As you continue with your musical training, you will realize that there are specific concepts that you need to learn about each instrument. Guitar lessons require you to learn different scale patterns. This is a very important concept because this will serve as the foundation for you to learn how to play and analyze chords and chord progressions. It will also help you learn how to improvise.
The first thing that you need to know as a beginner is that you do not really have to learn all the scales. What you need to do is to choose that scales that is applicable to the kind of music that you are making. This way, you will not feel overwhelmed. Musicians are only using one or two scales. They consider the level of their skill and their style in choosing.
So what are the scales that you need to learn? If you are into pop or country music, the five scales enumerated below are enough for your musical training and performances. If you are interested in blues, there is a specific blues scale that you can use. Minor pentatonic can also be a useful scale for you. To help you get started, here are the 5 most common scale patterns that you should learn:
A Major Scale
One of the most important scales to learn is the major scale because this is the source or foundation of all other scales. This is very significant especially if you are learning chords, harmony, and intervals in western music. This is one of the first concepts that are being taught in music theory.
The Major Scale is composed of the whole step – whole step – half step – whole step – whole step – whole step – half step interval. The pattern in this scale does not have sharps and flats. The interval goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
A Minor Pentatonic Scale
Before you can create a Minor Pentatonic Scale, you need to have a clear understanding of the Natural Minor Scale which has a sober tonality. In the said scale, you need a flat 3rd, 6th and 7th Major Scale Notes. Going back to the Minor Pentatonic Scale, you should take the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th , and 7th notes from the Natural Minor Scale.
This scale is very common for people who are playing rock music. If you are able to understand the concept of Minor Pentatonic Scale, you will also be able to have a great chance to improve your ability to play solo and to improvise.
A Chromatic Scale
The chromatic scale uses all the 12 tones in the octave. In this musical scale, you will find 12 pitches which are a semitone above or below the adjacent pitch. If you want to make your playing more exciting and flavourful, you can add this scale. It is composed of A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F# G, G# and it goes back to A.
With a chromatic scale, there is no enharmonic spelling that is set. It all depends on the minor or the major key signature. In notating this scale, you will be using sharp signs and flat signs. Scale degree is never used twice successively.
A Blues Scale
This scales is consisting of 6 notes; 5 of which are from the minor pentatonic scale and one additional note. The notes of the blues, in connection to the Major scale, are as follows: 1 – b3 – 4 – b5- 5 – b7 – 1. Note that b#, b5, and b7 are the blue notes.
There are three types of blues scale namely Hexatonic, Heptatonic and Neoplatonic. Hexatonic is a blues scale that is consisting of a minor pentatonic scale. In heptatonic scale is a major scale with a lowered third, fifth and seventh degree. Lastly, Nonatonic is a nine-note blues scale.
A Harmonic Minor Scale
This scale is most evident in solos and arrangements. It has the same notes with natural minor scale but its 7th degree is one semitone higher. Harmonic Minor Scale is the foundation of chord harmonies in a minor key. With its augmented second, this scale is usually being used melodically.
Harmonic minor is also called the Mohammedan scale. This is usually being used in Middle Eastern Music. It is represented as 1, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, 7, 8. You can build a harmonic minor scale if you lower the 3rd and 6th degrees by one semitone in the parallel major scale. Because of this, the 7th degree of the scale becomes the leading tone because it is one semitone compared to the tonic. The intervals in this scale are as follows: Whole – Half – Whole – Whole – Half – Augmented Second – Half.
It would be easier to understand the concepts that are presented if you are already familiar with music theory. An introduction to the terms will make it easier for you to play guitar. You cannot expect yourself to learn all the concepts all at once. What you can do is to keep on practicing until your system becomes familiar with the scale that will work perfectly with your music style.
You will surely need the help of an expert when it comes to understanding the different scales. As you continue to learn and as you go on with your musical training, you will see yourself becoming more and more knowledgeable about the scales and how you can use them for your playing.