Reading Horizontal Guitar Scale Charts
(Video Guitar Lesson 2 of 5)
Alright, it’s time for the main event. You are going to learn to play one of the most important scales in music, the major scale.
You have already seen one way you might see scales for guitar written, and that’s in guitar tablature format. But there’s another common way to represent scales for guitar, and that’s using what are called scale charts.
A scale chart is just a graphical representation of all of the notes of a particular scale form on the neck of the guitar. When you see a scale chart, you want to play all of the notes one at a time …starting on the lowest sounding note, working your way to the highest, and then coming back down to the lowest note.
There are actually 2 ways that guitar scale charts are written, and the first way we will look at is from a horizontal perspective. So when looking at this type of scale chart, the lowest horizontal line represents the 6th string, and the highest horizontal line represents the 1st string.
This type of guitar scale chart is also the same perspective as looking down at the neck of your guitar in playing position.
A Major Scale – Horizontal Scale Chart
The gray ovals you see above are what are known as the root, which is the primary note in a scale. We will talk about that more shortly. The numbers are the left hand fingers you should use to play the notes.
So for the A major scale indicated above, you would start with the note on the 6th string 5th fret with your 2nd finger
Then play the 6th string 7th fret with your 4th finger.
Then the next highest note would be on the 5th string 4th fret…with your 1st finger.
Then just continue on up to the highest note on the first string, then reverse direction. Be sure and watch me demonstrate how to play this in the video guitar lesson a the top of the page.
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