3 Reasons Why Guitar Players Should Learn To Play Scales

Today a very short article about scales, it really is a preview for some longer articles I will create about the subject of Scales in relation to rhythm and speed. For today just a brief outline why it makes sense to learn scales.

When I took up guitar lessons myself I wanted to get deeper with theory and understand how music worked in general. I was not interested in learning songs, I felt I could create these myself, and the theory would help me along the way. Okay, when I took up guitarlessons I was not new to making music, I had more than 10 years of playing organ behind me, had played in a band and with other musicians, but I still felt I did not know the finer details of how music worked:  Words like Keys, Harmony, Chord Extensions ect. all things I was aware of but I could not put my finger on it. My guitartechnique, at this point in time, was still very weak. An issue I was  painyfully aware of and wanted to resolve as soon as I could.

During my first lessons I asked for a lot of ideas to get my fingers to work—I only used three fingers at that time!!—. Some of those finger-ideas were scale based.The scale excursions improved my dexterity and opend up the doors to my own musical ideas. 

The guitar lessons turned very quickly into  extended Jamsessions. I really enjoyed them as I was playing with another guitar player who was much better than me. Finding other people around you to play with is a problem in general, and most of the people I knew at that time were not motivated to get really good at the guitar. Then there were the ones who were good, and I could not keep up with them, another frustrating issue. Jamming in a controlled environment with a teacher was ideal: It opened the door to playing the guitar in many different ways.

Usually I would study a particular scale in various positions, or particular chords, and I would bring them to the next lesson, usually I had done something with these chords: I would put them into a sequence or create a riff around them so it would sound like a short songidea. This idea would then  then be used for the jam.
Out of the jam something new would appear: A particular riff or a new chord ect., and I would explore this idea for the next week as my “homework”.

Scales will certainly improve your knowledge of the fretboard, and they will open you up to playing the guitar in different positions.

Scales are the ideal vehicle for exploring melodic ideas or riffs. Once you become aware of the joys of making melodies on the guitar you will never stop playing the guitar again. This will also open up the world to writing your own songs.

Scales are great for improvising, and improvising will make you become freer on the guitar, and with music in general.

I would say that knowledge of scales will benefit any guitar player, no matter what kind of style of music or playing level you are at. Even if you are only interested in learning to strum  along some chords for the songs you like to sing, the scales will help you to become aware of the notes you are singing, how they work, where they come from and where those notes can be found on the fretboard of the guitar.

More about the subject of Scales for next article.
Now work out those fingers and hope to see you soon again,