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Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

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Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  Smaz on Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:02 am

G|---------------------2-----4---2-5---4-7---5---
D|----2----3---2-5---3-----5---------------------
A|--3----5---------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------


Ok, here's an exercise to help develop finger strength & co-ordination, while at the same time learning scales. If you like, you can even use it to learn where the notes are on the fretboard. A lot of benefits, from such a small & simple exercise Smile For those who struggle in playing with your pinky (like I used to!), this exercise also helps get over that problem.

Right, we'll start with the major scale. But before anyone says 'Ahhh I don't know any scales, I can't learn that that's far too advanced for me!' etc., don't worry - all you need to know is the fingerboard pattern for the scale (see the scales chart). This exercise will help you to build the scale into your muscle memory, so you won't even have to think about it Smile This can be used on any scale or pattern - whatever you need to learn, you can apply this method.

The major scale has 7 notes in it, so from the first note upwards we'll number them 1 - 7. The octave for the root note is actually note number 1 again, but for this exercise we'll call the octave (same note as the one you start at, but higher. It's two strings up & two frets up) note number 8.

I'm also going to number each of your left hand (right if you're left handed) fingers 1 - 4: Index finger = 1, Middle finger = 2, Ring finger = 3, Pinky/little finger = 4.

Also, if you want to learn note names: just take a second & think what note it is you're playing, say it out loud if you wish. I believe D'man has a video/post somewhere on note names, use that as a guide if you wish Smile

So, play the first note in the major scale, anywhere you like. The tab I've posted is in C, so if you wish to follow that it'll be A string 3rd fret. Play it with your second (middle) finger. Hold it for a few seconds. Now, skip the next note in the scale, and go for the third note. Sticking with the tab, that's the D string 2nd fret. Play this with your first (index) finger. Take a few seconds over it, and go back one note - A string, fret 5. Play this with your pinky. Because we're playing this at quite a slow pace to start with, you don't have to worry about spreading & stretching your hand - so don't worry about holding each finger above a fret ready for action. But it is important to play with a different finger on each fret for this exercise.

Now skip another note & play the next one. D string, fret 3. Play that with your 2nd finger again. Keep this pattern up, of skipping a note & going back etc, until you get to the 7th note of the scale - the 4th fret on the G string in this example. Now, to skip a note, you have to start the scale all over again, but this time with the first note being G string 5th fret. You're skipping that, so note number 2 would be the 7th fret. Slide/shift your hand up the neck, and play this with your pinky. Then go back to 5th fret, and we're done... Almost Smile

Do the same thing, but going backwards - start on the 5th fret G string, and go down. Skip a note, play the next etc. I'm not going to post the tab for that one - work it out, using your new knowledge of the scale Smile

For the strength building part of the exercise:

A common mis-conception is that 'speed = skill'. Therefore people try to play everything as fast as they can, thinking that the faster they can play the better they are. Well, while it does take skill to do that accuratley, it takes very little finger strength to play a scale fast - all you have to do is hold a fret down for a split second. But try playing it slowly, and holding the note down... Now it becomes harder, as it requires more strength to hold the note.

So, set a metronome off (drum loop if you'd like!) at say... 80bpm? 90bpm? Pick a speed you're comfortable with. When playing this exercise, hold each note for 4 beats - one bar. Ensure that you let the note ring out fully, don't just play it for a beat or two then wait until the next 4 beats for the next note.

Once you're comfortable at that speed, then slow the metronome down & repeat.

I'll have a video coming soon explaining & showing you what to do - just need to have a shower & wake up, so I can play the thing myself Very Happy

If this is confusing, or if you want parts explained more - please ask!



The following chart shows you the finger positions of the 7 main scales.

Ionian = Major scale
Aeolian = Minor scale



Last edited by Smaz on Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  Dmanlamius on Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:24 am

This is great that you're covering this stuff man! I could, but never really wanted to because of time etc.

Awesome info. Mind if I point it towards the blog?

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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  Smaz on Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:34 am

Sure thing....as long as I can get a stickyRazz

Nah knock yourself out. It was an exercise Marlowe taught me during one of our lessons, it helped me so much I can't help but pass it on Smile

I do have a few more ideas in my head, and the week off work - expect more!

king

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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  WNx3fed on Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:39 pm

thanks man, really helpful! Very Happy

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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  Guzco on Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:21 am

Thanks so much Smaz. You always make such informative topics.

It's much appreciated.


study

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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  keizer on Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:18 am

Thanks I am working on this now

what a great help this is

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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  danthewelshy on Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:56 am

Hey all

For practacing the modes & just major and minor scales I think its good to go up and down them in 2 octaves. I've just started doing this.

For example in a major scale

G Major

G----------------------4-5-7-9-11-12-11-9--------------------------------------
D-------------2-4-5-7------------------------12-10-9----------------------------
A------2-3-5--------------------------------------------12-10-9-7---------------
E--3-5---------------------------------------------------------------10-8-7-5-3--

Then move onto A Dorian (2nd mode in Key of G - has a major 6th) and do the same sort of thing. I can explain more if needed. But anyway this is what I have started doing going through all the modes in certain keys (go up in the cycle of 5ths).

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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  Cliff em' all on Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:14 pm

Btw,i can't understand what exactly is going on. scratch What about that vid? lol!
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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  phil on Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:29 pm

posting those tabs must take a fair bit of time.
thank you for taking the time.
cheers

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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  Smaz on Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:28 pm

(Fixed image, needed to move host)

Video, I forgot about kinda Very Happy I need to set up so I can record bass & talk at the same time, which isn't easy with the mic I've got Sad I'll get around to it!

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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  Cliff em' all on Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:59 pm

Smaz wrote:(Fixed image, needed to move host)

Video, I forgot about kinda Very Happy I need to set up so I can record bass & talk at the same time, which isn't easy with the mic I've got Sad I'll get around to it!

No man it's ok,figured it out,but when i understood what all was about,i realised i already knew what it all was about. affraid lol!
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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

Post  phil on Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:17 pm

danthewelshy wrote:Hey all

For practacing the modes & just major and minor scales I think its good to go up and down them in 2 octaves. I've just started doing this.
me too, great stuff, cheers!
let me try and contribute to the greater good also...
WILL BE UPDATED AS TIME PERMITS...
________________________________________________________________________
C MAJOR:

G[----------0-2-4-5-7-9-10-12-14-16-17-16-14-----------------------------------------
D[---0-2-3-------------------------------------------17-15-14------------------------------
A[-3-------------------------------------------------------------17-15-14-12-10-8-7-5-3-
E[-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C

(I've just started talking through the notes after i've got the fingerwork down..)

G[---------G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C-B-A-----------------------------------
D[---D-E-F----------------------------------G-F-E----------------------------
A[-C------------------------------------------------D-C-B-A-G-F-E-D-C----
E[------------------------------------------------------------------------------
________________________________________________________________________

A MAJOR:

G[----------------1-2-4-6-7-9-11-13-14-13-11----------------------------------------------
D[---------0-2-4-----------------------------------14-12-11------------------------------------
A[--0-2-4-----------------------------------------------------14-12-11-9-7-5-4-2-0-----------
E[------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----A B C# D E F# G# A B C# D E F# G# A

_________________________________________________________________________

D MAJOR:

G[--------0-2-4-6-7-9-11-12-14-16-18-19-18-16-14----------------------------------
D[-0-2-4----------------------------------------------------17-16-14-12-11-9-7-5-4-2-0
A[---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E[---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----D E F# G A B C# D E F# G A B C# D

_________________________________________________________________________

E MAJOR:

G[---------------------1-2-4-6-8-9-8-6-------------------------------
D[--------------1-2-4----------------------9-7-6------------------------
A[--------0-2-4-----------------------------------9-7-6----------------
E[-0-2-4--------------------------------------------------9-7-5-4-2-0--
E F# G# A B C# D# E F# G# A B C# D# E

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Re: Scales chart + strength & skill building exercise (written, vid to come)

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