Learning scales may not be the favorite of any guitar player. This is because it takes a lot of time and efforts to practice scales on guitar. Though it takes more effort to do this, it is one of the essential parts of basic guitar training that makes it easier to play the guitar and increase the speed and flow of the music.
What are guitar scales?
A scale is a group of ascending and descending notes that are used to create a melody. The main feature of a scale is harmony. Western music is made up of 12 notes that define the chromatic scale. There are five main types of scales each guitarist must know. They are; the major scale, natural minor, Major pentatonic, minor pentatonic and finally, the blues pentatonic.
Why practice scales on guitar?
There are several reasons exist, as to why it is important to practice scales on your guitar. They include;
Step by step guideline:
1. Practice the scale of the entire guitar
One of the mistakes that most learners do is practicing a scale only in a specific region of the fretboard. Your first step should be to play your scale ascending and descending over and over again. It is best to use a metronome for even timing. As you do this your ears should be alert as you focus on the notes to ensure consistency. Play the specific scale for four times making sure you are hitting the notes correctly.
Practicing a scale on only one region of their guitar relates to a reader, reading a book then stopping half way and starting on another book, you will not fully know what the story was. It is better to practice and understand one scale fully than to learn many scales in bits.
2. Learn to change direction randomly
Once you are now comfortable practicing the scales up and down the guitar, it is now time to practice how to change course randomly. Instead of playing till the lowest or highest note in the scale, try changing the direction at once.
As you practice this move, don't move with speed. Do this slowly, as you make sure that you are playing continuously without stopping. Another important thing that you should remember is to avoid skipping notes, remain on the scale. Don't stop, pause or start soloing.
3. Test your skill on the scale
This is the time you play random notes on the scale to know if you have mastered the scale. As you do these, ensure that you stick to the scale you are practicing. Most learners will find themselves jumping from one scale to another without their knowledge.
This is the time to slow your speed to make sure that you are hitting the right notes. You will attain better speed with more practice. Practice skipping strings; buy moving from very high to very low one. This test how well you know your scale.
4. Practice playing chords
This step requires maximum concentration and attention. Melodies arise from chord tunes. This is playing at intervals of thirds; chords are made up of third intervals. This is where the meat of guitar laying is. You are now able to produce harmonious sounds, by playing chords.
If you accidentally miss a note revert back to it and follow your pattern of chords. Take time to practice more and more chords. You will find this quite interesting since you are now producing constructive sounds. Allow the music to flow naturally.
5. Try playing tunes
At this point, you try playing simple songs that you know using the scale you have learned. Simple melodies are easy to play. If you can do this comfortably, you can then move to more complex tunes, but go slow on this to ensure that you are not making mistakes. A right way of measuring if you have mastered the scale is by singing your tunes, then playing them on the guitar. This creates a relationship between your mind and actions.
6. Try playing solos by your favorite musicians
Listen to music from your favorite musicians and play it on your guitar. If you can you can replicate their music; it is a clear sign that you have mastered the scale. You can now play tunes naturally from your minds. Explore more and more tunes from your scale.
Practicing scales may not be one of your favorites, in guitar learning, but it will enable you to become the best guitar player. Invest your time in this, and you will find learning guitar and composing songs more comfortable than you thought of before. You will also be able to play more tunes, even the most difficult for many.