Guitar scales are said to be uninspiring, imaginary and useless. Well, really? The truth is that practicing them is one of the best ways of achieving guitar mastery. Basically, learning a guitar scale is simple. You just have to memorize the notes and then play them in a successive order.
First, let’s make all things clear. Guitar scales come from hundreds of different styles. Not only that, but they also come from different parts of the world like: China, Polynesia, Eastern Europe and other regions. For example: Hungary, where they have the Hungarian gypsy scale. Their music is clearly influenced by the culture.
Surely enough, the western world has created a few guitar scales of its own as well. These are: major scales, minor scales, pentatonic scales, chromatic scales, and a few more that were developed based on the previous ones.
Now let me tell you what the important reasons why you have to learn them are.
First of all, don’t be discouraged right away because it doesn’t mean that you have to learn all of them at the same time. It’s best to study one scale at a time.
Let’s talk benefits for a moment. One of which is the fact that learning different guitar scales improves the strength and agility of your fingers. More than that, practicing them will help you in training your ear to identify typical note arrangements. It is particularly useful when choosing notes as you do song improvisation and/or writing. Just by being aware of the notes you can add your personal color, depth, mood and feeling to your guitar playing.
I hope you can see the value of guitar scales by now. So it’s about time to learn some of them. Here’s my suggestion, among so many guitar scales that you can choose from, I’d say you start with major scales. They are actually the most important scales when it comes to suitability and application in most styles of music. Moreover, other types of scales were fundamentally derived and created from them.
A standard major scale comprises of seven distinct notes, where the first note is the root note. Once you’ve mastered it you can easily learn its minor equivalent, which is basically covered inside the major scale. The one that I suggest you to start with is the C major scale. It’s the most basic scale with no sharp or flat sounds.
Now the tough truth. Learning your first scale can be really challenging, but you just have to be patient and go through with it. Once you’re fluent with the C major scale you can learn the other four most basic major scales. These are: G, D, A and E. It all starts with those five.
The next step after mastering the basic major scales is to try the minor scales, then the pentatonic scales, then the blues scales, and so on. It’s almost a never-ending journey, but it’s surely worth the effort. If you want to be able to improvise around a popular song with your own sounds then there’s no better way of achieving this than by focusing on various guitar scales.
In order to fully know your scales, make sure to practice them as a warm up before the actual lesson. Also, memorize the proper placement of the fingers on each fret. Then practice the scale from the beginning to end and vice versa.
If you really want to improve and go further with your guitar skills, then this is the answer! Mastering, or at least familiarizing yourself with guitar scales will surely be a great addition to your standard guitar lessons.