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Learning scales

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:36 pm
by kevin
Hi Gordon,
Just read your twitter post that said "After playing the guitar for nearly 55 years I have decided to start learning scales"
As someone who is struggling to get past the beginner stage and who has always been unsure of the benefit of scales to the bedroom guitarist, thinking they were for the professionals, (ie yourself). To read that by implication you don't know them has left me uplifted but confused.
If an artist such as yourself can develop a body of work so extensive and so critically acclaimed without a knowledge of scales, would it be pertinent of me to ask why you or anyone else for that matter needs to learn them?
I only ask out of curiosity and wonder as well of course, musical ignorance.
Kind regards

Re: Learning scales

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:45 am
Hi Kev.

It's purely to get my left hand strength up to scratch and to get to grips with some serious legato playing in the style of Alan Holdsworth.I just would love to have the facility to be able to play like that.Its a challenge for the new year.So the scales are really there to help with fluidity not necessarily for composition.Believe it or not a I haven't a clue about scales or modes and have always relied on my ears to judge if it sounds right or not.

I remember asking Raymond Burley a man I respect immensely about learning to read music and getting to grips with theory.His reply was " don't do it it would spoil what you do"

So there you go sir I hope that has answered the question as to why I am setting this goal for myself this year,mainly because that legato style is not that far removed from what I do already and is really an extension of it.

Happy new year.


Re: Learning scales

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:16 pm
by kevin
Hi Gordon
Thank you for your very interesting reply.
Nice anecdote regarding Raymond Burley
I certainly feel better about not worrying about scales or modes which I think I read somewhere that a lot of guitarists don't bother with, so much so that I have forgotten what they are anyway.
Also thank you for bringing Allan Holdsworth to my attention, I had heard the name but that was all. A quick trawl of you tube (don't you just love it) has opened up a new artist to me and I look forward to maybe a new musical direction from yourself.
Happy New Year