Guitar Scales and Types - Guitar Music Theory

Guitar Scales

Here we are going to discuss Guitar Scales and their types in a simple way. We also going to learn how the scales formed and how we can use them in many different genres. So there are too many scales to study and you don't need to worry about it because when you learn one main scale then you can identify many scales easily.

What are the Scales?

Scales are nothing but the combinations of several musical notes which sounds great together. In music, we have 12 notes in which 7 notes are natural and 5 notes are altered notes.

So when all the 12 notes are present on one scale then we called it Chromatic Scale and when scale includes only 7 notes then we called it Diatonic Scale.

For e.g. In C chromatic Scale we have [C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, (C)].

So on this scale, [C, D, E, F, G, A, B] are the natural notes and [C#, D#,  F#, G#, A#] are the altered notes. For D# and A# we also called Eb and Bb respectively.

How many Guitar Scales are there?

So there are lots of scales in music. Here I am going to list 5 important scales which you should know.
  • Major Scales
  • Minor Scales
    • Harmonic Minor
    • Melodic Minor
  • Major Pentatonic Scales
  • Minor Pentatonic Scale
  • Blues Scales
  • Jazz Scales
Don't' worry once you understand the Major Scales then it will easy to understand other scales because all other scales you can form using a Major scale. It's like a maths, once you understand the formula behind the scale then it becomes easy to form other scales.

Major and Minor Scales include 7 notes which can be altered and natural. Major Scale notes always sound happy whereas Minor Scale notes always sound sad.

As the name suggests Penta means Pentatonic Scales includes only 5 notes and it can be played 2 notes per string. This scale is very useful for lead guitar and soloing.

Blues Scales and Jazz Scales are bit different they include 7th, 9th, 11th 13th notes from chromatic Scale.

Use of Scales:

Knowing the scales is very useful because it helps to play the lead part of the songs mostly in Guitar Solos for e.g. Hotel California Song Guitar Solo by The Beatles Band. Scales also helps to understand intervals and chord progressions. You must know the scales to play advanced guitar such as Jazz, Blues, and Rock, etc.


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