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TOPIC: Guitar players that don't know scales?

Guitar players that don't know scales? 13 years 1 month ago #1474

I went to visit a sick friend who is in a hospice, so i packed my guitar and went. I met a family member there who said he had been playing for 40 years. I handed him my axe, and this guy was phenomenal. Fingerstyle, he played Fuego Malaguena, House of the Rising Sun. Flatpick, he played blues shuffle rhythms, and leads, all over the fretboard from the nut to the 14th. He said he plays electric lead guitar and vocals in a band, said he hadn't played a "box guitar" in years, but i couldn't tell it. He was playing some fast rock leads, with vibrato and bends galore. I saw him playing a lead riff around the 7th fret, and the box looked familiar to one of the minor pentatonic scales i studied. I asked him how he developes his riffs, does he pull them out of the pentatonics, and which ones does he prefer to use? The answer i got shocked me. He said "whats that"? "I don't know what a pentatonic is. I just play what sounds good".
He gave me back my axe, and i played my version of Amazing Grace, which incorporates strums and melody. The family liked it, and the guitarist said it sounded good in the key i was playing. I told him it just used the 1/4/5/minor 6th of the G scale. He didn't know what a 1/4/5 was. I didn't think it was possible to play lead guitar, and not know what the scale was. I can understand not reading music, but the scales should be basic. This guy evidently is one of those gifted ear players. It was very impressive.
  • Dave2311
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Re:Guitar players that don't know scales? 13 years 4 weeks ago #1489

While there's really no substitute for experience, I haven't got 40 years left to learn what sounds good and forget what doesn't. Hopefully, with some theory as a head start I can knock a few decades off the learning curve.:)

Good on ya for lookin' after your friend...
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Last Edit: 13 years 4 weeks ago by ckinzel.
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Re:Guitar players that don't know scales? 13 years 4 weeks ago #1490

I just thought it would be easier to know what you're playing (hence the theory) I know my ears aren't that good! I'm impressed by players that can just put stuff together, and theory wise, they can't tell you anything about their piece. They just "pull it outta their rear" so to speak.
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Re:Guitar players that don't know scales? 13 years 3 weeks ago #1498

That was a great gift you gave your friend..probably is "best" most recent memory.
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