Single String Horizontal Scales with Andrew Wasson

Learning how to develop scales along the horizontal span of the fingerboard will start introducing some very cool scale ideas for your lead playing!

Ultimate Guitar
Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers questions from off of his Guitar Blog website.

Q). Would you be able to explain how scales can be played on only one or two guitar strings horizontally along the neck? I see a lot of rock guitarists play like this, but every book and web-site always lists the scales as played vertically across the neck. If there is some kind of a proper system to learning this, I'd really be into practicing it. I think scales sound really good played like this.
Ellas – North Vancouver, BC. CANADA

A). Playing scales horizontally, instead of vertically, can create some really cool sounding guitar runs. The scales, when performed this way, will also open themselves up to some great opportunities for; hammer-ons and pull-offs, as well as, plenty of slides to smoothly connect positions.

The best part of working on along the neck horizontal scale ideas, is that this study will automatically get you creating a lot of personalized scale inventions.

Exercise studies tend to develop first, and later on, plenty of original guitar licks will start to pop-up in your guitar solos! It is important to begin working on these linear, single and multi-string position shifting scales. If you've never tried this, the study of this topic will help you exploit a lot of new and interesting guitar lines.

Video lesson (with on-screen TAB):

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When developing these shapes start by working on combining two adjacent 'in position' scales using small clusters of scale tones. Then, organize lower register scale tones into a new position on the neck that can generate mid-register tones. After gaining some ground between those regions, start heading to upper register tones. You can also isolate tones in any register, (remaining within that register), working along the neck horizontally. After awhile, licks will emerge and the patterns will drift into your improvising.

About the Author:
Andrew Wasson is a 1992 Graduate of Hollywood California's Guitar Institute of Technology (G.I.T.). He has operated his Canadian Music School; Creative Guitar Studio, for the last 20+ years... teaching thousands of guitarists both in studio sessions, and through his popular YouTube Channels and websites. Hundreds of FREE lessons are available at

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    Would like to see a lesson from you on an "A to Z" how to practice guitar for intermediate players.