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> Memorising Scales., An idea
Iluha
post Nov 11 2007, 10:12 PM
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NOTE: I havn't tried this yet.

So today while riding the bus, I started thinking bout ways I could learn scales faster, and then it hit me.
I allways bealived that the best and most efficient way of learning anything is to discover it on you'r own.

So my idea is this(if you don't wanna read the detailed explanation, Iv'e put a brief sum up at the end), this will work with any scale but let's take the C major scale for example, the notes are A B C D E F G, easy enough.
so what we do is this, we start by memorizing the location of these notes on the low E string from 0-12 fret, which would be 0,1,3,5,7,8,10,12(E F G A B C D E), now we just play the scale up and down the string,also possible to play all sorts of variations as you would with a normal scale box, to a metronome, with the option of saying the name of the notes while playing, this gives us several benefits:
1)Familiarizing with the notes of the scale on the string.
2)developing better picking on a single string.
3)if you choose to say the notes names than you will get more familiar with the fretboard.

Ok, so after you memorize the scale on the low E string, wether it takes a day, a week, a month, etc. you move on and do the same thing on the A string, now after youv'e done that you should do the same memorizing drills, only with both strings at the same time, than you move on to the D string, first memorize the string alone, than together with the A string, then together with the E string, and then all 3 together.

And so on! so basicly what you're doing here is memorizing the boxes but with a diffrent approach, instead of looking at a diagram of scale boxes, your'e DISCOVERING the boxes on your own, and for some(for me for example) it's a better and more effective way of learning something.

Needless to say that once you memorize all 6 strings, you can start building up you'r own boxes, surely you will build the most common boxes but you will probably also build some oddly shaped ones!

THE SHORT VERSION:
You memorize the scale on 1 string, than memorize it on the next string, then memorize on both strings together, and so on, in the end you'll memorize the scale on all 6 strings being able to build you'r own scale boxes!

I'm not caliming this is easier than just learning the common boxes, I can only claim that it is a diffrent approach, and to some people it will prove more fun and effective! tell me what you think! smile.gif

This post has been edited by Iluha: Nov 11 2007, 10:15 PM


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PlayAllDay
post Nov 11 2007, 10:28 PM
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I agree Iluha, this is a great idea - I think knowing the scales on single strings is VERy important actually.
And then if you put them on two strings only at a time (E&A, D&G, B&E) you see the pattern emerge that is very clear. And you can just play anywhere then without need for boxes or limits on your thinking.
Also it is good I think to choose to name the scale degree number as you play for even more understandings and discoveries.
And you get to the core of it Iluha - it's supposed to be FUN and Discovery is funner than just copying! laugh.gif


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chast
post Nov 11 2007, 10:37 PM
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I think, thats a good idea smile.gif
I guess you get a great fretboard freedom if you practice scales like that.
Its gonna take some time, but it is worth the time.
I will try it, thanks Iluha cool.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 11 2007, 10:49 PM
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QUOTE (chast @ Nov 11 2007, 04:37 PM) *
I think, thats a good idea smile.gif
I guess you get a great fretboard freedom if you practice scales like that.
Its gonna take some time, but it is worth the time.
I will try it, thanks Iluha cool.gif


This idea is even better than that - at some stage we all need to break out of the boxes (if we learned that way in the first place) and learning scales this way will achieve just that and lead you towards a total view of the fretboard, one that isn't limited by boxes.

This will also help you with 3 note per string scales, as these will fall very naturally out of your method smile.gif

The reason that most people don't do it this way is that it is very much harder than learning boxes - a box is a relatively easy way to learning a complete scale and being able to play tunes with it in a short period of time. Your grander scheme will be short on results for a longer time but at the end of it you will have a far better understanding of the fretboard and scales in general, and no predisposition to play in boxes.

All in all, a great post Iluha!

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Nov 11 2007, 10:50 PM


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Iluha
post Nov 11 2007, 11:15 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Nov 11 2007, 11:49 PM) *
This idea is even better than that - at some stage we all need to break out of the boxes (if we learned that way in the first place) and learning scales this way will achieve just that and lead you towards a total view of the fretboard, one that isn't limited by boxes.

This will also help you with 3 note per string scales, as these will fall very naturally out of your method smile.gif

The reason that most people don't do it this way is that it is very much harder than learning boxes - a box is a relatively easy way to learning a complete scale and being able to play tunes with it in a short period of time. Your grander scheme will be short on results for a longer time but at the end of it you will have a far better understanding of the fretboard and scales in general, and no predisposition to play in boxes.

All in all, a great post Iluha!

THanks Andrew, means alot coming from the Theory King, if there will be a Lesson competition I'm gonna nominate this =p.

And yeah it might take more time to actually start improvising effitiently with this method, but as you said, PLayallday and chast also said that, in the end, with this method you will have alot more freedom on the fretboard!

This post has been edited by Iluha: Nov 11 2007, 11:16 PM


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Resurrection
post Nov 12 2007, 02:04 AM
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QUOTE (Iluha @ Nov 11 2007, 10:15 PM) *
THanks Andrew, means alot coming from the Theory King, if there will be a Lesson competition I'm gonna nominate this =p.

And yeah it might take more time to actually start improvising effitiently with this method, but as you said, PLayallday and chast also said that, in the end, with this method you will have alot more freedom on the fretboard!


I seem to remember a YouTube video where a certain Mr J. Satriani (whoever he is laugh.gif ) recommends the scale learning approach you have mentioned (single strings at a time). I can't find the clip just now, but will post details if I can locate it again. I think he was mainly talking about the application of modes, but talked about this scale learning idea during the video at some point. However, I agree with you that sometimes it's better to think of these kind of ideas for yourself, rather than do something just because a famous guitarist thinks it's a good thing to do.


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Iluha
post Nov 12 2007, 02:29 AM
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QUOTE (Resurrection @ Nov 12 2007, 03:04 AM) *
I seem to remember a YouTube video where a certain Mr J. Satriani (whoever he is laugh.gif ) recommends the scale learning approach you have mentioned (single strings at a time). I can't find the clip just now, but will post details if I can locate it again. I think he was mainly talking about the application of modes, but talked about this scale learning idea during the video at some point. However, I agree with you that sometimes it's better to think of these kind of ideas for yourself, rather than do something just because a famous guitarist thinks it's a good thing to do.

Really? well I didn't expect this to be a "never before used" idea, but I did think of it on my own, and if Satch recommends than I guess it shows it works smile.gif


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Resurrection
post Nov 12 2007, 03:01 AM
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QUOTE (Iluha @ Nov 12 2007, 01:29 AM) *
Really? well I didn't expect this to be a "never before used" idea, but I did think of it on my own, and if Satch recommends than I guess it shows it works smile.gif


I think it's great that you've thought up a different way of thinking about learning scales. I can't find the correct Satriani video, but I've found a couple of references that show Satch's influence on this style of learning scales. Check out the articles at http://www.ibreathemusic.com/article/147/1 and also the Nov 17 2005 post from a guy called Drew on a Satch forum at http://satrianiforum.com/ar/t1176.htm

These articles talk about boxes, single strings and ways to combine the two approaches. I think any learning technique that leads to the fluid playing of scales is worth investigating.


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Iluha
post Nov 12 2007, 03:31 AM
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QUOTE (Resurrection @ Nov 12 2007, 04:01 AM) *
I think it's great that you've thought up a different way of thinking about learning scales. I can't find the correct Satriani video, but I've found a couple of references that show Satch's influence on this style of learning scales. Check out the articles at http://www.ibreathemusic.com/article/147/1 and also the Nov 17 2005 post from a guy called Drew on a Satch forum at http://satrianiforum.com/ar/t1176.htm

These articles talk about boxes, single strings and ways to combine the two approaches. I think any learning technique that leads to the fluid playing of scales is worth investigating.


Yup those sources relate and expand on what I presented here, this gets me more and more motivated to drop something off my current practice list and add a scale to try learn this way, thanks for those links Res smile.gif


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Resurrection
post Nov 12 2007, 03:36 AM
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QUOTE (Iluha @ Nov 12 2007, 02:31 AM) *
Yup those sources relate and expand on what I presented here, this gets me more and more motivated to drop something off my current practice list and add a scale to try learn this way, thanks for those links Res smile.gif


You're welcome. Good luck!


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dimeisgod
post Nov 12 2007, 04:15 AM
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i think that this approach may take too long and you will get to the boxes only after it all when you could have started there in the first place.

the easiest and most efficient ways to learn the scales (in my opinion) are these:


1. learning all key signatures of the major scales and their relative minor scales and than improvise using the given notes of that scale.
this way may take time but learning all key signatures will help you so much while learning theory its like if you know that you've got such a head start off everybody else..
this way also eliminates the "running up and down the boxes" thing that every new guitarist seems to have while trying to improvise at first.

2. just sit and learn the boxes...

the boxes are movable! if you learn em all in one scale you know em all. lets say you learn em in the C major scale and you move em two frets forward you got the D major scale or B minor and such with all others scales...

i really suggest getting a serious teacher for these stuff.. music is very complex, and this site may help a lot but a knowledgeable teacher is the best...
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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 12 2007, 04:19 AM
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I have to (respectfully) disagree; at the end of Iluhas quest he will have leapfrogged boxes and moved beyond them, he won't be tied down to thinking in specific areas of the fretboard, the whole fretboard will be open to him. That's where we should all aim to get to in the end.

However, your point #1 is a good one - learning the key signatures thoroughly is a very worthwhile exercise!

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Nov 12 2007, 04:20 AM


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dimeisgod
post Nov 12 2007, 04:26 AM
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yes true.. you do get an in depth view of the scale being learned, you wouldn't get that from just learning the boxes i think.

if it paid off after all is what i would like to know... I'm always after those creative ways of learning music. i actually learned the notes on the guitar just like the way he suggested.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 12 2007, 04:30 AM
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Its interesting - most people learn the boxes, but some lucky people are taught in ways more similar to this. If they work hard they wil be ahead of the game earlier in their learning cycle. I remember discussing this with Ben Howell one time - he says he was never taught boxes and doesn't see the point, and he's right of you take the long view, its just a lot harder to get there initially that way, but the flip side is that box learners need to make a painful transition to a box-free view of things or they will be stuck at a particular point of theor development.

I have a lesson planned around this (its in my index but I haven't written it yet) and Kris has a couple of lessons based around breaking out of boxes. This wouldn't be necessary with Iluhas methodolgy.


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dimeisgod
post Nov 12 2007, 04:46 AM
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that is sooooo true..

correct me if I'm wrong but i think Steve Vai said he learned one box in his life and only for the ear training purpose of it, getting to know how each scale sounds like and in different modes.

maybe the boxes are overrated?
what is the purpose of learning all of the boxes?

i think that when someone says "scale" you should immediately think of the notes of the given scale and its sound, that is so much more musical than the boxes..
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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 12 2007, 04:49 AM
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QUOTE (dimeisgod @ Nov 11 2007, 10:46 PM) *
i think that when someone says "scale" you should immediately think of the notes of the given scale and its sound, that is so much more musical than the boxes..


Definitely!

Boxes are useful because they get you to where you are going quickly, thats all. They are bite sized ways of learning the overall scale and can be very effective for beginners and intermediate players. But as you point out, the end game is that you are thinking at a musical level, more about the sound of the scale and its function, than the actual patterns you use to reproduce it.


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Resurrection
post Nov 12 2007, 05:11 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Nov 12 2007, 03:49 AM) *
Boxes are useful because they get you to where you are going quickly, thats all.


I think this comment of Andrews sums it up well. Learning boxes is a double-edged sword - a lot of people (including me) find them a quick way of getting up and running with scales, but the disadvantage is that you get locked into particular note patterns and regions of the fretboard. Yes, if you learn all the boxes you can cover all the fretboard with a scale and, of course, you can learn how to "connect" the boxes. However (IMHO) the very fact that you originally learnt a scale in boxes means that you will still fall back into those types of patterns when improvising. You may or may not think that this is important, but it's something to consider if you want to get to the stage where you have no limitations with how you can use a particular scale.


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Wyvernx
post Nov 13 2007, 03:48 AM
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I thought we were supposed to memorize shapes, or are they the same as boxes? well I'll try to do this as well, the more ways of learning something, the most likely you'll get it.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 13 2007, 04:33 AM
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QUOTE (Wyvernx @ Nov 12 2007, 09:48 PM) *
I thought we were supposed to memorize shapes, or are they the same as boxes? well I'll try to do this as well, the more ways of learning something, the most likely you'll get it.


Yes - memorize patterns. Patterns are the form that a scale takes on the fretboard. They could be boxes, or they could be up and down the whole string as Iluha says. However you make up a pattern, it is always the case that you can move it up and down to change key.


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sillyman
post Nov 13 2007, 06:50 PM
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QUOTE
1. learning all key signatures of the major scales and their relative minor scales and than improvise using the given notes of that scale.
this way may take time but learning all key signatures will help you so much while learning theory its like if you know that you've got such a head start off everybody else..
this way also eliminates the "running up and down the boxes" thing that every new guitarist seems to have while trying to improvise at first.


What do you mean by learn all the key signatures, does that mean you learn all the notes in each scale or what?


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