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> ? On Practicing Scales & Boxes, Andrew's theory lesson
Gerald
post Nov 9 2007, 03:46 AM
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I was reading and have been studying Andrew's lessons on music theory. I currently jam with my roommate who plays keyboards and uses Cubase. He knows much more at this point about scales etc. than I do so I'm trying to catch up.

My question centers around how one should go about learning and therefore practicing the scale. Is it better to practice and memorize all the patterns/boxes for onescale, such as the G Minor in Andrew's lesson or is it better to try and practice all the shapes for all the different scales?

What I have been doing is memorizing a few different boxes. The first box for the G Minor pentatonic, and A Major scale in the 4th position. If I understand my theory right, I can move these boxes up and down the neck to play in different keys. However each scale will have different boxes that it can be played in. So do I learn a few boxes at a time and move them up and down to jam out with my roommate in the right key, or learn one whole set of boxes for a given scale first then move on to the next key/scale?

Thanks!
- Gerald
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Spiderusalem
post Nov 9 2007, 03:54 AM
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QUOTE (Gerald @ Nov 8 2007, 06:46 PM) *
I was reading and have been studying Andrew's lessons on music theory. I currently jam with my roommate who plays keyboards and uses Cubase. He knows much more at this point about scales etc. than I do so I'm trying to catch up.

My question centers around how one should go about learning and therefore practicing the scale. Is it better to practice and memorize all the patterns/boxes for onescale, such as the G Minor in Andrew's lesson or is it better to try and practice all the shapes for all the different scales?

What I have been doing is memorizing a few different boxes. The first box for the G Minor pentatonic, and A Major scale in the 4th position. If I understand my theory right, I can move these boxes up and down the neck to play in different keys. However each scale will have different boxes that it can be played in. So do I learn a few boxes at a time and move them up and down to jam out with my roommate in the right key, or learn one whole set of boxes for a given scale first then move on to the next key/scale?

Thanks!
- Gerald


All the scales have the same shape. A-Ionian is the same as B-Dorian is the same as C-Phrygian ect. The difference happens when you begin the scale. If you wanted to play a B-Dorian Scale, you would start on the second degree of the A-Ionian scale which is B.

The trick is remembering which scales are where on the fretboard, as this universal scale pattern is moved down the fretboard to create all the other scales.

just my 2 cents.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 9 2007, 04:00 AM
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I would suggest you learn all the boxes for a given scale at once and when you are done with that move on to the next scale ...


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Gerald
post Nov 9 2007, 04:08 AM
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@ Spider: I think I understand what it is that you are saying. At this point I am not at all familar with the modes; it's something on my radar to start on.

@ Andrew: So having said what you said, would it be a good idea to print the boxes for all the given scales for reference? What I want to do is essentially know what boxes to play for any given key. So when my roommate and I are jamming and he has something going in E minor, I know where on the fretboard I can play. Of course, this will take some time, so I'm thinking if I had a reference, I could look in a book or at print outs to see where I can play that scale and use that until I memorize and can play all of the scales on command.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 9 2007, 04:14 AM
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QUOTE (Gerald @ Nov 8 2007, 10:08 PM) *
@ Andrew: So having said what you said, would it be a good idea to print the boxes for all the given scales for reference? What I want to do is essentially know what boxes to play for any given key. So when my roommate and I are jamming and he has something going in E minor, I know where on the fretboard I can play. Of course, this will take some time, so I'm thinking if I had a reference, I could look in a book or at print outs to see where I can play that scale and use that until I memorize and can play all of the scales on command.


Yes - you can get online tools to do this for you.

Once you have the 5 boxes for any given scale, say the Major, you just need to move them up and down to get the right key as you said in your first post. So, I would do this:

Make a concerted effort to learn the first box for a scale, say minor pentatonic (best by far for jamming). Be very clear where the root note is in this scale (in box one for minor pentatonic it is the lowest note on the bottom E string). Then learn or figure out all the notes on that same E string, and armed with that knowledge you can jam in any key with minor pentatonic.

Afte that, you can work to add the rest of the boxes for minor pentatonic, and you just have to bear in mind that the root notes are in different positions for each box, ans that you have to be able to link the root notes of the scale with the root note of the key you want to play in.


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Gerald
post Nov 9 2007, 05:10 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Nov 8 2007, 10:14 PM) *
Yes - you can get online tools to do this for you.

Once you have the 5 boxes for any given scale, say the Major, you just need to move them up and down to get the right key as you said in your first post. So, I would do this:

Make a concerted effort to learn the first box for a scale, say minor pentatonic (best by far for jamming). Be very clear where the root note is in this scale (in box one for minor pentatonic it is the lowest note on the bottom E string). Then learn or figure out all the notes on that same E string, and armed with that knowledge you can jam in any key with minor pentatonic.

Afte that, you can work to add the rest of the boxes for minor pentatonic, and you just have to bear in mind that the root notes are in different positions for each box, ans that you have to be able to link the root notes of the scale with the root note of the key you want to play in.


This approach is essentially what I have been doing. I have the first position of the minor pentatonic down, and that's my default box I jam in. Lately I've been trying to learn the second box for G minor pentatonic. I like to look at the boxes while I'm not playing so I can remember the pattern & root note. I'm assuming that when I'm moving these boxes up and down the fretboard I'm not only playing in different keys, but also different modes. I'm just not aware of the modes are in relation to each other.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 9 2007, 05:14 AM
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QUOTE (Gerald @ Nov 8 2007, 11:10 PM) *
This approach is essentially what I have been doing. I have the first position of the minor pentatonic down, and that's my default box I jam in. Lately I've been trying to learn the second box for G minor pentatonic. I like to look at the boxes while I'm not playing so I can remember the pattern & root note. I'm assuming that when I'm moving these boxes up and down the fretboard I'm not only playing in different keys, but also different modes. I'm just not aware of the modes are in relation to each other.


Don't worry about modes yet - they can be very confusing if you come at them form the wrong angle. I would say make sure you are happy with major and minor scales all boxes and keys before you get into modes.


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Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
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