Scale Studies for Jazz Guitar (Part 1)
44 Daily Warm-Ups to Build Killer Chops
Most all musicians agree that scale practice is essential to building good technique on your instrument, but the trouble is that while it’s great for building up your hands and learning the finger patterns, it can be incredibly boring. Plus, just running scales up and down doesn’t do much to improve your ears or musicality! Time and time again I hear students complain that they’ve learned their scales but just can’t seem to make them sound like music. And they were right! Playing scales is kind of like reciting the alphabet (and just imagine having to do that for hours on end!) We need a way to practice our scales so that they are actually aligned with the music and chords that we’ll be using them with. Unfortunately, the scale studies found in many popular guitar books don’t always live up to those requirements.
That’s why I’m so excited to share these studies with you, because they’re a result of many years of experience, practice, and learning what “works.” I wrote them to fill a need for a better way to practice scales. One that was more musical than what was and could actually be fun to play. Though fairly simple, they’re built on solid theoretical concepts, such as using “target notes” and “Forward Motion” as taught to me many years ago by master jazz pianist Hal Galper (see Hal’s wonderful articles on this subject at: http://www.halgalper.com/articles/understandingforwardmotion/).
I suggest that you first watch this video all the way through once and (if you haven’t already done so) download my free ebook Scale Studies for Jazz Guitar: 44 Daily arm-Ups to Build Killer Chops so that you can read along as you watch this video a second time. Then practice the studies slowly at first and break them into smaller 5-note units, practicing beats “1 & 2 & 3” and “3 & 4 & 1.” Then join them together to build them into complete phrases.
Many of our lessons now include Soundslice notation (with more on the way). Click on the gear at the bottom of the window and check out the features (don’t forget to use the slider on the right as most of them don’t fit in a small window). You can slow down the actual audio along with notation, display in full screen mode, display a guitar fingerboard, adjust the size of the notation on screen and lots of other neat stuff!) Very cool!