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Why learn scales and arpeggios???

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Anonymous
(@anonymous)
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Hi,
Well, my questions is in the subject  ;) What are the benefits of learnig scales and arpeggios?
Concerning theory I'm a compete beginner, could you give me some kind of a path I should follow in learning theory and applaying it to guitar. Where should I start? Why I should learn it?
Thank you in advance.
Regards,
Tomek


   
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argus
(@argus)
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Learn the major scale. The majority of chord progressions are based off the notes in the major scale. It's the building block of Western music. After you learn the major scale, learn the natural minor scale and the major and minor pentatonics.


   
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NoteBoat
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Solos may jump around, but the majority of notes in a good solo are pretty close together.  Scales put notes as close as you can consistently get and still sound good over the chord.  Arpeggios put the notes slightly farther apart, and follow the harmonic structure of the chords.

You can make a solo without any knowledge of scales or arpeggios.  If you have a truly remarkable ear, you may be able to do it often.  But great solos, even those created by people who don't 'know' their scales and arpeggios, still use scales and arpeggios.... so knowing them makes becoming a good soloist a faster process, and make you more consistengly good at it.

Tom

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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Musenfreund
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Nothing new add as to the why.  That's pretty clear.  And the more comfortable you are with those scales, the easier it gets to learn solos.  It's almost magic.

I did want to suggest that if you're interested primarily in blues and/or rock, you might want to start with the pentatonic scales.  They're a tad bit easier to learn and make, I think, learning the major scales and modes easier.  But that's just me.  You'll discover lots of rock and blues solos built from the pentatonics.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


   
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blutic1
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People tend to turn their noses up at scales because they are associate with the "T" word [theory].  Scales are essential tools, just like chords.  


   
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NoteBoat
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I've heard some people use the excuse that they don't want to be 'limited' by scales.  I've noticed those same people have two things in common: their solos suck, and they don't make any money :)

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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Jazzarati
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You learn scales and arrpeggios so you can have fun with them.

Learn your pentatonic scale and your major scale and then go onto arrpegios.

Mind you once you get used to the scales and mucking around with them , depending on your style of music, you'll find you chuck in extra notes not in the scale just because it felt right. Atleast that what I do.

Work for perfection everyday, everyday you will get closer


   
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stratwrassler
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Learning the theory, how scales and chords are constructed, why we call them by their names, etc, helps us communicate ideas to other musicians.

It also help us catagorize musical ideas. Musical ideas are not just abstract theory, they exist as sounds, so we should learn what those "ideas" sound like. That's where ear training comes it.

I always advise students to learn to play any "theory" they learn so they can identify it as a sound, a musical idea they hear. For example, when you can recognize a chord as a major chord, you know the theory says it has the root, major third, and perfect fifth.

If you learn what "shape" this is all over your fretboard, then when you hear it, and identify it as a major triad, now you know where your fingers need to go, what "shape" they need to play to create that sound. Arpeggios are chords played one note at a time, in sequence.

Learning these patterns on the fretboard, scales, arpeggios, pentatonics, etc, and playing them over, and over as technical excersises, helps you get your fingers there to play those musical ideas you hear in your head.

Ideally, you become able to conceive of a musical idea, or "hear" it inside your head, and instantly get your fingers to play it on the fretboard.

It also helps you "play by ear" and quickly learn those musical ideas you are trying to pick off a CD, from a chart, musical notation, to perform.

That is what learning scales and arpeggios will help you do.

Peace,
-Rick

Groove and Tone: If it don't got it, why play it?


   
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undercat
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I've heard some people use the excuse that they don't want to be 'limited' by scales. I've noticed those same people have two things in common: their solos suck, and they don't make any money

Good call, Tom.

Even if you plan on playing music that doesn't conform to the 'norms' of common music, learning and understanding scale composition does SO much to improve one's understanding of the instrument and music in general, it simply can't be ignored.

Anyone who refuses to learn earns the label of "bad musician" in my book.

Even Steve Vai has been quoted as saying he still has a lot left to learn.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


   
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hbriem
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I'm not sure that learning in this order:

pentatonic scale - full scale - arpeggio

is the best way.

If you look at the major scale:

1_2_34_5_6_78

C_D_EF_G_A_BC

and then the major pentatonic scale:

1_2_3__5_6__8

C_D_E__G_A__C

and then the major triad arpeggio:

1___3__5___8

C___E__G___C

you'll notice a progressive simplification and increased sparseness.

Perhaps starting from the skeleton framework of the arpeggio and working on up would be a good way towards understanding.

Or perhaps from the major scale down?

Either way would seem to be better than from the middle out.

As someone says, everyone uses scales and arpeggios, whether they know their names or not. Knowing their names and notes just simplifies and shortens the process of finding them, using them and communicating them.

--
Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com


   
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NoteBoat
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I teach the pent-major-arpeggio (in that order) to most students. Actually, I throw in the harmonic minor after the major.

The pentatonic is a good starting point - it allows someone new to improvisation to experience making up music on the spot. With few notes, there are few 'bad' sounds, and it's easier to remember.

I put the major scale before the arpeggios because there are lots of arpeggios - one for each chord. The diffrence between a minor seventh arpeggio and a m7b5 arpeggio is just one note, but it's an important one... and there are too many chords to learn arpeggios by rote. By knowing the major scale first, you can relate each new arpeggio to the major scale.

I think that approach does step from simplest to most complex - but I define most complex as the number of variations, not the number of actual notes any one arpeggio contains.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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