Scaling up, scaling down – entry level acoustic guitar scale lesson 2
Playing any instrument well is based off of solid instruction, as well as practicing sound fundamentals. Even the most gifted instrumentalists, whether it be guitar, piano or any instrument for that matter, had to develop advanced skills on solid fundamentals. The basis of this acoustic guitar lesson and series of lessons it to get the beginning acoustic guitar player off to a great start. In addition to that, the aim of this series is to build solid practice habits so that skills are learned with accuracy and precision. Building off of sound fundamentals as well as solid, balanced practice habits is important for mastering any instrument, and the guitar is no exception. Be sure to build on sound, clean consistent fundamentals to become the best beginner acoustic guitar player that you can be.
Review in the last lesson, how we learned the most basic fingering exercise for moving upward on a string to produce a chromatic scale exercise on the acoustic guitar. Now, we are going to work this skill in reverse.
You can use these scales as a warm up exercise to loosen the fingers, get the blood flowing, and to ramp up coordination before getting into heavier acoustic guitar scaling and other lessons.
Place all 4 fingers on the high e string or any string for that matter, and while counting a steady, slow tempo, remove 1 finger with each beat, working toward the head of the guitar (which is moving down the scale or downward in pitch), while alternating picking down and up with the pick (like a grandfather clock). Be sure to do this movement evenly and consistently, as speed will come with time and accurate, controlled practice, not haste.
Next, after getting comfortable picking and fingering down the scale chromatically in steady time and tempo, count on covering all strings with the same exercise. 4 beats on all 6 strings will equal 24 beats to cover all strings for this exercise. As soon as you finish 4 beats on one string, jump to the next string with both the scaling fingers as well as the pick, in synchronization with each other.
Finally, begin to pick up speed as you practice day after day. Start each day with a warm-up exercise covering scaling patterns, chording changes, as well as strumming exercises to learn different rhythms. However, as the most fundamental rule-of-thumb: never sacrifice quality practice focusing on accuracy for speed, haste and sloppiness.
Throw in a little variance!
While you are mastering both the upward scale finger exercises, also focus on combining the upward and downward scales in a variety of ways until you are comfortable switching and going in either direction with equal ease and consistency. Additionally, try to variate your practice so that you can do this exercise virtually anywhere on the fretboard. The more you practice around the fretboard, the more comfortable and familiar you will become with your acoustic or electric guitar, and the easier future, more challenging lessons will be for you to learn. You will also begin to hear or listen to different lead guitar players and will recognize some of these most basic scale patterns in their playing abilities. Who knows, with time, you may become a professional player, recording artist or teacher.
This lesson on entry level and intermediate acoustic guitar playing was written originally by Aaron from StrumViews.com, a site for acoustic guitar reviews. Before buying your next guitar, be sure to research and learn how to buy an acoustic guitar before making the investment. Your research and understanding will reward you for years to come.