How to learn scales and guitar solos

Scale patterns and exercises for speed, ability and dexterity

guitar scales lesson

Many music teachers might put scales in front at the very beginning of your journey, which is actually a fine idea. In my experience students can often get bored with scales until they know how they are applied. Of course its wise to sit and practice your scales, and now is the time to start. However, they become less of a chore when you can put them to music that you like.

One of the most common scales is the minor pentatonic, this is the mother of all solo scales. Now that you have some experience with tabs and songs, you will notice that many of the tabbed solos are in the minor pentatonic.

Another common scale is the Blues scale, often used in rock, R&B, and of course the Blues. When I first started playing guitar, the Blues scale was my favorite to jam on. I played it forwards, backwards and just mixed it up until I had some fun sounding music. These simple scales along with some simple chords are great ways to also start jamming with some friends, as long as you all stay in the same chord progression with the same scale, you will begin to sound like a band.

Other popular scales to know are the natural minor Scale, the major scale, Dorian mode, and mixolydian mode. Here we have our guitar scale finder tool, as you spend more time practicing these various scales you will start to pick them out in your favorite tabs and chord sheets.

As you may have noticed some songs you find online may not fit the key of your voice or may sound off. This usually means a key change is in order, and luckily scales and chords are very easy to change to different keys.

Riffs, Riffs, and More Riffs

guitar riffs

As you build on your scales and chords you will start to create your own riffs, and by now you have likely come across many famous riffs in some of your tabs.

A riff is a repeated phrase throughout the song across a set of chords and often involving a specific scale.

Some riffs are shared among musicians while others are very unique to a song. Some of the most popular music out there has some of the most memorable riffs.

In fact, if you haven't come across many riffs yet in your tabs, I highly suggest searching some of the most famous riff with our tool. This is a great way to spend a day of practice and later impress your friends. Nothing like showing off at the music store by belting out a couple memorable riffs on a guitar (just make sure you practice a lot so you don’t mess up!).

It is always fun to start learning as many riffs as possible, not only is it great practice, it can help extend your musical knowledge. As you learn riffs don’t just copy the playing and tabs, really dive in and pay attention to the structures of these riffs. Eventually you will want to create your own memorable musical moments and it helps to have a solid idea of what makes up a great riff.

This is why scales and music theory become so important, some of the greatest riffs are built on very simple scales and harmonic structures.

Always make sure to use different voice leadings by playing the same chords and scales all across the neck. While Power Chords are a great way to start playing songs, it is important to move out past power chords when creating your own riffs.

Remember you don’t have to always play every note of the chord to get a great sound. Once you have practiced your scales and chords for awhile you will start to get the hang of creating your own riffs. Mastering musical theory will allow you to have a foundation for later creativity!

Guitar Scales Tutorials:

The D Major Scale for Guitar

Learn how to play the D major scale on guitar: this tutorial will show you the most common patterns used to play this scale. You'll learn also the notes and the structure of this scale, plus some tips on the best way to play scales on the fretboard.


Easy Guitar Solos for Beginners

This article shows you 6 easy guitar solos that beginner guitar players can start practicing for developing their lead guitar skills. You'll find lead guitar parts from famous songs of Nirvana, Eric Clapton, The Beatles and many more..


How to read guitar tabs for beginners

In this lesson you're going to learn how to read a guitar tab. You'll learn the differences respect of the standard notation and you'll be able to play easy guitar tabs for beginners .


The Neapolitan Scale and its chords

The Neapolitan scale on guitar: learn about its structure, chords and harmony. This scale add new exotic vibration to your sound.


Guitar Solos Lesson: the spread fingering shape

In this final part of guitar soloing lessons series, we're going to touch important concepts: how to transform pentatonic scales in diatonic sequences, playing spread fingering shapes, and get a basic understanding of the modes..


Guitar Solo Exercises with the Blues Scale

In today’s lesson you'll expand your scale knowledge and you'll make your soloing abilities more multi-faceted. You'll also learn how to combine major and minor pentatonic scales and some smart exercises.


5 essential skills to play a great guitar solo

Soloing lessons series Part 2: in this lesson we'll start to develop the 5 most important skills required to play a good guitar solo and we'll introduce the first scale that every lead guitar player must know..


Guitar solo lessons for beginners

Beginner guitar solo lessons series: this set of articles will give you a thorough understanding of what it takes to become fluid as a solo guitar player and play lead guitar parts.


The E Minor Pentatonic Scale | Open Position

This tutorial teaches you how to play the E minor pentatonic scale in open position on your guitar. You'll also learn how pentatonic scales are constructed, how to play them using open strings, and how to build riffs combining scales and power chords..


Blues Scale Basics

Blues scales! we are going to expand upon that by adding a new note to the Pentatonic Scale, and give you some more techniques to work on, that will make your riffs much more dynamic..


Guitar Scales Exercises: Left and Right Hand Synchronization

In this lesson, we are going to show you some exercises to help get your left and right hands coordinated, as well as increasing your speed.


Guitar Warm Up Exercises

Guitar warm-up: learn exercises that build muscle and dexterity..


12 bar blues guitar improvisation

Improvising over a 12 bar blues. Here are the minor pentatonic scale, the blues minor scale, and the mixolydian scale applied to a D7 G7 A7 blues progression..


Guitar music theory: chords from major scale and relative minor

Guitar music theory: learn the harmonization of the major scale. Here you can find a free online webapp that teaches you the harmonization of the major scale and the relative minor scale in all music keys..


This Trick Will Help You Remember All The Guitar Scales You Need

This article will help you remember all the guitar scales you need. You'll learn pentatonic, major and minor scales with the help of Fachords Guitar Scales Generator, a free online tool that shows you scales pattern of the guitar fretboard..


The Best Way to Learn Scales for Guitar

Here's a complete tutorial on Fachords Guitar Scales Generator, a free tool designed for intermediate guitar players who want to learn scales and arpeggios along all fretboard in different fingering configurations.


Develop speed on guitar

Guitar speed practice tips. Build speed and accuracy in 10 days. You will increase your guitar speed using this free online software. .


8 exotic guitar scales | Add some spice to your guitar sound with exotic scales

Here's a list of 8 cool exotic guitar scales that will spice up your guitar solos. Learn how to play the indian, japanese, neapolitan, persian, byzantine and arabian scales. You can also enjoy our free guitar scales generator, with more than 100 scale and arpeggio patterns all along the fretboard.


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