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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
How to proceed with guitar learning?
    #3673430 - 01/24/05 07:22 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I have some guitar questions.

I know a few scales. Unfortunately, I find myself confined to a 4 fret area when I solo on a scale. I would like to open up the fret board more when I solo. I am torn between two philosophies when it comes to doing this.

Philosophy #1 Tying finger patterns together:

Let?s say I am doing a major pentatonic scale in the key of C (I will include all notes in a particular scale in my diagrams?not just from the root to the next octave):

---------------------------------5--8------
--------------------------5--8-------------
--------------------5--7-------------------
-------------5--7--------------------------
-------5--7--------------------------------
-5--8--------------------------------------

This pattern covers frets 5,6,7, and 8.

The notes in the major pentatonic scale in the key of C are C, D, E, G, A. I can move up, down, and sideways on this first fingering pattern very quickly all day long.

Now if I move three frets down so that I am ?tied in? by one fret to the original scale, the finger pattern for the pentatonic major in the key of C is:

----------------------------------3--5
----------------------------3--5------
---------------------2--5-------------
--------------2--5--------------------
--------3--5--------------------------
-3--5---------------------------------

This pattern covers frets 2,3,4, and 5.

If I move up two frets from my original pentatonic major scale fingering pattern I have this fingering pattern for the pentatonic major in C:

---------------------------------------8--10--
-------------------------------8--10----------
-------------------------7--9-----------------
-----------------7--10------------------------
----------7--10-------------------------------
--8--10---------------------------------------

This pattern covers frets 7,8,9, 10.

As you can see it is quite easy to make fingering patterns that fit together and that manage to hit all of the notes in a scale. It is not too much of a challenge to make enough finger patterns to cover twelve frets, which means that every note in that scale everywhere on the fret board can be played.

My only worry with this technique is that it will ?box me in?. I am worried that I will only use those fingering patterns and be incapable of going in between those patterns. For example, I would be able to play the pentatonic major in C if I started on fret 5 or fret 2, but what if I wanted to jump around on frets 3,4,5, and 6? Would me being used to the 2,3,4,5 and the 5,6,7,8 patterns confuse my brain when I was playing if I tried to play outside of those finger patterns?

Philosophy #2 Knowing all of the notes in the key of the scale that I am playing:

This concept is pretty easy in theory. It would require that I learn the fret board very well(by looking at a fret and a string I would immediately know which note it was?as of now I have to sit there and think about it for a second). I would then decide what scale to play and in what key. I would have to memorize all of the notes of the scale in that key. The amount of memorization required for this technique would be massive. Imagine learning all of the notes for 10 different scales in every key. That would be 120 different variations I would have to remember. It doesn?t sound terribly efficient.

So basically, I am wondering if I should memorize finger patterns or the particular notes in a scale. I need to pursue the one that will be most amiable to improvisation and habit. I don?t want to have to stop and think about where I need to go next. I?m thinking that philosophy #1 is the better one. Because I could just see myself hesitating while I was thinking, ?ok?I am playing the major pentatonic in this key so I have to only play these notes and where is that note..? etc?To me it seems as if the finger patterns would allow for easier learning and quicker playing. ?There would be no thinking involved with the finger patterns I think.

Any help on how I should progress in my learning would be greatly appreciated.


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Invisiblenewusername222
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Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 2,327
Re: How to proceed with guitar learning? [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3673450 - 01/24/05 07:27 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Free online guitar lessons at:

http://www.cyberfret.com/index.php

You can learn everything you need to get you going on that site.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: How to proceed with guitar learning? [Re: newusername222]
    #3673506 - 01/24/05 07:40 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

The thing is, I already know a lot about guitar. I know a bunch of chords and scales. I am fast with both my left and right hands. I have just never gotten around to moving up and down the fretboard when playing a scale. I don't need lessons...I need someone who is experienced and who will tell me the best way to learn it.

But, nonetheless, thanks for the link. I will check it out.


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Invisiblenewusername222
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Posts: 2,327
Re: How to proceed with guitar learning? [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3673534 - 01/24/05 07:47 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I'm kinda in the basics learning mode still. Have been for way too long and need to get more serious about it. That site has a forum where I bet you can get answers more readily than here but I'm sure there are others here who can help you out given time. Good luck bro.


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InvisibleLetto
Load Universeinto Cannon. Aimat Brain. Fire.
Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 2,321
Re: How to proceed with guitar learning? [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3673594 - 01/24/05 08:01 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

RandalFlagg said:
So basically, I am wondering if I should memorize finger patterns or the particular notes in a scale. I need to pursue the one that will be most amiable to improvisation and habit. I don?t want to have to stop and think about where I need to go next. I?m thinking that philosophy #1 is the better one. Because I could just see myself hesitating while I was thinking, ?ok?I am playing the major pentatonic in this key so I have to only play these notes and where is that note..? etc?To me it seems as if the finger patterns would allow for easier learning and quicker playing. ?There would be no thinking involved with the finger patterns I think.





I think it's important to know the names of the notes on the fretboard, especially if you are interested in music theory (whether you can read music now or plan to in the future). Having to memorize 10 scales in 12 keys is an absolute horrible idea. If you know the scale formula (for example, major diatonic is root - whole step - whole step - half step - whole - whole - whole - half and you're back to the root), you can apply it to whatever key you want to work in.

Now the same scale will form the exact same finger pattern, no matter what key you're in, you just have to shift the patterns up and down the fretboard to play in the right key. Take your C major pentatonic and shift every position up two frets. Now it's D major pentatonic, but that same exact finger patterns apply. Using these patterns helps enormously so you don't have to memorize tons of scales in every key. All you should do is memorize the scale formula (take the major diatonic example I gave earlier) and you will be able to apply it yourself. When you get familiar enough with a scale, this won't require any thought at all. You can even make up a weird ass scale, figure out the chords for it and everything and write in something totally yours (I think Satriani or Vai did this with a scale called Enigma, with really unusual intervals between the notes).

Also, I think it's important to learn the notes on the fretboard so you can easily find the seconds, thirds, fifths, etc. of a scale. When you're applying the scale formula to the fretboard, you can figure out where the "important" notes land in the patterns. So technically you don't need to learn the notes, but I think it's helpful.

But patterns will definitely be the most amiable to improvisation. You can figure out all the technical music theory stuff in practice, then when it's time to jam you just apply all these patterns you've figured out. Also, I think if you apply the scale formulas yourself instead of seeing them written out for you in tabs, it will be much easier for you to not feel restricted by the patterns and only playing in certain positions.

Edit: Also, when you are studying scales, pay attention to the intervals between notes. You'll get a feeling for what the scale sounds like, and you'll eventually be able to recognize a major scale just from the intervals between the notes. It helps to develop relative pitch, which is a huge help in playing guitar.


Edited by Letto (01/24/05 08:05 PM)


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Offlinestefan
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Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 8,932
Loc: The Netherlands
Last seen: 6 months, 13 days
Re: How to proceed with guitar learning? [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3676011 - 01/25/05 04:24 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I'd say you learn one of those seperate patterns at a time (like the parts of the major pentatonic in C you posted) practice each a few days and later put them all together :thumbup:


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Offlineblaze2
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Registered: 12/20/02
Posts: 1,883
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Last seen: 5 years, 27 days
Re: How to proceed with guitar learning? [Re: stefan]
    #3681562 - 01/26/05 03:36 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Learn Scale Shapes, know where the root notes are and move the root notes to whatever note you want your scale to be for instance the standard pentatonic scale the root apears on the low E string for both major and minor(they are shaped exactly the same) all you have to do is know the notes on teh low E string so you can tell where to put the scale. From there you memorize the SHAPE of the scale.

The pentatonic can be divided up into a bunch of "boxes". This is what you are stuck in and why you only go up and down the strings not up and down the neck. Learn the "boxes" on either side of the main pentatonic box then start to experiment with differnt ways to transition between them. once you have those down add the next two on either side of the first two.

All scales repeat after twelve frets. If half of a "box" is cut off at your last fret. those notes will apear up at the nut(obviously not the same pitch, the shape will recycle up there is what i mean)

Now if you want to read sheet music you need to learn the notes on the entire fretboard(maybe not the whole thing but the more you know the easier it is) I play classical guitar primarily, and tabs can only take you so far. To learn the notes and how to read sheet music i bought a work book. It tells you that this note on the staff is this fret on this string and you sit there and copy it down and fill in the blanks they give you. This may seem dull and like "school work" but its the repitition that makes it work. It took me a week to work through the book(it only covered the notes up to the 5th fret), but i was reading sheet music in one week. It took me considerably longer to understand the rythems, but at least i knew where to put my fingers.

Hope i helped some. peace

blaze2


--------------------
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Offlinestefan
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Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 8,932
Loc: The Netherlands
Last seen: 6 months, 13 days
Re: How to proceed with guitar learning? [Re: blaze2]
    #3682070 - 01/26/05 08:06 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

you put it so much better into words than I did :thumbup:


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OfflineFocusHawaii
Keeper of theMagic Garden

Registered: 12/27/02
Posts: 1,013
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 5 years, 11 months
Re: How to proceed with guitar learning? [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3684021 - 01/26/05 06:04 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

You'll learn a lot more about the guitar if you memorize the fretboard. There are a lot of tricks you'll find as you go along that will aid this immensely. I suggest getting a metronome (or anything that keeps a beat i.e. a clock) and choose a note, say A for instance; then, while keeping the beat, play each the note you've selected on each string. Knowing the fretboard is crucial.

Second, you need to learn intervals. Intervals are the size of the step between each note i.e. C to G is a perfect fift C-F is a perfect fourth. If you know music theory then all you need to do is start noticing where the intervals occur when you play the major scale and everything fits nicely. If you don't know music theory you can search the internet or buy the book "Elementary Rudiments of Music" by Barbarra Wharam; I warn you, this book is all about rote so you do an insane amount of writing for one concept but once you've done it it will stick.

Finally, you should learn all the different "boxes" to the particular type of scale. You'll notice that depending on which box you use and where you use it the root of the scale will be different. This allows you to solo almost anywhere and over any chord progression that fits. Once you've learned all the different shapes of the scale you'll be able to start extending from one scale to the next all the way up and down the neck. So learn all of them and practice them!

This kind of stuff doesn't happen over night, hell I haven't mastered everything I'm talking about, but keep at it and you'll improve on the guitar quite a bit.


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