Help with learning scales

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Mike7300, May 13, 2012.

  1. Mike7300

    Mike7300 TDPRI Member

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    I play country music, and have been playing guitar for years... but I only learned scales at the start when i took lessons, and basically forgot them because i stopped using them. But I want to go back and start learning them again to improve my soloing, and be able to just solo to a number of tunes, without having to memorize the solo to every song.

    Any recommendations on where i should start, or a website that I should look at?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Start with the major scale and master it...know what you are playing, not just patterns...
     
  3. Mike7300

    Mike7300 TDPRI Member

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    :!:
    What should I use as the root note?
     
  4. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    All 12 my friend.
    Start with C. If you want to make it more interesting follow the circle of 5th's: C G D etc.
     
  5. Syclone879

    Syclone879 Tele-Meister

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    What is your knowledge of theory? Also, will you be able to find the notes on the fret board or are you looking for a diagram?
     
  6. john2223

    john2223 TDPRI Member

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    My advice to you would be to focus most of your attention on learning the Major scale since all scales are pretty much based on the Major scales. Try to get as familiar as you can with the major scale in each key, up and down the fretboard. Also it will help you a lot if you stick with one key at a time.
     
  7. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

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    I played guitar in bands in the 60s, as a teen, and we had a set list of lots of the popular songs back then.. I played lead guitar. I learned chords from song books. That was a good way for me to start, because my enthusiasm stayed high and I succeeded. I watched Bill Kirchen play one night in late 1991 here locally, [he lived near here in the 90s], and he 'blew my mind".. The friend I went to see him with said that he gave guitar lesson and I was freeked. For the next 2 or 3 months I left messages at his home, wrote a letter to him at the the club, [The Sunset Grill], he play at every Thursday night, and finally he returned my call. He agreed to give me some lessons. I thought for sure that he would show me all his slick moves, etc., so I was surprised when the first lesson was similar to the one and only guitar lesson I ever had, [in 1966]. Page one "Berkeley Modern Guitar, book one. First lesson was lesson one, page one... how to play the open major C scale. It took me many many hours to be able to do it at a steady beat. After a week I could play it, Bill just had me go through this book, to learn all the positions, about 8 or ten totally different fingerings for the C scale. Position means what fret your barring finger is on. I don't think I could have ever done this on my own. I suggest getting a teacher to guide you through all of this. Once you know all the major C scale positions, you will know all the other related scales too. I only took these lessons for a year and a half, but I continued on my own and bought a book on Theory for guitar, and learned more. Theory is one big scarey word for something which is a lot easier than the word would make one think.... To end here, let me say that I am way better off for doing all of this than I was. Bill had to go to England, as he was going to do a tour with Nick Lowe. That's when I stopped the lessons. Now, I need to go get some more lessons. The scales take steady practice and patience. Taking lessons was the best thing I ever did in my life.. Good luck..
     
  8. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

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    I took lessons for about six months, the main things I learned was:

    1. enough theory to understand what I was reading in the books. And,

    2. shape patterns for the major scale, that began with each note in the scale. ex. playing C beginning with the root, the 2nd, the 3rd, etc. therefore, I was learning the modes at the same time.

    he also showed me a couple of blues scale shapes the same way. With enough practice, I figured out the rest of the blues shapes on my own.

    I played the scales every night for about three years, before i could start at the nut and work my way up to the 12th without stopping. I would sit and, almost mindlessly, practice these shapes every night.

    One exercise I made up was to choose a fret, the third for example, and pick out the scale shape for each key at or around that fret; working around the circle of fifths clockwise. C,G,D,A,E,B

    Before i knew it i had trained my ear to the intervals of the scales, and could pick out where the next note should be without counting frets. I cannot stress how important that ear training that resulted from this was for me.

    mind you, I may have the scales, but Im still working on composition. Putting them together in a way that is more musical than just scales; and throwing a few chords in there every now and then.
     
  9. telequacktastic

    telequacktastic Tele-Afflicted

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    start with one octave patterns, go up the C major scale c, d, e, f, g, a, b, c, then down back to c, try and do 3 notes per string as much as you can. learn the one that starts with the index finger, middle finger, and pinky. find comfortable patterns for YOUR hands and play slowly and acknowledge that you are playing the root, the 2nd, the 3rd and so on and so forth up and down the scale.

    Then progress to 2 octave scales, in the same manner.

    Then do scales up and down the neck on one string at a time without worrying which note you are starting with, just go lowest note available on that string all the way up. This is for memorizing position shifts.

    And by all means, get a teacher that values stuff like this if you want good help.
     
  10. rsclosson

    rsclosson Tele-Afflicted

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    The advantage and disadvantage of the guitar is that you can learn patterns and just move about on the fretboard to fit whatever key you are playing in. This make improvising in different keys very easy but it can hinder your ability to learn the notes on the fretboard. I used the Segovia Scales to help break that pattern (even though he did use definite patterns of his own). They really helped me to get around more of the fretboard and also helped my reading tremendously.
     
  11. telequacktastic

    telequacktastic Tele-Afflicted

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    Although a nice technical workout, the segovia scale book uses the ancient ascending harmonic minor to descending natural (aeolian) minor, and it would sound totally wacky at a honky tonk joint. :lol: IMHO
     
  12. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    This should be a sticky ...

    At the top of this entire website!

    Actually, it should be sticky at the beginning of the entire friggin' internet>
     
  13. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

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  14. rsclosson

    rsclosson Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, it is the melodic minor scale. Pretty wacky indeed. I have used that scale a few times (though not at a honky tonk). But as you said, it is a nice technical workout. Helped me get to know and get around my fretboard a lot better. :)
     
  15. telequacktastic

    telequacktastic Tele-Afflicted

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    Whoops, looks like we got a little sticky note going here.
     
  16. telequacktastic

    telequacktastic Tele-Afflicted

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    I wonder if I have a way with words sometimes. I reread my posts and they do come off a little short, or harsh. Ya know, music theory should be a funny subject at times because no matter how far we dig into it, we have to keep it in perspective and ask ourselves... Will this help me acheive my goals as a musician?

    Let's have a toast to melodic minor shall we boys... bottoms up!!
     
  17. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I practice mel.min. both the 'new' jazz way as well as the traditional asc/desc way.

    It's all good as the kids say.
     
  18. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    OOhhh...slow down there, cowboy...


    Depends on what you want to play...Jazz ain't much fun without some melodic minor.
     
  19. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, but to play melodic minor, you just have to shift two fingers, which is easy when you've mastered your major scales. Simply play your major scale in a relative minor position and sharp the 6 and 7 when you feel like it.

    When you're building off a solid foundation of major scales, you can tweak for different sounds.
     
  20. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    When you think of scales as related to other scales instead of as a unique pitch set, you never really learn to use them properly.

    My evidence is every post about modes in the history of the internet.:D
     
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