Learning Scales

I remember watching people play guitar back before I learned how to play guitar myself and was blown away as it seemed like magic to have their fingers running up and down the fretboard and string making such awesome music.

However, with access to the internet today it’s now become easier than ever to learn how to play the guitar.

Start With Some Scales

You should begin to learn guitar scales first. When you learn guitar scales, you are learning how to create individual notes using the strings along with your fingers on certain places on the frets. When you learn how to play guitar scales, you may then move on to guitar chords, which is using mixtures of notes to really create tunes utilized in songs. You can learn all of this on the internet. Get ready for lots of practice because that’s what it’s going to take to learn how to play the guitar.

Finding a Site

There are several sites online which will teach you ways to play guitar. Again, begin to learn guitar scales first. After you get the scales down, you will have no problem finding those scales to utilise them together with one another so you can start to play real music. There are several free sites on the web that may teach you the best way to play guitar. The one major drawback to learning from the PC rather than learning from one on one instruction from a teacher is you can pick up unpleasant habits if you aren’t monitored. That’s why you must read the instructions carefully and make sure you’re practicing perfectly. Only 1 finger out of kilter, or your hand positioned wrong on the fret bar can make a nasty habit which will impede your guitar playing progress.

Practice Is Essential

When you first pick up the guitar and learn to hold it, it can seem very awkward. Then, when you begin to learn guitar scales, you’ll see that it takes a lot of getting used to in order to get the notes just right. You should prepare to practice a lot, such as an hour or two a day, if you hope to grasp guitar playing. Don’t worry if you mess up at first. So long as you practice and keep at it, you will be playing the guitar in almost no time. Just don’t go to fast in your training. Start to learn guitar scales first and then progress from there.

Shortly , you will be playing guitar and you may remember back to how clumsy the guitar felt in your hands and how threatened you were with learning the best way to play that all those feelings will appear mad.

Scales on the guitar are likened to different ingredients used in cooking, the more ingredients you have, the more diversity you can add to your menu. Same for guitar, if you merely know 2 scales, you are limited to just that – 2 scales. Scales are also used to reflect the mood of the music.

Minor is sad, major is usually joyful etc. Without getting too much into music theory, in general guitar scales are useful for four reasons:

1. Scales are a collection of notes that when taken collectively help form a certain feeling, mood, or texture. For instance, if you want to write a sad song, you wouldn’t pick out chords from the major scale, you’d select them from the minor scale. That’s one of the biggest benefits of grasping the concepts of scales (and in music theory in general), it helps give you a direction to commence from if you wish to create a particular mood or feeling.

2. Scales help you compose melodies in a certain key or over a certain chord. Melodies based on a certain scale will oftentimes imply the moods, feelings, and textures mentioned previously, but the gain is that if you’re trying to play a lead over a dominant 7th chord, it aids a lot to know which scales match up well with a dominant 7th chord – the mixolydian and major pentatonic, for example.

3. Guitar scales are the single most important technique to help develop individual finger strength and train your ears to recognize musical patterns.

Scales are also the primary founding for guitar soloing. If you know a scale like the minor pentatonic scale, you merely need to add minimum improvisation and it already sounds like 80% of guitar solos.

Here are the five base scales you will need to learn:

- Major

- Minor

- Major Pentatonic

- Minor Pentatonic

- Blues

From my experience, scales are great for speed building and have helped me to improvise and compose riffs and short solo’s on the spot.

Whether you want to learn guitar scales depends on what type of guitarist you desire to be. Do you want to write your own stuff or play with a band? Scales give you an idea of what notes should fit along with progressions. If you merely want to be a rhythm guitar player who just plays other peoples stuff then you might not want to bother with them.

If you know your scales, then when you perform with a bunch of musicians, and they tell you the song is a particular key, you’ll know which notes to play.

If you understand only the fundamental major and minor scales, you can understand how to make any type of chord, produce melodies, and harmony parts, as well as lead parts and solos, and NEVER hit a note that doesn’t sound right.

Most people that don’t learn scales will eventually learn these patterns on their own, but it usually takes longer, and they cant communicate their ideas as easily as someone who knows the names of all these things.

Scales are the whole basis of western musical harmony. Learning the scales will acclimatise you to most of the ins and outs of rock harmony. It would in all probability also be worth it to learn the other modes as well (major and minor are just ionian and aeolian).


Guitar Chords & Scales: An Easy Reference for Acoustic or Electric Guitar Guitar Chords & Scales: An Easy Reference for Acoustic or Electric Guitar

(Guitar Educational). This book for both acoustic and electric guitarists is designed to be a handy guide to the two most important components of playing: chords and scales. More than just a reference, it will also help you understand how chords and scales are created, named and used, and how they are related to each other. Includes over 1,400 chord diagrams; major, minor, pentatonic, blues and di...
Guitar All-in-One For Dummies Guitar All-in-One For Dummies

Your comprehensive, hands-on guide to playing guitarHave you always wanted to play the guitar? You can start today with these 8 minibooks. Covering both acoustic and electric guitar, this hands-on resource gives you all the instruction you need to play across multiple genres, whether you're a beginner or an experienced guitarist. You'll find plenty of tips for playing easier and more complex piece...

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Playing Guitar With Friends

Chords and scales are the most essential part of learning to play the guitar. There are literally thousands of chords and not all of them are necessary. You want to know A B C D E F G and their minors too. Once you have those down, you need to learn 7th chords. Those are the most basic chords you need to know.

When you want to know what a chord is it’s great to have a site bookmarked for quick access, so here is a site worth bookmarking: www.all-guitar-chords.com

This will show you more chords than you will want to know or use.

There is an easy way to learn chords that just requires learning a few chords and the notes of the 5th and 6th strings (the two low strings).

Go to website mentioned and see how the E Major chord is formed. The diagram doesn’t show the fingerings, but the text books usually say to set the first finger on the third string, the second finger on the fifth string, and the third finger on the fourth string.

Alternatively, what you can do is to lift up the first finger and use the second finger on the third string, the third finger on the fifth string, and the little finger on the fourth string.

While maintaining the fingers on the strings, move them up the neck to another place and lay the first finger across the strings, making a bar, at the fret below the second finger.

This now allows you to play any major chord by moving the chord to a different fret. The root note of the chord is on the sixth string, meaning you will have to learn the notes on the sixth string.

Open – E, 1st fret – F, 3rd – G, 5th – A, 7th – B, 8th – C, 10th – D, 12th – back to E and so on. The sharps and flats are at the frets inbetween. You’re playing an A Major chord if you’re first finger bar is at the fifth fret.

Let’s now look at the A Minor chord. You’ll see that it’s the same chord but with the third string now being played open. You can use the same principle to play this Minor chord at any fret on the guitar neck.

We’ll now look at the E7 chord, not the Emaj7, this is a different chord. Once Again, it’s the same as the E Major chord, this time it’s the fourth string that’s played open. And again, it can be played at any fret on the neck.

You can now play any Major, Minor, or 7th chord just by learning one chord and moving up or down the neck.

If you don’t desire to keep moving your hands up and down the neck so much to change chords, you can use another chord shaping.

This time, take a look at the A Major chord. Here you can see that the root note is on the fifth string. Rather than holding the three strings down with individual fingers, I place the third finger across the three strings and use the first finger to bar the remaining strings when I move it up the neck of the guitar.

Playing the chord this way, you might find that the first string gets muted. It just takes practice, but it might not matter too much if you are playing rock with distortion. Also note, it shows that you don’t play the sixth string. You can because that note is part of the chord. The reason they show the sixth string as not played is because the lowest note played is supposed to be the root note of the chord, which is the fifth string.

So, whether you play the sixth string or not is up to you. Again, it’s up to Whether the first string is played or muted.

To use this chord, you need to learn the notes on the fifth string.

Open – A, 2nd fret – B, 3rd – C, 5th – D, 7th – E, 8th – F, 10th – G, 12th – back to A and so on.

If you’re playing a G chord at the third fret with the E style chord, you don’t have to go all the way up to the eighth fret to play C. Just lift up the third and little fingers and place the third finger down across the second, third, and fourth strings, with the first finger still maintaining the bar at the third fret.

You should be getting the idea now, you can do the same with the A Minor chord and A7 chord.

A simpler way to play the A7 chord is to leave the third finger bar in place from the A Major chord and position the little finger on the third fret of the first string. This still gives the A7 chord and can still be played at various positions on the neck.

Let’s now look at power chords. Power chords are real simple. Let’s say you want a G power chord. Find the G note on the sixth string which is at the third fret. Place your first finger there. Put your third finger two frets up on the fifth string at the fifth fret. This is your G power chord.

This is theoretically a G5 chord. If you know your major scales, the note on the fifth string is the fifth note of the major scale.

This can also be done up and down the guitar neck.

This can also be done using the fifth and fourth strings with the note on the fifth string being the root note.

You can also do the power chords with three strings. With the G power chord, place the third finger over both the fifth and fourth strings at the fifth fret. This note on the fourth string is another G note one octave higher.

With the fifth string root note power chord, move the third finger down on to the fourth string and leave the first finger barring both the fifth and sixth strings. The note on the sixth string is another fifth note of the major scale one octave lower.

If you think your guitar playing would improve by learning guitar scales and notes, go to: Learn Guitar ScalesLearn Guitar Notes