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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:00 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iAmAPeanut View Post
Dude, thanks to all you awesome people who know infinitely more about scales and stuff than I do! I know next to nothing about this stuff. I know the basic major scale and pentatonic....but I don't really know much about them.

So, about all these chromatic and lydian and dorian and blablabla scales...I understand what notes are in them, but how might one finger the scales on the fretboard? Like, the only scales I know, I know how to go through the notes from E string to E string in a span of 3 or 4 frets. That's all I know....I need help

Oh, and someone mentioned the fact that a good solo is one that you can whistle back, not necessarily an impressive one. I'm thinking "God of Wonders" by City on a Hill.
All of the information about scales is available on the internet for free. Google is your friend. Just search "guitar scales" and you'll find something like this:
GUITAR SCALES
From there you type in the pattern (start with 1 or 2) and then the key (pick one) and then the scale type and *poof*, there's the fingering pattern and the notes of the scale. It's up to you to practice them slowly, becoming familiar with the pattern of the scale and the sound of the scale.
Repeat that practice over and over and over, using a metronome to play the scale in-time and in order to synchronize your right and left hands, until you can play it comfortably without messing up at all.
Then pick another scale and repeat the process, etc...and to not overwhelm yourself, start with the popular scales: Major (also known as Ionian), minor (also known as aeolian), mixolydian, pentatonic major, pentatonic minor and pentatonic blues, harmonic minor and maybe the diminished and/or half diminished scales.

Oh, and I just noticed that the page also offers 4 note per string and 3 note per string scales...scales in a more horizontal pattern sequence. These are GREAT for practicing alternate picking and for not getting yourself stuck in the 4 fret scale box that so many players find themselves trapped in.

And, imho, a good solo is one that fits the context of the song that the solo is contained in. It could be fast, slow, simple or complex. To me, there are no rules to soloing other than 'make it fit the song'.

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Unread 07-30-2011, 02:10 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrdave View Post
All of the information about scales is available on the internet for free. Google is your friend. Just search "guitar scales" and you'll find something like this:
GUITAR SCALES
From there you type in the pattern (start with 1 or 2) and then the key (pick one) and then the scale type and *poof*, there's the fingering pattern and the notes of the scale. It's up to you to practice them slowly, becoming familiar with the pattern of the scale and the sound of the scale.
Repeat that practice over and over and over, using a metronome to play the scale in-time and in order to synchronize your right and left hands, until you can play it comfortably without messing up at all.
Then pick another scale and repeat the process, etc...and to not overwhelm yourself, start with the popular scales: Major (also known as Ionian), minor (also known as aeolian), mixolydian, pentatonic major, pentatonic minor and pentatonic blues, harmonic minor and maybe the diminished and/or half diminished scales.

Oh, and I just noticed that the page also offers 4 note per string and 3 note per string scales...scales in a more horizontal pattern sequence. These are GREAT for practicing alternate picking and for not getting yourself stuck in the 4 fret scale box that so many players find themselves trapped in.

And, imho, a good solo is one that fits the context of the song that the solo is contained in. It could be fast, slow, simple or complex. To me, there are no rules to soloing other than 'make it fit the song'.
Thanks a lot. I have Googled stuff like this before, but I tend to get a little impatient. I'm going to check out this website though, thanks
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Unread 07-30-2011, 06:14 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iAmAPeanut View Post
Thanks a lot. I have Googled stuff like this before, but I tend to get a little impatient. I'm going to check out this website though, thanks
You have to know that there are no short cuts to learning.
Yes, the access and the information has improved much over the years, but the learning process still requires time and effort and study and repetition and sacrificing of other things in life in order to learn what it is that you wish to learn.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 10:55 PM   #64
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Assuming you understand scales and how they fit to certain keys/chords, the best solos tend to be similar to a story. It starts off with an intro which leads to a rise in action and then a climax, followed by a fall in action. If you relate the amount of action to the intensity and pitches of the notes you are playing, it makes a big difference. To sum it up, pretty much don't rely on crazy riffs and/or technique, but try to tell a story or make a statement with it. Sorry if that didn't help. I'm not the best teacher
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Unread 09-05-2012, 11:43 AM   #65
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There's really no one simple formula. You'll hear a lot of different opinions from a lot of different people who, of course, play different styles. You have to ask yourself what kind of music do you want to play. I'm more of a rock guitarist so I like to play pentatonic riffs. Other people rather not play pentatonics, but all seven notes in the scale. Like I said it is a matter of personal opinion. To me, I think pentatonics are an easy way to learn how to put a solo together. Then all you have to do is add the two notes omitted, the 4th and 7th if you want to put a "full" scale together. Also, don't limit yourself to one type scale alone. I tend to use a minor pentatonic scale then switch to the relative major scale. In my opinion there really are no rules, per se, to putting a solo together. It just comes down to lots of practice, sweat, and tears...and for the theory nuts out there...a little know-how.
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Unread 09-05-2012, 09:01 PM   #66
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There are a few different approaches that are great starting points:

1) Take the melody of the song, and start with that. Build off the melody by adding notes, changing the rhythms of the melody, etc.

2) Come up with one lick/idea. Play that at the beginning, then take that idea and mess around with it (adding notes, subtracting notes, changing rhythms, harmonizing, etc.). This is the harder of the two because it requires you to come up with an idea, rather than borrowing an already formed one.

Best Advice: DON'T TRY TO MAKE IT COMPLICATED! Good players can play lots of notes and make it sound decent. Great players can take one note and tell a story with it.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 12:30 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iAmAPeanut View Post
Dude, thanks to all you awesome people who know infinitely more about scales and stuff than I do! I know next to nothing about this stuff. I know the basic major scale and pentatonic....but I don't really know much about them.

So, about all these chromatic and lydian and dorian and blablabla scales...I understand what notes are in them, but how might one finger the scales on the fretboard? Like, the only scales I know, I know how to go through the notes from E string to E string in a span of 3 or 4 frets. That's all I know....I need help
...
This is a youtube that puts understanding the different modes quite simply. I remember all the mode names this way: I-Don't-Play-Loud-Music-After-Lunch.... I-D-P-L-M-A-L.... Ionian-Dorian-Phrygian-Lydian-Mixolydian-Aeolian-Locrian
Here's the Part 1 - YouTube Link
Part 2- YouTube Link

Last edited by Bushman; 09-06-2012 at 12:45 PM.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 01:30 PM   #68
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Thanks for all the help you guys
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Unread 01-11-2014, 06:01 AM   #69
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I realize that this is an older post, but I'd thought I would offer my two cents worth...

First, when learning how to improvise, it's important to understand all the different techniques and "tools" used to create a solo. Just about everything you do when soloing can be put into one of seven different categories

#1. TECHNIQUES all the little things such as; hammer-ons, pull-offs, picking, slides, 2 hand tapping, palm muting, using effects, using a slide, using a whammy bar, harmonics/squeals, etc.

#2 BENDING and VIBRATO this could probably be put into the technique category, but I think it's important enough to keep it separate. Vibrato is your signature. Ever notice how you can recognize some players, just by a few notes? Guys like David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughn, BB King, Hendrix and several others have really distinctive vibrato. It's what makes your notes sing and express emotion. A lot of inexperienced players have weak vibrato, mostly because they haven't worked on, or developed their own. Spend time learning how to keep your vibrato smooth and vocal sounding - unlike Kirk Hammett, whose vibrato sounds like a billy goat.
As for bending, practice bending your notes up to pitch - 1/2 step, whole step, and 1 1/2 step bends are the most common. Listen and don't overshoot your bend (bend too far), or short your bends (not bending far enough.)

#3 BLUES LICKS and MELODIC PHRASES There are tons of licks that everybody uses. Listen to Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Clapton, Randy Rhoads, etc., and you can hear a lot of the same minor pentatonic ideas. In the case of improvising, it's ok to steal.

#4 ARPEGGIOS Learn the major, minor and dominant 7 arpeggios all over the neck (IN ALL KEYS.) Think of arpeggios as landing spots to end your phrases/licks on.

#5 SEQUENCE PATTERNS These are the climbing types of licks that you've heard over and over. 3 and 4 note patterns are the most common and probably easiest to start with, but using 5 note patterns (like Eric Johnson) will give you a really cool and not-so-typical sounding sequence.

#6 SCALAR RUNS and MODAL PLAYING Sometimes the best way to get from one lick to another is to just play a long scale pattern. Using modes is like speaking a new language. For example; Dorian is a minor sounding mode. It's a little bluesier than the actual minor scale. Guys like Satriani, Santana, and Vai use Dorian quite a bit.

#7 PLAYING OUTSIDE This is more of a jazz concept, but you can use it in rock music. It's essentially playing notes that aren't in the scale and then resolving them to a scale tone. I wouldn't recommend doing this during the worship service.

To play a good solo, it's not necessary to master each of these categories. Listen to Angus Young, he really only knows one scale and most of his solos sound pretty similar - but they sound great! But then on the other side of the spectrum, you have someone like Satriani, Vai, John Petrucci, Steve Morse, etc. They have for the most part mastered the guitar, can play anything and everything, and it shows. The more you can do the more you'll be able to express yourself.

Psalm 33:3
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.

Hope this helps
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Unread 02-08-2014, 08:47 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Igrewsome View Post
I saw where some people discussed the A Pentatonic scale. By definition, it's a minor scale. I used to get into some hefty arguments with other guitar teachers at the store about that. I won.
Sorry, but your information is way incorrect. There is not a singular "A pentatonic" scale.
There is an A minor pentatonic scale AND an A major pentatonic scale.
A minor pentatonic = A - C - D - E - G - A
A major pentatonic = A - B - C# - E - F# - A
To add more correction, the notes in parentheses in your diagram, when added to the A minor pentatonic scale, create the A blues scale; not a pentatonic scale at all since it has more than 5 notes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igrewsome View Post
Yup. Thinking. You can't think and play at the same time.
Yes, you can. As long as you practice enough and learn correct theory and technique enough to where it's memorized, you'll be thinking while playing all the time.
As the greatest players have said "Learn everything that you can and then forget about it and just play". It seems like an oxymoron, to learn it and then forget it (?), but it just means to spend enough time in proper practice so that you won't be confused when it's time to jam.
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Unread 02-09-2014, 03:30 PM   #71
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You're more than welcome to share your experiences and advice in an effort to help others learn, but all I (and I'm sure other people here) ask is that you share information that is correct so as to not mislead others and possibly perpetuate the teaching of bad music theory.
I have spent 3 decades teaching music theory and guitar technique and, while I myself still have more to learn, I do know what I know and I have spent a lot of time over the years with students correcting incorrect theory that they typically learned on the internet or from teachers who either taught them wrong or that they just simply misunderstood.
This stuff is not too difficult to learn...music theory is not a moving target and there are plenty of excellent teachers and loads of excellent resources available...and if we're passing what we've learned on to others, we should strive to make sure that it's right.
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Unread 02-12-2014, 08:44 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by gtrdave View Post
Yes, you can. As long as you practice enough and learn correct theory and technique enough to where it's memorized, you'll be thinking while playing all the time.
As the greatest players have said "Learn everything that you can and then forget about it and just play". It seems like an oxymoron, to learn it and then forget it (?), but it just means to spend enough time in proper practice so that you won't be confused when it's time to jam.
Well said, I totally agree. I feel like I have finally gotten to the point where forgetting about the math is becoming normal. Not all the time, but feels normal at least. And it's liberating! It took me to stumbling every chord change when playing by ear to being able to just focus on worshipping while I play in church. Now I just get to close my eyes, rock out a little, and worship our Lord. It was SO worth putting the effort in.
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