Guitar Scales For Beginners

Guitar Scales for Beginners You Should Know

If you’ve ever seen Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck or Eric Clapton throw down a crazy, insane or completely unreal solo and wondered how they did it, we can help.  The purpose of this article is to explain guitar scales for beginners so they can develop the proper skills from the beginning and maximize their playing in the smallest amount of time possible.

What is a solo?  A solo is any combination of notes played on an instrument.  Usually songs are designed especially to fit guitar solos but more often than not ‘soloing’ refers to the act of playing lead guitar.  A good soloist is ideally someone who can express short stories through small licks (quick note runs).

As soon as people pick up their first guitar one of the first things we all do is try to come up with a small tune.  Most of the time it doesn’t end up sounding too great but with practice we can change that.  The reason it doesn’t sound particularly amazing the first time is because we don’t understand the relation of notes to other notes on the guitar.

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The relation of notes on a guitar or a grouping is also known as a scale.  What a scale does is provide us with a backbone for our soloing.  Scales show us which notes are to be played and which avoided.

In the beginning, learning guitar scales for beginners can seem scary.  People make it out to be a lot harder than it really is.  Learning a scale just means sitting down, reading a tab and then practicing until it becomes second nature to you (you can play without looking).

What are the guitar scales for beginners to learn?  Well there are two scales but really just one which can cover almost every song you’ll ever hear.  These are the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales.  The word ‘pentatonic’ breaks down to the root ‘penta’.  ‘Penta’ means five and the significance of this is that there are only five notes in the pentatonic scale.  These same five notes are repeated all along the neck and provide us with our blue prints for creating our solos.

There are five main positions in the pentatonic scale and depending on where you start you’d be playing a different scale.  For example playing position number one on the fifth fret (root note A) would be a ‘Pentatonic A’ scale.  Depending on if you started or ended on the A note, it would be Major (end) or Minor (beginning).  This may or may not make much sense right now but try to keep this in mind when you’re practicing your scales.

A good way to quickly and effectively learn guitar scales for beginners is to play with a metronome.  A metronome keeps a steady beat going and you can practice keeping your pace steady.

Don’t memorise individual scales, memorise the five different positions so you can play in any key.  Once you have learned your scales you’ll have no problem finding the key of a song and soloing straight over top of it.  All you need to do is practice, practice and practice!

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