Anyone who has ever tried to learn – or thought about trying to learn – to play the guitar will be familiar with guitar scales. Those repetitive journeys up and down the strings on your fretboard may seem boring, or even pointless, but there are a number of reasons why you should persevere.
Put the work in on guitar scales and you will find them incredibly rewarding. As you become more proficient, these scale exercises become gateways to more advanced guitar techniques, moving you towards a higher level of competency and a deep love of the guitar.
Guitar scales are your friends! Read on for our reasons why scales are vital for anyone wanting to learn the instrument.
Guitar Scales Teach You Valuable Fingering Techniques
To go beyond the basics, guitar players need to improve their fingering. Practising scales gives you the tools to do this, enabling you to make the movements on the fretboard that are necessary to play increasingly complex pieces.
As you develop your guitar playing you will need to learn how to employ all four fingers in order to make the shapes you desire. This requires a degree of strength from your ring finger and your little finger, something that can only be built through repeated practice of guitar scales. Put the necessary time into practising your scales and feel your strength grow!
Guitar Scales Teach You the Language of Music
Learning to play an instrument is like learning a language. You begin with the basic greetings and phrases and you slowly build your vocabulary. Guitar scales help you to gain an understanding of different musical notes and chords and appreciate the relationship and interplay between them.
This is what is required if you are to progress with the guitar, this is what will help you to get inside the music written by your favourite bands and artists, and this is what will enable you to create your own compositions. Guitar scales really are powerful things.
Guitar Scales Can Help You with Tuning
You can play the greatest song, with the best possible technique, on the world’s most expensive guitar, but it will still sound all wrong if your tuning is out of whack. Do not fall into the trap of always relying on electric tuners to tune your guitar, as there will come a time when you don’t have one to hand. Instead, you need to develop an ear for tone and an understanding of how the different strings sound in different tunings.
Scales can help with this. As you explore scales you will learn about the harmonics and the relationship between notes, which will enable you to tinker with your guitar’s tuning until you get it exactly right. Tuning in this way gives you more independence and is a key step towards mastering this wonderful instrument.
Guitar Scales Unlock the Potential of the Guitar
As mentioned above, guitar scales act as gateways or stepping stones towards playing with proficiency and passion. But scales are about more than this; by using scales correctly and by practising them repeatedly, you are unlocking your potential as a guitar player.
Whichever musical avenue you want to explore – whether that be blues rock, heavy metal or flamenco style – scales are going to come in handy as you develop your skills and pursue your ambitions. They are your company on your musical journey, giving you the tools to progress, learn and grow to become the player you want to be.
Checkout our guitar-scales page to discover some of the most popular scales to learn