Improvisation 2: Scales

I've been quite busy these few days, so I haven't been able to update this blog much. Anyway, here's a quick one, without a video though.

------------------------------

We've covered pentatonic scales the other time round - scales that use only five notes of the full scale, which comprises of 7 notes. Adding the additional two notes gives us the following pattern (in C major):

---------------------------------7-8-
----------------------------8-10-----
---------------------7-9-10----------
--------------7 -9-10----------------
------7-8-10-------------------------
-8-10--------------------------------

The scale above starts with the first note, 'C'. As you play this, try singing 'do, re, mi,...' along to it. After going up, go back down (play the tabs in reverse). Do this several times, preferably with a metronome, before you start your practice, such that you eventually become fluent with it. This is good for warming-up before practice, and also to build up your technique.

Also, you will notice that only the 7, 8, 9, and 10th frets are used. Assign a finger to each fret - the first finger always plays the 7th fret, the 2nd finger the 8th fret, and so forth - to train up your fingers, especially the little one.

Use up and downstrokes to pick the note (alternate picking) to train up your picking as well, instead of doing downstrokes all the way. I'll do a video if i've the time.

Scale patterns are also found in other places around the fretboard. Here is another:
-------------------------------------------12-13-15-
----------------------------------12-13-15----------
----------------------------12-14-------------------
-------------------12-14-15-------------------------
----------12-14-15----------------------------------
-12-13-15-------------------------------------------

This pattern starts on the 'mi' - the third note.

There are several other patterns, but they require some stretching in your fretting hand, so we'll leave them aside for now.

Other than practicing these exercises to warm-up and improve your technique, you need to learn how to use the notes melodically. One good way is to pick up as many melodies as you can, so that you have a good library of melodies in your head to base your improvisations on.

To do this, play a slow song, like Still, and try to figure out the melody of the song, line by line. You need to know the key of the song first, and if you have a problem, leave me a note in the forum. Doing this not only builds up your melody library, but also trains your hearing, as you familarise yourself with the notes, and sharpen your hearing to what others are playing.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

From Christian,

Dude this is really helpful ,though boring, it really dont play guitar i play bass but this kinda gets me on track of playing better guitar. I have recently started playing guitar at my church so this should help me for certain filler times !

Anonymous said...

from Kobie,
All this stuff is amazing thanks for posting this and everything youve posted.But quick question when i see people improvise i see more riffs than long pentatonic scales(from what people tell me they usually use arpeggios)
i understand how the pentatonic scales help but would it be possible if u could post something about arpeggios because the concept seems pretty vague to me.

Anonymous said...

man, thanks this site helps me alot. my church wants me to plat the guitar cuz im the only one who wants two and plays alil bit. God bless you for this man thanks

Anonymous said...

-------------------------------------------12-13-15-
----------------------------------12-13-15----------
----------------------------12-14-------------------
-------------------12-14-15-------------------------
----------12-14-15----------------------------------
-12-13-15-------------------------------------------


is this scale in C major too???
thankz and God bless!!

sniper_00761 said...

bro... can i ask some question?
how can i notice what scale they use?

example for what the world will never take.. major, minor pentatonic or what?