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Frustrated Scales

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Aussiephoenix, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. Hello... My name is Dave and... I'm a NOn-Scale-o-holic...

    Hi, I thought I'd post here to see if you guys can share your knowledge with me and hopefully help me out in this little problem Im facing....

    I've never had a single music lesson, Always played by ear, for a good few years now...
    And even though thats kept me happy up until now, Im meeting more and more bassplayers that never do that hunting around for the note thing... They always seem to know exactly what they are playing, and it seems they have it all worked out in their head before they do it...

    to me this sounds like whats missing for me, theory...

    And I've downloaded a bunch of stuff to see if I can get myself up to speed... but its Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo boring...
    I cant sit there playing scales and reading music theory for even half an hour before I get frustrated with it and start doodling around without any aim...

    any of you out there experienced this? how did you get around it? :help:
  2. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Discipline. Patience. Dedication. Commitment.

    Learning theory (or anything else, for that matter ) is time consuming. But it pays off.

    Of course, you don't have to come out with guns a-blazin'. Spoon feed yourself. Take in a little bit at a time. Maybe ten minutes a day. After a while, bump it up to 20 minutes a day--etc.

    It's like any other work out regimen, start slowly and build gradually.
  3. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX

    Amen, ONYX. Aussie, you have been able to write because you (and your teacher) took the time to learn how grammar works. Music Theory is the "grammar" of creating music.

    I wouldn't read Shakespeare to my 5-year-old son, and I wouldn't expect you to solo over John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" (a VERY difficult jazz tune). Take it in small chunks and always apply what you're reading to your fretboard.

    It'll come. Just take it slow and have an attitude that it's going to GREATLY benefit you when you have it!! :D
  4. metalguy2


    Dec 26, 2004
    When I was learning my scales I thought it was fun because it was teaching me how to sound good right away by myself. So learning all that info was exciting because I knew I would be good if I could harness all the knowledge I could.
    Seriously if it isn't your thing than you won't learn it. There is no easy way out, no short cuts. Much like anything else in this world. If you have no desire to do something. Then you won't.
  5. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    True, but if you're managing to pull-off a half-hour a day of music theory study, I'd say your NOT having much of a problem! Sheesh - a few hundred days of that, and you'll be blazin'!!

  6. oversoul

    oversoul fretless by fate

    Feb 16, 2004
    hey Aussie. go and give it a try at FX store, my teacher Alex is an immensely cool guy, that of course if you feel like paying for classes, think about it.
  7. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Yeah aussie - just dedicate a little time to scales -- maybe 20 mins of yer time. Start slow and listen for the subtle differences. Soon your fingers will be so used to the run your going for you won't even think about it. Scales are the architecture of music. Incorporate them into your free-form .... ya know, mix 'n match.
  8. Damn, dude, that sounds like the Jedi Code... Unfortunately, I've been following the Sith teachings for far too long... :D

    Its not that I dont want to learn it... Im just trying to look at learning theory in a diferent perspective, cause right now its just boring me to tears.

    But I know what you mean, and I definitly want to know all of that stuff... guess im gonna have to put some effort into it for a while and see it pay off to really get myself going along with it.

    Oversoul, Its not that I cant afford the lessons, I just dont have the time until about 9pm... so, no go. I'll have to do it myself...
  9. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I think more than theory you need it's very close sister: ear training. Not that you don't need theory, it will help you enormously, but spend real time training your ears.
  10. I've had +/- 8 years ear training mate, thats how I learned to play. I'd just throw a cd on and play it from begining to end, no tab, no nothing. just ear. I'd say its as finely tuned as it will ever be by now ;)

    Still, I was chatting with a mate yesterday and he explained some things about scales and it made it a bit easier to understand, so Its given me a little more drive to learn this stuff.
    I realised that everytime I do a sequence that sounds good, wether I know it or not, its within some scale or mode... and it would make it much easier if I knew all the options available instead of going by instict and risking a side note.
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    Yea, I used to confuse that with ear training too.
  12. oh? So whats ear training then?
  13. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
  14. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    First you say:

    Then you say:

    Know what the note will sound like before you put your finger down - that's ear training.

    However - I give a money back guarantee on my scale practice method! Click this link: Pacman's Sure Fire Practice Method
  15. tifa

    tifa Padawan Bassist

    Mar 8, 2005
    Blackburn, UK


    This method is really helping me at the minute - definitely give it a go! makes a lot of sense.

    PS - Thanks Pacman! :)
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Glad it helped! :)
  17. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000

    Your method is very similar to the one I used to teach myself to become more familiar with various modes many years ago. My approach was to start scale runs from different degrees within the scale--but not think of it as playing a particular "mode" of that scale. The end result was me becoming very comfortable being able to play almost any chord tone/scale tone sequence from anywhere on the fretboard. After many hours/days/weeks/months of doing this it became second nature.

    If anyone is having difficulty getting more familiar with the fretboard, Pacmans Surefire Practice Method is highly recomended. Trust me, stick to it and you'll hear results!
  18. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand

    You're losing concentration while trying to acheive a given task. I would assume that this is the case in most aspects of your life. Sincerely, I would talk to a Shrink about your problem, if you're serious about learning bass to a decent level of skill.
  19. While this is true, I disagree to the implied sentiment, at least the one that I felt from this, that music theory is not engaging. Let me put it this way, if you like math, then you will like music theory. If you don't like math, well you're not in the same boat as I am. What I enjoy about music theory are the discovery of patterns and equations/rules. Seeing a pattern makes me say something aloud, regardless of whether people around me know what I'm doing or if they even know me. (I sometimes write out patterns in inversions or scales/chords on blank paper to pass the time.)

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