I got the CAGED system sorted out, then again I was self-taught for that period, so I had to figure out everything myself, which wasn't easy...

Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Exactly, look at how much most guitarists suck as soloists compared to any other instrument; guitar is the only instrument in the world where people say things like this.


True, but we're talking about not so good guitarists. People who claim that there are good guitarists who don't know any theory, like Slash, and still can rock, are wrong. Even if he doesn't know much theory, he still knows the pentatonic scales in many positions, or he knows what knows to play in what key. I mean, those people still know SOMETHING. I bet most of them know all the notes on the neck

I always wonder why people start threads like "What guitarists is awesome and doesn't know any theory". Even though they are creative, they still know something (either the box patterns, or notes or whatever, it doesn't matter, it's the same thing).
Last edited by Thunderstorm at Oct 14, 2008,
#16
The more you play, that's all that really matters on guitar. I feel at a loss because I was formerly music production, dropped out, now just another musician. Chuck Shuldiner, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, and many other guitarists don't even know theory. I wasn't saying "you need to learn positional playing but you don't need to learn the notes" but I don't think any of you actually read my posts attentively enough to verify that, but you can check them now that I am calling attention to it if you like.

In fact to show the lack of attention span to what I said. Just check my first post on this thread.
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Last edited by notsee at Oct 14, 2008,
#17
Quote by notsee
The more you play, that's all that really matters on guitar.


This is the only instrument where people have this attitude, why is that? any other instrument people always actively learn everything they can including proper theory.

Quote by notsee
I feel at a loss because I was formerly music production, dropped out, now just another musician. Chuck Shuldiner, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, and many other guitarists don't even know theory. I wasn't saying "you need to learn positional playing but you don't need to learn the notes" but I don't think any of you actually read my posts attentively enough to verify that, but you can check them now that I am calling attention to it if you like.

In fact to show the lack of attention span to what I said. Just check my first post on this thread.


Chuck literally taught himself theory, he made up his own scales which more often than not turned out to be conventional scales such as harmonic minor. Anyway, I still maintain that once you know the notes of the fretboard and scales well enough then you don't need the shapes.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


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#18
Makes me feel accomplished that I learned where every note is on the neck! I only know the minor pentatonic scale in the key of A minor (A C D E G right) I don't look at them as shapes, I try and identify the notes as I play them when attempting to improvise lol. There's so many locations on the neck to find just those notes it's amazing.

Just thought I'd add that, lol.

RaVe
#19
Quote by notsee
Zaphod I do agree on learning the intervals and the notes, but I do also believe he should learn to visualize the neck as a cage diagram to view it in positions, but no when he changes positions, that's how my "teachers" taught me to do it.


Now, to be ridiculous, "Did you actually read what I said? Seriously?"
Notice the, "Zaphod, I do agree" right at the very start of the post?

Also, what other instrument has these easy to use and remember patterns? Piano. . .? The shapes are inconsistent and appliance of utilization of movement are different per scale. Trumpet? Trombone? Violin maybe but it's tuned to fifth's so that's a bit different. Saxophone? Obviously the point I'm making is most other instruments don't have the option. So maybe that's why guitar is different, because it is a different instrument and different rules apply. Unless, that is, you want to be an Elite stuck-up classical guitarist that reads sheet music.
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Metal, should kick you in the nuts, after you catch it messing around with your girlfriend.
and then make a sandwhich in your house and walk out.


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#20
Quote by notsee
Unless, that is, you want to be an Elite stuck-up classical guitarist that reads sheet music.


Yes, everyone knows that classical guitarists and people who read sheet music are all arseholes.

I'll try putting this another way: Watch this video and realize that if you just learn a bunch of shapes then this becomes impossible or at best much harder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-e0e8haczo&feature=related

Frank can play and think that way because he knows NOTES not SHAPES and he is constantly re-fingering standard ideas 'on the fly' to fit around his technique.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#21
Quote by steven seagull
I agree - it's probably the only musical instrument where there's a significant percentage of players that not only don't know any music theory but even actively discourage it.

Any other instrument it's understood that you do your time with the donkey work and boring crap before you get anywhere...we guitarists have it easier than anyone yet we're still collectively the laziest musicians on earth. We have an instrument that is cheap, portable and simple to use. It's also ridiculously simple, you play one note with one finger, can play chords if we want and because of the direct contact with your hands you have an incredible degree of control over the sound...compare that to the poor saps on the brass instruments where they have to use several fingers just to play one note, or a violinist with no frets to make sure you hit the right note, or a piano player who may have a more versatilie instrument but is going to have a hard time lugging it to the train station for a bit of busking, or down to the beach for a late night barbecue.

We've got the easisest instrument in the world, yet some of us are too lazy to learn the most basic things about how it works musically. Boys will spend hours trying to crack a level on a video game, girls will watch a music video over and over day after day to learn the dance steps, but learning 12 simple notes is too much like hard work for some "guitarists"...it's downright embarassing.



BAM lol, thank you for that.

I started violin back in elementary school, geez that was about erm... 97? Geez its been a while anyways, I appreciate what you said there because I found it difficult to know where I had to hit the notes but it felt so good when I could flawlessly play my lessons. Same with piano, though I"m just plain rubbish with those. I don't think every guitarist detests theory, I actually enjoy it, I love the guitar but I love the tech that makes it such a versatile instrument as well. I sit and play my exercises sometimes more than I do my songs just because I enjoy them more, there is nothing boring about them or learning to read your fretboard, after all you're just improving yourself right?
#22
Seriously, I bet you'd never see threads like "Is theory important?" , "What is theory and why should I learn it?" on the likes of ultimateviolin.com, ultimateharpsichord.com and ultimateoboe.com...they're musical instruments, it's taken as read that you learn something about music in order to learn to play them.

I don't think there's a huge proportion of guitaists that shun theory, but it's enough to be noticeable.
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#23
Quote by steven seagull

I don't think there's a huge proportion of guitaists that shun theory, but it's enough to be noticeable.


A lot of guitarists are too arrogant and cocky to admit theory was too hard for them.And a lot of theory nerds are rather unoriginal in their generic song writing techniques, taking basic theory and worrying about the "theory behind it" before the "sound of it."

It goes both ways.
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#24
what we need is the ultimate balance, hopefully it will get there someday, I for one like to know about my instruments as much as I like to just cut loose and improv on them.
#25
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Yes, everyone knows that classical guitarists and people who read sheet music are all arseholes.


I think Zaphod nailed that one! But one must learn to look past the "arseholiness" to see the real talent these classical guitarist possess. Look up Desi Serna on Google. He has some nice podcast about starting theory. He states that most guitarist start out learning patterns, in fact most muscle memory is centered around learning patterns. But that's only part of the equation, if you know the root notes and all the notes with in the scale, it gives you a lot more freedom ultimately.
#26
Quote by rhettro
I think Zaphod nailed that one! But one must learn to look past the "arseholiness" to see the real talent these classical guitarist possess.


The little rolleyes smilie just went right over your head, huh?
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


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Legion.
#27
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
The little rolleyes smilie just went right over your head, huh?


You mean they aren't arseholes?
#28
Eh, I'm sure Zaphod will see this and reply. So how do you feel about the application of Tetrachords? Since this is a subject that would be completly on topic and I actually kind of failed to mention it earlier in our little discussion.
Quote by paranoid joker

Metal, should kick you in the nuts, after you catch it messing around with your girlfriend.
and then make a sandwhich in your house and walk out.


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