Some of us wore flares. SOME of us even cut our own hair. In my quest to be cool, I joined an Irish Country Band with a brilliant bunch of people. All I had were chord charts and the band members would often take it in turns to give solos at gigs. I soon discovered that I needed to familiarise myself with scales & arpeggios if I wanted my solos to be any good. Before this point, they were just a rather dull part of a music exam that neither I or anyone I knew particularly enjoyed. The impetus for me to learn scales was a musical one, not a technical one. I am convinced that the only way to truly enjoy playing and practising scales & arpeggios is to make music with them. It is not only more fun than hacking through vast swathes of them in isolation, but it helps develop inner hearing, aural awareness, improvisation skills, pattern recognition and much more. Like anything, scales & arpeggios can be boring but if you can unlock their power, you can use them to create truly epic music! So I worked on my scales as much as I could. They were – and are – part of music-making and shouldn’t be underestimated!