How to practice scales?


stevelaba
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Joined: 11/07/20
Posts: 24

Hi all, I see lots of information on learning scales but I'm not realy sure what exactly should I be practising and what is it I need to pay attention to.

I have been practicing the major,minor and Minor Pentatonic scales.

I basically use the patterns that are taught here at GTricks and practice them in the same location on the fretboard as instructed in the videos.

This seem very redundent and boring so I'm looking to expand on my practice and long term learning.

Is there a practice instruction video that shows how to practice scales that will give me the most out of my time.

Thanks

all

Steve


# 0
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,854
Originally Posted by: stevelaba

Hi all, I see lots of information on learning scales but I'm not realy sure what exactly should I be practising and what is it I need to pay attention to.[/quote]

It depends on your skill level & musical goals. What do you ultimately intend to do with scales?

Some players are only going to play songs on acoustic guitar that use scale lines to connect chords. Or do brief melodic lines as fills.

Others want to use scales as a means of improving their dexterity & ear training to play licks & lines from their favorite songs.

Other players want to be able to make up their own rock & blues leads in all areas of the fretboard.

And there's a wide continuum between those!

What exactly are your goals?

Originally Posted by: stevelabaI have been practicing the major,minor and Minor Pentatonic scales.

I basically use the patterns that are taught here at GTricks and practice them in the same location on the fretboard as instructed in the videos.

[p]That's good practicing! I use them as warm ups every day. The next step is to make music with them. What kind of music do you want to play?

[quote=stevelaba]Is there a practice instruction video that shows how to practice scales that will give me the most out of my time.

If you can let me know what kind of music you want to play then I can give you links to lesson that will help.

For example, if you want to play rock leads, then these tutorials will help.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=737

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=843

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=914

Blues leads?

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=217

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=232

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=244

Speed building?

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=287

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=928

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=929

Improvisation in general?

https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/learning-to-improvise

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 2
stevelaba
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Joined: 11/07/20
Posts: 24

I have been using GT to learn guitar(acoustic and electric) for the last year. I guess my goal is to have a better understading of the fretboard and improve dexterity.

I just dont want to spend too much time learning every scale in the book.

Thanks

Steve


# 3
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,854
Originally Posted by: stevelabaI have been using GT to learn guitar(acoustic and electric) for the last year. I guess my goal is to have a better understading of the fretboard and improve dexterity.[/quote]

The links above for Connecting Pentatonic Patterns will help fretboard mapping & dexterity for those scales.

These will help with diatonic scales. I do these every morning as warmup exercises. They are great for covering the fretboard in scales for ear training, visual mapping & dexterity because you completely cover the fretboard.

Major Scales 1

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=453

Minor Scales 1

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=887

Major Scales 2

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2643

Minor Scales 2

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2646

These links for visualizing the fretboard will also help your understanding of the fretboard.

Visualizing 1

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=419

Visualizing 2

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=898

Visualizing 3

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=899

Visualizing 4

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=462

[quote=stevelaba]

I just dont want to spend too much time learning every scale in the book.

Sure. And that's why it's important to know your end goals. Even the link above might be overkill if you only desire a certain level of playing or want to play a certain style of music. And just learning the basic major & minor scales in series 1 might be enough. But if you want to play rock or blues then your time might be better spent on leraning pentatonic scales & licks you can build with them.

In general, to all students I always recommend understanding & being able to play all major & minor scales, both diatonic & pentatonic.

With that in mind, the above links are aimed at diatonic. These exercises are aimed a complete understanding of pentatonic scales.

Pentatonic Scales

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=296

Pentatonic Major

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=722

Pentatonic Minor

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=185

If you can be more specific about your goals I can narrow this down more. Hope that helps for now!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 4
Rumble Walrus
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Joined: 12/30/20
Posts: 237

Thanks for asking the question stevelaba! Looking over Christopher's response is helping me too.

Here's a thought on working with a scale - how about taking a lead section from songs you like and identifying the scale/intervals used in the lead? I mean really transcribe, break it into sections and see how the notes fit into the scale/key. Are they bending/sliding into the chord tones? Does it go totally chromatic/atonal on you? Why do you like it?

Kind of an academic "geeky" thing but it'll give you an insight into some of your favorite playing and may reveal some tasty riffs for your own jamming.


# 5
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,854
Originally Posted by: Rumble Walrus

Here's a thought on working with a scale - how about taking a lead section from songs you like and identifying the scale/intervals used in the lead?[/quote][p]This is great advice. This is how a lot of "unschooled" players learned. Learn the songs & licks that inspire you, reverse engineer it & reuse it for your own playing.

This is exactly how I learned. Whenever I learn a solo or musical passage I'm thinking about how & why it works. How it's integrated, how it fits, with the parts before & after it, with the overall structure.

This is how I teach students. This is the essence of my improvisation tutorials.

[quote=Rumble Walrus]Why do you like it?

Exactly. And you can even go further. If there's a song or lick you don't like, figure that out to learn what to avoid when you play.

Thanks for the post!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 6
stevelaba
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Joined: 11/07/20
Posts: 24

Thanks for all this great information guys.

Steve


# 7
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,854
Originally Posted by: stevelaba

Thanks for all this great information guys.

You're welcome!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 8