Beginner Guitar Scales

A Beginner’s Guide on How to Master the Basic Guitar Scales

beginner guitar scalesSuccessful guitarists started out as shaky ones. Skills in guitar playing are not passed on…they are acquired. It takes weeks of practice and extensive patience just to play a decent song. However, it takes years of experience and again, practice, to master the art of guitar playing. The important thing to keep in mind as a beginner is that everything can be learned. Anyone can be the guitar hero they want to be. With that said, there’s no better way to start it than by mastering the guitar scales for beginners.

Before dwelling on beginner guitar scales, you should learn the basics of guitar playing first. The most common guitars are made for right-handed people. Being left-handed isn’t a problem since there are guitars especially made for left-handed individuals. Or, you can do what Jimi Hendrix did and use a normal guitar and turn it upside down.

Familiarize yourself with the different parts of the guitar namely the headstock, tuners, nut, neck, sound hole, body and bridge. Start with a typical six-string guitar. Using a guitar pick is optional, but if you like to shred it out, highly encouraged. Your pick choice will be a matter of taste. Lead players usually favor heavier picks as they promote speed. On the other hand, there are others who prefer the “thwappy tone” of lighter picks.
Mastery of the proper way of holding a guitar is also advised. This is to avoid bad habits which can be difficult to break later on. These bad habits can cause sore back, hands and fingers. Your back should rest on the back of an armless chair. Don’t slouch. The body of the guitar should rest on one of your legs while the back of the guitar should touch your stomach/chest.

The location of the neck to the headstock differs between right-handed and left-handed individuals. For right-handed individuals, it should be on the left side. On the other hand, the headstock should be on the right side for left-handed individuals. The thickest strings should be on the top.

The next is the use of pick. The hand the holds the pick is called the picking hand while the other hand is called the fretting hand. (It is called fretting hand because it is used to manipulate the strings on the guitar’s neck. The guitar’s neck is divided into frets.) Close your fist and insert your pick in between your thumb and index finger. The point should protrude for half an inch. Never rest your hand on the body of the guitar. Then, strum the lowest string or the so-called first string. Strike it downwards and upwards alternately. This is called alternate picking. After mastering this, you are set to study guitar scales for beginners.

To start the beginner guitar scales, you should know what it is and what it is for. A guitar scale is a group of notes used to create sound. It can be determined by either its descending or ascending order. It is also defined as the set of notes needed to reach the same note as the starting note. One set of notes is called octave. Another key term in guitar scales for beginners is the root note. It refers to the first note in a scale.
A guitar scale and a piano scale are not entirely similar. You can play randomly in a piano scale while it cannot be done on guitars. There is a pattern you need to memorize first.

A lot of players skip learning the beginner guitar scales. What they didn’t know is that they are skipping the chance to master the art of picking. Employing the picking technique can create better sounds and speeds up your mastery of a song.

Practicing the basic guitar scales is just like an exercise to the fingers. It makes them fit. The fingers become used to strumming in a slow, less aching way. Aside from that, finger coordination is also improved.

As a starting guitar player, you should devote at least 15 minutes of your time for practicing guitar scales. In this way, you are not only training your fingers, hands and back. You can also train your ears on the process.

Learning the guitar scales for beginners is a series of trial-and-error tests. You should keep on strumming and altering until you get the right sound. Normally, it takes weeks to get each right sound for each scale.

The three basic beginner guitar scales are the chromatic scale, major scale and minor scale. Fast, upbeat and joyful songs are usually set on the major scale. On the other hand, ballads make use of minor scale.

In chromatic scale, you should put your fretting hand’s index finger on the sixth string on the first fret. Strum until you get the sound right. Next, place your middle finger on the sixth string on the second fret until your last finger on the fourth fret. Do the same for the fifth, fourth, second and first strings. For the third string, skip the fourth fret.

A major scale consists of the basic octave. A fret represents a key. For instance, the eighth fret is for the C major while the fourth fret is for F. The C major starts with the C note followed by D, E, F, G, A, B and C. It is considered as the perfect scale. In contrast to other major guitar scales for beginners, it includes neither sharps nor flats.

The major scale is the most important scale to master in terms of use later on. It is the most used scale. Aside from that, it is also the basis for other scales. In mastering the major scale, you should memorize this pattern – 2 whole steps, 1 half step, 3 whole steps and 1 half step (w-w-h-w-w-w-h).

Meanwhile, minor beginner guitar scales are divided into three types. These are the harmonic minor scale, pentatonic minor scale and natural minor scale (Aeolian mode). Songs in the rock genre utilize the natural minor scale. The pattern here is 1 whole step, 1 half step, 2 whole steps, 1 half step and two whole steps (w-h-w-w-h-w-w). For the harmonic minor scale, you only need to turn the last step into a half step. For the pentatonic minor scale, there are intervals between frets. You will need to master the five frets in this scale.