It can be tough to learn guitar scales, especially the more complex ones. Once you progress past Minor, Major, and Pentatonic scales, that’s when things start to get a bit more difficult.
Take a look at this scale, and you can see how challenging things can be:
Thankfully, we’ve got a few simple tips to help you learn guitar scales as easily as possible:
Start out easy — Master the Major, Minor, and Pentatonic scales for each chord before moving on to the more complex scales. This will help you train your fingers to hit the notes more quickly, and you’ll have the basic musical foundation to build upon.
Take it slow — Don’t try to rush through the scales; you’re not a lead guitarist yet! Take it slow, and focus on hitting each note just right. Don’t move on until you’ve nailed the fingering at least 80% of the time. Getting the fingering right is the key to smooth and speedy playing as you advance.
Play with a metronome — This is VERY important! Playing with a metronome will help you develop rhythm and timing. The more you practice, the faster you can set the beats. You’ll be able to slowly speed up every day or week, and you’ll keep your timing consistent as you play through the scales.
Practice daily — The more you practice, the more naturally your fingers will hit those notes. Remember that you’re doing two separate things at once: plucking/strumming the strings and pressing the notes. The more you practice, the more you get your strumming and fingering hands in tune. Practicing daily will drill the scales into your mind, and you won’t have to think about what comes next.
Check out this cool GUITAR LESSON ON SCALES
Practice up and down the fretboard — Don’t stick with playing the same scale in one place, but find the higher and lower octaves and practice there. The more positions you learn on the guitar, the wider variety of scales you’ll be able to play–and the more variety you can add into your music.
Keep your fingers relaxed — The only finger that should be working is the one striking the note. Keep the other fingers relaxed, as that will keep them from tiring out. Plus, a loose, limber finger hits notes faster and smoother than a tense, tired one.
Follow these tips, and you’ll master those guitar scales in no time!
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