Just to take a contrarian view, there are some concert artists who don't regularly practice scales. There are those who believe that practicing scales and exercises has diminishing returns, after achieving the advanced levels. There are even a few of our best who have never practice scales. We had a thread on this sometime ago -that heated up quite nicely.WenatcheeTheHatchet wrote:Performers have reasons to keep attending to scales on at least a weekly basis or a daily basis. For those of us who tend to compose scales may not need as much consistent attention but they are still good to play once in a while. Sometimes I think the reason non-guitarists have written so much great music for the guitar is because they can take scales and the possibilities of the fretboard more seriously than many actual guitarists.
Once I adopted the approach outlined in John's post I found that practising scales and arpeggios more useful/ rewarding . Since I like to spend sometime every day ' doodling' on my guitar ( I wont call it composing') playing around with scales and arpeggios etc is very rewarding and pleasurable and useful.JohnRoss wrote: ↑Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:27 pmIf you slog through them, you probably won't get much benefit from them. The idea is to make music - scales are tunes, and uncomplicated ones in melodic terms, so making them musical should theoretically be a breeze. Learners don't find this the case, of course, because they don't think of scales in terms of music but as exercises they need to do, hence all the (bad) advice you are being given to not practise scales at all.Paul Hammer wrote:Are there 4-5 scales/arpeggios one could do to really improve one's playing? Or, is is best to slog through all of them.
Of course, to make music you need to dominate the mechanics, first, and in that sense it is so much which scales you do that matters, as how you do them. Denian Arcoleo had a highly illuminating post a few weeks ago in which he talked about note preparation (I can't find it, but I remember it being so lucid I thought he must have been annoyed at the time). Anyway, since then I have approached my own scales in a different way. Specifically - don't play any note until your mind and your fingers (both hands) are ready to play at least the following note. If the two notes are on different strings, this is straightforward. If the coming note is ascending on the same string, make sure the required LH finger is available and over the fret. If it is descending on the same string, fret it, it's less to think about when the time comes to actually play the note. The scale thus becomes almost a series of two-note chords (the important exception to this is position shifts, which makes it even more crucial that these are perfectly executed).