Here Is Exactly How To Practice Guitar Scales
Read this article to learn the best way of practicing scales on guitar. Find out how to master playing scales all over the guitar neck so that you can be free when using them in your guitar playing.
What is the first you do when you feel low on inspirational ideas in your guitar playing? Most guitar players attempt to solve this problem by seeking out new guitar scales to practice and play. Unfortunately, no sooner than they find the next new sale to practice, they realize that they are again feeling bored and out of creative options in their guitar playing. Ironically, rather than seeking a more effective and better way of practicing scales in general, these guitar players instead attempt to solve the problem by learning “even more” new scales. This creates a never-ending vicious cycle of frustration and disappointment.
The good news is that there is a superior way to learn scales on guitar that will enable you to make more progress in less time. The single most critical point you need to remember is that it is necessary to fully explore every creative option offered by a new scale before you move on to start learning more scales. By doing this, you will improve your guitar playing with scales much more quickly and will enjoy the process of practicing guitar a lot more.
Below I will outline for you several essential tips that will help you to get much more out of every scale you practice on guitar. Following this advice will enable you to not end up in the very common dilemma described above, and instead move forward much more quickly towards your guitar playing goals.
To see in more details how to use the advice from this article in your own guitar practicing, watch this free video on playing guitar scales.
1. Break Out Of “Box Patterns” And Master The Guitar Fretboard Fully
In guitar playing world, doing this leads to never being able to truly use the scales you have “learned” to their full potential in your music. To overcome this VERY common problem, you must make time in your practicing to learn to play every scale you want to master all over the guitar. Fact is, you can write much more music (much more expressively) with only a single scale that you know on the guitar inside and out than you can with dozens of scales that you can only play in one area of the guitar.
To watch me demonstrate several examples of how to practice scales around the guitar neck, watch this free video about playing guitar scales.
2. Avoid The CAGED System
Without writing a 100 page dissertation about all the flaws of the CAGED system, its single biggest weakness is that it is not based on “how scales ACTUALLY work in music” for all instruments and is instead intended to create a shortcut only for “guitar players” by exploiting several isolated and completely illogical visual shapes on guitar (that, by the way, only work in ‘standard tuning’ and become totally useless in drop tunings or open tunings). The result of such a crippling system is that guitarists remain forever restricted in the way they can use scales musically and cannot play scales all over the guitar on the same level as other musicians who have a real and complete understanding of how scales are supposed to work in music.
Fortunately, the complete and most efficient ways of practicing scales on guitar are not any more difficult to learn and understand than the (much flawed) CAGED system.
3. Find Out What Scales Your Favorite Guitar Players Use (And HOW They Use Them)
On top of being a tremendous training drill for developing awesome ear training, this kind of practicing will show you ideas of how you can and should use scales in your style of music to write songs, guitar solos and improvisations.
4. Get Specific About Your Scale Needs
There is nothing wrong with knowing how to play lots of scales, but in order to truly get results from doing that, several things need to happen first: You need to have already done the work of mastering the most essential scales for your musical style (as described above), and you must have a reliable method for practicing that you can apply to quickly learn any scale on guitar.
You can use one of 2 ways (or preferably both) to achieve the goal above: you can either ask a guitar teacher to simply tell you what the most important scales for your musical style are, or you can improve your aural skills (ear training) and knowledge of how music works to hear what scales are used in your favorite music yourself.
5. Practice Playing Scales On Each Single String Of The Guitar In Addition To “Scale Shapes”
What Is The Next Step?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Philippov is a recording artist, guitar teacher and author. His articles on practicing guitar are read worldwide. Visit http://PracticeGuitarNow.com to find more free resources and lessons on improving your guitar playing.