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Single String Major Scale Exercise

 
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otousan



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:45 pm    Post subject: Single String Major Scale Exercise Reply with quote

I just started the PWYH course. Can someone talk a bit about the first exercise -- the single string major scale? It appears that the purpose of the exercise is to get a more visceral feel for how the sounds of the diatonic scale are made by shortening the length of the plucked string. This is done by choosing the string length that matches the sound that we hear in our head and audibilize with our voice. Is that about right?

What should I be singing as I play the scale? Based on the above, I shouldn't bother trying to name the notes as I sing, or even use solfege. Is that right?

I'm probably being a bit too analytical about all this...
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dkaplowitz



Joined: 28 Apr 2005
Posts: 193

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I don't know the course that well, but all the single string exercises I've been recommended had more to do with breaking me out of the box pattern playing trap. So instead of seing the guitar in small 5-6 fret boxes up and down the fingerboard, I start to see the whole fingerboard as one big possibility.
For instance, guys like Jimmy Bruno say they see the key notes "light up" on the whole fingerboard (instead of in just one area) when they're playing.

Single string playing also facilitates moving around the fingerboard with some degree of facility instead of relying on predefined 3 and 4 octave scale and arpeggio patterns to do it.

As to singing, I think most people sing along with what they're playing (scat singing exactly what the guitar plays). But I think some guys like George Benson and others will sing harmonies like 3rds, 4ths or 5ths.

That's my take on it. Maybe your course has a different reason why it's important.
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PlayJazzGuitar



Joined: 11 Feb 2004
Posts: 114
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 5:53 am    Post subject: PWYH exercises Reply with quote

The purpose of the initial horizontal exercises in the PWYH course is to get you to learn the scale steps horizontally on all strings. It is one thing to know the scale pattern vertically but it is quite another to play it up and down on individual strings. Because it is harder to 'visualize' the scale pattern when playing horizontally, we are forced to 'hear' the scale steps. Playing them in all permutations everywhere (as shown in the examples) will get you to be able to hear these scale steps absolutely everywhere on the fretboard. We have to start hearing a basic scale before we can hear melodies and execute them anywhere on the fretboard, wherevever we happen to be.

Singing the scale steps is therefore important because you need to learn to predict the next sound that is about to happen. Now, some students get a little caught up with this part and it is important to know that being able to sing well is not important at all. What is important is that you are able to hear the next note in the scale sequence before you play it and a good way to learn do this is by singing the notes as you play them. However, if you are able to hear the notes in your head, then that is ok too, and ideal in many ways. But, it is unlikely that the student can do this in the beginning so singing, as atrocious as it might be, is recommended.

Playing these scale permutations is not simply a major scale exercise. The idea is as, I have mentioned, to learn to hear melody a split second before you execute it, and this is the first step to doing that. So don't take it lightly, it's extremely important in my view.

All the best

Chris
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bcbickford



Joined: 17 Jan 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay. I can easily hear a major scale and all the notes. My problem is finding them without looking at the fretboard. Does anyone have a fingering that they recommend? For a major scale on one string, I have settled into a finger pattern 1-3-1-2-4-1-3-4 (finger numbers, not frets). For me, I find it much easier to play a pattern otherwise, I'm not sure what I'm doing all over the fretboard.

Let me know if you have any feedback. I get the hearing idea, but I struggle more with finding the notes that I hear in my head without looking at the fretboard.
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telecaster



Joined: 08 Apr 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the idea is to NOT play patterns, but to be able to hear the half step/whole step relationships. Hear a half step and play one fret higher, hear a whole step and play two frets higher. A pattern would defeat the exercise, I think.
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bcbickford



Joined: 17 Jan 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:19 am    Post subject: Single String Scales Reply with quote

Well, if all I need to do is hear and play whole and half steps, I can move on. I think I could do that all day. I thought the point of the exercise was to learn to play scales up the fretboard. I like your idea better!
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vracan



Joined: 03 Dec 2008
Posts: 23
Location: montreal,canada

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the ultimate goal is to know both, the horizontal movement pattern AND the internal split second hearing the note beforehand. Together this gives very powerful ease and confidence of navigation when improvising.

Victor
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