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Memorizing scale patterns


Cadillac George
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Hi to all out there, I just joined this site. I have been taking the breakthrough guitar course and have really got a lot of benefit from it.  I have been playing about 10 years, off and on and not really advanced past rhythm playing, just strumming chords while the others solo away making there own music.  I have completed most of the Ultimate guitar grid mastery and can now improvise up and down the neck using the seven patterns.   BUT I am still getting lost as I cant seem to keep the entire set of patterns in my head, while moving to how I feel the music is playing.  I can play each individual pattern up and down and play the entire 7 in progression from memory, but when I play to backing tracks I just cant seem to remember my place in the entire set.

My question to the group is does this just come with continual practice, or does anyone have a 'Tip" that they have found works to keep track of how the patterns overlap. I am not looking for an easy answer, as I am more than prepared just to keep slogging away with practice, more I wonder just how far off is the moment when the magic happens???

Thanks for your time

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I’m not saying that this is the magic key; but remember that music is ‘felt’ through the ears. It s one thing to memorize patterns and zones, another to ‘feel’ them. I’m still learning and relearning this very notion, again, and again; so don’t take me for claiming pro status. But originally it happened for me, by playing with my eyes closed, and allowing my fingers to connect my ears to the fretboard. You sometimes have to unlearn what you have learned to move beyond it. Make lots of mistakes!

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Hey thanks for that, for me being so knew to wandering the fret board, without some sort of logical pattern to follow I find my 'feel' just seems to hit more bum notes than those that fit.  If I stick to the patterns in my head, then I try to get that 'feel' by staying on the right notes.  This doesn't come easy to me and I so envy those that seem to negotiate the fret board with so much ease.

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Great question. I’ve been wondering about this myself and been hitting the same issue. I’ve only recently re-started after a 10 year “split” from the guitar lol. Things like diagonal improvisation and understanding that once we go past fret 12 the patterns just repeat. If you look at perfect fretboard vision that’s really helpful indeed. Be interesting to see what the team suggest👍🎸

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In my personal experience, incorporating improvisation into your daily routine is great for this. I block my practice routine like so:

  • Warm Ups
  • Alternate Picking Exercises
  • Advanced Picking Exercises
  • Left Hand Focus Exercises
  • End on Improv for 10-15 minutes

I've found that the more I just GO FOR IT, the more my mind and ears start to "get it". Plus, it's just fun! 🙂

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I might be wrong, but it sounds like you're trying to use all 7 patterns during one song or backing track.  I would just concentrate on using two at a time and connecting them together.  When you're comfortable with that, drop the first one, then add a third.  You could go back to the first one too if that felt right.  If you are trying to use all 7 at the same time, I woudn't worry about that.  I don't think they're used that way in the real world since each one represents a different mode.

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Thanks for the comments team.  In reply to Guitar Geni, that's exactly what I was trying to do- work up and down the patterns all at the same time. Starting at 1 through 7 then back down at random.  It was the moving back down at random that keeps getting me lost.  When I watch the guitar greats they seem to jump all around sometimes 10 frets at a time and I cant seem to land in the right place.  your comment about staying within a a few patterns at a time is surprisingly simple and absolutely correct.  It just didn't occur to me.  I think I might be leaping towards the finish before putting in enough time so that I don't have to think about each pattern so that it has become muscle memory and instinct.  Interesting you say each pattern has a different mode, do you mean feeling? that's the first time I considered this and now that makes sense.  I think I just need to play long enough to develop to the stage when I recognize the feeling of each pattern in relation to the music I am jamming to.  Thanks heaps for your input. I have never grasped the lead part of guitar in 10 years of playing and have come so far so quickly in relation to playing lead and improvising thanks entirely to BTG that I may have become a little impatient and expect to transform to Hendrix by next week! Cheers

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21 minutes ago, Cadillac George said:

Thanks for the comments team.  In reply to Guitar Geni, that's exactly what I was trying to do- work up and down the patterns all at the same time. Starting at 1 through 7 then back down at random.  It was the moving back down at random that keeps getting me lost.  When I watch the guitar greats they seem to jump all around sometimes 10 frets at a time and I cant seem to land in the right place.  your comment about staying within a a few patterns at a time is surprisingly simple and absolutely correct.  It just didn't occur to me.  I think I might be leaping towards the finish before putting in enough time so that I don't have to think about each pattern so that it has become muscle memory and instinct.  Interesting you say each pattern has a different mode, do you mean feeling? that's the first time I considered this and now that makes sense.  I think I just need to play long enough to develop to the stage when I recognize the feeling of each pattern in relation to the music I am jamming to.  Thanks heaps for your input. I have never grasped the lead part of guitar in 10 years of playing and have come so far so quickly in relation to playing lead and improvising thanks entirely to BTG that I may have become a little impatient and expect to transform to Hendrix by next week! Cheers

I totally get where you are coming from.  I've played for better than 40 years and never made as much progress as I have since I joined BTG not quite a year ago.  I know exactly what you're talking about with the moving up and down the neck.  I have observed the same thing and couldn't figure out how they were able to move around that way.  There is lesson called Perfect Fretboard Vision that allowed me to see how this works.  Also, take Pentatonic Fluency first if you haven't done that one already.  It will really help you understand Perfect Fretboard Vision.

The cool thing that I noticed is that I'm able to figure out how to play a riff or tune pretty easily now, which I always struggled with before.  I even get the key right.  It just sort of happens without you making any particular effort to do it.  At least that's how it works for me.  It does get easier.  You prolly won't be Hendrix by next week or sadly the week after, but you'll be a whole lot better by next year if you stick with it and do the work.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest jerry watrobski

I am looking at the illustration above. for major patterns 1 to 7. I don't quite understand the verbiage. I get BS is big stretch, and R ring finger. I just don't get the  in between. I need a little help with this diagram. Can anyone help? I want to thank anyone in advance who replies to my post 

 

655665276_MajorScalePatternCheatSheet.jpg.b0699187fa182ecc6f5b163946603aca.jpg 

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Hi Jerry!

First, I saw this diagram in the forum, like you did and I find it interesting. It can help memorize the seven patterns while you are in the process of learning them.

Pattern 1 starts on the key note on the 6th string and it is made of: 2 Big Stretches ( strings6 and 5 ), 2 Middle fingers patterns ( strings 4 and 3 ) and 2 Ring finger patterns ( strings 2 and 1 ).

Pattern 2 starts on the second note of the key ( index finger on the 2nd note of pattern 1 on the 6th string ) and it is made of: 1 Ring finger pattern ( 6th string ), 3 Big Stretches ( strings 5, 4 and 3 ) and 2 Middle finger patterns ( strings 2 and 1 ).

Pattern 3 starts on the third note of the key ( index finger on the 3rd note of pattern 1 ) and it is made of: 

Now, use the diagram: bottom line ( brown letters ) says pattern 3 starts with ONE Middle finger pattern ( 6th string ) and ends with 3 Big Stretches ( strings 3, 2 and 1 ) as given on the top line of the diagram ( grey letters ). You deduct that strings 5 and 4 are 2 Ring finger patterns because Jonathan's Freedom system tells us that you always have this sequence in the patterns: 

3 Big Stretches are followed by 2 Middle finger patterns then followed by 2 Ring finger patterns and then start over again with 3 BS -2M-2R, etc.

My suggestion is that you take the Ultimate Guitar Grid course for all of that to make sense. Once you are in the course, the above diagram is used as a mnemonic tool!

Hope I helped more than confuse!

YC 🎸

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Hey Jerry and welcome. Sorry for the late reply, But I see a couple of our friends have already given you a great description. That chart can be used any time you have a practice session. I use as a warm up. I play down one pattern and then back up. I do this twice for each pattern. Not only is it a great exercise to do to keep your fingers strong, mobile, and build good muscle memory, But, its also a great way to finally get every pattern in your head without even thinking about them.

 

How are you doing Fred - I hope all is well my friend 🤘

 

Glenn

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  • 2 months later...

I made myself this chart. It looks like the configuration that each pattern ends is the configuration on how the next pattern begins:

image.png.86d1ece3f14524aa2a177e74cdf18a1e.png

 

Edited by Ozzlo
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  • 4 weeks later...

New member here.  Sorry to enter the discussion so late.  Like many others, I have found that I have to start the scale pattern on the low E string in order to "see" the pattern.  But in an actual playing situation, you are usually working with the higher strings and it is easy to get lost when you try to move up or down the fretboard.  The cheat sheets in this thread are very helpful.

Module 10 of Grid Mastery is also helpful in this situation.  If you know where the root/key notes are in the key you are in, you can use them as sign posts on the roadmap and play scale pattern 1 starting from from any keynote on any string as long as you adjust for the warp zone. 

I find the attached scale diagram gives me a big picture view of how the scale patterns blend together on the fretboard.

AMajor.png.616af43f1b0a79f614ca4648affe5f2d.png

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