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Learning Guitar Scales

Keys To Learning Different Guitar Scales

When starting out to play guitar scales, it is very important to remember that scales are a bit advanced, which is why you should know a couple of things. First of all, before you begin practicing guitar scales, you should be well versed in your instrument. The best approach is to first master the basics: chords and primary chord positions, and only then move on to more complicated content. Now, let’s break it down step-by-step, and show you the best way to learn guitar scales.

1. Decide on what you want to play

This is extremely important when it comes to playing the guitar. You cannot be the master of every single style out there, so focus and make you pick as soon as possible. Yes, you can dabble a little bit, searching for the best option, but once you find the style you’re most comfortable with, give your best and master the basics. When you learn the basic stuff, you will be able to move on and start playing guitar scales. Just remember – you cannot be an excellent jazz player and also have great classical guitar skills. There is simply too much content out there, and it’s practically impossible to be the best at everything. After all, that’s why different genres exist in the first place. Once you find your path, everything will fall into place and you’ll be able to upgrade your game. This is why the most important step is to find your musical niche.

2. Choose your guitar-playing technique
Deciding on your guitar-playing style will also have long-lasting effects on your musical journey. There are two major schools of guitar playing, and they are fingerpicking and using a pick. Both of these schools are great, and there really isn’t a better or a more superior one, but they have their limitations and inner workings you should be aware of. You will play guitar scales much better if you choose your playing style. Fingerpicking is used in a number of musical styles, from jazz and Latino to classical and folk. On the other hand, using a pick is the staple of rock, blues, metal, funk, pop, etc. Now, you should be aware that the guitar is an instrument which gives a person the ultimate freedom, which is why there are numerous instances of musicians “breaking the rules”. Many famous rock and blues musicians, such as Mark Knopfler or Jeff Beck play their instruments by fingerpicking, which is not really the staple of their musical genres. You can also go the other way around and use a pick where it’s not extensively used; again, it depends on your own approach to music – the most important thing is that you’re authentic.

3. First, cover the simple scales
It’s never smart to overestimate yourself and shoot big right away. First, you have to get comfortable playing simple tunes, phrases or melodic parts. There are many scales out there, but don’t immediately assume that you’ve got everything covered. Simple major and minor scales are thus the best place to start. Cover them first, and then you’ll be able to move on and grasp the complicated stuff. Jazz scales are particularly complicated, so beware of them until you develop into a solid player. Remember, by covering the basic scales first, you will be able to incorporate more intricate elements into your playing because all scales are intertwined and can be linked after a while. But only after you’ve come to terms with the simple chops. For starters, all you need is one minor, one major and one blues scales (for example, the pentatonic, since it’s the most common one). By covering these three primary scales, you’ll learn the essentials on how to properly phrase a piece of music, how to control your sound and how not to overdo it in soloing. Later on, it will all come naturally.

4. Start small and develop gradually
No one was born a virtuoso. It’s only a matter of the given amount of talent a person has. But everybody had to practice a whole lot before being summoned to the hall of fame. Jimmy Hendrix used to spend 8-12 hours per day playing his guitar. Yes, he’s considered the greatest, but he also had to work his fingers off before achieving guitar immortality. Therefore, don’t underestimate the power or practice. And no practice starts at the most complicated points. It’s just like learning a language: first, you learn the letters and words and only then are you able to move on and create sentences and passages. It’s the same with guitar scales.Focus on a couple of notes; then learn a simple solo; then a more complicated one. Don’t be surprised – a whole year may pass by before you are capable of delivering a full-fledged solo in front of an audience. But you will never reach the goal of playing guitar scales properly if you skip the first steps.