Learn Guitar Scales & Scale Theory - See the Whole
Your aim should be to learn guitar scales in a way that allows
you to apply them to your
Most guitar lesson sites
show you a few scale
patterns, but this knowledge is pretty useless without understanding how these scales work
Different scales complement different chords, and in
you'll learn how to connect scales to the chords
you're playing over.
find the more scales you learn, the more
creative options you'll have when
crafting that perfect guitar solo.
If you want to learn
scales to develop your soloing ability, think of
this section as the theory side of lead guitar, whereas the lead
section on this site looks at the
of that theory. In
other words, knowing your scales will allow you to apply the lead
techniques you learn to their full potential.
Featured Guitar Scales Lesson
Ok, so you know a few scale patterns, but you're stuck in a rut
wandering up and down the scale aimlessly. This video shows you the one
crucial key to extracting meaningful, melodic phrases out of scales...
Learn Guitar Scales
I Need to Learn Guitar Scales?
As you're already here, I assume you're interested in
scales anyway, but if there's any doubt, this article will go through
some of the benefits of learning them.
The very basics of how guitar
The most important guitar
scale you will learn. The major
scale is the most referenced scale in western music. Knowledge of other
scales comes easier when you know this scale, so make it a
A widely used scale in minor key progressions,
natural minor is
another staple guitar scale to learn. The lesson shows you its key
tones, passing tones and how to use it over chords. Includes minor key
of the Major Scale
Series which looks at the 7
modes of the major scale, from Ionian to Locrian (yes they have weird
names - goes back a long way). Each lesson takes you
through the individual
"flavour" and characteristics of each mode, with jam tracks to help you
experiment with your own ideas. Finally, we pull it all together and
delve deeper into modal theory.
simple: just 5 tones. This
introduce you to the
minor and major pentatonic
scales and help you "unbox" them across
the whole fretboard of your guitar. The final part looks at more
advanced pentatonics including how
to merge major and minor effectively. Backing tracks provided!
Learn the key tones used in blues soloing,
building on the
pentatonic foundations from above. Some really good backing tracks in
this lesson and plenty for you to experiment with... whether you're
into blues or not!
A slight alteration of the natural minor scale
(also the Aeolian mode),
harmonic minor has a more "exotic" sound and unstable tension than many
minor scales. In this lesson, we'll learn when it's typically used and
there's a couple of backing tracks to help you really get a feel for
slight alteration of the minor Phrygian mode from earlier. The Phrygian dominant
scale, sometimes called the Spanish Gypsy scale, is a staple major scale used in
musical traditions. However, it's become a favourite in rock and heavy metal and
makes frequent appearences in "alternative" western genres.
Melodic minor is a nice alternative to harmonic
minor, being only one tone difference, and is used interchangeably as a
result. It's important to understand how the natural 6th tone gives
this scale its unique flavour over chords and progressions. Two backing
The 4th mode of melodic minor and a very reliable scale for
soloing over those "outside" dominant 7th chords. It's also very easy
to extract some beautiful harmony from this scale. A worthy addition to
look at the more exotic
scales used commonly in heavy metal
music with backing tracks to try out your own ideas. Although the focus
heavy metal, these scales will work in other genres and contexts, so
In depth library of commonly
used scales in jazz music and the chords they work over. Like the metal
scales lesson, the scales featured will work in other styles of music,
but many of them have helped shape the distinctive sound of jazz.
Guitar Scales Help
and Minor Scale Basics
Answers the question "what
makes a scale major or
minor?". This lesson shows you how to identify a scale's tones to
determine whether it can be played over major or minor chords or
Gives you a clear process for
dominating the fretboard
for any given scale. Follow this process for every scale you learn and
the rewards will be immeasurable.
to Practice Scales
Learn how to build up your
speed and improve timing
with picking around the scale patterns you learn. This series gives you
a step by step process for practicing scales and developing good
Focuses on the physical side of scale navigation. Give your
fingers the workout they need and develop your speed and timing with
this series of exercises, including runs, intervals and string
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Ask Your Guitar Scale Related Question Here...
This is where you can ask any question regarding guitar scales and scale theory.
Guitar Scale Questions From Other Visitors
Click below to see submissions from other guitarists. Feel free to comment on the answers provided and help expand the topic...
Funk Guitar Scales and Licks
For the song Sex Machine in E7/9 which scales would you use and can you show how to apply them in audio examples?
Generally when playing quick in …
Learning Scales Using CAGED
The CAGED method has me confused. One teacher/web site will call the C-shape position "1" while another will call the E-shape position "1".
General Approach to Soloing
I'm Angelo from Venice! Here comes my question about your general approach to soloing in a major key e.g. "Blowin in the Wind" in G – C – D - Em:
Scales for Soloing over Sweet Home Alabama
Hi, I'm Jean from Paris and really appreciate your lessons!
I'm rather confused as to which scale(s) I should apply over "Sweet Home …
Solo Improvisation Over Chord Progressions
When I improvise or noodle on the guitar without a chord progression and tempo/drum beat behind it, I can express myself without bothering what I am playing …
Minor Pentatonic Over Major Chords
Can I use minor pentatonic to solo over major chords and progressions? And if yes what is the relationship between the key and the scale that I should …
Same Scales for Major and Minor Key Blues?
I am puzzled as to whether you use the same scales or play the same lead if you play blues in a major progression e.g. A7 - D7 - E7 or in a …
Scales Over Minor Key Progressions
If I am soloing over the progression Am G F Em then I can use the A natural minor scale and also I can use scales with respective chord changes.
Nonchord Tones and Passing Notes
What are the passing notes for each mode - Dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, and aeolian?
Answer Great question. First, for those who aren't sure …
Playing Minor Pentatonic Over Chord Progressions
When I am building a solo, say a blues solo in the key of A (e.g. A minor pentatonic?), do I play in the A scale over the whole progression or do I switch …
One Scale Per Key vs One Scale Per Chord
I am having trouble getting this question framed properly. When I am building a solo, say an A minor blues solo (A minor pentatonic), do I play in the …
Scale starting and ending notes
Firstly thanks for the lessons - it's refreshing to have someone explain things clearly!
My question is that I've learnt various scales and I'm trying …
Finding Scales in C Standard Tuning
I tune my Guitar to C Standard (all strings down 2 whole notes) from low to high:
C F A# D# G C
Unfortunately, I did not take the time to learn the …
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