Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Top 5 Most Important Scales for Guitar players
As an aspiring guitarist, you often hear about the importance of scales and why you need to practice them. However, not everyone knows which scales are the most important scales and why they are so.
Scales are the foundation of riffs, melodies, chords, solos, improvisation and much much more. Although playing the rhythm guitar can be fun, if you want to try something different with your music, incorporating scales is a great variant.
In this article, we attempt to explain the importance of 5 scales on the guitar and why we think they are important.
1. The Major Scale - The major scale is heavily used in a number of ways. The chords formed from the major scale are commonly used to form chord progressions, and there is also a lot of theory on how to form harmonies with this scale. Additionally, this scale is used to form modes which are also commonly used. If you have ever learnt solfège, you will know “Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do” – this is a major scale.
2. The Minor Scale – The minor scale is another diatonic scale. While the major scale sounds happy and it resolves. The minor scale is kind of the opposite – it sounds, sad, dark and sort of incomplete.
3. The Major Pentatonic Scale – “Penta” means five and hence, the pentatonic scale is made up of five notes. In other words : it is a major scale without the 4th and the 7th note. This eliminates the two semitones present in the major scale. (In the C scale between E and F, and between B and C.)
4. The Minor Pentatonic Scale – A minor pentatonic scale consists of 5 different notes. They are the same 5 notes as the major pentatonic scale, but the tonic of the scale is a different note. The tonic of the minor pentatonic scale is the note (3 semitones) below the tonic of the major pentatonic scale.
5. The Blues Scale - Once you learn the minor pentatonic scale, it should be relatively easy to learn the blues scale as it is essentially the same with one additional note (a flattened 5th). As the name suggests, the scale is used heavily in blues but is also used in rock and jazz based styles a lot too. Soloing over the blues using this scale is relatively easy to get the basics of, but you could spend a life time honing the subtle nuances of the style, such as the feel of the bends, the vibratos and the timing of your phrases.
One you understand these scales, you need to practice regularly in order to master them. You need to learn to play the scales in both ascending and descending order – this will help ingrain the position as well as the sound of the scale in your memory.
You should then begin spending time experimenting with the scales to try and come up with phrases and melodies using the notes of the various scales. You can then move onto experimenting with scales over backing tracks that you can find online. Choose the pitch and tempo and then jam away! As you do this regularly, you will become familiar with the scales and playing the scales will become a very natural process.
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