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Old January 24th, 2007, 01:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Methods for learning scales

I'm relatively new to the forum, but I've been playing for about 2 years, mainly acoustic. Ever since I got my Tele, I've picked up my Martin acoustic maybe a total of 6 hrs. I love this thing!

I know most of the basics (chords, playing from tabs, etc), but I'm looking to learn scales and improve my playing. From what I've read, starting with the major pentatonic or mixolydian is a good starting point. Right? What are some tried and true methods used in learning the scales? Learn each box separately? I'm kinda lost as to how to learn these things. Any input is greatly appreciated. BTW, I play mainly country.

Thanks,
Ryan

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Old January 24th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Start with bite sized pieces. I agree that learnng the major pentatonic and mixolydian scales are the best place for you to start; more useful than the major scale itself. Here are the G dominant scale, also known as mixolydian scale, plus the G7 arpeggio, and the G major pentatonic scale. Start with this one pattern, and play some blues or country progressions in G, using the G dominant, G7 arpeggio and G major pentatonic over the G chord, then move it up to the 8th fret for the C chord, and 10th fret for the D chord, etc. You will note the G major pentatonic is included within the G dominant scale. I have used capital X's to show the G notes.

Fool around with that, and if you want, post again and I or someone will give you another pattern. Just learn 'em one at a time.

Code:
    G Dominant      G7       G Major
      Scale      Arpeggio    Pentatonic
      ______      ______      ______
      ||||||      ||||||      ||||||
      |xxx||      |x||||      |xxx||
    3 Xxx|xX    3 X|||xX    3 X|||xX
      |||x||      |||x||      |||x||
      xxXxx|      |xX|||      xxX|x|
      ||||x|      ||||x|      ||||||
      ||||||      ||||||      ||||||
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Old January 24th, 2007, 06:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Be sure to record the chords w/metronome if possible, even if it's on a cheap tape player. It's important to "hear" how the scale sounds over the chord. It will help develop your ear and sense of melody. It is equally important to have good timing, thus the metronome. Try the scales at different tempos over the chord changes mentioned by Leon. I've met many musicians well versed in theory but couldn't play their way out of a wet paper bag. They had great ability but did not sound musical but, rather uninspired and cold. Theory is only 10% of the equation (not to dimish ;) it's importance). Melody and timing is 90% of musicianship, IMO, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx Z
What are some tried and true methods used in learning the scales? Learn each box separately?
This is another dilemma faced by guitarists and there are no set rules. In fact, there are different schools of thought on "fretboard visualization" and different methods to approach this monster.

There is the CAGED system, 3 notes per string and some others...There are plenty of books where this is discussed such as Ron Middlebrook's - Scales & Modes (In the Beginning). It has some examples of the different sytems for learning scales. But, the book is a nightmare, for the beginner. Maybe someone here can recommend a different text reference for learning scales. I'll see if I can find a good reference and will edit this post ASAP.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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fretboard logic

I struggled for a long time trying to wrap my head around scales. Fretboard Logic SE (found on Amazon) teaches the CAGED system and really opened things up for me. Easy to understand and easy to practice. Been playing for years but still consider myself a beginner and hobyist with some background in music theory.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 01:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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the BEST way ever is to learn the box shapes and learn were the roots are then connect the boxes and get creative.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 02:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I found this website that can give you a wide variety of scales. I'm sure I will find this VERY helpful in learning the fretboard.

http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/guitar_scales.php

Under the patterns column, I see the "0" pattern has one extra note than the "1" pattern. What's the difference?
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Old January 30th, 2007, 06:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx Z
I found this website that can give you a wide variety of scales. I'm sure I will find this VERY helpful in learning the fretboard.

http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/guitar_scales.php

Under the patterns column, I see the "0" pattern has one extra note than the "1" pattern. What's the difference?

The "0" pattern is just showing the open notes. The "1" is for the first fret, "2" second fret etc...

Here's a handly little program from DPR Technology. I wanted to try it out before I passed it on. It will play the scale for you (in midi) so you can hear it and it clearly shows what notes are being played. You can adjust the tempo and change keys. Also, you can select different methods such as CAGED, 3 notes per string, horizontal etc. It covers common scales and modes. It will also test your fretboard memory. I've already messed around with it for about 6 hrs and I like it! It might be right down your alley. It's cheap too.
Allan
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Old January 30th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocker AK
The "0" pattern is just showing the open notes. The "1" is for the first fret, "2" second fret etc...

Here's a handly little program from DPR Technology. I wanted to try it out before I passed it on. It will play the scale for you (in midi) so you can hear it and it clearly shows what notes are being played. You can adjust the tempo and change keys. Also, you can select different methods such as CAGED, 3 notes per string, horizontal etc. It covers common scales and modes. It will also test your fretboard memory. I've already messed around with it for about 6 hrs and I like it! It might be right down your alley. It's cheap too.
Allan
Okay, thats what I thought. Ima hafta check out that program, looks pretty cool!
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