3 Mistakes You Must Avoid When You Learn To Play Scales On Guitar

You probably already know that scales are important for your guitar playing, but very few guitar players know how to practice scales correctly. This makes it hard to improvise guitar solos and limits how good of a guitarist you become.

Here are 3 big mistakes you must avoid when you practice scales on guitar:

Mistake #1. Learning Without Application

Learning more scales doesn’t make you a better guitar player – applying the scales you know on a deeper level does.

When you learn any new scale, learn how to improvise with it and become familiar with its sound. Listen to guitar players who use this scale, create your own guitar licks with it and learn how this scale is applied in songs you love. When you feel confident enough with a scale to use it in improvising, you have mastered it on a deep enough level to learn another scale if you wish.

Note: this does NOT mean you must only practice one scale for years… just don’t overwhelm yourself with dozens of scales you never learn how to use.

Mistake #2: Learning Scales In 1-2 Positions On Guitar

Do not make the same mistake as most guitarists by overwhelming yourself with tons of new scale patterns in only one or two positions. To master any new scale, you must learn to play it all over the fretboard. Getting stuck playing scales in 1-2 areas on the guitar severely limits your creativity.

To avoid this problem, you must consistently practice fretboard visualization. Visualize the guitar neck as ONE giant scale pattern and learn to navigate it fluently.

Warning: many systems for learning scales make this step very hard (more on this below). Work with a proven guitar teacher to learn how to visualize scales easily and fast.

Mistake #3. Not Following An Effective Process For Learning Scales On Guitar

You must have an effective process for: learning, visualizing and applying any new scale in your guitar playing.

Do NOT assume that “any system for learning scales is equally valid”. Many systems for learning scales on guitar are incomplete and damaging to your progress. The CAGED system is one such system. Using it creates A LOT of problems in your guitar technique and musical creativity.

Learn why the CAGED system sucks and what you should do instead to master scales on guitar. Avoid these mistakes in your guitar practicing and you will become a better guitarist and musician a lot faster.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9447948

How Directional Picking Makes Playing Guitar Fast Much Easier

Using efficient picking technique is the key to making fast guitar playing feel easy. Directional picking removes a lot of the struggle to play guitar fast. How? The picking motions used with this technique are smaller and quicker – giving you more speed with less effort.

Main Question: “Tom Hess, doesn’t directional picking only work if I am using 3-note-per-string scales? What about scales that only use 2 notes on a string… 4 notes, etc.?”

Answer: Directional picking technique will work in all cases. The main principle of directional picking is to use the shortest route from one note to the next. Occasionally this means using alternate picking. Sometimes, this means to only use sweep picking and NOT use alternate picking. By combining both mechanics together, you will achieve the fastest speed possible with the least amount of effort.

The core principle of strict alternate picking is to alternate pick regardless of the context… even if it means picking in a very inefficient manner. This causes you to put out MORE effort to achieve less speed.

To master directional picking, you need to integrate sweep picking and alternate picking together. When you practice 3-note-per-string scales, you force yourself to isolate this aspect of playing and master it much faster.

Here are 5 steps to help you master directional picking with 3-note-per-string scales:

1. Focus Exclusively On The Picking Motion

Start by muting all the strings with your fretting hand. This will keep them from creating a lot of noise while you pick. This is crucial for programming the correct picking motion into your picking hand in the early stages of learning this technique. Do the following:

-Pick an upstroke on the muted 1st string (the thinnest string).

-Play a downstroke on that string.

-Play another upstroke on it and pull the hand back towards the B string using ONE sweep picking motion. Pick an upstroke on the B string.

-Play a downstroke on the B string.

-Play an upstroke on the B string again, repeating the same sweep picking motion before towards the G string. Play an upstroke on the G string.

-Keep playing this pattern to complete the rest of the scale.

2. Play With 3-Note-Per-String Chromatic Runs

Once you can pick through the string transition in isolation, start playing 3-note-per-string chromatic runs. For instance: use only your first three fingers to play frets 1, 2 and 3 on every string. This simultaneously trains your 2-hand synchronization skills while maintaining your focus entirely on your picking hand motion.

3. Make The Picking Motion Second Nature Through Continuous Repetition

To form a new habit, you’ll need to train yourself to use the right motions. Focusing intensely gets you through this phase faster. Focus on:

-Using Correct Pick Position: Hold the pick higher up to expose more of its surface area and dig it down deeper into the strings. Don’t merely use the tip. This makes the notes louder without having to pick harder.

-Using Correct Pick Angle: Pick the strings at a 45-degree angle. This will make picking easier and give you a nicer tone.

-Using Strong Articulation: Use more force to pick in order to give the notes more articulation and bring out inconsistencies in your 2-hand synchronization.

4. Put Directional Picking In Context Using Scales

Start practicing any scale you can play using directional picking. Being able to play string changes on 3-note-per-string chromatics helps you play any 3-note-per string scale effortlessly and fast.

5. Use Proven Speed Building Strategies To Become An Even Faster Player

You must have great technique before you can play at super-fast speeds with little effort. You must also have effective and proven speed building strategies that help you achieve your guitar speed potential.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9460714