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Tip: Scale Practice Overhaul

Okay, that title is a bit of over kill. We’re not going to revolutionize scale practice with this tip…probably. But we may shed some light on your scale practice. To start with, practicing scale does not have to involve monotonously long strings of ascents and descents; it does not have to put your ear to sleep. Here’s a pattern that takes us up a common major scale form in F. Study the pattern and you’ll see how to write the descent. Here’s the pattern:

|-------------------|-----------------|
||o-----------------|-----------------|
||------------------|-----------------|
||------------------|---------------5-|
||o-------4-------4-|-5-7-8-7-5-7-8---|
||--5-6-8---8-6-8---|-----------------|

|-----------------|--------------------|
|-----------------|-----------5-6-8----|
|-------------5-6-|-7-6-5-6-7----------|
|-7-8-7-5-7-8-----|--------------------|
|-----------------|--------------------|
|-----------------|--------------------|

|---------5-6-8-6-|-5-6-5---|
|-6-5-6-8---------|--------o|
|-----------------|---------|
|-----------------|---------|
|-----------------|--------o|
|-----------------|---------|

These are all eighth notes except for the end note, which has two eighths and a dotted quarter. We’ll go into details about this pattern in the next issue.

Thanks for reading.

Copyright © 2008 Darrin Koltow

This first appeared in the Guitar Noise News – February 15, 2007 newsletter. Reprinted with permission.

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