Segovia Scales. The Importance Of Scales.

Here's a few scale patterns developed by the classical guitar master, Andres Segovia to help aid you in you quest to become a fretboard master.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
16
Just some basic scales. You might say, "Oh man, this is boring!" But keep in mind that although you have learned every Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci, and Yngwie Malmsteem lick ever made, there is one thing behind it, and that is scales. My theory is that if you practice just the basics, then you can the more advanced stuff later. I didn't pull this theory out of my butt, my guitar teacher (who is awesome)told me this and I've been doing this and it's been working for me. I have nothing against learning licks but I'm against practicing those licks as excercises for 4 horus everyday. But there's nothing wrong with practicing an etude just as long as scales are you main thing. So why are these scales so important? If you practice these scales everyday (and just scales) whenever someone shows you a cool lick with weird fingerings, you'll be able to master it quickly because through scales, you have given your fingers the strenghth and agility they need to master that lick. Also an advantage to learning scales is that you'll be able to learn your fretboard better. When I'm in jazz band, and my teacher tells me to play a solo to a song in the key of Cm, my brain automatically knows where every note in that key is on the whole neck of my guitar. These Segovia scales aren't the wimpy one-octave- same-postion scales you know at the moment (or maybe don't know). No, these scales are 2 and 3 Octave Scales that take you all over the fretboard. These have helped me out a lot in the 3 areas I previously talked about. So here are the scales. Next time, I'll explain how to practice them and what the fingerings are, but for now, experiment with them your self. By the way, these aren't ALL the scales, only 4 of them. If you want all the scales you can buy the Segovia scales at Amazon or something. They aren't in tab though, dont be lazy challenge yourself and try to sight read them!
C               |               |               |                
|------------------------------------------------5---7---8---7---|
|------------------------------------5---6---8-------------------|
|--------------------2---4---5---7-------------------------------|
|--------2---3---5-----------------------------------------------|
|3---5-----------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|

 |               |               |               |                
|5---------------------------------------------------------------|
|----8---6---5---------------------------------------------------|
|----------------7---5---4---2-----------------------------------|
|--------------------------------5---3---2-----------------------|
|--------------------------------------------5---3---------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|

 Am (Melodic)    |               |               |                
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------9---10--12--|
|--------------------------------------------9---11--------------|
|--------------------------------9---10--12----------------------|
|------------5---7---9---11--12----------------------------------|
|5---7---8-------------------------------------------------------|

 |               |               |               |                
|----10--12--14--16--17--15--13--12--10--------------------------|
|13--------------------------------------13--12--10--------------|
|----------------------------------------------------12--10--9---|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|

 |               |               |               |                
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|7---------------------------------------------------------------|
|----10--9---7---------------------------------------------------|
|----------------10--8---7---------------------------------------|
|----------------------------10--8---7---5-----------------------|

 G               |               |               |                
|------------------------------------------------------------5---|
|------------------------------------------------5---7---8-------|
|--------------------------------2---4---5---7-------------------|
|--------------------2---4---5-----------------------------------|
|--------2---3---5-----------------------------------------------|
|3---5-----------------------------------------------------------|

 |               |               |               |                
|7---8---10--12--14--15--14--12--10--8---7-----------------------|
|--------------------------------------------10--8---7-----------|
|--------------------------------------------------------9---7---|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|

 |               |               |               |                
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|10--9---7-------------------------------------------------------|
|------------10--9---7---5---3---2-------------------------------|
|------------------------------------5---3-----------------------|

 Em (Melodic)    |               |               |                
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------8---9---11--|
|--------------------------------4---5---7---9---11--------------|
|----------------2---4---6---7-----------------------------------|
|0---2---3---5---------------------------------------------------|

 |               |               |               |                
|----------------11--12--10--8---7-------------------------------|
|----10--12--14----------------------10--8---7-------------------|
|12----------------------------------------------9---7-----------|
|--------------------------------------------------------10--9---|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|

 |               |               |               |                
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------|
|7---------------------------------------------------------------|
|----10--9---7---5---3---2---------------------------------------|
|----------------------------5---3-------------------------------|
So peace out and see you next time. Message me if you have any questions.

85 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jesusism
    I second that strat52, I bought the book off of Amazon (as well as the Slur Exercises by A.S.) and my uncle labeled like 10 of the 23 scales. I've been trying to properly name the others, but by reading this article I found what I thought was E Major (EF#GABC#D#) was actually E Minor Melodic. If someone does know the name of the scales in the order they appear would you please shoot me a message, I'd greatly appreciate it. I also this sheet my uncle made that has the guitar frets labelled with the notes as well as the corresponding music notes that I use to decipher music notes. If you'd like it just shoot me a message with your e-mail and I'll forward it to you.
    Oakems
    Oakems wrote: I've never seen so many double posts in all my life!
    nambo111
    my friend. very nice touch. i also play the segovia scales inbetween ever song i play or i mess with my rasgueado techniques. fun fun. anyways. does anyone here know what the "x" stands for in the middle of a few of the flat scales? there is also some crazy notes that have a natural sign and a sharp sighn before it. i dont get that. does that mean you make it what you want? maybe it has something to do with that mysterious "x" that site around in some scales. i think the scale is an F# maybe.i dont know the name of it. its after the b major scale. well if i can get some feed back id appriciate it.
    The_Moth
    The people who posted at the beginning of this page who made comments like "this guy is an idiot" and such should be banned. Constructive feedback is great but don't insult someone just to make yourself look cool on the boards, because you don't look cool, it just makes you seem very ignorant. Furthermore, no one cares about your ignorant opinion if you don't have anything that is of actual use.
    glamhairmetal
    yes the melodic minor is based on the natural minor with the 6th and 7th raise a half step. when descending, you use the natural minor theres nothing on segovia.
    griffin8r
    troutBoy wrote: the melodic scales arent they just natural minor scales?
    No, the melodic minor scales feature a sharpened 6th and 7th. E minor (natural) would be, for example, E-F#-G-A-B-C-D-E, where E melodic minor would be E-F#-G-A-B-C#-D#-E. E harmonic minor (a much more familiar mode to most metal guitarists) would feature just the sharpened 7th - E-F#-G-A-B-C-D#-E
    zorbozate
    i have been playing classical guitar for 7yrs; and what youve posted is exellent. one of my teachers drilled this exerc. in my head, and to this day i do the same when i,m teaching. thanks for sharring your knowledge \
    GIBSON135
    tks for segovia scales. have you more? segovia shifts out of the C major box on the G string (from 2nd to 5th position). did he prescribe shifting on the ring finger?
    strat52
    Easy to find the sheet music by searching Google. I got the first 3: C, Am and G, is good exercise, or as says in preface, good fot later speed studies. What are the names of the major amd their minor scales for the rest of the sheet music? Would help I'm not so great at reading notes, if I knew what scales are in order would make it easy, thanks. I saw Segovia once in San Francisco, was the best ever! Thanks.
    beguined
    I have never in my life heard such a collection of idiots and hammerheads... take your guitars and burn them. Join the army. Go to Iraq. Step on a roadside bomb and die. Please. But I beg you...never play music again.
    3d_guru
    well first of all, i agree with one thing, the "lesson" here is only about the "fact" that playing scales will help your technique and music knowledge. that's the only lesson you can get here. all the rest are just scales gathered from a book. the fact is, these exercises can be found on dozens of websites, so THAT part is not called lessoning. it's just...pasting however, i really appreciate that you took some time to write this "lesson" so that i don't have to google for the scales.
    maggieslovak
    I think the fact is that a scale is a scale, no matter whether you play them from skiping a sting in between, or starting on a googooplex of various patterns. But besides that one little note, i really do find that this here was an important excersize to communicate because all too often, as i've even observed in myself, the scales quickly become a vertical or completely linear accuaintance that breeds the looming problem of the rest of the fret board. These excersizes can potentially solve this. Thanks! -m
    takamineman005
    Hey i really like this thanks. I know that you have been getting a lot of complaints but you can never no too many scales so i have no idea why any one would say that there is no reason to know these.
    Tom2243
    Yeah, I agree. You just wrote out a couple melodic minor scales? Segovia was classical, sooo that didn't really make sense to me.
    bendingstrings
    GlitteryGold wrote: so even if I do know every lick that yngwie ever made, why would I need these scales in the first place you ***ing idiot.
    dude yngwie sucks ass and yeppy that you know all his licks but theyre not scales, you must suck balls and if theres enough room, dick too yngwie sucks ass so you must suck ass too
    minijjjay
    what is all the arguing going on for through this forum.scales are quite straight forward. i figured it was pointless trying to learn scales that were printed on the net, you are best to go to for example www.jguitar.com then print off for example the c major scale and learn all the positions on the fretboard(which is boring at first but then after a while you can make up anything you want really by just mucking about).if u want to understand the major scale then - www.electric-guitar.co.uk gives a great basic description of how it works. i picked major cos i think major and minor are the most common and i think major is quite easy to understand. so there you go dont bother copying the scales on the net when you can much more satisfaction of making up scales all by yourself, its really easy!
    ens_audio
    Some people on this forum have WAY too much spare time on their hands and could spend this time instead of arguing on some forum might want to practice guitar perhaps? I envy thee... he he
    mbself73
    Full disclosure though: If there had been YouTube when I was a kid I would have done the same thing.
    mbself73
    I know kids who have spent so much time on YouTube learning to sweep pick because some death metal band guitarist they like does it that they can actually impress you with their technique. But, ask them to apply it to something or improvise over a simple chord progression they can't. I taught guitar for a living for several years. I taught both privately and as a guitar teacher in a public school (very cool grant funded program that was defunded putting me back in the history classroom ). I took kids with physical skills and absolutely no real knowledge base to draw from and turned them into functioning improvisers. It was fun and easy because I had them for an hour a day for an entire school year. Point is , those scales and the theory behind them (by the numbers, in tab and standard notation) were among the first things I taught. Minor pentatonics were first (along with chords etc...). They are the beginnings of a larger quest. In fairness to the critics, to call these "Segovia" scales may be a bit of a reach.
    Kaylahbell
    I am preparing for an audition at Fredonia School Of Music and they need 2 and 3 octave scales (Segovia Patterns). It would really help to have the fingerings for the scales. Do you know where I can find some fingerings. With what you have I can make up my own fingerings which is good, but I don't know if there is a specific fingering for the "Segovia Scale"? Thanks for taking the time to make this lesson available
    Hypnus9
    I fail to see how Yngwie Malmsteen is pertinent to a lesson on Segovia.
    Hypnus9
    I am so glad to see someone extolling the great Andres Segovia on here. Segovia, while not necessarily a perfect man, was indeed a great man, and if it had not been for him, the guitar would not be at the proliferation and aesthetic that it is today.
    Doop88
    Bunch of Keyboard cowboys!!!!! If you want to be any good at guitar learn this stuff. If not continue to play great licks half assed and sounding like shit! COntinue to sit in your room flogging in a sock playing very shit to no one because no one will listen to your sloppy playing better stick to Nirvana songs cocksuckers!! SOmeone has giving you a free and great tip so dont bash them for having intelligence dick heads!!! Nice write up GUitar777,
    gibsongalore184
    Im pretty fond of the dumbass asking why he needs scales when he knows a bunch of Yngwie licks . How do you think people like Paul Gilbert and Randy Rhoads and John Petrucci shred like they do? They did their homework and learned their scales. I find soloing very choppy and unorganized if you dont know your scales, whimpy one octave scales or Segovia scales. While i have met soloers based by ear,if they learned their scales they go "hey,look I use that pattern all the time!" -_- PLease. Just shut the **** up and quit trolling.
    Necrolysis
    Nic Rush wrote: I'm very interested to know how many of you guys understand the difference between opinion and fact, it seems alot of you are of the opinion that your opinions are fact. rhcpcure2826, GlitteryGold, SSVskater85, my opinion is that your heads are all up your ass. Are any af you guys pro-musicians, and how seriously do you take your instrument, pro or not. I wouldnt be surprised if one, if not all of you were music-shop salesman, seems you all fit the profile.... To those who have read this lesson for the first time and reached this post after all the hilarious ***ing bullshit posted here, here is a question you need to be asking yourselves: Q: How come "Axe God 2004", ( rhcpcure2826, GlitteryGold, SSVskater85, he's not a real person, get it!!? ) sounds nothing like "Guitar God 1979", even tho "GG'79" is "AG'04"'s biggest influence and "AG'04" can play every solo of his note perfect? A: He took the time to look deeper then the surface and create his own style. WOW. If anybody wants some ideas about how to expand on the potentially VERY IMPORTANT INFO in this lesson, feel free to e-mail me. The three bitches who moaned, feel free to *** of, and have a great time doing it. Thanx for the post Guitarro777.
    PLUS FUCKING 1
    bendingstrings
    rhcpcure2826 wrote: first. i dont understand. Andres Segovia was a classical guitarist. these arent classical scales.
    these arent classical scales, these are segovia scales for classical guitar.
    whalebomb
    stykees is correct, without the fingerings you will probably lose the point of the exercises, building dexterity and speed
    volakos2328
    So if your instructor tells you to solo in C minor, does it matter if it is harmonic minor or melodic minor?
    Stykees
    These scales are accurate, but I'd like to point out that a major part of Segovia even introducing these scales again (because he didn't discover them)is that he talked about precise fingering which you didn't include. The shifts are very important. Sorry if someone else mentioned this, I didn't read through most of the garbage some of the people posted.
    Triple_T
    Hey man, great post. These are awesome scales for everyone. I've been playing flamenco for a while and these are great, if only to warm up with. One thing I think would be helpful to mention, if someone hasn't already, is that these are meant to be moved, so that you can make every major and minor "scale" through just a couple patterns. Again, if someone has said this already, I apologize for being redundant. Another cool thing I've tried is taking out the right notes to make the "Segovia Pentatonics" as I call them. Just something else to try if you get bored. Thanks again man.
    adam656
    thanks for posting this. anyone who comments negatively when you post something to try to help people out... well.. they are just idiots. and to the rest of you fools.. you buy books with scales in them and they are generally in one position, so why is this not helpful? man some of you are ungratefull a-holes. If you dont like what someone is giving you for free.. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.
    YoAdrianne7
    This is exactly how I started out learning to play lead guitar back in high school (1984) and also learning music theory & circle fifth, etc.. Now my teenage son is getting interested in learning how to play lead guitar but his idea is more on the same lines as many of the comments from the people who don't think it IS as important. Basically these scales help you to become fast and proficient in your fingering. Thanks for posting it, I really appreciate it a lot. =)
    Jtanz
    dude yngwie is a master of arpheggios scale and sometimes he also applying modes to assist his scale to build good licks... but this segovia scale maybe i can get some techiques and i like their possition... just like this u can use other scale like modes and use this pattern.... anyway great idea man..
    minijjjay
    why are we all arguing about scales. im just a beginner but i found the best way to learn scales was not just to copy them from a website article. instead go to for example www.jguitar.com and print off a scale you would like and it gives you all the finger positions. i am currently learning the C major scale and it means after some boring remembering, after about a week or so you can improvise around the fretboard which is really cool compared to playing stuff which has been set out in stone for you to learn and spit out again. it is also more enjoyable which means you will stick at it for longer. as for the theory side to the major scales i just surfed the net for a good explanantion - www.electric-guitar.co.uk and the basic theory lesson. i suppose you could do the same for the spanish scale and after a couple of weeks be sweeping around the spanish scale too which would look quite professional.
    AFuriousMind
    very good techniques here. always nice to see something fresh! anything to get you playing your axe will surely be nothing short of exciting!
    rhcpcure2826
    first. i dont understand. Andres Segovia was a classical guitarist. these arent classical scales.
    ricardo.quinone
    um how is it not a classical scale? this is how his method has you play a scale...all the way down the fretboard. look up a video if you don't believe him
    Guitarro777
    Hey I posted these scales up as excercises. This is not a theory lesson. THese are just excercies to help your Fingers, nothing else. Thus, the only point of my "lesson" is that scales help. I know that there are other scales, these are just the basics designed by Andres Segovia to increase speed and dexterity. Next time, message me instead taking up room on this forum.
    wyldgeorge
    Guitarro777 thanks! Very well done! I have been playing guitar for 30+ years and I can tell you that all the great guitarist out there of every genre know his or her scales. It is knowledge of scales that not only helps the fingering technique, but it also helps train the ear. Schmucks like rhcpcure2826 need to stick to riding his skate board or listening to MTV and put the guitar down. Because unless you get off your lazy surfer ass and put the 3 D's to work - Desire, Disciplne and Dedication, you will be a third rate guitarist with the musical IQ of a salad bar!
    mantaboo
    rhcpcure2826, Shut up. If you don't like the lesson then don't look at it. People like you are lazy and want everything printed out for you instead of actually sitting down and playing the guitar and learning how to do something for yourself. Maybe if you take what information that IS given and figure out on your own how to transpose it to other positions and keys, you might just start learning how to play the guitar instead of a bunch of cool licks randomly thrown together. We, who do enjoy all aspects of the guitar will absorb any knowledge we can and try to figure out what is left on our own. By the way you should be to embarrassed to type on public forums with the lack spelling skills you possess. Maybe that's why you don't like the lesson, you are confusing C with A.
    Nic Rush
    I'm very interested to know how many of you guys understand the difference between opinion and fact, it seems alot of you are of the opinion that your opinions are fact. rhcpcure2826, GlitteryGold, SSVskater85, my opinion is that your heads are all up your ass. Are any af you guys pro-musicians, and how seriously do you take your instrument, pro or not. I wouldnt be surprised if one, if not all of you were music-shop salesman, seems you all fit the profile.... To those who have read this lesson for the first time and reached this post after all the hilarious ***ing bullshit posted here, here is a question you need to be asking yourselves: Q: How come "Axe God 2004", ( rhcpcure2826, GlitteryGold, SSVskater85, he's not a real person, get it!!? ) sounds nothing like "Guitar God 1979", even tho "GG'79" is "AG'04"'s biggest influence and "AG'04" can play every solo of his note perfect? A: He took the time to look deeper then the surface and create his own style. WOW. If anybody wants some ideas about how to expand on the potentially VERY IMPORTANT INFO in this lesson, feel free to e-mail me. The three bitches who moaned, feel free to *** of, and have a great time doing it. Thanx for the post Guitarro777.
    fatbassist
    rhcp guy SHUT UP please. the guy who wrote this..all he was trying to do was help us ok, so please don't find fault in what he's done. if you think you're so superior you bloody write a lesson ok?
    rhcpcure2826
    If some of you actually understood my lesson
    key word there is lesson. also, look at what part of the site youre on. that person NEW that his tabs werent a lesson. you should have, too. youre trying to act as though you have some kind of cuperiority in the theory respect, when your lesson EXPLAINED NOTHING and was admittedly taken from a book. im not going to respond by posting on 'your' 'lesson' your points are so invalid that i wont respond to any of your pms, because YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT CARES.
    Guitarro777
    this "lesson" was originally in "the basics" i guess the webmaster decided to change it. Also, i got the scales from a book, not the "lesson." I appreciate your input rhcpcure.