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Old 09-13-2017, 09:50 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Originally Posted by RockyRacc00n View Post
Yes, one does need to just do it. And I think I've been doing that, although not nearly long enough compared to some of you guys. But knowing there is a science to it and applying it, can cut down on the amount of guessing and meandering that might otherwise happen, is what I am hoping for.
Often it helps to be thinking of working with the notes of the key you are in. Know how to play that scale across the strings.

For example "Jingle Bells" in the key of A major. Play a A major scale a few times until you know how best to play it. Then play the melody. For example I might barre the first four strings at the second fret with my index finger and use the other fingers to play the melody. However you could do it another way.

Of course many tunes in a key use accidental notes (not to much trouble to adapt to that), or the key changes around (trickier perhaps).
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:41 PM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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Agree 100% with those who recommend getting to know your scales and how they fit into your key.

The fretboard is like a keyboard folded over on itself six times. Pitch relationships across strings can be confusing to say the least. What students often stumble over is note direction, and where and when to switch strings.

Practicing scales will really help you develop a sense of pitch direction and where and when to cross strings. A few basic coil or skip patterns will help with larger intervals. For most melodies, that's all you need.

Learning your fretboard intervals? Great skill, to be sure, but I use it mostly for chords: intervals above the root, where's the 7th, that sort of thing. To use for improv or impromtu music your ears would have to recognize the interval either by name or shape, and that's pretty advanced musicianship.

I think the answer is awareness of pitch direction and where to cross strings; and awareness of key and scale.

Last edited by Guitar Slim II; 09-13-2017 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:19 PM
Llewlyn Llewlyn is offline
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Originally Posted by stanron View Post
I first find the root note. It can be any root note. I don't always remember a tune in the correct key. After finding a key it's just a matter of playing by ear. The scale starts from the root. Variations on the scale are done by ear. If it goes wrong I'm not beyond a bit of hunt and peck.
I do that too.

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Old 09-14-2017, 05:24 AM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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I love melody and so I work on this often. And of coarse I'm not that good at it. I really have trouble with being a semi tone off in places. I don't hear the difference until I do it correctly.

One thing you might do starting out is to pick a key and deal with it for awhile. Learn it inside and out. Learn the scales to it. The major and minor pentatonic plus the major scale. Your ear will start to identify sounds and intervals. If a note sounds higher move higher up the scale etc.

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