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Climbing The Scale To Success
Jordan Warford here, Editorial Manager for
Thanks for tuning in this week! We have a lot of new things
happening at Guitar Tips and we're happy you're getting
In this edition:
week we're going to take a look at what it takes to become a
solo guru. Many of you have emailed me over the last two weeks
asking for tips on soloing and scales. I've heard your cry!
just so happens that the last instalment of our new practice
regimen, PACS, deals with how to practice scales like the pros.
We'll cover everything you need to know to get started with
soloing by taking a look at proper practice techniques for
also have our ever growing feedback booth for you to check out
and see what your fellow subscribers have to say. See our new
segment that will be featuring a new band called "T.A.T.U.M."
Starting now, you will see a new feature band in the first
newsletter of every month. So start telling us about your
lets dive right in!
the proper foundation...
Are you confused
I remember how
intimidated I was of scales when I first started out on guitar.
Lets face it. There's literally thousands of variations of them
and they have the tendency to sound like nails on a chalk board
if you don't know what you're doing.
that whole, "Is this the right fingering?" dilemma or the, "Is
this the correct way of playing it?" factor.
Then, you go and
read one of your favorite guitar magazines only to see some
professional guitarist list off hundreds of major and minor
scales. They go into detail about how they found the tonic of
some exotic scale that you've never heard of.
To top it off and
really keep you confused, you may then hear from a famous
guitarist who only uses a few select scales to get their sound.
Where do you go next?
Get the basics down
Scales aren't the
beasts that everyone makes them out to be. The truth is, in
Western music there are select scales that are very popular and
the rest are sort of like a bonus.
scales are used for what and how to finger them will take much
of the anxiety away. The first major problem that many of my
students face is that they make life harder for themselves by
not fingering the scale correctly.
fingering does is make the most out of the space that is
available on the fretboard. On your fretting hand, you have four
fingers that are numbered. Each finger will be responsible for a
certain area of the fretboard. Take a look at what fingers
represent certain numbers:
1 = index
2 = Middle
3 = Ring
4 = Pinkie
T = Thumb
will appear over many professional scales that you see. When you
see a number that isn't a part of the music or tab, it indicates
which finger it wants you to use to produce that note.
You will find
that when you are playing scales, the fingerings will follow a
certain pattern. Although they may go around different frets,
the finger responsible for that general area will be there to
hit it. See this example to see what I mean:
the pattern of your first, third and fourth finger? The fourth finger takes
care of the long stretches and the first and third are responsible for the closer
distances. This is designed to increase your speed and accuracy.
pattern essentially goes 1-4 1-3 1-3 1-3 1-4 and ends on a 1. That's not too
bad is it?
in mind that when you are playing scales and there's a nice little fret jump,
like seen above on the low E string, then you should use your pinkie finger.
This may be a little bit painful at first but I highly recommend you keep at
it. Practice a scale that needs your pinkie finger every day and before you
know it, your pinkie will be as strong as your other fingers.
you are playing notes that are really close, use your first and second finger.
If you are playing notes that are around a fret or two away, try using your
too many players rely only on their first, second and third fingers. While this
may seem comfy when you are starting out, you will find that it will wear off
quickly and you won't be near as fast as you could be.
scales are used for different styles?
here's the source of confusion for many people. What kind of scale are you supposed
to use to play your favorite genre of music? We're going to list all of the
ones you should know for the type of music you like to play.
Scale: The major scale is everywhere you look in modern music. No matter
what your style, the major scale is one that you're going to want to know. There
are many forms of the major scale, both movable and stationary. I recommend
you learn all of the major scales because it will serve you as a great reference
tool and a cool warm up.
major scale includes quite a few notes but don't get frustrated because they
are all in a pattern. From this movable scale below, you can play all of the
note of the fingerings for this scale and try your best to memorize them. After
a couple of practice sessions it will be a piece of cake! Take a look at the
rest of the major scales you can produce using this fingering pattern.
to advanced players, all scales shown below are in Ionian form.
With those scales
in your arsenal, you can eventually work up your speed and do warm-ups that
sound like this:
worry, you can do this too! All I did was cut off each scale before I went to
the second bar. In other words, don't play anything in the second box of the
tabs. Practice with a metronome and work your way up.
may have noticed that I didn't play in straight even notes. The technique makes
the notes (after the first one on the E string) sound as if they fit into the
syllables of "Triple it".
are eight notes in a scale so when starting out, hold your first and second
note on the E string a little longer and then make the three notes on the A
string fit into the "Triple it" sound. Do the same for the notes on
the D string.
a lot of practice you'll find yourself speeding through them!
scale is extremely popular among rock and blues guitarists. It's known to have
the flavors that drives the best chart topping songs. It's definitely one of
the most functional scales at your fingertips. It's recommended for rock and
blues but I believe it's useful in a number of situations. Here's an example:
C Pentatonic (Major)
The Blues Scale:
scale is one of my favorite. It's very similar to the pentatonic scale but adds
it's own twists. The history of this scale is quite lengthy and it's heard on
millions of CD's. It's simple yet you can write the most complicated solos.
Recommenced for blues, rock, soul, gospel, and more!
Putting it into practice
now that you have the scales, you need something to see what it looks like in
action. Here's a quick little lick that will give you an idea of what you can
do with some of the notes from the A blues scale. You may notice that it isn't
arranged like you may have expected...
Little Piece of Heaven"
the last two weeks, I have received more emails with updates than ever before!
If you feel that you have a suggestion for us, please send along an email and
you might find yourself in our next issue.
what a few of our subscribers are saying this week.
G write to us this week with this comment:
really been enjoying the arpeggio practices... I don't take lessons or anything
and I don't want to learn someone else's style. I really like how I can just
look at something tabbed out and do my own thing. Thanks again! Chances are,
you'll be getting one of these every time I get the newsletter."
Evans had a great topic suggestion and question, which I am still researching
for her. She writes:
you are having a good day! I would be really interested to read some tips and
ideas for female guitar players, especially those who have extremely small hands
like me! I find some chords literally impossible to reach. I know there must
be heaps of successful tiny-handed players out there. Do you know any of their
tips or secrets? Does the size and style of the guitar have much of an impact?
Keep up the good work!"
tuned as we address this issue in the coming months.
Flores write to us with another great suggestion:
for your newsletter, I've learnt a lot with this one. I have a suggestion for
you: Maybe in the Newsletter you could put a section about the biography of
a famous guitar player. It'd be great!!!. So your readers can encourage themselves.
I hope my suggestion can be useful."
suggestion is actually quite popular. We're looking at doing a few articles
like this in the future, yet another great idea.
we hope that you've learned something new with this one. Scales have always
been a personal favorite and map out a great foundation for amazing solos. Stay
tuned over the rest of the Summer to see more articles on solo techniques, improvisation,
strumming and more!
you have a question, just let us know. We're always happy to help you out!
next time, keep on rocking!
Editorial Manager Guitar Tips Pty Ltd
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