Knowing and understanding guitar scale patterns is an essential part of becoming a well-rounded, skilled guitarist. Knowledge of scale patterns will help you improve your improvisation, assist you in writing leads, and will make jamming with other musicians much easier. In this post, we will highlight the five guitar scale patterns that every guitarist should have in their repertoire.
Understanding the Major Scale, and the way in which other scales relate to it, is essential for proficient guitar playing. The Major Scale features a cheerful, bright tonality to it and is the most significant scale in popular music . The Major Scale is created employing the whole step – whole step – half step – whole step – whole step – whole step – half step interval. To picture this on the neck, take a look at the F Major Scale Pattern Chart below. The orange notes represent the root note of the scale.
Observe the pattern of W-W-W-H-W-W-W-H from root note to root note. Now that you have the pattern of the Major Scale comprehended, it is possible to move onto the interval of the scale. The interval of the major scale is 1 ,2 ,3 ,4 ,5 ,6 ,7. Looks simple enough, right? C Major is the simplest example because the pattern contains no sharps or flats. In the C Major Scale you have C ( 1 ), D( 2 ), E( 3 ), F( 4 ), G( 5 ), A( 6 ) , B( 7 ), C( 8 ).
Natural Minor Scale
The Natural Minor Scale (also known as the Aeolian mode) is one of the most often used scales in modern rock music. The Natural Minor Scale has more of somber, gloomy tonality compared to the Major Scale. To build the Natural Minor Scale, you flatten the 3rd, 6th, and 7th notes of the Major Scale.
Keep in mind that the all minor scales have minor thirds. The minor third is the note that gives the scale its minor tonality .
Major Pentatonic Scale
The Major Pentatonic scale can be found everywhere in music. Listen to everything from country to rock , and you can trust in hearing the Major Pentatonic Scale . The Major Pentatonic Scale is quite similar to the the Minor Pentatonic Scale, but the position of the root note varies between the two scales.
The Major Pentatonic scale is comprised of 5 notes ( hence the -penta prefix ), all of these are found in the Major Scale. The Major Pentatonic Scale Formula consists of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd , 5th, and 6th notes of the Major Scale.
This pattern is also the 2nd position for the Minor Pentatonic Scale. The big difference is the position of the root note. A tip for training your ear to the Major Pentatonic Scale is to play the matching major chord prior to play the scale. For example , play the A Major chord, before playing the A Major Pentatonic Scale (root on the 5th Fret of the 6th string).
Minor Pentatonic Scale
The Minor Pentatonic is quite possibly the most common guitar scale in rock music. Memorizing the Minor Pentatonic Scale patterns will considerably improve your soloing abilities and improvisation capabilities. To create the Minor Pentatonic Scale, you will take the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th notes of the Natural Minor Scale.
The Chromatic Scale is unique in the fact that it uses all 12 tones in the octave. So the A Chromatic Scale would consist of A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, and then back to A . The Chromatic Scale is a great way to add a unique flavor to your playing .
I hope you found this post useful and informative (if you did , please share it!) There are some more great lessons online to learn from. I highly recommend JamPlay. They have a huge collection of video lessons with great instructors. Remember to always practice scales using a metronome. There are good, free metronomes online, such as Best Metronome and Metronome Online. Learn the scales slowly, playing each note accurately and cleanly. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below.