Just a few questions about scales

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Samuel97
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:02 pm

Just a few questions about scales

Post by Samuel97 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:26 pm

Hi guys,

So I want to get serious about scales but I don't know where to start, I actually know 1 position for minor and major on 2 octaves but as I can see on the internet if I want to be able to make my improvisation more "interesting" (even if I don't improvise yet) I must be able to use the scale all over the neck of the guitar.
So my first question is what should I learn to cover the entire neck ? How much position ? How to connect them each other ?

My second question is : (a bit stupid but we never know) should I practise my scales in apoyando and tirando (for the right hand) ?

And finally It is a good idea (when I play my scales) to sing them by saying they degree like 1,5,6,3... ? Like so, in each position I know where's is the fifth, the sixh etc.

Thanks for reading and what about you ? How do you practise your scales guys ?

OneManBand
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:57 pm

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by OneManBand » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:18 pm

Hi Samuel,

To start with I think learning all the Major, Minor (melodic & harmonic) over 1,2 and 3 octaves. I would suggest learning them apoyando first concentrating on making sure your fingers are alternating throughout the scale. This can be tricky when you're crossing strings and you would swear blind that you're alternating, but you aren't. So slow deliberate practice is the way to go with them in my experience.

P.s I'm sure if you use the search function in the top right you will get a lot more information on scales from people more qualified than me.

Best of luck.

Samuel97
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:02 pm

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by Samuel97 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:58 am

Thanks you, I will do some research so.

Nick Trapani
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Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:56 pm

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by Nick Trapani » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:34 am

Bradford Werner has a new book on all the major scales, written for beginner and intermediate guitarists. He has made videos to accompany the exercises for each scale. You can buy the book or simply watch the videos for free at his site, thisisclassicalguitar.com.

Samuel97
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:02 pm

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by Samuel97 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:38 pm

Thanks I will theck that !

Rick Hutt
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Location: Oak Paark, IL

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by Rick Hutt » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:07 pm

I second the recommendation of Brqdford Werner. Also the Segovia scales, widely available, were the first scales my teachers gave me and I play them every day
2010 Pimentel & Sons Concert Grand
2018 Ramirez Guitarra del Tiempo
1970 Taurus (Barcelona)
2009 Ramundo flamenco blanca
1962 Martin 0-16
2000 Martin 000-18
1963 Epiphone 12 Str

paskin
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:10 am
Location: Palo Alto, California

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by paskin » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:56 pm

Samuel97 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:26 pm
So my first question is what should I learn to cover the entire neck ? How much position ? How to connect them each other ?
Scale Pattern Studies for Guitar, Supplement 3, by Aaron Shearer is an good resource for these questions. It covers all major and minor scales at all positions through exercises, and also how to stitch them together across the fingerboard.

VasquezBob
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:54 pm

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by VasquezBob » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:24 am

Samuel97 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:26 pm
Hi guys,

So I want to get serious about scales but I don't know where to start, I actually know 1 position for minor and major on 2 octaves but as I can see on the internet if I want to be able to make my improvisation more "interesting" (even if I don't improvise yet) I must be able to use the scale all over the neck of the guitar.
So my first question is what should I learn to cover the entire neck ? How much position ? How to connect them each other ?

My second question is : (a bit stupid but we never know) should I practise my scales in apoyando and tirando (for the right hand) ?

And finally It is a good idea (when I play my scales) to sing them by saying they degree like 1,5,6,3... ? Like so, in each position I know where's is the fifth, the sixh etc.

Thanks for reading and what about you ? How do you practise your scales guys ?
Singing each scale step is great practice. In addition to the 1,5,6,3...., try saying the note, viz., C, D, A, etc., as you play it and visualize each note's position on the pentagram while looking at each finger on the diapason. After awhile, you won't need to look at the diapason. Another thought is to start your scale at the top and do the same "verbalize/visualize" as you descend. There are many ways to practice scales to give them life.

dhbailey52
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 13, 2019 10:16 am

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by dhbailey52 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:39 am

VasquezBob wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:24 am
Singing each scale step is great practice. In addition to the 1,5,6,3...., try saying the note, viz., C, D, A, etc., as you play it and visualize each note's position on the pentagram while looking at each finger on the diapason. After awhile, you won't need to look at the diapason. Another thought is to start your scale at the top and do the same "verbalize/visualize" as you descend. There are many ways to practice scales to give them life.
I second the suggestion to also include the pitch names (including flats/sharps) so that you get a great feeling for where any pitch is on the neck of the guitar. That will make it easier to read new pieces well the first time. Thinking of the scale degrees (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1) is helpful for transposing a piece to different keys.

VasquezBob
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:54 pm

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by VasquezBob » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:34 pm

dhbailey52 wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:39 am
VasquezBob wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:24 am
Singing each scale step is great practice. In addition to the 1,5,6,3...., try saying the note, viz., C, D, A, etc., as you play it and visualize each note's position on the pentagram while looking at each finger on the diapason. After awhile, you won't need to look at the diapason. Another thought is to start your scale at the top and do the same "verbalize/visualize" as you descend. There are many ways to practice scales to give them life.
I second the suggestion to also include the pitch names (including flats/sharps) so that you get a great feeling for where any pitch is on the neck of the guitar. That will make it easier to read new pieces well the first time. Thinking of the scale degrees (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1) is helpful for transposing a piece to different keys.
I second your suggestion, too. There are so many ways to practice scales to make them fun, interesting, challenging, to improve fingering, etc. Thanks for your suggestion.

Samuel97
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Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:02 pm

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by Samuel97 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:45 pm

Thanks you alot guys for these precious informations !

D.Cass
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Location: Tri-Cities WA

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by D.Cass » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:05 am

Well, there are many ways to learn scales. However, eventually you will realize there are 5 positions to each scale or 5 fingerings for each scale. The ever popular “CAGED”. There are many books and information on this or you can figure them out yourself. Start simple with the key of C and learn all five positions, really focusing on the fingering. Once that is achieved become very familiar with all the root notes in each position. Then fill in the rest of the notes and really focus on the 1-3-5. Once that is completed, play the scale on 1 string starting with the open string until you have the 12th fret. This should give a fairly firm visual idea where everything lands in C. Then change to the popular guitar keys G-D-etc. You will not have to work as hard in the other keys because the fingering and order will remain the same, but the frets will change.

Tirando or apoyando? Pick one; your main focus should be on the left hand and visualizing them on the fretboard. Once you are fluent then work on both. I used to (still do, but not everyday) pick two keys and play them apoyando and then another 2 keys and play tirando

Yes the number scheme works, but solfege will probably be better. Also. You want to be able to sing the next note before playing. This is a good test for the ear.
Best of luck

VasquezBob
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:54 pm

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by VasquezBob » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:08 pm

Two things that I forgot to mention (above): 1. Once you can get up and down a scale, add some rhythm by accenting every second note as you ascend and descend, then, every third note, then, every fourth note, etc. This will add some fun and flavor to your scale practice. 2.) Learn C major starting in 7th position on 6th string for two octaves going across to 1st string. Use that same "fingering pattern" and move up and down the diapason; for example, play D major in 9th position on 6th string, using the same fingering pattern, etc. And, of course, recite the letter names of each note (it takes some concentration). N.B. I would not recite solfeggio, as the musical alphabet is what guitarists use (unless you are a "tenor").

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Scott_Kritzer
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Location: Beaverton, Oregon USA

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by Scott_Kritzer » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:25 pm

Scales are great! Best practice for synchronization of both hands! I practice them every other day. Yes start with patterns you’re comfortable with and I agree the CAGED scales are great for a one position scale pattern but over time a variety of scales should be learned - It’s good to mix longer and shorter forms as well. The latter played at a faster metronome speed than the former where accuracy is more the order. So as you become familiar with one form of scale start to learn another pattern of a different length.

In a ten minute alternation technique session I start with my longest form, triplet chromatic scale (oh yeah - work triplet scales into your practice!), speed up a little with the Segovia Scales - played through without a break between forms, the one position scales (CAGED), (faster), a 5 note scale burst pattern and a triplet burst pattern (FASTER) and finally alternation bursts, as fast as I can go, with right hand only.

I like this so I can work on accuracy AND speed in one session. I learned this preparing the Aranjuez for performance. Trying to get speed and accuracy built at the same time.

Good question and bravo for playing scales!!!!
Classical Guitarist Scott Kritzer
www.scottkritzer.com

robert e
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Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Just a few questions about scales

Post by robert e » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:14 pm

VasquezBob wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:08 pm
Two things that I forgot to mention (above): 1. Once you can get up and down a scale, add some rhythm by accenting every second note as you ascend and descend, then, every third note, then, every fourth note, etc. This will add some fun and flavor to your scale practice. 2.) Learn C major starting in 7th position on 6th string for two octaves going across to 1st string. Use that same "fingering pattern" and move up and down the diapason; for example, play D major in 9th position on 6th string, using the same fingering pattern, etc. And, of course, recite the letter names of each note (it takes some concentration). N.B. I would not recite solfeggio, as the musical alphabet is what guitarists use (unless you are a "tenor").
All the great advise in this thread can be taken further, of course:

e.g., Many rhythms can be practiced, simple and complex--minuet, clave, etc. As well as rest and free strokes, legato/staccato, pizzicato, sul tasto/ponticello, using different parts of the nail/flesh, vibrato, slurs, relaxation, economy of motion... Segovia said scales are a terrific diagnostic tool, so throw everything in. Customize to your needs and the needs of the repertoire.

Do these things with a musical purpose. For example accent the notes of a particular chord (the other notes become "passing tones"). Leave those passing tones out altogether and you're practicing arpeggios. If you happen to be reciting note names, you're memorizing arpeggios. Try a different chord descending, or next time ascending...

You don't have to keep going in one direction. Make up a four-note pattern, e.g., and move the pattern up or down the scale. Change the scale: add a blue note, a bebop note, alter a note to change the mode... There's no end to it.

And listen, too, because while you're doing these things, you're training your ear.

Shoot, I'm convinced. Scales are back in my daily practice ASAP. Thanks, folks!

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