Do you think practicing scales helps you to be a better guitarist? The answer is yet and no. If you are practicing scales without any specific goals, it can be a waste of time and sometimes it may even harm you. Practicing without any goals means like walking without any destinations. By walking around, you may reach to a place that you like or not.

If you like to be a better guitarist and musician, you must know why you practice your scales and what you are working on. Once you have clear ideas, you will be able to practice scales with goals and you will likely to make more improvements with much less time.

Here are six reasons why scales is an essential part of your practice routine.

 

Timing

Scale is a perfect tool to develop ensemble skills. As a musician, ensemble skills are essential when you play in a band. Practicing scales with a metronome helps you to improve that. Find a comfortable tempo, and play scales along with it. Make sure that you are playing every single note correctly without any flaw. This article may help you learning how to practice the guitar with a metronome.

 

Intonation

Scales are a series of notes and it is simple to play. That is why you can think about more details in playing, such as intonation. When you play scales, make sure that you can hear each note clearly. To make a clear tone, you first must feel the weight of strings when the pick contact a string. Then, you release the weight and you will hear the nice and clear tone. Make sure go slow at first. When you can do this without thinking about it, your tone will be crystal clear.  

 

Coordination

One of the most difficult parts of playing the guitar is to have a good coordination between the right and left hands. Good coordination will help you to play fast with ease. It also affects the sound quality. Your scale practice is a perfect exercise to work on it. When you play a scale, try to be aware of the movement of both right and left hands. When both hands are working together with fluid motions, you will notice that you can play the guitar with less effort.

I usually recommend to practice the guitar with a single goal in mind. For coordination, try playing a scale while thinking about the right hand leading the left hand. In other words, the right hand motion cause the left hand motion. You can apply the same concept on the left hand.  

 

Dexterity

Let’s face it, playing the guitar is not a natural physical movement. On the left hand, you will need to move each finger precisely to hold any note or chords. On the left hand, you need to find a string that you are about to play. And often you got to do these movements quite fast. 

Playing scales with help you to improve your dexterity and do more stuffs with your hands. As you play more, you will see that you can use fingers more efficiently. 

 

Muscle Memory

A lot of playing melodies or riffs come from scales, so it would be important to all guitarist to to be family with many scale fingering patters. When you can connect scales with a piece that you are working on, you can learn the music much quicker. So practice scales repeatedly until you can play from muscle memory. When it becomes second nature, you are already a half way of playing any music. 

 

Ears

Playing the guitar is like a singing through the guitar. So it is important to have good ears. What I mean by “Good Ears” is that you can hear pitches, tone, and rhythms in association with a music. In a music, each note has its own function and practicing scales will help you develop the skill. 

When you play a scale, First, listen to the root, which is the first note in a scale. If you are playing a G-major scale, then G would be the root. Then play the 2nd note, which is A. Now, try remembering the sound of the root, G, as well. Listen to the interval between the 2 notes. The next step would be playing the root and the 3rd note, which is B, in our example. The interval is greater than before.  You may continue to do the same procedure up to the next G. 

By doing this exercise, you will be able to hear a note in association with a key. 

 

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For more questions, contact us at info@willanacademy.com or 646-838-3990. Willan Academy of Music offers guitar lessons, singing lessons, and more in NYC, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

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