Scales are useful to learn, they are good for improving your technique, will help you to visualise the fretboard (probably one of the most important skills in guitar playing………) and will generate melodic ideas for your own solos and songs.
Most students of the guitar get introduced to scales by learning shapes. Some teachers will give hand-outs to their students which will contain all the most useful scalepatterns. Good but…………………as it is a hand-out made by someone else there is no thinking involved from your side. It may be better to understand what governs the scale, learn one fingerpattern of this particular scale, start playing with it and………………once you feel you can make music with it, find other fingerpatterns on other parts on the fretboard and start using your new found patterns.
Understand the Scale:
See if you can find out how to play a particular scale over one string. One string, why? Because the scale will run in a linear fashion, similar to when you play a scale on a keyboard. A bonus is, playing the scale over one string will make the scale visable.
Now that you can see your scale, find out how many frets one note is away from the next one.
One fret is half a tone, two frets make a whole tone. Write down for yourself the pattern of whole and half tones which create the sound of the scale you are playing. This pattern can be played anywhere on the fretboard, and by applying this method you create your own way of learning the fretboard and your scales.
Stay with one scale as long as you need to, learn just one key. Once you know one key in all its shapes and forms you can easily apply it to all the other twelve keys.
Still not happy……………..??
Use the keys which are used in most Indie, Rock, Blues, Folk, Punk Pop/Rock songs: C, G, D, A and E
The key to any of your scalestudies is: Be able to play musical ideas for yourself, and to become free, be able to play without any handouts and other supports you may need to help you geting around the fretboard, listen to what you play, play what you hear in your head and enjoy.
Successful students are those who have ideas, can apply them and know where they want to go with their playing.
In need of inspiration and motivation?
What about this one here?:
See you next time,