How exactly do you figure out which notes in guitar scales to play?
I’ve been playing guitar on and off since a younger age…I’m 28 now, I think I got my first guitar around 12+ years ago. I’m pretty good at playing with chords and strumming patterns in general. I’m okay at fingerpicking, but really haven’t spent a lot of time on it. However, I would like to learn scales in order to learn to play The Blues on my acoustic guitar.
I’m just really, really confused. As an example, this picture: http://www.guitarplayerworld.com/ImagesGPW/BluesGuitarScalePatterns.JPG
What are the 1, 2, 3 and 4′s for? Is this the finger index, middle, third, pinky, etc. being used to fret the string? Is it the pattern that should be played in order, to play the blues scale itself? Or is it the number fret that the guitar should be fretted at? That’s what’s confusing me.
Another example is this:
I see that the roman numerals on the bottom are the frets of the guitar. I see what the diagram itself is saying the different colored dots ‘mean.’ But how do you know what pattern/order in which to play the dots? Surely musicians didn’t spent 100,000 hours sitting around trying to figure out "what sounded good" from a bunch of patterns like this. But I’ve also already tried what sounds good by ear, and it takes an incredible amount of time to find notes that fit one another and sound well together in a good pattern. How do the real blues artists do it so effortlessly? People like Stevie Ray Vaughan seemed to automatically know what to play at the shortest notice and could just "make up" blues out of nowhere. I realize there are patterns you can learn that help with improvisation. But I can’t figure out how to play the patterns themselves in order to learn them.
The reason your seeing 2 of the 4′s or 1′s is because there is a shift movement of that finger. and there is a shift on down one fret on the b string.
Just slide up with the first finger for the extra 1 or down one fret with your pinky for the extra 4 to get there.
With the 1,4,5 pattern of the 12 bar blues rhythm just shift over a string or two as the pattern progresses and then back as you return to the one.
Listen to some Buddy Guy or someone like that before you jam. You should pick up on the groove.
The second illustration is useless unless you have the box patterns 1-5 in front of you to figure out how they fit together.
Hope this helps.
Filed under: blues guitar scales
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