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Cool lesson on scales... how not to play them


Rabs

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IMO

 

Practicing scales is the worst thing you can do to yourself as a rock lead guitar player.... To me it was an utter waste of time.

Yup, its good to know scales but the best thing to do is to listen to some lead players and figure it out on your own. Although when it comes to metal, or "shred" guitar its more about speed than dicernible notes. Blues or hard rock on the other hand is more about the feel of the notes and playing them in a specific cadence rather than playing 1000000 notes per minute.

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If you were to ask me to play a pentatonic scale on guitar.... I wouldn't know where to start [biggrin].

 

Now if you were tell me what key the lead passage is in.... No problems whatsoever

 

 

Lol,, I'm with you. I hate trying to find the key..lol.

Actually the pentatonic is the only one I remember.

But I'm working on the major and the modes again. There is some value in learning them,, and then forgetting them..

I think the key is learning the patterns, then forgetting about them completely..lol.

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Believe it or not, I used to musically write most of my solos out note for note.... I had an usual approach to playing lead.

 

 

Cool,,, very cool.. [thumbup]

I only ever wrote out one piece I wrote.

It was a very simple bluesy thing and it took me forever to write on notation. But I did it and was happy. Got a friend to check it for me to make sure I did it right, which I did. Never did it again though...lol.

Way too much work for me,,, lol.

 

But if you were able to transcribe your solo's,, how wouldn't you know a pentatonic scale? things aren't adding up...lol...

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Cool,,, very cool.. [thumbup]

I only ever wrote out one piece I wrote.

It was a very simple bluesy thing and it took me forever to write on notation. But I did it and was happy. Got a friend to check it for me to make sure I did it right, which I did. Never did it again though...lol.

Way too much work for me,,, lol.

 

But if you were able to transcribe your solo's,, how wouldn't you know a pentatonic scale? things aren't adding up...lol...

 

I dont approach the guitar in terms of scales. My first instruments were piano and trumpet, and it was a world of private lessons and scale after scale. When the guitar found me, I promised myself I would never take lessons. [biggrin] .... But if I look back, EVH and Randy Rhoads were the best teachers a rock guitar player could ever have

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I dont approach the guitar in terms of scales. My first instruments were piano and trumpet, and it was a world of private lessons and scale after scale. When the guitar found me, I promised myself I would never take lessons. [biggrin] .... But if I look back, EVH and Randy Rhoads were the best teachers a rock guitar player could ever have

 

 

Ahhhh,, OK,, so you do have a theory background. Now it adds up..lol

I am forcing my kids into piano first. They are 10 and 7. So my hope is when they decide on an instrument, they will have a good foundation. I think piano is the best place to start. Some of the best musicians I know started on piano. [thumbup]

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When I was in my band days. I used to go to rehearsals with just the keyboard player and he'd play the parts for me (no computers then!)and I'd play over it until I liked what I heard. I'd often thunk the part and then play it. Which I think is one of the most important things as a player. Try it. Think a riff and try and play it first time. You then get to play what's in your head.

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I don't think scales are the right way or the wrong way to start. They just help some people more than others. I come from a musical family and my dad showed me how to read music, and then went further learning the trumpet and cello at school and played in orchestras and brass bands. So when the guitar came along I had that experience behind me. But I still did scales on the guitar for a while. But as I messed around with tunes I learned to 'feel' what I wanted to play. Whether practicing the scales helped or not I don't know.

 

All that was years ago as I stopped playing about 20 years ago, thanks to work and family stuff. Now I have started again I am doing some scales just to get the fingers moving again and landing on the right places on the board.

 

I have know some people who were not the brightest sparks in music class but they knew how to make their instrument produce some really good music.

 

Bob

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IMO

 

Practicing scales is the worst thing you can do to yourself as a rock lead guitar player.... To me it was an utter waste of time.

Not for me.. I have been playing since I was 12 and apart from the first year where got classical lessons I am a totally by ear player. When I came to pick an electric guitar up a few years later I hardly remembered anything but I was always good at rhythm.. But when it came to lead playing yes of course I worked things out for myself BUT I found that it became very limiting as I would always stick to what I know under the pressure of playing...

 

However recently I started looking at theory on scales and it all slotted into place where the rough positions are that you want to play in.. For me it made a HUGE difference after a life of trying to just wing it.. My lead playing has come on leaps and bounds because I just learned a few small things which helped everything link up..

 

And im not talking about sitting there for hours trying to play it fast.. Im just talking about my undertsandting of the fretboard and how notes and chords all link up. I will and never want to play like Satch or Vai and that ilk (even though they are impressive guitarists) but i cant listen to more than one song off of their albums at a time as I find it boring. So for me its a mixture of playing by ear, feeling the notes and having some knoweldge as to the rough areas I can play that will keep me in key

 

The one thing scales are REALLY good for is warming up and dexterity... A chromatic scale plays ever note and you need to use all four fingers to play them.. So also in that way I think they are to dabble in...

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There are phenomenal guitar players who can tell you every scale in every key. There are also phenomenal guitar players who couldn't tell you the notes in a C major scale. I find music theory to be very helpful, but I don't think that it is necessary.

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There are phenomenal guitar players who can tell you every scale in every key. There are also phenomenal guitar players who couldn't tell you the notes in a C major scale. I find music theory to be very helpful, but I don't think that it is necessary.

 

 

Excellent point. Theory is just another tool. Not necessary for sure.

And too much is no good at all. 30 years ago I had a friend who played classical. But he never played for anyone. Then one day I heard him play at his home in private. He was sensational. His fingers were spidering all over the fretboard. I was amazed.

I said "dude, you have to come jam with us and get out of this basement".

He said he couldn't jam with people. He could only read.

And to this day he never did come jam. Too much theory sat him in an orchestra. Nothing wrong with that at all but I think he's missing a big part of music by not being able to just jam with people. That's my favorite thing to do.

Or maybe I'm just to crappy to play covers...lol

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but I think he's missing a big part of music by not being able to just jam with people. That's my favorite thing to do.

Or maybe I'm just to crappy to play covers...lol

Nope your totally right... And being in a band taught me more than anything I would have learned on my own.. [thumbup]

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Nope your totally right... And being in a band taught me more than anything I would have learned on my own.. [thumbup]

 

Being in a band really does help

 

I was in the studio back in 1986 and we were laying down some demo work and the producer decided one of our songs needed a two minute guitar solo, and I had to have something completed the following day to lay down [scared]

 

I remember sitting in the studio with the drummer after hours playing the song backwards and getting ideas from the vocal line and incorporating it into a solo that would compliment one of our more poppy tunes...

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...However recently I started looking at theory on scales and it all slotted into place where the rough positions are that you want to play in.. For me it made a HUGE difference after a life of trying to just wing it.. My lead playing has come on leaps and bounds because I just learned a few small things which helped everything link up..

 

And im not talking about sitting there for hours trying to play it fast.. Im just talking about my undertsandting of the fretboard and how notes and chords all link up.

 

I hear you Rabs. Learning scales are an integral part of learning theory along with knowing intervals, arpeggios, chord structure, etc. If your immediate goal is to learn songs and play lead to R&R covers, playing scales may not be that important to you. If you want to improvise over more sophisticated chord changes, knowing scales may make it easier.

 

Bird Parker said something to the effect: You've got to learn your instrument... practice, practice, practice... then forget all that and just wail.

 

I'm not saying you have to learn music theory to be a good guitarist, but IMO, nobody ever got worse knowing it. Believe me, knowing and practicing scales (vertically and horizonally) will improve your your fretboard knowledge and your playing. Incorporate melody in your playing and rely less on scales to shape your leads.

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