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Are scales etc vital to playing?

Music Theory
MuseFan  
3 Feb 2009 16:53 | Quote
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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I've been playing guitar for bout 13 months and im self tuaght so i know just about nothing about scales or anything like that. I just wanted to know is all that stuff absolutley vital to being able to play the guitar well?
foogered  
3 Feb 2009 16:58 | Quote
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Yes.
MuseFan  
3 Feb 2009 17:04 | Quote
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lol im guessing thats a definete yes then :P
RelaxedDude  
3 Feb 2009 17:36 | Quote
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They definately help

I was self taught like you and Ive been playing for 7 years and this was the first year I accually really worked on scales

They really help dude, seriously

But dont forget the variety, if you stress scales too much, power chords too much, theory too much, ect. your going to be tired of playing real fast
MuseFan  
3 Feb 2009 17:41 | Quote
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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ok cool thanks for the help man think that may well have saved me bout 5 years of pointless playing lol what would anyone recommend first to learn?
Phip  
3 Feb 2009 17:55 | Quote
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@ MuseFan,
A little bit of everything each day, so that you can see the relationship that each has to the others. They are all intertwined. Each relies and relates to the others. Schedule your routine so that you are gradually increasing your knowledge of each. You will soon see how all the pieces fit together.
Think of it like learning to drive a car. you learn to brake, stear, signal, park, look in the rear view mirror etc. you learn all these things together, and you are pretty crapy at first and maybe overwhelmed, but over time you become a good driver. you don't learn to park only and then come back a year from now and learn to brake. It all relates and that's how it is with playing.
Phip
MuseFan  
3 Feb 2009 17:57 | Quote
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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cool nice idea and good advice thanks man
Afro_Raven  
3 Feb 2009 19:46 | Quote
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Yes.
EMB5490  
3 Feb 2009 19:59 | Quote
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ye thers one answer to this. YES!
MuseFan  
3 Feb 2009 20:08 | Quote
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lol i've gathered :P
EMB5490  
3 Feb 2009 20:12 | Quote
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lol
guitarmastergod  
3 Feb 2009 20:14 | Quote
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if all u wanna do on guitar is play other peoples songs then u dont need to learn scales. but that wouldnt get you very far, now would it?
MuseFan  
3 Feb 2009 21:06 | Quote
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
United Kingdom
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lol no it wouldn't i started off just playing over peoples songs but now im trying to write so i think i should learn some lol :P
BodomBeachTerror  
3 Feb 2009 21:19 | Quote
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start with the pentatonic shapes.

oh and yes =p
soy.el.che  
3 Feb 2009 21:24 | Quote
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well, anythin you play is on a scale, so if you wanna know what ure playin, go ahead n learn
Crunch  
4 Feb 2009 20:43 | Quote
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I don't think a flat "yes" is a very good answer.

Yes in the sense that for something to sound good it must have some sort of base in music theory.

No in the sense that you don't necessarily need to know why or how these things sound good. A lot of great guitarists don't know music theory, but they've found patterns that work or just have really good ears. However, unless you're just brimming with talent, the yes answer is probably more accurate.
BodomBeachTerror  
4 Feb 2009 20:54 | Quote
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learning scales and learning theory arent the same
Crunch  
4 Feb 2009 21:56 | Quote
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I'm fairly certain "Scales etc" represents music theory. Not to mention, scales are a huge part of theory.
RelaxedDude  
4 Feb 2009 22:35 | Quote
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You can learn scales and not learn theory but you can't learn theory and not learn scales

O.o
BodomBeachTerror  
4 Feb 2009 22:36 | Quote
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what relaxed dude said lol
JazzMaverick  
5 Feb 2009 16:07 | Quote
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@ BBT & RelaxedDude, Crunch is right, scales are part of music theory. If you're learning anything about guitar, it's some form of theory.

MuseFan, you should start by learning the major scale, then learn the basic chords for each individual mode, and then expand from there. We're mainly here to help in certain points, we can't guide you all the way, and from what I've just said (if it made sense) you should be busy studying that for quite some time. Take a look at my Practicing Routine lesson for more information on how to make it worth your time.
BodomBeachTerror  
5 Feb 2009 17:07 | Quote
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but you dont have to know theory through and through to play scales. or at all really
JazzMaverick  
5 Feb 2009 17:16 | Quote
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In time you'll come to understand that they're part of theory.

It's kind of like saying you don't need to know every single word in the english language to be able to speak it. But you need to understand most of it to link things together and speak fluently. Does that make more sense?
HeavyGuitar  
5 Feb 2009 17:17 | Quote
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im in the prosses of learning theory and scales...like the modes and how the circle of fifths works. So far it have helped me alot when im wiriting my own music. So yes it is very vital!
(i have been playing for 2 years and i am self taught)
BodomBeachTerror  
5 Feb 2009 17:20 | Quote
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im sure theres very few people who know every single word in english, does that mean no one can speak it?

but i see your point, you can learn the scales, you can play them, but you cant KNOW them without theory. ?
RA  
5 Feb 2009 17:21 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
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if you just randomly learn scales your just learning formations your not learning theory. in a sense your are but your really not. your just learning random chords and scales and that really doesn't show how to use em or why they are what they are.

i do agree however to learn the diatonic major scale first learning the pentatonic is just the easy way out
Phip  
5 Feb 2009 17:26 | Quote
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Think of it this way.....

i make a basic pizza, some dough, sauce and cheese

and that's a pizza, plain and simple

if i start to throw some topings on it, it is no longer a pizza, it's pepperoni pizza, or a mushroom pizza, but not a plain pizza anymore.

so when it comes to scales and modes, the major scale is a plain pizza, and as soon as i start playing notes that are not in that scale it's something other than a major scale, it's altered ie a pepperoni pizza.
So, if I call you up and tell you I'm having a pepperoni pizza, you know exactly, without explanation what i am talking about.

And if you call me and ask me to play something in C dorian I will know exactly what notes you want me to use and what "sound" you want without explantion.
Learning the scales and modes is your way of expanding your playing abilities as well as your way of communicating with other musicians.

I'm hungry now
Phip
Empirism  
6 Feb 2009 01:03 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
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Only Phippie can compare guitar playing and eating. Eh, well Im definately behind Jazzy, you can solo to any background from your hat or play some notes randomly without thinking, if you find some lick by accident or alike that sound good, try to check it and im sure that you find a scale that it is belong.

Means that learning the scales are vital, how many scales and what scales and how well is then different story. Its up to you.
JazzMaverick  
6 Feb 2009 10:46 | Quote
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I love the food comparison it's amazing :D
Crunch  
7 Feb 2009 00:26 | Quote
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I love the "play random notes" method. Sometimes it sounds really bad, but every now and then you'll get a really cool string of notes that you never would have found if you were actually "looking" for them.
Empirism  
7 Feb 2009 05:02 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
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Experimental stuff is fun sometimes, I do it too, but those are still only part of the lick, I think there is an consept of those notes that dont belong to scale you conform, but those notes do not sound good without rest of the lick to conform some scale or the notes of the current chord in background.


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