Easy Way Of Learning Scales On Guitar

I just found out a really easy way to learn scales without putting hours and hours of time to it every day. Here I will tell you what i figured out.

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So the thing we do is basically we break down the scale into patterns, then we practice one pattern a day, by first memorizing it and then improvising only in that pattern. I'm gonna make an example now for one scale and what you do, day by day, in an A minor scale. Day one Start by figuring out all the notes that are included in the scale, for the a minor scale it is A-B-C-D-E-F-G. So then we start from the lowest note we can find on the E string, in that scale. Here it is E which means empty E string. Then we build up using the notes from that scale putting 3 notes per string, except from the G string, where we only have 2 notes. So the pattern for the first day will be like this:
E|-----------------------------0-1-3-|
B|-----------------------0-1-3-------|
G|-------------------0-2-------------|
D|-------------0-2-3-----------------|
A|-------0-2-3-----------------------|
E|-0-1-3-----------------------------|
Play that pattern up and down a couple of times to memorize it, then improvise for a while like 10-15 minutes using only the notes found int that pattern, remember also to improvise this pattern also in the higher octave starting from the 12th fret. Day Two Start off by improvising a bit from yesterdays pattern so you don't forget it. Today we will start from the last note we used on the E string yesterday, in this case it will be the note G. Then we create a pattern in the same way as yesterday, but starting from G. This will be the pattern:
E|-----------------------------3-5-7-|
B|-----------------------3-5-6-------|
G|-------------------4-5-------------|
D|-------------3-5-7-----------------|
A|-------3-5-7-----------------------|
E|-3-5-7-----------------------------|
And then we do the same thing as yesterday, first memorize, then improvise. Remember: both octaves. Day Three Again start by rehearsing what you've done the other days to make sure you don't forget anything done before. Now we do the same thing as yesterday again start from the last note on the E string. So in this example it will be the 7th fret on the E string, the note B. Then build up a pattern from B, same way as before.
E|---------------------------------7-8-10-|
B|--------------------------6-8-10--------|
G|----------------------7-9---------------|
D|---------------7-9-10-------------------|
A|--------7-8-10--------------------------|
E|-7-8-10---------------------------------|
Again: memorize, improvise, both octaves. Day Four Again do the same things as before, improvise in the earlier patterns just to keep them in your mind. And again we do the same thing as the day before, tomorrow is when the fun begins. The last note from previous days pattern, on the E string. In this case D, the 10th fret. Create the pattern, same way as before. Result:
E|-------------------------------------------10-12-13-|
B|----------------------------------10-12-13----------|
G|----------------------------10-12-------------------|
D|-------------------10-12-14-------------------------|
A|----------10-12-14----------------------------------|
E|-10-12-13-------------------------------------------|
And now the last time we'll have to do this, memorize, improvise. Note that you can't play this in both octaves, because you don't have 26 frets (some guitars may have, but it's really rare). Day Five Now is when the fun begins, start again by checking that you remember every pattern you've learned. You will need them all. Now we're gonna improvise again, but this time, we'll use ALL the patterns at the same time, change patterns freely, as often as you want and make it sound good. Now you'll just have to practice this until you find any note of the scale in any position, without thinking patterns. Once you can master all of these patterns at once, you've learned the scale completely, all over the fretboard. But remember that you don't fully master the scale before you stop thinking these patterns. If questions, please e-mail: henvaen6@hotmail.fi This is the first ever lesson I've made and I'll hope you'll like it. For me this works perfectly. Thanks for reading. //henrihell

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Moon1n1te
    Zach Eapen wrote: A Minor(relative to C Maj) scale starts with A, so how can it start from the 6th string 0-1-3(as seen in day 1 tab? That would be E-F-G, isn't that wrong?
    hes not starting on the root of teh scale hes starting on teh first possible note from the scale which is E. The first instance of the root is the open A.
    AlanHB
    Woffelz wrote: Day 1 is an E phrygian mode. Day 2 is G mixolydian. Day 4 is the dorian mode. They're are added degrees in these.
    That's actually completely incorrect, but I can see where you're going wrong. Come to Musicians Talk and we can help you with those theory flaws.
    Integrion
    When learning to play these scale patterns, what string picking method is suggested for the string picking right hand? Is learning these patterns with a pick or just finger picking? And what strumming or picking pattern recommended - for example, down/down/down or up/up/up, or up/down/up, or down/up/down? I'm getting the scale patterns down nicely. I'd also like a bit more speed!
    henrihell
    Pick however you like. I'd suggest a picking method you're used to so that you can concentrate fully on the scale, not the picking.
    schyster2001
    I am inexperienced, but even i can tell from the posts above that theres a lot of misinformed people out there. I like the method above though. It seems much better to know a scale all across the fretboard well (and consequently, if youre doing right, the notes of the fretboard), than to just have small pieces of scales that are constrained hoizontally. seems to me after doing this method twice in a type of scale, you then can immediately apply it to any other key of that scale. then, do it with more than two scale types, and you know it for any scale and key you come across, at least well enough to be on it in a few minutes.
    ScreenMemory
    So what are the actual modes for each day?
    henrihell
    Honestly, I can't tell without google. And the names of the modes have nothing to do with this lesson, this is just about memorizing all the notes of a certain scale.
    Woffelz
    Day 1 is an E phrygian mode. Day 2 is G mixolydian. Day 4 is the dorian mode. They're are added degrees in these.
    Zach Eapen
    A Minor(relative to C Maj) scale starts with A, so how can it start from the 6th string 0-1-3(as seen in day 1 tab? That would be E-F-G, isn't that wrong?
    JamsWithFeel
    to be honest the easiest way to learn scales is to learn one scale and make rhythms wit a few notes from that scale and branch off from there ..well it worked for me any way im just writing this because ive noticed alot of people do teaching methods and become good .....not great
    Integrion
    So what is the recommended left-hand fingering to play these patterns with? If we use 1 for index, 2 for ring, 3 for middle, and 4 for the pinkie finger, which fingers would one use to play the 0-1-3, 0-2-3, 0-2 patterns. Thanks!
    patrick.schepis
    Stay in the first position. This means the first finger plays the first fret and the fourth finger plays the fourth fret. Second position is where the first finger (index) plays the second fret and so on.