How to Play Guitar Scales

Getting Started

Scales are a group of music notes played in a certain order based on how far apart the notes are from each other.

How to Read Guitar Scale Diagrams

Guitar scale diagrams are a learning tool used to find the pattern of notes to play a certain scale, and where the notes would appear on the fretboard of the guitar.

Guitar Scales for Beginners

An introduction to playing scales on guitar for beginners. This lesson focuses on different types of basic scales.

Major Scales

Major Scales

The major scale is a 7 note scale that other guitar scales, modes, and guitar chords are based off of.

Major Pentatonic Scales

The Major Pentatonic Scale is a 5 note scale that uses the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th notes of the major scale.

Major Blues Scales

The Major Blues Scale is an extension of the Major Pentatonic Scale that adds the 3♭ (flat third) note to the scale.

Double Harmonic Major Scale

Other names for this scale are the Gypsy Major, Byzantine Scale, Mayamalavagowla, Bhairav Raga, or Arabic (Hijaz Kar).

Minor Scales

Natural Minor Scales

Natural minor scales can be played using the same notes as a major scale starting on the 6th note of the major scale.

Harmonic Minor Scales

Harmonic minor guitar scales are very similar to natural minor guitar scales with the exception of 7th note.

Minor Pentatonic Scales

The minor pentatonic guitar scale is a five note scale popular in rock lead guitar riffs and soloing.

Minor Blues Scales

The blues scale is an extension of the minor pentatonic scale, adding the 5♭ (flat fifth) of the scale referred to as the "blue note".

Hungarian Minor Scale

Other names for this scale are Hungarian Gypsy Scale or Double Harmonic Minor Scale.

How to Use Guitar Scales

Melodic Major Scale Patterns

Learning to improvise with major scale melodic patterns.

Melodic Minor Pentatonic Scale Patterns

This lesson shows how to start making the guitar "talk" using different patterns of notes.

Connecting Minor Pentatonic Scale Patterns

This lesson focuses on connecting surrounding patterns of the Minor Pentatonic scale across the fretboard.

Scale Modes

Scale modes are played by starting the Major Scale on different notes of the scale.