Guitar scales form the foundation for every known type of music in the world. If you ever wondered what gives Spanish songs their distinct “flamenco” feel or why a Japanese tune sounds “oriental”, the answer lies in the type of musical intervals used. In song writing, the types of scale used would largely determine a song’s mood and even its genre.
Now, having a good working knowledge of scales is not only important for writing music, it is also useful for guitar improvisation and an overall understanding of music harmony.
If you aspire to be a lead guitarist, scales are your passport to playing better solos and learning cover songs. On top of that, you can also make use of scales to derive chords and tones from the fundamentals.
GuitarPlayerWorld.com has dedicated an entire section of the website to provide you with lessons on the different types of scales used in music. For more efficient learning, most of the tutorials come with a “mini jam track” for you to practice and jam-along with. I strongly recommend that you download the tracks and make use of them during your practice.
When we are talking about scales, learning some music theory is always an inevitable part of the process. It is completely understandable for beginners to get confused at some point in time. Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal.
Take your time to slowly read through the lessons and if you ever get stuck, take a short break before coming back to it. In my experience, a few minutes of rest can allow your brain to absorb new information better and will do wonders to your progress.
Lastly, I need to stress the importance of practicing whatever you have learnt! Regular practice will not only help you memorize scale patterns, it will also build up critical motor skills in your fingers.
#1 – Learn the Major Scales And How to Use Them In Playing
The major scale is by far the most important scale that every musician needs to learn and understand. When played, it is often described as giving people a happy and upbeat feeling.
#2 – Shapes of the Major Scale And Movable Scale Patterns
To facilitate learning and memorization, scales can be broken up into various patterns on the fretboard. Due to its movable nature, it makes it easier for guitar players to transpose them to different keys.
#3 – An Introduction to Natural Minor Scales
Once you are familiar with the major scale, we will introduce the concept of minors scales in the next lesson. In modern day music, the minor scale is the next most commonly used scale apart from the major scale.
#4 – Minor Pentatonic Scale Patterns
Minor pentatonic scales are derived from the minor scales and typically used in rock music. Because of their cool sounding notes and easy fingering, it’s no coincidence that they are my favorite type of scales.
#5 – E Natural Minor And Pentatonic Scales on Guitar
In this lesson, we will demonstrate the use of both minor and minor pentatonic scales in the key of E. You will also learn some real world applications in music.
#6 – Blues Minor Pentatonic Scale
The blues minor pentatonic scale is derived from the minor pentatonic scale. It is recommended that you tackle this lesson only after you are familiar with lesson #4 & #5.
#7 – How to Connect Scale Patterns Mentally In Your Mind
For beginners, I can empathize with the amount of confusion and frustration you go through when learning scales. To help make things easier, try using scale patterns to “connect the dots”.
#8 – Introduction to Guitar Scale Modes
Scale modes are pretty advanced concepts to grasp for beginners. However, once you master them, you can effectively control the kind of tones and emotions you want to portray in your playing.
#9 – Dorian Guitar Mode And Scales – Application in Modern Music
The most commonly found mode is the Dorian. In this lesson, we will make use of the D Dorian scale to explain some vital concepts.
#10 – Phrygian Guitar Mode – Get That Medieval Classical Sound
The scale degree that the Phrygian mode is derived from is the mediant, or the third scale degree (third note within the scale). This mode is usually used in Spanish and Flamenco style music.
#11 – Lydian Guitar Mode – A Unique Tritone in a Major Scale
The Lydian mode is pretty much identical to the major scale except for the raised 4th note. In this article, we discuss the various applications found in modern music.
#12 – Mixolydian Guitar Mode – A Twist of Sounds
The Mixolydian mode is often used in worship music and is a great tool to help you play solos over dominant chords.
#13 – Aeolian Guitar Mode And Scales – Eerie, Mystifying Undertones
The Aeolian mode is basically a derivation of the minor scale and possesses a darker harmonic kind of quality.
#14 – Locrian Guitar Mode – Create Tension And “Dark” Sounds
Most people consider the locrain mode to be superfluous and it is very difficult to use them correctly in reality. Find out more information in this lesson…
Learn How to Apply the Scales to Your Practical Playing
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