Diatonic Scales

Pentatonics have been so popular, so here are a few Diatonics scales with tabs.

Ultimate Guitar
Hey everyone. What I am going to ty to do here is to give some tips and stuff on Diatonic scales. For some reason it seems that almost all rock players will go for the pentatonic scales, why? Well I really don't know. My Guitar teacher when I was taking from him, taught me out of fretboard logic (which I found to be very good) and it showed pentatonics and diatonics, modes and everythin else in between, but it never mentioned that pentatonics were more widely used or anything, and neither did my teacher. So I never spent any more time on them. I acually found I preferred the Diatonics over the Pentatonics. Just because more notes on a string were easier for me to play. So here I am going to show you some Diatonic scales (for you who have just started scales and stuff) and hopefully give you a few more tools to use instead of always getting stuck in the pentatonics, now don't get me wronge pentatonics are great, I have nothing against them I'm just showing you something different. These mess up alot but I'll try to make it where the notes aren't everywhere. e--------------------------4-5-7*-- b----------------------5-7--------- g-----------------4-6-7------------ d-----------4-6-7------------------ a-----4-5-7------------------------ E--5-7----------------------------- Now this is the E Diatonic scale in the A position. Of cource it can be moved anywhere. And the reason I put "*" right there with the "7" is because that note is in the scale but if you are playing starting with the 5th fret you only go up to the 5 in front of the 7. Now if you played a Dorian scale, go to the 7. But enough of that. e-------------------------4-6-7- b-------------------4-5-7------- g-------------3-4-6------------- d---------4-6------------------- a---4-6-7----------------------- E-7----------------------------- This is the G scale in the B position. Now if you haven't already noticed thses are not in 3-note-per-string form. so, anyway, they're just regular. e---------------------4-5-7------ b-------------4-(5)-7------------ g---------4-6-------------------- d---4-6-7------------------------ a-7------------------------------ E-------------------------------- I have the () around the 5 to indicate that that is the root note to end on. Again the rest are in the scale, and can be used for modes. This is the C scale in the E position. And, all of these are Ionion, which is major. e------------------------5-7--------- b------------------5-7-8------------- g-----------4-6-(7)------------------ d-----4-5-7-------------------------- a-5-7-------------------------------- E------------------------------------ Again 7 is your root note to end on. This is the A scale in the D position. So there we have it, The A, E, G, C scales. There is a D but I don't know it well, sorry so learn these if you don't already know them and get some more tools under your belt, have fun, hope that helped a little!

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35 comments sorted by best / new / date

    zeppeling420 you sound like this nerdy friend of mines Syah Johan,well not him but one of his friends.
    cheers, for ppl like me who have taught themselves articles like these are great to learn from. cheers
    wait... could we get a little more histry on the diatonics??? Nvr used em b4...
    i'm a bit confused on your labelling of these scales The first scale, as i've learned, is just A-major, not the E diatonic in A-postition. How can the second tab be the G scale when it uses the note G#, and doesn't use G at all? In the 3rd tab you say it's the C scale, but you use sharp notes, when the C-major scale doesn't contain sharps. Maybe i'm missing something, an explanation would be greatly appreciated
    I've been fooling around with these for a while and they're much more fun than any other scale that I use... Maybe it's because I'm used to them or maybe it's that they give me the feeling in my leads that I like... Either way, they're great scales and a must for anyone trying to up their knowledge of scales or just someone looking for a new sound.
    is this used in jazz much? Pentatonics are popular coz you get that very rock n roll sound like Angus Young or Jimmy Page or Chuck Berry
    Hey, This lesson is quite informative. Actually, leads based on the diatonic scales go really well with deep songs. Try out a lead in this scale which starts with a repetitive pattern twice similar to the tune of ur song. Then, switch on to the higher (4th or 5th) string and blast away. End by bending towards the root note and chords strumming on the lower strings. Will keep the ppl drooling for more!!
    The first "pattern" shown here is also "The Ionian Mode". -FYI, while at it, you can google for "modes" and learn them all, each pattern is completely moveable. I like the starting off here in different "positions", that's a little new to me. THX
    thanks, I only ever got taught the penatonic and I was getting bored with it and was looking for something new.
    i also am in guitar theory class and have been taking lessons for a few months now i been playing guitar for more then ten years now and i always find myself playing these scales when arranging a solo in one of my songs thanx for reminding me and also if u ever get stuck jamming out a lead just use these scales they'll help
    thnx, I was only ever taught penatonics and was getting bored.
    sorry bout the two posts my computer was being gay and i didn't think the first one posted
    Slash 69
    yer, these are cool....slayer uses them a lot watch the video for 'seasons in the abyss or download it it shows one the guitarists doing it and he kinda mixes the diatonic scales for a couple of choords....swish! than ks for the info man
    Yea mixing up different types of scales are cool. Zakk Wylde does it some, which alot of guitar players do. But like playing licks that have notes from different scale (i.e) Mixing up say Blues, with a Pentatonic (they are similar). Or a diatonic with a pentatonic, or with a harmonic Minor even, make up cool sounds and interesting solos!
    I've really never understood that whole using mainly pentatonics for rock thing. I mean, c'mon, seriously, if you actually take time to learn the theory, then diatonics will always be better, because they have more range, more texture. I love using some fairly weird scales when I'm jamming with people.... much more fun.... much more texture. Seriously, once you start using them, you'll never go back.
    Don't knock pentatonics! They work very well in Rock music. However try playing natural minor scales sometimes to add some variety.