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> Scales For Improv (beginner)...
Déjà vu
post Jul 13 2008, 08:18 AM
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I have recently taken a fascination on improv. I have tossed around a few scales such as the Pentatonic, major, minor, a few modes, "exotic" scales, etc... But, I was still unsure of how "burnt into my brain" these scales should be. I have read that I should be able to play them with my eyes closed, and that I should be able to play them without thinking about what I am playing. I am able to play them with my eyes closed (pretty easily). But, I'm a little confused about about the concept of not thinking of what I'm playing... Does it mean should be able to mindlessly run up and down the scales while multitasking? Or, does it mean that I should be able to add techniques, such as vibrato, bends, and sliding into different positions without putting much thought into it except what part of the fretboard I'm playing on? If I run up and down a certain scale long enough will it be locked inside my head??? Or, should I learn a scale then practice improving with a slow backing track until I become familiar enough that I can improv freely??? unsure.gif

I need a pretty detailed explanation of how this works... and where I should go from where I'm at now...

*Keep in mind* I can name most of the notes on the fretboard within 3-5 seconds (meaning point to a random note, I should get it moderately quickly)... I've also jammed with Smells' lesson on beginning improv which uses the B minor Pentatonic, and I've only used the first position of the scale (and moved it up an octave).

I hope this made sense to all of you. I feel like I'm putting too much thought into this (I hope not anyway). unsure.gif
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Matt23
post Jul 13 2008, 08:34 AM
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I find the best way to learn a new scale is to play it up and down on each single string.
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Jesse
post Jul 13 2008, 08:55 AM
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The first thing I learned was 1 pentatonic scale. I learned that by playing it a thousand times and learning how to improvise, but now, I learned 4 more pentatonic scales from kris, first I learned them the normal way, then I put on a backing track and improvise, so your mind learns where the frets are.

DEJA, I think your way is the best.. Learn-backing track improv-Improv free.

This post has been edited by Jesse: Jul 13 2008, 08:56 AM


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Vasilis
post Jul 13 2008, 09:08 AM
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Its really nice that you try and learn a lot of scales cause they will definitely come in handy. But for the improv part I suggest that you learn a lot of licks from your favorite guitarists. I'm not saying that you should copy them.Just "study" their thought and musical approach in their solos. I think you"ll find a lot of stuff there.
I don't know if I made a lot of sense....I hope i did laugh.gif
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DeepRoots
post Jul 13 2008, 09:12 AM
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To learn them without thinking is really so that you have possibilities of places to go while improvising. If you know one of the pentatonic boxes well- then you'll use it over a backing track, if you know 5 then you'll find yourself using those 5.

Improvising, just like any other solo- can be made up of many many parts, pentatonics, modes, arpeggios, melody lines, flashy techniques etc etc

You'll have to learn as many soloing tools as possible and practise them until they are burned into brain and then once you've got yourself a good amount of technique to assist you with all these roadmaps you laid out on your fretboard your going to have some real sweet solos.
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Daniel Robinson
post Jul 13 2008, 10:46 AM
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The advice above is pretty much dead on, as far as "not thinking" well that is a kind of metaphor really since everything you do requires some level of thinking. But the shorter amount of time you have to think about something before your hands are engaged makes it easier.

A simple analogy would be looking at an apple and knowing it's red right away. You learned that a long time ago and it is a "no brainer" same thing goes for guitar scales. When learning the scale you have to pay a huge amount of attention to what frets you are fingering, and where the next one is and so forth.

Once the scale is commited to memory you start feeling it more than thinking about it. After awhile it becomes like knowing the apple is red analogy, it no longer takes a a great deal of mental fortitude and its more about just "feeling" it.


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Déjà vu
post Jul 13 2008, 07:57 PM
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Thanks guys! This definitely gives me a good understanding biggrin.gif ! I managed to get get some value out of each of your comments! But, I have one more question... I find myself playing a lot of the same patterns over and over again. Do a lot of you do the same thing? Or, if you sit down will it always be different? My guess is probably because I've only limited myself to a simple Pentatonic box. Is this the problem? Because I've seen and heard blues guys like B.B. King use four notes, and do a million different things with them.
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Rated Htr
post Jul 13 2008, 08:18 PM
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Depends on what you wish to do...Like you said, it's possible to make hundreds of things using the same licks and notes, although IMO, it's better to use various things, it depends on the phrasing smile.gif...If you know what I mean tongue.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 14 2008, 09:32 PM
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Well to goal is to eventually know the notes on the fretboard by ear and to play them seamlessly and subconsciously, so you can pay attention to melodies in your head more.


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