This guitar lesson is an intro to scales on the guitar. What are guitar scales? When you play scales on guitar, you are just playing a series of notes on the neck from the lowest pitch to highest, and returning back down.
Intro to Guitar Scales
(Video Guitar Lesson 1 of 5)
(parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 of this video guitar lesson are on the next pages, or you can watch the complete video by clicking “Guitar Lesson Tools” on the left side of this page, and click the link that says “Video Guitar Lesson Pop Out)
Learning to play and practice scales for guitar on a regular basis is important for a few different reasons.
1. Guitar scales build strength and independence in your fingers that’s hard to develop in any other way.
2. Playing scales on a guitar helps train your ears to recognize common note combinations.
3. Scales on the guitar can be used as note choices for playing your own lead guitar solos, or writing melodies.
Guitar Finger Exercises – “Pre-scales”
Before we dig into talking about some real scales on the guitar, here is a good first step. These are just some guitar finger exercises to get you started. They are written in guitar tablature format, and the numbers below indicate what left hand finger you should use to play the notes.
Guitar Finger Exercise on 1 String
First you’re just going to play up and down using all 4 fingers on adjacent frets on the first string only. It’s important to keep your left hand thumb in about the middle of the back of the neck. This will help you reach the notes on the fretboard more easily.
Try and pick right at the point when you put down each left hand finger. You are trying synchronize your right and left hands. If you place your left hand finger before you pick, you will get some unwanted noise and your notes will sound sloppy. Play this exercise slow at first. Only increase the speed once you can play each note clean and in time. You will develop bad habits if you try and play too fast too soon.
It’s good to practice these exercises and all scales with a metronome.
Guitar Finger Exercise on 2 Strings
Next try going up on both the 2nd and 1st strings, and then coming back down.
Guitar Finger Exercise on 6 Strings
Keep adding strings until you can play this guitar finger exercise using all 6 strings. Your left hand position is going to be very important as you play this exercise, and other scales for guitar.
Again, make sure that your left hand thumb is approximately in the middle of the back of the neck. If your thumb is up too high you will find it nearly impossible to reach the notes.
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