Learning guitar scales can be a very frustrating experience for many guitarists. It’s very easy to feel totally overwhelmed with just how much needs to be learnt. To learn and master every possible guitar scale out there would take many lifetimes. Because of this, many guitarists find it hard even knowing where to start!
In this article I’ll reveal three powerful tips to help you in your quest for guitar scale mastery. They are designed to help reduce any feelings of overwhelm that you may currently have. Let’s take a look at the tips now…
**Tip #1: Develop a written plan for learning guitar scales.**
This is really important. It is vital to introduce some structure into your scale learning process. Rather than aimlessly practicing guitar scales, you want to become laser focused. This is achieved by writing down things such as…
- How much time each day you will devote to scale practice.
- What guitar scales you need to learn, in order to play the style of music that you love.
- What keys are the most common to the style of music that you play.
- What specific guitar scale exercises you will learn.
- What books, DVDs and other resources you will use to learn scales.
- What specific things that you don’t understand yet.
If you don’t know how to work out the stuff above, then I recommend booking some lessons with a professional guitar tutor. Make sure that they can play the style of music that you love. It’s not much point asking a classical guitar tutor what scales you need to learn for jazz guitar!
**Tip #2: Learn one scale at a time.**
I can’t stress this tip enough. A major reason why many guitarists never master guitar scales is that they try to learn too many at once. This usually causes them to learn scales on a very superficial level. They may know lots of scales, but they definitely haven’t mastered any. This causes them to sound very unmusical when they improvise. They just sound like they are running up-and-down scales.
**Tip #3: Don’t worry about trying to learn guitar scales in all 12 keys.**
This advice goes against what a lot of guitar tutors and guitar books say. The reason why I say it is simple…
Trying to learn all scales in all 12 keys leads to a feeling of overwhelm for most guitarists! It can take months to learn a scale to mastery in one key. Especially if you want to know that scale over the entire fretboard AND be able to improvise fluently with it. For some guitarists, just thinking that they need to do this in all 12 keys is too much. They just give up! Here is a much better approach…
1. Find out what the most common keys are for the style of music that you play.
2. List the keys in order. You will put the most common key at the top, and the least common key at the bottom.
3. Master the key that is at the top of the list.
4. Master, (one at a time), the rest of the keys on your list.
There we have it! Implement these three tips and turbo-charge your ability to learn guitar scales!