Master your scales

Unlock your potential by mastering the most common scales used by jazz and rock guitarists. These guitar lessons will do away with any fear you have about scales, because there is nothing scary about scales!

Scales Guitar Lessons

If you landed on this page then you are ready for an adventure! Mastering scales is one of the most important things you can aspire to as a guitarist looking to take your playing to stratospheric levels.

The guitar lessons in this category are further broken down into specific scale categories. You will see guitar lessons on Major Scales, Pentatonic Scales, as well as more exotic sounding scales like Harmonic Minor, and the jazzy sounding Melodic Minor. For those that like symmetry, I even have guitar lessons on so-called symmetrical scales such as the Whole Tone and the Diminished scales.

While there are books out there covering hundreds of scales, my approach is quite different. You don't need to learn hundreds of scales. There - I said it. The most important advice I have is to learn a small number of useful scales - like the ones I mention above - then develop your ears and sense of melody so that at any moment, you are already capable of throwing in outside notes which are what turn ordinary scales into something different. In other words, by practicing a smaller number of scales, and developing your ears, your fingers will already be reaching for hundreds of scales...

So start your journey!

List Exercises

Introduction to the Major Scale

Medium
14

In this guitar lesson I will introduce you to the major scale as well as show you some ways to play a Major Scale on the fretboard, focusing on playing throughout the fretboard.

Exercise Difficulty
Useful shape for a Major Scale plus fast position shifting technique! Guest Visitor Access Medium
In this exercise, I will go over some basics behind the Major Scale, show you one shape of a Major Scale and how to play it in multiple locations on the fretboard, as well as show you how to develop fast position shifting technique.

Diminished Whole Half Step Scale

Medium
42

In this guitar lesson, you will learn about the Diminished Whole Half Step Scale, which is one of several symmetrical scales that will add a unique sound to your playing!

Exercise Difficulty
Diminished Whole Half Step Scale 2 Octaves Guest Visitor Access Medium
In this exercise you will learn a useful shape for playing a Diminished Whole Half Step Scale on the guitar.

Major Scale and Modes in 3 Octaves

Hard
199

In this guitar lesson we will learn how to use position shifting and fretboard visualization to play a Major Scale and modes in 3 octaves.

Exercise Difficulty
Major Scale Across 3 Octaves Using Repeatable Pattern Hard
In this exercise you will play a Major Scale in 3 octaves by using a unique, repeating pattern that lends itself to visualization.

Major Scale (and an explanation of modes!)

Medium
191

In this guitar lesson I will introduce you to the Major Scale which is a necessary starting point before we get into the fun topic of modes!

Exercise Difficulty
Major Scale (Ionian Mode) - On One String Guest Visitor Access Medium
There is no better place to start learning about scales and modes than the Major Scale - so let's get started.
Major Scale - Shape 1 Guest Visitor Access Medium
In this exercise, I will show you a shape for a Major Scale in one octave that we will use throughout the fretboard to help you see scales everywhere!
Another Useful Major Scale Form - Shape 2 Easy
In this exercise, you will continue visualizing and practicing a Major Scale in several positions on the fretboard, to help you further make linkages between scales and the fretboard.
Playing a Major Scale Across 6 Strings Using 3-Notes-Per-String Hard
In this exercise, you will see one way to play a Major Scale across 6 strings, which will be the basis for a lot of future scale exercises that you will see on this site.