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Guitar Lessons

You just need time. Playing guitar is fundamentally about teaching your fingers to do weird things they aren’t used to doing. That’s it. It doesn’t take a genius. It takes some hours. Set aside 10 hours with the guitar and you’ll be playing some great songs.

Guitar

A guitar scale is an organization sequence of notes played in an ascending or descending order that helps you build finger strength and ability. Practicing guitar scales also make you more familiar with the notes on your fretboard, develop your musical ear, and provide a framework for creating melodies for your original songs.

WHICH SCALES ARE USED IN CERTAIN TYPES OF MUSIC?

Depending on the style of music you play, it may not be worth it to learn specific scales. Of course, the more levels you learn, the more familiar you’ll be in performing various types of music. However, no one wants to put time and effort into learning something they know they’ll never use.

  • Rock– Major/minor pentatonic, major scale, natural minor scale, blues scale
  • Metal– Depends on the type of metal, however learning the following scales is a good start:
    • Chromatic scale
    • Minor pentatonic
    • Natural minor scale
  • Jazz– Depends on the type of Jazz played, however, the following scales are commonly used:
    • Mixolydian
    • Major scale
    • Bebop
    • Harmonic minor
    • Melodic minor
    • Whole tone scale
    • Chromatic scale
    • Diminished
  • Blues– Blues scale
  • Country– Major pentatonic, blues scale
  • Ska / Reggae– Major scale, natural minor scale
  • Easy listening– Major pentatonic, the major scale

MINOR PENTATONIC

The minor pentatonic scale is a fantastic first scale to learn. It is a 5 note scale and is usually played over chord progressions that start with a minor chord. The example below shows where the patterns would be played if you were to use A as your root note.
The patterns for this scale and all-new scales are also shown in the guitar scale chart further down. Referencing the diagram should help you better visualize what each design should look like.
Pattern 1
e—————————-5–8-|-5—————————–|
B———————–5–8——|—8–5———————–|
G——————5–7———–|——–7–5——————|
D————-5–7—————-|————-7–5————-|
A——–5–7———————|——————7–5——–|
E—5–8————————–|———————–7–5—|
Pattern 2
e——————————–8–10-|-8———————————-|
B————————–8–10——-|—10–8————————–|
G———————7–9————-|———9–7———————–|
D—————7–10——————|————–10–7—————|
A———7–10————————|——————–10–7———|
E—8–10——————————|————————–10–8—-|
Pattern 3
e————————————-10–12-|-10————————————-|
B——————————10–13——–|—-13–10——————————|
G————————9–12—————|———–12–9————————|
D—————–10–12———————|—————–12–10—————–|
A———-10–12—————————-|————————12–10———-|
E—10–12———————————–|——————————-12–10—|
Pattern 4
e————————————–12–15-|-12—————————————|
B——————————-13–15——–|—-15–13——————————–|
G————————12–14—————|———–14–12————————-|
D—————–12–14———————-|——————-14–12—————–|
A———-12–15—————————–|————————–15–12———-|
E—12–15————————————|———————————15–12—|
Pattern 5
e—————————-3–5-|-3—————————-|
B———————–3–5——|—5–3———————–|
G——————2–5———–|——–5–2——————|
D————-2–5—————-|————-5–2————-|
A——–3–5———————|——————5–3——–|
E—3–5————————–|———————–5–3—|

MAJOR PENTATONIC

The major pentatonic scale is another five-note scale used to play over chord progressions using major chords. This scale contains all the same pattern shapes as the minor pentatonic. The difference lies in the positioning of the patterns.

BLUES SCALE

The blues scale is often quickly learned after the minor pentatonic as it contains the same patterns; however, it includes an additional note. The other sign is what gives the scale that signature blues sound.

MAJOR SCALE

The major scale is arguably the most important scale you can learn. It is used widely in many types of music and understanding it will help you better understand how chords are created along with other theory-related concepts. The formula used for creating the major scale is a whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step (W – W – H – W – W – W – H).

NATURAL MINOR SCALE

The natural minor scale is also known as the Aeolian mode (modes discussed more further below). The formula for the natural minor scale is W – H – W – W – H – W – W. The minor scale can also be achieved by lowering the 3rd, 6th, and 7th notes of the major scale by a half step each.

HARMONIC MINOR

The harmonic minor scale is useful if you are playing Jazz music. It is quite similar to the natural minor scale in that the patterns are the same except for the 7th note which is raised by a half step. The formula for the harmonic scale is W – H – W – W – H – W+H – H (notice the step and a half).

MELODIC MINOR

Finally, the melodic minor is another one of those scales not often used in many genres besides Jazz. The formula for this scale is W – H – W – W – W – W – H.

WHAT ARE MODES?

Modes are a relatively simple concept when you grasp how they are formed; however, learning this can take some time and be further explained in another article. This section, however, will give a quick primer into modes. A mode is simply a scale that has been altered in terms of the sequence. However, they are the same as the major scale, and the difference lies with which “base” note you start with. For example, the C major scale begins with the C note and ends on a C note an octave higher. This scale follows the pattern: W – W – H – W – W – W – H which corresponds to the following notes: C – D – E – F – G – A – B. This is commonly known as the major scale, however, is also called the Ionian mode.

However, if we were to start the scale off with the second note in the C major scale (the D note), the pattern would change to W – H – W – W – W – H – W and correspond to the following notes D – E – F – G – A – B – C. This mode is called the Dorian mode. There are 7 types of modes in total. Each mode along with their respective patterns are listed below.

  • Ionian– Starts with the tonic or root note. In the key of C, this would correspond to the C note and is the same as the major scale. The corresponding interval pattern is W – W – H – W – W – W – H.
  • Dorian– starts with the second note in the scale (e.g. in C major this would be to the D note). The corresponding interval pattern is W – H – W – W – W – H – W.
  • Phrygian-Starts with the third note in the scale (e.g. in C major this would be to the E note). The corresponding interval pattern is H – W – W – W – H – W – W.
  • Lydian– Starts with the fourth note in the scale (e.g. in C major this would be to the F note). The corresponding interval pattern is W – W – W – H – W – W – H.
  • Mixolydian-Starts with the fifth note in the scale (e.g. in C major this would be to the G note). The corresponding interval pattern is W – W – H – W – W – H – W.
  • Aeolian– Starts with the sixth note in the scale (e.g. in C major this would be to the A note). The corresponding interval pattern is W – H – W – W – H – W – W.
  • Locrian– Starts with the seventh note in the scale (e.g. in C major this would be to the B note). The corresponding interval pattern is H – W – W – H – W – W – W.

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