Rhythm guitar and electric bass are my instruments of choice. Keyboard at home, mostly to work out "stuff" on. Keyboard has always been easier to "see" theory and write melodies on.
Originally Posted by gilcarleton
When I first started doing scales I got the five basic scale boxes http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/basic/page2.php and got them into muscle memory. Then I went to walking those up the neck in the five location , i.e, running up and down the neck hour after hour. Place the root note and let the box put the correct notes under my fingers. Not thinking of note names just playing the pattern and letting the pattern gather the correct scale notes for me. About the only thing this did for me was get my fingers knowing their way around the fretboard and my ear recognizing the good notes from the bad ones. Which is important and something that must be done. But, running patterns will always sound like scale exercises, because that is really what we are doing - running scale patterns. Running a pattern and hoping it will pass for a melody is wishful thinking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehOx...feature=relmfu
I never did venture into electric lead (playing melodic lead breaks) in public - our band has that spot covered, and these woods are full of electric lead players sitting at home waiting on the phone call - so on the 6 string I play backup rhythm guitar. Now that is what most of us do. When the vocalist has the lead and is singing what do the 6 string guitars do? They play rhythm guitar (chord harmony) augmenting the vocalist efforts. Scales are for melody and melody is played by the solo instruments - when they have the lead. So ---- work on your rhythm guitar chord stuff along with your scale stuff. You are going to be doing a whole lot more chord harmony than lead breaks.
You may be able to pick up some information from the following. On the electric bass scale work and arpeggio chord degrees do occupy a lot of what I do. I use the major scale box pattern and think in interval numbers or scale degree (R-3-5-b7). Which has it's own drawbacks. You are doing the right thing - calling the note name under your breath as you do your scales. I live in two worlds. One involves box patterns and interval numbers the other involves standard notation and note location. This of course depends on the type of sheet music I happen to be using. Most of that is fake chord which only has the lyrics and the chord name.
Here are my box patterns for the bass. Should mention bass playing involves playing scales and or chords one note at a time, there is no strumming. But the following interval numbers can help you with your scale work. I find playing licks (generic patterns) much easier if I think in scale degrees instead of note names. Something to think about.
Major Scale Box for 4 string bass.
G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7
Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 omit the 4 and 7.
Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale and flat the 3, 6 & 7.
Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 omit the 2 and 6.
Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 minor pentatonic and add the blue note (b5).
Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor scale with a natural 7.
Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.
Major modes - The major scale is home base for major modes.
Ionian same as the Major Scale.
Lydian use the major scale and sharp the 4 - yes, it’s that simple.
Mixolydian use the major scale and flat the 7.
Minor Modes - The natural minor scale is home base for minor modes.
Aeolian same as the Natural Minor scale.
Dorian use the Natural Minor scale and sharp the b6 back to a natural 6.
Phrygian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2.
Locrian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2 and the 5.
Recapping: At first I used the five major scale box patterns (Major and Major Pentatonic, Natural minor and minor pentatonic then the Blues scale. Then took the Major scale and the minor pentatonic up the neck into the five locations. Those 5 major scale patterns are five of the 7 mode patterns so I was killing two birds with one stone. Now running those patterns never come close to being melody - the tune. Still working on that, but, now days that's from standard notation and only at home for my own enjoyment.
Now with the bass guitar I rely upon the major scale box pattern and think in interval numbers or scale degrees, i.e. want to play a major pentatonic over a specific chord - the major pentatonic notes are R, 2, 3, 5, 6 so I visualize the major scale box and use as many of those notes as I need for my bass line or lick.
Hope that throws some light on the subject.