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I've only been playing guitar for for about 16 months.  I work out of five or six instruction books for self learners.  I had never before played any musical instrument nor had I ever had voice or music theory music lessons.  I'm learning to sight read music but play mostly tabs because I still can't read music fast enough to play without tabs..  I'm beginning to see references to scales in some of my instruction books and how important it is to learn and practice the most common scales each practice period.  I usually practice one to one and a half hours five days per week.


  Let's hear some input on the importance of learning the most common scales and practicing them on a regular basis.

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I've been at this about 18 months. I am not using any instructional books. I have a friend that has been playing for almost 50 years. He's my coach. He got me started with some basic chords and "guitar palyers" methods for playing them. He's been a rhythm player all his life and only plays a few leads to enhance his songs. I have not started working on scales, as yet. Once I get more comfortable playing songs/chords, I plan to start working in scales. On other forums I go to, the people say that once you start scales, it becomes even MORE fun. Pretty soon!!!! Keep It Fun, Dean
Don't first and formost call your self a "newbie", we all were at a stage in our musical careers, some starting, some advanced, some in the middle

Listen carefully, by playing chords, you ARE playing the scales Ever heard of the term "chord progression"?
What that means that the key signature (the begining of the music) has a signature, maybe a # ( sharpe) or a flat, maybe a couple of them, this in tearn tells you what key you are playing and in turn tells what kind of chords you play with it. It can be very easy for example, as we head to the holiday season a good one is Silent Night, based upon GMaj (one sharpe), but you don't "strum the whole chord, but rather you pick abit at the strings the chord is holding I will upload a copy of a chord progression and similar pickings (TAB's) While my music notation isn't perfect I think you'll get the idea Try - for me this one page, with your teacher if you want - if you want the rest of the score I'll send it along. The chords are at the top, and you know how to read tabs, now put that with the musical staff and you got a complete package Mr Newbie, I have been involved in music since I was 9 years old, I'm 47 now and still have a hard time "sight" reading!
Thanks for the words of encouragement. We ALL need encouragement. BUT, at 61 years of age, I probably don't have enough years left in my life to be anything but a "newbie". I practice my "progressions" at the beginning of all my practice sessions; G/Em/C/D, D/Bm/G/A, C/Am/F/G, etc. Doing that, has helped me recognize the sounds as well as a good finger exercise. My biggest problem is that I have a hard time holding a constant strum. I wind up with what someone called "sing strumming"; strumming to the lyrics. It sounds good to me when playing alone, but makes it difficult to play with my coach. No matter what, though, I'm having a RIOT with this git thing. I WILL Keep It Fun, Dean
I sure do appreciate your insight. Would you mind uploading the rest of the Silent Night notation? Thank you.
It can be very helpful to practice scales. In addition to technical facility - scales and chords are deeply related. Even if you never play lead or melody on the guitar - knowing how scales and chords relate can help you get from one chord to another in more musical ways.

The major scale has a lot of scales (called modes) inside of it - so if you focus on the major scale alone - that could take you pretty far.

I'd say try this.

Take 1 major scale fingering for all 6 strings. Practice it with an egg timer for 5 minutes when you start to practice and before you finish. Try it every day. I bet you notice a difference in a week or 2.

(I harp on my students a lot on what I call the the 3 T's - (hand) Tension, Timing and Tone (production). When learning a scale try to keep those things in mind. )
Knowing how scales work are essential to understanding the why of chords and melody, which are part of the "grammar" of music, if you think of music like a language. You don't have to play scales proficiently to use scales as a conceptual tool.

If you want to get good at playing melodies and leads, becoming fluent at playing scales is pretty important. Melodies and leads are rarely just a run up or down a scale sequence, but practicing scales will help you become comfortable and proficient at single-note playing.

As Mark mentioned, another single-note approach is to play the individual notes of a chord in a sequence rather than strumming. This is an arpeggio. Practicing that will help your right-hand picking proficiency, especially if you work at keeping a solid, steady rhythm and consistent, even picking.

Play on!

I purchased the book "Guitar Scale Guru" from Amazon and received the book yesterday. It starts out very basic but it contains a treasure trove of info about scales. It presents exercises and diagrams using regular musical notations plus tabs and it probably contains every scale anyone could ever come up with on a guitar. If you are like me and want to learn more about scales you need to check out this book.

Scales are also used in the soloing process to play over chords.

Here are a few videos that I have done: The 1st 2 are older ones, and the 3rd and 4th one are newer but uses Em Pentatonic in all positions.

Just playing four notes of a scale using a D-Chord

Em Pentatonic Positions 1 and 2 with extended over into position 3, over a tune.

Bluesy Improv

Testing My New Pickup

Im no professional but hope this helps to show how scales work into soloing, and into chord structure.


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