Why Learn Guitar Scales?

Why learn guitar scales?  Why are they important? What are they used for?

  Learning guitar scales are important because they are basically a series of notes that sound good with each other. Scales will sound good over certain chords that contain the same notes as the scale. Scales are good way to organize these notes. Once we learn scale pattern we can easily move it to different keys. Just by moving the scale shape to a different place on the guitar. Different scales will give your song or solo a different musical feel.

You don’t have to learn a lot of scales to become a great guitar player. The vast majority of songs in rock, pop, or metal use the major scale, natural minor scale, pentatonic scale, blues scale, or harmonic minor scale. Jazz is a little more varied in the scales that are commonly used.  Scales commonly use in jazz are, the bebop scale, the whole tone scale, the diminished scale, and the Arabic scale.


In addition to scales, there are also modes. A mode is basically a scale, but instead of being centered around the first note of the scale, the root note is changed to different degree or note of the scale. For example, the major scale contains seven notes giving us seven different modes. The modes in the major scale are named: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian. It is worth pointing out that the Aeolian mode is the same as the natural minor scale.