Serious Question For The Guitarists Among Us...


Proud IMG Guitarist
Apr 17, 2001
Sheffield, England
I've started (4 years too late, but what the hey!) to learn my major and minor scales the past few days and was just wondering how long it will be until I can use them.... How long did it take before you could use major/minor scales for improvising etc. ?

Thanx in advance! :)
Minor and Major scales are used for almost everything; chords, improvising, playing solos, writing melodies and composing music in general, so I used these scales as soon as I understood the use for them. Pretty soon after I learned them, that is. Then I moved over to bass, where all kinds of scales are essential to learn. You'll see for yourself, although guitarists use them in different ways, perhaps, but still. As a guitarists, I would start right away by learning the blues-scale, tho...

Hope this didn't confuse you infinitely...

Good luck, anyways! ;)
Great idea to learn the scales Virus, I did and they helped me improve my solo playing and finding nice patterns when playing. Try and learn the E minor(eolian) wich parallell major scale is the G major(jonian). (The most common in metal music I think, must also be Murrays favorite I found out......) Try and learn the other modes too, they contain the same notes but along other places on the neck. It may take a few weeks or months getting comfortable to play along theese new scales but it`s worth the sweat, I promise.
Once you master the modes, your fingers will fly over the fretboard :) I try to combine theese scales with the blues scale when playing, it`s a decent arsenal of tones wich sound cool together I think

There are loads of guitar pages on the net with the scales and the "modes"


click on "theory"

good luck! :)
I'm with adde here virus. If you are serious about playing leads you need to go the extra mile and learn all the modes, don't just constrain yourself to major and minor. Its a real hassle learning all the modes (there are too damn many!), but in the end you'll thank yourself. It will take you quite a while before you get comfortable with all of them....everywhere on the neck.

..and I agree with tormentor, you need to know pentatonic backwards and forwards...if you already don't. The pentatonic scale is practically the foundation of Rock....and even Maiden uses it a ton on their solos.
Cool! Thanx guys, I'll take all that on board and start using it! :)

I sort of know the pentatonic scale, but not all the different shapes... like you said it'll be a lot of work, but well worth it!! :)

Thanx again! :)
Oh virus! Learnt the Pentatonic scale now! Start with the base and then learn all the formations! That alone will boost your soloing ability 10-fold!
If I may add one point to the already good advice you've gotten....

While you learn your scales, also learn thier related triads and extended chords. I've known many guitar players who can play every scale under the sun, but don't know how to manipulate chord structures. These guys usually turn out to be excellent solo players and crappy rhythm players. You'll be doing yourself a favor to take the little bit of extra time to make chords out of your scales and arpeggios.

Good luck! :)

Tormentor: We only need to know so many scales because every time you ask a guitar player, "What chord did you play there?" the answer is always, "I dunno, a G I think..." :confused:

there is a site that I check on every now and then to see on different types of scales, with different tunings, it even gives you the guitar neck, the fret and tells you the note on whatever fret it's on and is free. It even has different features such as you can click on whatever tuning you're in, go over to the neck and click each fret and string that you are playing (like a chord) and it will tell you what that chord is. There are different scales and tunings and knowing whatever key you're in, trying some of these scales, you'll begin to realize by a little time and a lot of patience that you can change these different scales from one to the other and put together an excellent set of progressions in a song that sounds great. Check it out it is free...........Wildfire