Guide To Creating Your Own Scales

Do you ever felt bored with the old minor pentatonics? I've got an idea.

Ultimate Guitar
Getting out of a rut is sometimes very hard. All technique exercises fail, no song makes fun when played and then guitar goes back to the case. One good way to pump up your musical attitude is to make a challenge, or a discovery. (The second one works greatly for me). Challenges are harder, but they give lots, lots of satisfaction when you reach your goal. So, once I decided to make a little discovery, and that's what I want to write about. I was always wondering how many scales can we play. I haven't found the answer, but here's the method what I came up with. As you know, scale is a set of notes, derived from one octave, using the interval recipe for it. We can use interval recipes in-between one octave, so the intervals we are able to choose from are : 1,b2,2,b3,3,4,b5,5,b6,6,b7,7. Mathematically, scale can consist from two to twelve notes. So, having that knowledge, let's make some discoveries! Hmm.. Let's play a new scale, using six notes. Pick the intervals randomly, or in your specific order, whatever. I choose 1(that one for sure), 3,4,b6,b7. And, I've just played it on my guitar with C note as a root, and I must say, that I like that one I came up with. The overall mood of it is kinda jumpy and happy. When I'll finish writing this article, I'll try to make some melodies with it. Woah, I'll create some chords derived from that scale, and improvise over them. Maybe, I'll change the key, and then write song with it ? That's what I'm talking about. Discovering new scale can lead you to find your own unique sound. When it's found - write it down if you like it. Try it in as many positions and keys as possible, use various techniques and dynamics, be creative - improvise! That kind of exercise can also make your fretboard knowledge better. The scale you've discovered may have a name already But who really cares about that? If you do, search some books or the internet for it, but remember that the most important thing is to find something really entertaining. If your scale fails to entertain or interest you, find another one. Remember, the less rules you stick to, the more original the effect will be. But mostly, have fun. Do you remember the procedure? 1. Decide How many notes will you use ( from 2 to 12) 2. Choose the intervals you want in your scale 3. Make some chords out of the notes you have 4. Improvise over them 5. Maybe write a song ? Be patient, be curious, be a musician. Remember, to rate, comment and like my facebook profile - and maybe, share it to your guitar playing friends? I'd be pleased! Writing lessons for guitarists all around the world, Daniel Kaczmarczyk

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    That sounds like a really fantastic idea, I bet people could spend weeks or months doing this and constantly expanding their creativity and like you said helping them find their own sound. This is great, I'm going to definately try this when I get home today. Thank you for giving me something to do for the next few weeks
    Great lesson. I've been playing guitar a while now but only recently started learning music theory. I've been trying to help my mates get their head around the idea of keys and scales and this is great tool for that. Well done, a great approach.
    Rage SRD
    Hey man i just have a quick question. I just read your lesson about intervals as well and am trying to connect these two lessons together. I see in this lesson you have said 1,b2,2,b3,3,4,b5,5,b6,6,b7,7. Now does that relate to the intervals? Sorry for the noob question haha i am new to theory, thanks again!
    Hey Rage! Sorry that I came up so late with the answer, but I'm not notificated about the comments, so I have to check them myself. The symbols that you have mentioned are intervals, and every one of them has got a meaning that can be expressed in semitones - as a distance between tones. starting from 1 - it's a distance of 0 semitones (from the root note) b2- 1 semitone 2 - 2 semitones b3 - 3 semitones 3 - 4 semitones and so on till the 7 - 11 semitones and 8 - 12 semitones. they ale all flatted using the "b" symbol and the best way to understand that is to find a good source of very basic theory knowledge, explaining it all in a comment would take months. Mail me for some further advices on this subject at or at my facebook profile at .
    Awesome lesson. One of the best I've seen. Most lessons tell you you need to learn scales and practice them and memorize them, but this one literally teaches you how to be creative and make music fun. I watched a lesson a while ago by Marty Friedman where he talked about how he used to make up his own scales to make his own style. Very good work.
    thanks for incredible lesson. but i am struggling with the intervals. namely the first one. 0 semitones from root. if your root is C is 1 C# or one full tone over D?