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Scale practice!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by H2ODog, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. H2ODog


    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    Can someone explain the purpose of practicing a scale in 3rd's, 4th's, 5th's...etc.
  2. the purpose? its a really great workout for your fingers, and it will teach your ear to hear these intervals in the context of music.
  3. H2ODog


    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    Thanks J, i see what you mean, it makes sense.:)
  4. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    Plus, it helps your mind and fingers to memorise the patterns, which is very useful when you need to improvise.
  5. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    It helps you get away from playing scales. Scales are like the alphabet. You gotta learn them. But if all you ever do is use them in order, then they're kind of useless for communicating. So, practicing scales in thirds, fourths, etc. will open up your ears and get your fingers working with your ears... assuming you're really listening to what you play whne you practice them. I suggest singing what you're playing because that helps burn the SOUND of the scales into your brain. Then when you hear a third, your ear will recognize it AND your hand will be used to the various ways you can grab the two notes.

  6. H2ODog


    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    Good info guys, thank you!
  7. Mazatleco17


    Mar 27, 2008
    Ok still a beginner here, but how do you practice a scale in 3rd's 5th's? I know what a 3rd 4th's and 5th's are. :meh:
  8. Try these patterns:

    1,3;2,4;3,5;4,6;5,7 - get the idea? That's a scale played in THIRDS. You play the first note, then the SCALE TONE (this is very important) that is a 3rd above it. Then you play the 2nd note, and the scale tone a 3rd above that, and so on.

    You can do the same with 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, and so on - it also helps if you're familiar with playing 2-octave scales so you can extend the exercise.

    Try inverting the intervals (3-1, 4-2, 5-3) or going up once and down the 2nd time and so on. Get REALLY comfortable with your scales - you simply can't know them too well or practice them too much.
  9. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    So what I am doing when I play the scales are following?

    1,2,3,1, 2,3,2,4 , 3,4,5,3 , 4,5,6,4, 5, 6,7,5

    I tought that was called thirds :(
  10. To add on to it: Think of it as the alphabet. You first learn the alphabet, all 26 of them know as letters, you then learn words, simple to complex, and then start forming simple sentences and then later more complex. It's a means of saying something to someone.
  11. A "third" is "the distance across three consecutive scale tones". So, while you're working with them (when you go 3-1 at the end of the first pattern), you're not only playing thirds. Make sense?
  12. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Playing a scale in 3rds would be essentially playing every other note.

    and I'm really surprised nobody has mentioned this:
    3rds and 5ths are chord tones. That is why its is so valuable to practice your scales that way : you learn the sound of the chords/arppeggios that relate tothe scale in question.

    For example to practice C major scale in 3rds/5ths you'd play
    135 246 357 461 572 613 724

    which is also
    Cmaj Dmin Emin Fmaj Gmaj Amin Bdim
  13. Precisely. And those chords above happen to be used in a HUGE number of songs that are in the key of C Major because they sound reminiscent of the C Major scale. They're called Diatonic Chords because the notes they use all come from the same major scale. Another big part of training your ear.
  14. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008

    See "chord-scale compatibility", i.e., the C major scale is the Ionian scale (I) C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, ... the II scale in C major is the D Dorian scale (D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D), and so on with III (Phrygian), IV (Lydian), V (Mixolydian), VI (Aeolian), and VII (Locrian)

    Memorize all these scale patterns and practice shifting between them keeping in mind where you are relative to your root key (i.e. I, II, V, etc). Practice intervals, arpeggios etc across these scales, ascending, descending, also ascending on only 2 strings up 2 octaves, then descending down a different area of the fretboard. Hours of fun. PLUS, you'll see patterns and relationships you may not have previously noticed.
  15. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    What I'm referring to above is most easily seen in this chart. I'm not a professional musician, so anyone more knowledgeable out there: please correct me if there's something wrong here.

    The Dorian pattern is offset to the left on purpose, because I want to remind myself to start with my second (index) finger for the Dorian scale. For all other patterns, if the first dot is in the bottom left position, start with the second (index) finger. If there's an open fret space left of the first dot, start with the 3rd (middle) finger. The reason for this is that if you follow this convention, then moving up or down a single string (rather than using the next string up or down) will always have the pattern continue 1 whole tone up from the last note in the 2 or 3-note section of the pattern... This makes it much easier to move around the fretboard with accuracy.

    Attached Files:

  16. hova9018


    Mar 13, 2006
    What scales should you play when you're doing this? should you go through the modes, chords, etc. ?
  17. hova9018


    Mar 13, 2006
    Also, how do you go about implementing all of this into your playing?
  18. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    1231 2342 3453 ect... is what we referred to in band when i played trombone as a scale pattern, and thats exactly what it is. So is 1321 2432 3543 ect... To put into your playing is all up to you, but really the only time you can play what you wish during a solo or making a bass line so these are great routines to help improvise. A good player can make playing thirds groove, swing and so on. Also if a II V I or pops up you can play 3rds, scale patterns, or triads of themodes of the root. I hope babbling didnt go too off topic and answered some of you question. Bottom line though, just practice you scales! all of them, if it doesnt ever benefit you musically it will be good practice for you fingers.
  19. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    The short answer: in all keys...
    i.e. start with E Ionian (see posted chart above), then move your root note up the E Ionian scale: Dorian starting on F#, Phrygian starting on G#, Lydian starting on A, Mixolydian starting on B, Aeolian starting on C#, Locrian starting on D#....
    THEN, start all over again, this time beginning with the Ionian scale starting on F, then Dorian starting on G etc etc

    You don't really want to implement straight scales into your playing, hence the need to incorporate scale intervals into your scale practice. A major benefit of practicing scales is to train your finger-ear coordination so that you will become progressively more effective at playing what you hear in your head.

    I hope that helps.
  20. Right. Scales are the subset of notes that work within a system; they are NOT to be confused with music, unless you're playing "Joy To The World".

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