playing scales everyday?

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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2lost2find
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by 2lost2find » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:03 pm

Crofty wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:31 pm
So the rote playing of scales inevitably leads to an ability to improvise.

How does that work?
Not quite as simple as that, I'm afraid. Learning the scale thoroughly is only the beginning, not the end. Besides, I'm not just talking improv... not even mostly. I'm talking when you play a session and have all of five minutes to come up with a melody line or a riff an maybe another five minutes to be ready to record it; things like that. Knowing scale and chord formations backwards, forwards, upside-down and every way around allows you to very quickly translate what you hear in your head to physical realization. just because your main focus is classical music does not mean you'll never be in that situation. As always, my big question: do you just want to play, or do you want to work?

Honestly, for practicing speed and accuracy I can think of drills that are way more efficient than just running scales. You practice scales because you need to know them.
Last edited by 2lost2find on Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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robin loops
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by robin loops » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:48 am

I find that the my general understanding of the concept of music and music structure in general, is tied to my knowledge and familiarity with scales.
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vesa
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by vesa » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:54 am

The least complicated way to build up your technique,
to keep it on necessary level and to correct technical flaws.
I play them every day and always with a metronome
(learned Segovia fingerings in 1977).

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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by botswanajohn » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:46 am

I wish I had devoted more time to scales earlier. Now I practice them regularly it has improved my eveness of tone, understanding of keys, speed, posture.. in short everything gets better.

There is also the advenatage that if for some reason you are not focussed on playing music the familiarity of scales makes playing yourself into the right mood for other pieces simpler.

For me also I get a real pleaasure out of the sound of the individual notes, their differing resonances and and overtones, independant of any musical piece.They become a sort of meditation that pulls me away from the surroundings into the guitar. And from there I can play music.

Scales are really useful for improving techniques, but they are so much more than just that.
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Jason
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by Jason » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:54 am

Practice scales with purpose, then they can be very useful.
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Thorn Hill
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by Thorn Hill » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:49 am

As others have noted, there are the Segovia scales to practise. Very good. Another practice piece is Carcassi's Opus 60, no. 1. It is a lot of fun, is melodic and requires some position shifts. I think other pieces in Op. 60 also allow scale practices....

ronjazz
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by ronjazz » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:11 pm

2lost2find wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:27 pm
ronjazz wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:23 pm
2lost2find wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:27 am
Sigh... the whole Segovian idea of scale practice purely as a technical exercise again. The main reason to work on scales is that they are the building blocks of music. You learn your scales until you can play them backwards, forwards, upside down and with your head up your xxx because this enables you to play anything that pops into your head over any chord progression in any key.
Sigh...this is a classical guitar board, not jazz. you're not wrong, but the title of this board is classical guitar TECHNIQUE.
Who said anything about jazz? I don't even LIKE jazz. They ability to play anything that pops into your head in any chord progression in any key is something any musician ought to be striving for, and absolutely essential for someone who is serious about working.You might be a classical player first and foremost, but if that's the hill you're planning to die on you're most likely going to end up having to teach college or something to make ends meet.
Too funny. I'm an eclectic guitarist: classical (studies with Ghiglia, Lagoya and John Williams), flamenco ( studies with Paco Pena and Mario Escudero), jazz ( studies with Martino, Pass and Kessell), as well as lots of pit work with singers and shows. What you describe (playing anything that pops into your head in any chord progression in any key) is called JAZZ IMPROVISATION. I am a musician first and foremost, everything else just conveniently pigeonholes styles, and I have spent several years in the past teaching at New England Conservatory and Berklee, which I gave up because I was too busy performing. Scales in classical music are technical exercises with several goals, improvising is not generally among them, and only a small handful of the top classical guitarists can or need to improvise. By the way, I left teaching behind 25 years ago, and have made a perfectly good living as a performer. I don't consider myself a classical guitarist, just someone consumed by what can be done with a guitar, and scale practice for technique's sake has been part of my daily routine for 50 years. So, yes, the whole Segovian idea of scale practice as a technical exercise is also what serious musicians do. What you are talking about is scale/chord theory, a different subject.
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2lost2find
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by 2lost2find » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:20 pm

ronjazz wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:11 pm
What you describe (playing anything that pops into your head in any chord progression in any key) is called JAZZ IMPROVISATION.
It's also called doing a session and the producer wants you to come up with guitar parts that you're going to record within ten minutes of hearing the damn thing for the first time. Nothing to do with jazz. Look, maybe you've been able to make a living doing nothing but performing classical music, but you get that this makes you very nearly a unicorn, right? There simply isn't enough work to go around. How many top-level touring CG performers are also teaching college or doing something equally horrible to keep the $$$ flowing in? Too many.

I continue to maintain that the purpose of practicing scales is to be able to use them... and that the scale patterns CG pedagogy clings to are useless and inefficient. I bought the Segovia scale book back in the 90s... and got rid of it as quickly as I could. For practicing single-note technique there are better ways.

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Kent
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by Kent » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:28 pm

No two people play scales the same way.
That is the beauty of guitar.

ronjazz
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by ronjazz » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:04 am

You sound like a newbie with no real experience. Coming up with guitar parts in ten minutes is IMPROVISATION. Scales have little to do with it, if you come up with scales, you're going to get called for 1 session, and out. The purposes of practicing scales are many, not just one. I have made a living performing many many kinds of music, from classical and flamenco to folk, blues, rock, Brazilian and African, as well as quite a lot of jazz on the classical guitar as well as electric guitar, and I have played electric bass as well. I have done hundreds of recording sessions where I had to come up with parts, and I have accompanied dozens of singers who wanted me to improvise obbligato behind them. All of these took a knowledge of the fingerboard, harmony, and theory, which I gleaned from studying, as well as practicing scales, arpeggios, and chord voicing. I have done some 10,000 gigs, only 5-10% of them were classical solo recitals. I have also produced several recordings, coming up with parts for others to play as well. Your stubborn insistence that everyone should practice scales so that they can come up with parts is really rather silly, since most musicians practice scales for coordination, speed, endurance, tone production and a variety of technical reasons, most don't practice scales to be able to improvise. And most classical guitarists aren't pursuing studio work. Teaching at a college is hardly a horrible job, by the way, in fact, it is a great way to live at a comfortable level while pursuing a concert career. Oh, and there is enough work to go around, at the top levels. Perhaps you'll find that out, one day.
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riffmeister
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by riffmeister » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:11 am

Play arpeggios too.

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Lawler
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by Lawler » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:02 am

riffmeister wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:11 am
Play arpeggios too.
Yep.

Scales and arpeggios every day for me - 20 minutes, or so. I love the feel of playing them. But more importantly, knowing ("knowing" meaning getting the sound in the ear and the reflexes in the hands) the tonal, modal and chromatic aspects of the guitar through this type of practice helps me to understand repertoire more quickly and more deeply. I also improvise and it's essential in that as well.

riffmeister
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by riffmeister » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:11 am

Bach was a master at combining scales and arpeggios.

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Lawler
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by Lawler » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:22 am

riffmeister wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:11 am
Bach was a master at combining scales and arpeggios.
Certainly. "A village organist on finding Bach playing his organ: 'This can only be the devil or Bach himself'.
A member of the Arnstadt Council in 1705: 'If Bach continues to play in this way, the organ will be ruined in two years, or most of the congregation will be deaf.' "

Careful with those scales and arpeggios, kids!

Shakelford
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Re: playing scales everyday?

Post by Shakelford » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:55 pm

Is playing scales up and down the neck good for warming up? If so, where can i find the sheet music for good warm-ups? Thanks..

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