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5 Tips On Practicing Scales

5 Tips On Practicing Scales
when you first start playing guitar or any instrument for that matter there's this stress put on learning

scales

and you go to do it and it's not really that fun at all I should say it's more often than not not fun but today I'm gonna share with you five

tips

on how to effectively practice your

scales

and have fun doing so I think I think

scales

are an absolute necessity to learn I'm not here to tell you don't learn

scales

that silly

scales

are an absolute necessity the necessity to learn because that's where our chords come from that's how we can convey musical ideas that's how we can play melodies it's how we can create our own original music so

scales

are supremely important but I'm going to share with you these

tips

because I want you to practice your

scales

and I want you to have fun doing it and I want them to make musical sense so here goes nothing I'm gonna grab my trusty guitar I'm gonna use the I'm gonna use my Thompson dreadnought today that has a great pair of strings on it I'm gonna tell you about those a little bit later let's focus on

scales

for right now so today the five

tips

that I'm gonna share with you I took some notes because I had a lot of ideas but I think I whittled it down into five so when learning

scales

so often we get really wrapped up and concerned with the notes okay an a scale a major scale has these notes a B C sharp D e f-sharp g-sharp a G scale has G ABCDE F sharp G and my...
5 tips on practicing scales
first tip is don't worry about the notes are they important absolutely 100% they are important but I want you to be able to play the scale I want you to be able to hear it and I want you to be able to carry it out effortlessly okay which is but what brings me to my first tip and that is to use the shape of the scale as your reference don't concern yourself with the notes contained within the scale right off the bat use just the shape visualize that scale shape you can visualize it as a series of dots on the fingerboard you can visualize it or think of it in terms of which finger frets which string at a certain fret in fact that's the way I'm going to share with you right now so for this little exercise will do your index fingers gonna tackle everything on the fourth fret middle finger everything on the fifth ring finger everything on the sixth and pinky finger everything on the seventh we're gonna play a major scale in a closed position closed position means that it's moveable there's no open notes so wherever we move it it'll be in a new key but it'll still be a major scale so for today we're gonna treat it as an a major scale so we'll actually start it on the fifth fret with our middle finger so here's the scale I'm gonna describe it in a weird way first and then I'll actually back up and share with you how it sounds or how I visualize it in terms of which finger frets what so we'll start off on the fifth fret a...
5 tips on practicing scales
blowy move to the seventh fret of the low E index finger then moves to the fourth fret of the a string we go fourth fret of the a fifth fret of the a seventh fret of the a then we move to the D string fourth fret sixth fret seventh fret same pattern on the G fourth sixth seventh the B string fifth seventh and high e fourth and fifth basic a major scale in fact this is how it's gonna sound in its entirety don't rainy Faso Lotito two times doremi vasumathi doh-doh rainy vassal so that's great and everything but that's a lot to keep track of all those fret numbers and things which is why i'm gonna add you to think of

scales

in terms of which finger frets what remember index finger everything on the fourth fret middle of the fifth ring the sixth pinky the seventh so i think of this scale shape as the fuzz as follows middle pinky index middle pinky index ring pinky index ring pinky middle pinky index middle why do i do that well because when i move it it's the same pattern that pattern of fingers is the same so think of

scales

in terms of a shape or a pattern okay we'll take a lot of the kind of the grind out of learning

scales

initially my second tip to you is that it's best to practice

scales

within a musical context be it a backing track but if you don't have access to a backing track don't worry you can still practice

scales

in a musical context again I'm gonna use that same scale that I used for the demonstration on tip number one...
5 tips on practicing scales
the a major scale so for musical context what I'll do is I'll play an a chord or something that hints at an a chord prior to playing the scale or better yet I'll play the one four five chord of the key that I'm working in so in this case if you don't know one four five and that kind of lingo don't worry in this case for the for the key of a what I'll do is I'll play an a chord a D chord an E chord and an a chord right before I play the scale because it gives context you can kind of hear how the notes play against those chords even though they're not playing all the time it just gives you that context which is so important for the musicality of the scale the third tip I have for you and this one's a pretty simple one it just involves getting that scale in your memory and that is repetition I want you to think of learning a scale almost like you're going to the gym literally do three sets of ten of the scale do three sets of ten ascending three sets of ten descending right this repetition is gonna build muscle memory and then you can lean on that muscle memory instead of thinking okay middle finger pinky middle index you don't have to think about that after that muscle memory has been developed so just just put your licks in no pun intended uh-huh and do do a good good couple sets of the scale right like I said three sets of 10 ascending three sets of 10 descending and then move along the more you do that the more it will become...
hardwired and just concrete in your brain the fourth tip I have for you is I want you to play

scales

in a musical fashion once you've learned it you've done the repetitions you've figured out the pattern you've done it in a musical context I want you to explore the scale in different ways integrating patterns when you can when playing them one of the patterns that I that I I like to use is kind of that it feels like two steps forward one step back but we're actually going up four notes and back three notes here's what here's what I mean so I'll do the first four notes go back three start there and go do another four notes back three and then start another four notes three another four back three another forth so if you kind of get the vibe of it's gonna sound like this and do that throughout the scale you can do that ascending descending you can do it in a bunch of different manners that's just one pattern you can do it in sets of three kind of threw a 4 in there but you get the idea there's also a chance that you can actually do it in triads the notes that make up the chord that would sound like this stop and think everything but you get the idea I want you to integrate patterns of picking when you're

practicing

those

scales

that go outside of that linear processing linear meaning one note to the next right instead of you know instead of that linear processing do it in patters right just a little bit more musical and it can...
actually cause musical ideas to sprout just from those different patterns that you're using to play through the scale the last tip that I have for you is to think outside the box once you have those scale patterns down or a single scale pattern down then I want you to lean on your ear a little bit more for example okay I've got this pattern down great I can play it forward backwards inside now I can play it with a mute in musical context I've done my repetitions I could play different patterns within that scale now I want you to find that note your starting note on a different string and out of nowhere seemingly out of nowhere I want you to hunt and peck for the right scale tones in order why would I have you do this well the reason I want to have you do this is because you've developed them using the muscle memory you're playing through that pattern now it's seemingly effortlessly now I want you to lean on your ear a little bit more and that I want you to be able to kind of hear that doremi faso hola Tito hunt-and-peck around to see if you can find the right notes and then if you hit something wrong and you can kind of use your ear to suss out where that scale lays out I'm less concerned about the shape on this last tip and they're more concerned about you using your ear to fill in the blanks so there you have it that's just kind of a quick rundown on rundown on how to practice

scales

now don't feel like you have to sit down and do...
this all at once but just quick review of the

tips

that I threw out there number one think of that scale as a pattern of fretting fingers or a shape whichever jives with the way that you learn the best second I make sure I did this right in the right order how musical context is absolutely crucial so play a chord from that key preferably the main chord from that key the one chord and then go on and play your scale it'll give a little bit more meaning to the scale that you're playing third use repetitions think of learning a scale much like going to the gym you have to develop those muscles over time so repetitions and sets is absolutely key and the fourth tip that I have for you is to play patterns within those

scales

those can result in musical ideas original music melody lines but those patterns will make the

scales

a little bit more usable and again I'm referring to that like four notes up three notes back whatever pattern kind of jives with your fretting fingers and picking hand and last but certainly not least think outside the box once you got that scale pattern nailed then go ahead and start on the same note in a different place and see if you can just kind of hunt and peck your way and find that scale it's great you're training and something that I think is invaluable to every guitar geek no matter where you're at in your guitar journey you