Need tips for practicing scales

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Manly wimp 17, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. Manly wimp 17

    Manly wimp 17 TDPRI Member

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    I want to start practicing scales but there's something bothering me. What angle should be between your fingers and the fretboard (if your index is pressing a fret on the A string should it be muting the D string?), also, how much bending is allowed in your wrist ( my wrist bends when i play on the 6th string while having my pinky and index on the 6th string-in this case im not muting any other strings with my fretting hand fingers). I'm really afraid of developing bad habts but I want to start practicing scales real bad, coz I find them fun. Please help so I can start improving my playing!
     
  2. Vespa_One

    Vespa_One Tele-Holic

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    When I fret the A string playing scales the D string is muted. I'm self taught so that could just be how I play. I tried to play through some scales WITHOUT muting other strings and it was very hard! When playing scales you only want to hear one note one string at a time so I would think muting would be a good thing.
     
  3. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

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    This - and use a metronome - be it a mechanical one, or a smartphone app. There are many guitarists who can shred, but couldn't keep time if their lives depended on it.
     
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  4. raito

    raito Poster Extraordinaire

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    I disagree about muting while practicing scales. Scales are about more yhan just getting a sequence of notes. The OP gets it right when he's concerned about wrist and finger position.

    There shouldn't be any muting. Or alternately, any muting must be entirely deliberate. Try playing a scale where every other note is muted. Or alternate between muting the next higher and next lower string.

    If you just let yourself mute because it's easier, what are you going to do when you need to double stop or let an adjacent string ring?

    Using a metronome is esential, but play in more than just a straight rhythm. Play quarter- eighth and other rhythms. Play in diferent positions, different numbers of octaves, etc.
     
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  5. Jules78

    Jules78 Tele-Holic

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    I mute with the picking hand thumb by resting it on the lower strings. Google thumb muting. You should take lessons. You are motivated to practice and improve so find someone to guide you and you can become great.
     
  6. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    +1 Yup, muting is a technique, so that is something to learn separately. Stick to clean scales at first. I like raito's idea of muting every other note as an exercise. Also, double stops is an excellent extra exercise too.
     
  7. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    This is how your hand should look.
    I'm demonstrating a specific technique to develop efficiency and by extension - speed. But as far a 'good left technique for scales' is concerned this should be helpful ...



    If you're keeping your fret hand fingers low to the fretboard they will naturally dampen the adjacent strings when you're playing scales (or any single note melody or lead, etc.). Also, you need to be conscious of your picking hand. Don't flail away at the strings. Keep your hand close w/o wasted motion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  8. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Holic

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    Nice example klasaine! While a lot of our guitar heroes are 2 or three finger monsters why not use everything you have? I used to teach students to keep your fingers (all of them) close to the fretboard, this may seem unnatural at first but practice slowly and cleanly until each note rings clear and gradually build speed. I found a good exercise is to practice a chromatic run across all strings, if you are just starting out do this up the fretboard a bit so the spacing is easier. So you are playing four notes on each string so every finger has its place. This is every bit as musical as practicing a major scale (even though you need to do that as well). Best of luck!
     
  9. Brazen

    Brazen Tele-Meister

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    That's exactly how I was taught. However, I started out lessons with a Jazz player, so as a result, I have my guitar ridiculously high up on my body to be able to keep my wrist in the position I was taught. No, I don't care what people say about how it looks.

    If you're practicing your first scales or modes, practice with a metronome to get your timing right. If you're practicing something that your ear needs to attune to like the altered scale, setup a loop with chords and while practicing the scale, also get used to how each note sounds in relation to the chord and progression.

    Good luck!
     
  10. smsuryan

    smsuryan Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    One way to practice to get out of a rut in scales is instead of running up and down them (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1), play 1-3-2-4-3-5-4-6-5-7-1 etc...you can do this with 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, and so forth to acquaint yourself with intervals.
    If you're wanting to mute/not mute, try muting every other note for your coordination. Hope that helps.
     
  11. stringslinger

    stringslinger Tele-Holic

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    ^^^^ If your fretting hand looks way off from this fine example, then I'd suggest re-adjusting. In your original post, it sounds like you are trying to keep your fingers on their tips, as if you are playing open-string chords? That is not entirely necessary, nor practical. You don't want flat fingers (ala barre chords), but a natural slightly-curved angle (about a half-way flexed inward into making a fist).
     
  12. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The very end of my video is really where you can see 'ideally' what you want your hand to look like when playing scales or doing any faster melody/lead work. Skip right to 4:00.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  13. merseymale

    merseymale Tele-Meister

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    Although a hearty +1 to those who have replied to the OP's Actual Question could it really be like the one in the following link 'subconsciously'?

    If so Im including my reply to that & if (truly!) not then I sincerely apologise to EVERYONE in this thread as well as the OP


    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/been-playing-for-about-5-years-i-still-suck.721683/page-5#post-7565987


    My reply MAY be relevant to Manly Wimp as well?

    "You are not a musician you are merely a Guitar Player!

    Before I get flamed let me explain!

    You are COMPARING yourself-WHY?
    You are comparing yourself only against other guitarists not, frinstance, saxophonists -WHY?

    You are judging yourself -WHY?
    (No I mean REALLY deep down why!)

    You are comparing yourself to recordings... do you know what a compressor does to THIER sound?
    Do you know what comping alternate takes is on a multitrack? Do you know what it means to drop-in on a sequencer..?

    IF you find a long-Lost clone of yourself who also took up playing @ the same time as you then SURE! Compare notes!! But otherwise WHY are you comparing SO MUCH?

    Is it to see how good you are or how good THEY are?

    If you met the love of your life & they were crap in bed would you hire a prostitute!? Of Course not!

    What about if you felt you were lacking at lovemaking? Would you hire a pro to take over!!?

    Play for whatever reasons YOU wanna play in the way YOU FEEL is right & make any comparisons in Real-World situations which, by the way, are only likely if you are in a band; they are thinking of replacing you; you are present at the auditions (!) AND your rival is playing your band's same set of songs

    If I'm being brusque with you it's not cos I'm mean (honest!) it's because you are merely distracted from your path is all & you probably just need a bit of a shove.

    The truth is we are all only going to be as good as we want to be AND have time to be AND are as focused INWARDLY as we allow ourselves to be...

    Isn't listening to music for reasons other than enjoyment or appreciation something best left for critics & journalists & Record Execs, basically?

    In the words of Frank Zappa "shut up & play ya guitar!" ;-)
     
    stinkey likes this.
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