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Chris Evans
Beginner Scale Exercises

Click to view attachment

Not the most interesting subjects, and not the most coolest of lessons, but .. its something that is a necessary evil laugh.gif
Personally, I dont actually mind setting aside time (lots of it) to running up and down playing scale exercises, its something that you can do and practice without actually having to be plugged in to the amp, I quite often sit in front of the computer doing other things and playing scales in between typing, waiting for downloads etc.

You can use scales to also practice picking techniques, legato & alternate picking to name just two but these are the ones that I tend to focus a fair bit on when playing these kind of exercises.
These kinds of exercises are also good for practicing timing, here at GMC we often have the luxury of great backing tracks to play along with, again with scales you can cut things down to the bare minimum and either play along with a basic backing (like the one in this lesson) or even futher with just a metronome.

The main aim of this lesson is really to focus on timing, getting your fingers used to moving accross all six strings, introducing your pinky and showing you that the same patterns can be played all over the fret board depending on the key.

Thsi is a series of four exercises starting from a very basic scale ascending and descending to a more interesting 3 note per string scale exercise, you can of course jump to anyone you like, but as a complete beginner I`d recomend starting with Exercise 1 and working your way through to Exercise 4 as they all follow on from each other smile.gif

Firstly lets look at the notes we are going to be playing in the first video:

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The red dots indicate the root note, notice that I have not indicated what actual note we are starting with, thats because in this exercise we will be using this scale shape in four different positions.
Starting with C on the bottom E string.

This exercise changes keys from C to D to E and to F, I`ve mixed it up a little to try and make things a little more interesting. So you will play exactly the same shape that is in the diagram but moving the root note accordingly.

The backing that I`ve made here (although a tadge boring) is intentional, obviously a straight drum beat all the way through, a constant Bass playing the root note on the beat and just a keyboard note indicating the start of each pattern.

Ok on to Exercise One:

VIDEO 1 Click to view attachment this is played at 75BPM

The exercise sequence is displayed on the screen also but just for reference the order that you play each scale (ascending & decending) is:


Slow video : Click to view attachment
This is just the scale pattern in C for demo purposes.

Backing track 75BPM : Click to view attachment
(If you`d like any slower backing on this then just send me a PM and I`ll post one up)

Once you have got used to the notes and moving the position to the different keys you can try slightly faster smile.gif

Backing track at 90BPM : Click to view attachment

Exercise 2

Same backing as before and we`ll be using the scale shape from exercise one (ascending only) and introducing a new scale shape for ascending.

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This is a three note per string ascending run, in the main video I`m playing this at 90BPM but its exactly the same backing as before so you can use the 75BPM backing to begin with.

on the ascending run you`ll start with the root note of the scale on the high E string and running sown to the root note on the A string.

Video 2 : Click to view attachment

Slow video : Click to view attachment

Backing Track at 90BPM : Click to view attachment

Exercise 3 (The reverse)

this time we`ll be using the 3 note per string run ascending and the scale run from exercise one descending again at 90BPM but take a slower backing till you are comfortable.

Video 3 : Click to view attachment

Slow video : Click to view attachment

Excercise 4

Probably the most interesting exercise, all three notes per string ascending and descending using the patterns from exercises 3 & 4.

Video 4 : Click to view attachment

Slow video : Click to view attachment

If theres anything unclear then please feel free to ask any questions, I`ve not got into theory here in any depth as the main aim for this lesson is for exercise purposes and get those fingers working, at the same time learning a scale or two, two major scales played in slightly different positions.

Once you`ve mastered these exercises you my want to have a look at THIS lesson, its exactly the same but provides faster backings smile.gif

Hope this helps some of you, any questions just ask


Bogdan Radovic
Good job one the lesson Smells ! Really useful stuff in there ! smile.gif
Good stuff here.... wink.gif thanks chris
Nemanja Filipovic
I am on it for shore(being the beginner at the guitar smile.gif ).
Thanks man,great lesson.
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