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Serious Theory Help Needed

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Ace123, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. Ace123


    Sep 25, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I am having serious problems trying to learn/use scales. I am having one of those weeks where my practicing feels like its doing nothing for me! There are two main things i need help with. the First is USING scales. Now, i know how to play a simple one octave scale if someone tells me to. And i can play the triad/arpeggio for that one octave sclae.

    Example: Someone tells me to play an A scale i will start on 5th fret of the E string and then continue to walk up the scale using the A and D string until i reach the A octave on the 7th fret of the D. ( i have a four string by the way)

    However, when i am jamming with a guitarist and he says "oh lets do this in A major", my lines are just simply walking up or down the scale or using an arpeggio or something and it doesn't sound good/fit with the song. How can i use my scale knowledge (or lack there of, which i will touch on in a minute) to make an interesting line. Also, i keep hearing people talk about using the triad in lines, so i will play the triad but once again it doesn't sound good. i want to stay in the key of A but i want to stay AWAY from just using scale patterns, any ideas here?!

    The Other problem i have is learning scales. What should i gain from learning scales? Should i be learnig patterns, notes, modes? THE REAL THING I NEED TO KNOW IS THE BEST WAY TO LEARN A SCALE, so that i can play it in many positions and memorize the note names. Is there a way to do this so that i can memorize positions and notes so when someone tells me to jam in that key i can rip out good lines? I need your help here! I don't want to play patterns when i jam, i want interesting lines that stay in the same key. Any suggestions on how to learn/memorize scales without simply playing scales because i can do that already and its not helping.

    Thanks for your help in advance. To summarize, i need help with LEARNING/MEMORZING scales and then using the scale knowledge to create lines which stay away from just using patterns/triads, THANKS! FONT]
  2. well, making an interesting line is about way more than scales. I think the rhythmic aspect of it is as important if not more. Think about great funk lines, a lot of times it's pentatonic but the rhythmic motion makes it cool.

    Maybe you're trying to play too much? If the guitarist says 'A major' try doing something really simple first, with 2 or 3 notes. Listen to what the drummer is doing and you can get ideas to play along with or against him/her.

    I'm assuming here that you're not walking through jazz standards, where you really have to know the scales to make a walking line work.

    Sometimes when I practice I feel the same way. But you will notice small gains over time, they won't always be apparent. I always struggle with the upright, and yesterday I got it out to practice. I amazed myself by playing a solo line in Eb and it was IN-FREAKIN-TUNE! I couldnt believe it :D
  3. Ace123


    Sep 25, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I have another question, I was wondering what the best way to learn/practice scales would be. An efficient way so i can memorize the notes and play the scales in different positions. What do you guys do to practice your scales?
  4. Ace123


    Sep 25, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    Hey thanks a lot. That second link about practicing scales is really helping me out. Thanks for reminding me how helpful this site can be. I'll be working on those scales and making some good music soon, i hope! thanks again
  5. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    When Ed speaks, we listen.
  6. Losmoran


    Sep 27, 2008
    Miami, FL
    Wow, I stumbled on this thread and spent a couple of hours reviewing the information on the posted link by Jazzbo: "intoduction to scale and chord theory"

    This is great!!!! Thank you this is really helping. I stopped playing in 1984 and just picked up again... I love this site.

    Thank you all!!!
  7. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Age old problem - I can do an A major scale - now what.

    How to make music from our scales. The answer to that is we make melodies (the song's tune) from our scales. That is a whole different World from just running a scale's notes up scale and then back down. Now we have to do that to get your fingers knowing where the notes are and which one's are the good notes and which one's are not.

    We normally play scales when we have the lead. We play chord tones when we are providing the beat that holds the band together. The following video has some great suggestions that scroll on the screen as the song is being played. Copy those down - they will help with your melody. Notice his left hand is playing a repetitive bass line riff through out the song. Think about how effective that is. The use of pentatonic scales is discussed, and there is a place for them in our accompaniment as well as our solo work. The following gave me a better understanding of the big picture - melody, harmony, rhythm and groove.

    Good luck.
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    vielen Dank.