Learn Guitar Scales

Learn Guitar Scales

Learn Guitar Scales - Don't Make the Mistakes 90% of New Guitarists Make


If you're sick of learning guitar scales this is a simple step by step guide will tell you everything you need to get started.

Let me ask you a question…

Do you remember the first day you started in a new job?

It was a bit overwhelming wasn’t it?

  • You didn’t know the way anything worked.
  • You had to ask people about even the simplest things like when to take breaks, lunch time etc.
  • You didn’t know who the ‘good guys’ were and who you should avoid...

I’m willing to bet you spent most of the day feeling slightly lost and out of place. But that all changed after a few weeks. Once you started to feel comfortable in your new job your confidence came roaring back.

  • You started learning the in and outs.
  • You knew what you were doing.
  • You knew the people who were good to work with and you quickly learned who the people to avoid were...

Well this whole experience is similar to what you go through when you learn guitar scales except there’s one really big problem… Everywhere I look on the web people seem to forget that you’re new to guitar scales. That you don't even know the basics yet. They keep firing these advanced techniques at you but don't tell you where to start...

  • You land on a webpages and all you see is little boxes with dots on them.
  • There’s talk about major scales, minor scales, guitar modes, scale boxes, diatonic, 5th’s,pentatonic but nobody ever just tells you where to start.
  • When you search for learn guitar scales videos you normally get some guy warbling on with a lot of theory that YOU don’t care about followed by 5 minutes of guitar solo’s that YOU can’t play.

Sometimes a guitarist will tell you that you need to learn 100’s of scales while another guitarist will tell you to learn only one or two. Arghh…

You start to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of guitar scales you have to learn.

You feel like the new guy at work but there's no one to tell you what to do and you end up a little bit lost...

So what can you do to get yourself started learning guitar scales?

remember how frustrated I used to get with scales and music theory and I wrote this hub so you don't have to go through all the pain and wasted practice time I did.

It's all about how to get started learning guitar and the best scale to start learning on...

What are Guitar Scales?

A guitar scale is a bunch of notes in a series.

Thinks of the music alphabet as having only 7 letters – A, B, C, D, E, F, and G.

In between most, but not all, of these letters we have what could be described as half letters.

The ‘half’ letters are called Flats (indicated by the symbol b) or sharps (indicated by the symbol #).Are sharp or a flat is same thing with a different name. 

If we include the ‘half’ letters our alphabet looks something like this.

A, Bb, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#

It's important to remember that Bb can also be called A#, C# can also be called Dd, F# can also be called Gb and G# can also be called Ab. 

So now that we have the alphabet what can we do with it?

Well, music is just like any other language…

  • The notes (the letters) can be used to form scales (words).
  • The scales (words) can them be used to form chords and lead guitar parts (sentences).
  • The chords and lead guitar parts are used to form music that we can express ourselves with.

What are Musical Intervals?

Let’s look at the musical alphabet again.

A, Bb, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#,A

Each letter in the alphabet above represents a note of a certain pitch.

All you need to know about pitch is that it is the sound of the note.

Imagine each note as a step on a musical stairs.

As you go up the stairs the pitch gets higher and higher (until only your dog can hear it and the glass in your house starts to shatter…)

As you walk up each step is called an interval.

So an interval is simply the change in pitch between one note and the next.

It just so happens that the gap between one step on the musical stairs and the next one is exactly one half tone.

Musical Intervals

Musical Intervals for Guitar Scales
Musical Intervals for Guitar Scales

Now You Know The Interval How Do You Form The Scale?

The important thing to remember here is that the notes are not what forms the scales - it's the space in between them that's important.

Yep, that’s right it’s the space between notes that makes a song happy or sad, good or bad.

A single note played on its own means nothing to anybody.

The key is the note that follows it or precedes it. This is what turns the musical alphabet into a language.

Every type of scale has its own unique spacing and this is what gives it its own peculiar sound.

The easiest way to find out what makes each scale unique is to learn them.

So What Guitar Scale Should You Learn First?..

The diatonic scale is the foundation of modern music and is a great way to start learning guitar scales.

If you look at the musical alphabet above the diatonic scale is basically the musical alphabet minus the sharps and flats.

If you only play the white keys on a piano you have just played the diatonic scale. There are more theoretical definitions (check out Wikipedia), but this is all you need to know for now

It looks like this for guitar…

E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G etc….

Written in guitar tab it looks like this….

Diatonic Guitar Scale

Diatonic Scale Written In Guitar Tab
Diatonic Scale Written In Guitar Tab

How To Learn The Diatonic Guitar Scale

The key here is to learn one string at a time and do it slowly... 

So, for example with the diatonic scale start off by playing the first 3 notes of the tab above over and over again until you can play them without any trouble.

Once you have the first 3 notes mastered, add the next 3 notes so that you are now playing 6 notes over and over again.

Once you have the 6 notes mastered move onto the next string and so on.

Don't Forget!!

Very Important
Very Important

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Comments 6 comments

yojpotter profile image

yojpotter 7 years ago from Iloilo City

THanks a bunch for sharing these helpful tips on how to learn guitar the fast and easy way..^^

moving101 profile image

moving101 7 years ago

Great information. This can really be of help to anyone who wants to learn an instrument.

bocasteve profile image

bocasteve 7 years ago from United States

I have been wanting to pick up the guitar for so long now, great info here will bookmark this hub!

Avtips profile image

Avtips 7 years ago from Sweden

Thank you so much Dave. I have been playing guitar (on and off) for many years, but theory, scales and stuff like that have always been my achilles heel. You break down and explain it really well!

KarissaMarsetti profile image

KarissaMarsetti 7 years ago

This is a great hub and I'm so happy to find it today. One of my goals this year is to learn to play the guitar, and I've been looking for info to teach myself (can't afford lessons!). It's working out pretty well so far, but I really needed to work on some music theory, so this is perfect. Thanks!

NightSquids Guitar Drills 6 years ago

Hi Dave,

Good info and easy to understand and an excellent very important don't forget this note, you should hi-light that part three times. Thanks again.

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