Major Scales Tip (3)

Learning the notes across the guitar would be EXTREMELY beneficial for this lesson.  If you need a refresher, check out version.  I am going to teach this lesson without diving into theory to much which makes it do-able for beginner and intermediate guitarists to learn.

I found some extremely valuable diagrams of scales I feel you could benefit from.  I want to give credit to for not only providing the diagrams that I will use in my post and lesson, but for posting many other amazing tips and tricks with very useful pictures to make the lessons easier to understand.

First I want to express the importance of learning scales on the guitar. If you are really set on learning how to “play” the guitar, learning the language of music is going to happen sooner or later.  So why learn scales?  Scales are important to guitarists just as learning good grammar is important to speaking properly.  My teacher told me while I was a student many years ago that the notes in the scale are letters and when you put those letters together, you get chords.  Now when you grow up as a babe, you learn how to say words before you learn the alphabet.  I already assume people who visit this site know chords but learning the alphabet is a little more difficult so lets start with the basics.

The C major scale is the way my guitar teacher taught me the 5 forms of the major scale and in my opinion is the easiest way to learn.  The forms are based around the root note which is the blue dot on the guitar neck.

Here is the

First form:

Major Scale provided by

In this case, if we are learning the scales with C as the root note, the line of black dots on the left hand side are all open strings.  So if you are playing in the key of C, playing every string open would be relative to that key.  I will demonstrate how to play this in the video.  I will post the rest of the forms now here:

Second form:

The blue root notes fall on the 3rd fret of the A string and the 5th fret of the G string.

Form 2

Third form:

The blue root notes fall on the 5th fret of the G string and the 8th fret of the high and low E strings.

Form 3

Forth form:

The blue root notes falls on the 8th fret of the high and low E strings and the 10th  fret of the D string.

Form 4

Fifth form:

The blue root notes falls on the 10th fret of the D string and the 13th fret of the B string.

Form 5

Minor scales are the same as Major scales except when you play them you move from the root note down 3 frets.  In my video, I listed a backing track in Am and the scales you would use for this is C major.  Another backing track I used in the video is a Reggae guitar backing track in C major.

The more you play around with these scales, the more you will understand the importance of the language of guitar.  With this knowledge will come the ability to recall relationships between notes.  From there you will start to understand relationships between chords.  You will understand why it is so easy to play a minor scale if you already know the 5 forms of the major scale.  Practicing scales helps you concentrate on learning how to smoothly sail from note to note.  You can create arpeggios and get creative with scales to increase your speed along the guitar.  In no time people will be thinking you have been playing for years because it helps you listen to the song and play complicated riffs by ear.

Weekly Challenge

Learn the RIFF of the week and SOLO of the week

The weekly riff I challenge you to learn is a More Than a Feeling by Boston


The weekly solo I challenge you to learn is Taylor by Jack Johnson


For a bonus, here is a Superstition by Stevie Wonder created by my ditto looper pedal.


I hope my tip will help improve your playing and if you want more tricks and tips you can SUBSCRIBE in the upper-right hand corner.

Leave comment below if you have any questions or requests of tutorials, riffs, or solos.

– Josh Yager


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