For me, the best way to think about learning guitar scales is to equate it with physical training and practice for an athlete. If you really want to be at the top of your game, you don't just play the game. You spend far more time training, drilling, reviewing, and understanding the mechanics of the game. In sports, the more you practice, the more skilled and agile you become. Then when it comes to game day, you will be in top form.
The same is true with guitar scales. Studying, understanding, and practicing guitar scales is vital to becoming a skilled guitarist. Learning guitar scales teaches your fingers how to move around on the fret board without even thinking about it. Moving around on the strings and picking out the right notes will become easy and second nature. You will be able to play songs and compose without even thinking about it.
At first you may feel awkward and clumsy. This is normal and to be expected. Remember, the point is to get your fingers off the sofa and out running laps around the strings. The real pay-off comes later when you suddenly notice how easy it is play songs and deftly move around on the guitar.
The reason why learning guitar scales is so powerful and so important is that nearly all music is based on scales. Almost all songs you will ever play were composed by someone who practiced scales over and over again. You'll start to see patterns in songs and understand why the notes are arranged the way they are. You will recognize snippets of scales within songs. If you learn the pattern of notes within the scale, your fingers will learn how to smoothly move between the different notes during a song.
The key to learning guitar scales is to learn the scale patterns. Then practice them over and over again, backwards and forwards until you have memorized them and know them by heart. You will see how the individual notes on a guitar are repeated many different times along the neck of the guitar. There are certain scale patterns that your fingers will follow as you move across the fret board. Once you learn these patterns, if you need to change the key and switch to a new scale, you simply move your hand down the neck and play the same scale pattern at the new position.
Most music is based on scales, but it will be rare to find a song that follows all of the notes of a scale from top to bottom. However, the real reason for learning guitar scales is that it makes it easy and effortless to play songs. You fingers will just know where to go. Playing will seem natural and you can go on automatic pilot, simply playing the song and enjoying your guitar.
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Article Added on Friday, November 27, 2009
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