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What to expect of scales?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Phunky, Jun 21, 2005.


  1. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    Sweden
    I've just started to play some scales, the ones on wheatsbassbook.. i decided to do this all day every summer, what exactly will improve? How long do you pratice the same scale and how often etc, have you seen results? Are there any way to make the scale-learning more effiecient, i've heard that singing along is a good thing, is that true?


    Thankfully //Phunky
     
  2. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    I practice 12different scales about 4hours a day and i dont see a big difference...
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you just practice scales without any reason, they won't do you any good. Refer to Sly's post for some good reasons.
     
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Chord arpeggios would be a lot more useful. Being able to hear, and play Maj, Min, Aug, Dim, Maj7, Min7, Dom7, etc, will do you a lot more good i.e. playing actual music than practicing scales.
     
  5. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    Sweden
    exactly what is an arpeggio? i'm sorry but i began studying theory yesterday...
     
  6. akuma12

    akuma12

    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    Scales are just another tool in the toolkit, really. When practicing scales, you're getting it stuck into muscle memory the shape of a major scale, or a dorian scale, or whatnot. If you're soloing, or walking a line, or creating a bassline of any sort, and you come across a dominant 7th chord, you pretty much know you can use any note in a Myxolydian scale in that key. So knowing the pattern for a Myxolydian scale will give you access to all those notes.

    You can also use scales to help improve your technique. Try playing a scale syncopated with a metronome. Try playing it in triplets. Try playing up the scale in 3rds. 1-3, 2-4, 3-5, 4-6, 5-7, 6-8, 7-9, 8-6, etc etc. Or 4th, 5th, minor 7ths ;) Do single string scales too, in all modes. It'll really get you to learn your fingerboard in the higher registers, it's helped me a ton.
     
  7. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    Sweden
    So you guys are suggesting that i simply stand in my room practising them over and over? and then i will se results?
     
  8. Coward Of Reali

    Coward Of Reali

    Oct 13, 2003
    you'll probably start hearing phrases or licks from songs as you play different scales in different keys

    practice the minor pentatonic and you'll hear a lot of Black Sabbath
     
  9. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Don't forget to practice scales/modes/chord arpeggiations in descending patterns too. I found I could do ascending chord arpeggiations with my eyes closed, but I stumble all over the place when I do descending arpeggiations. So guess what I'm working on now. :)

    I've also been singing the notes as I play them so I can get the chord note names and their sounds into my head. This also helps a bit remembering where these notes are on the fretboard.

    I still have a ways to go (as always) but this makes practicing scales more musical for me. Also, if you get the pitches associated with frets on the neck it makes it easier to pick notes up by ear easier. Couple that with the theory you're getting into your practicing scales/modes/chords and it's that much easier to hear where a song is going.
     
  10. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    Sweden
    Thanks guys, i've been pracitising C Major scale for a little while now and yesterday i played James Brown - This is a mans world and i nailed the beginning right away! :cool:

    But what is the difference between a scale and an arppegio? chords i know what it is but not arppegios


    Thanks guys
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Arpeggios are just chords played one note at a time. Ever hear the piano on the intro to "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor? That's an arpeggio. A badly played arpeggio, but an arpeggio nonetheless.
     
  12. Minimaul

    Minimaul

    Jun 22, 2003
    If you do a Major scale over and over, then all you're going to know is that pattern. But, take that pattern, and do it everywhere on the neck. Say/Sing the notes as you play them. Do 'em forward, and backwards.

    Play a C Major scale. Then, do C Major Chord. then C Minor scale, C Minor chord. Then D Major Scale, Then D Major Chord, then D minor scale... excetera, excetera.

    Do them in thirds. do them in time with a metronome. as someone all ready said, do triplets. Make the scale musical.

    Take apart each scale and learn every part of it. DON'T just do the scale over and over and over and over and over. That'll help with technique. but, it'll only help with that one scale you do.
     
  13. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    Sweden
    Thanks for you answer, but how do you do C Major/minor chord and C Minor scale? i know how to do C Major Scale but that's all :(
     
  14. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Take the suggestions that you have gotten here and take some lessons with someone so that they can show you what this stuff is. It's sort of more that you can realistically process on a message board.
     
  15. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    Sweden
    :crying: :rollno: There ain't any teachers around from where i come, this is the only way.
     
  16. One of the most profound things I read about scales was by Joe Satriani. He stated in something like these terms: scales are there for you to learn what notes are possible. That is what they are for. This does not mean you play scales when you are soloing. You play ideas from the scale possibilities that present themselves.
    Second, Allan Holdsworth sees arpeggios as simply scales with some notes left out. This simple observation can free you immensely. A Cmaj7 arpeggio is simply the cmajor scale with a 1-3-5-7 formation. They are not separate things. An arpeggio is just another scale that you can use. Of course Holdsworth takes this to another level my mapping the fretboard and enabling any combination of arpeggios and chord shapes within a given key as possibilities. Some sound great some don't.
    Third, arpeggios do give the sound of the chord changes in a much more direct way.
    The ultimate test of a bassists knowledge if you ask me is to be able to play a set of jazz changes using quarter notes in a walking bass line and make it sound great. I teach slappers and tappers and they are way ahead of me. I then say play 4 choruses of a jazz blues in Bb and come up with an interesting line and they freeze.
    You can do this by simply doing an arpeggio map and connecting the dots so to speak. Once you get the arpeggios on line in all their inversions you are free to create chromatic possibilities and scalar ones.
    The Gary Willis book Finger board harmony, although quite difficult can set you free as well.
    And as to one of the other posters who said something like "if I play these scales for a while will they make me a better player". The answer is yes. They will, but how they do that is up to you. Reach inside the scale and listen to it. Why does it work?
     
  17. clouddead

    clouddead

    Jan 15, 2003
    orlando
    Check the stickies, plenty of useful information in there. They helped me.
     
  18. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    Sweden
    Thanks for all your effort, but wow it sounds so complicated.. not to mention english isn't my main language but i understand, music is internationell. But i'm going to learn some scales and continue with learning from records as i've done to this point, until i find a teacher i guess.