Guitar Practice Tracks For Learning Scales

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Guitar Practice Tracks For Learning Scales

Guitar Practice Tracks For Learning Scales

Scales, Modes, Arpeggios... Create Music!

When teaching students how to use scales and arpeggios, it is important to create music with the knowledge as simply having a head full of theoretical ideas is of no use to anyone.

I used to tell students to search for backing tracks on YouTube and play along with them. The problem is that especially when it comes to modes, a backing track that says it is for use with a specific mode is often not only targeting one mode.

I have since recorded a few specific backing tracks over which certain scales and ideas can be used. I will be adding more tracks soon, so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and don't miss out on new tracks when they are uploaded.

Dorian Mode Backing Track

Backing tracks over which you can play the Dorian mode will often contain an Am chord followed by a D chord. Although the Dorian mode scale pattern will work over the D chord, The D chord has 'hijacked' the scale and you will now be hearing D Mixolydian.

For the above reason, I created a pure Dorian backing track for improvising with the Dorian mode. Admittedly, this is not the most exciting backing track, but it serves the purpose intended very well.

The Dorian mode is the best mode with which to begin improvising as it contains no 'avoid' notes. Any note of the Dorian mode will work over the track with no grating tension, only varying colours.

I have included various ideas for you to use when improvising over the backing track, so read the text and hopefully, the ideas will inspire new sounds for your guitar playing.

Lydian Mode Backing Track

This Lydian backing track works its way through all 12 keys. Keep your eyes on the lower right-hand corner of the screen as a prompt will appear with a count-in to let you know which key is coming next.

Scale diagrams for the Lydian mode in each key are shown, although you should know how to visualise the Lydian mode on the guitar fretboard. If you simply follow the scale diagrams, you will be painting by numbers, so make sure you learn the scale... no cheating!

Funky Backing Track

Unlike the previous two examples, this backing track can be used to work on many different scale sounds.

With only bass and drums, and the bass guitar playing mainly the root and b7th, dominant or minor sounds can be mixed together to create many different textures.

If you have already learnt sounds for the Dorian mode, you can play C Dorian mode over this track. For C dominant type sounds, there are countless scale options from which to choose. From a basic C Mixolydian sound to more outside-sounding scales, this track works well for pretty much any sound you throw at it.

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