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3 guitar scales for beginners to learn

Scales
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Guitar lessons: Ever heard the idea that scales are hard to learn? Well, we’d say different! Some scales are almost identical to chords you probably already know – that makes them easier to remember and also tells you that the chord and scale are probably going to sound good together. 

Don’t get it? Read on as we show you how to write new lead guitar ideas starting with a chord and a scale.

1. A major pentatonic 

Chord

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Everyone knows the A chord. As you play it here, make sure it’s the cleanest A chord ever heard!

Scale

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The major pentatonic scale is great for creating bright, melodic lead lines. It also contains the A chord.

Tab

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The idea here is to see how the chord, scale and lick all relate to each other – the three shapes are pretty similar. Play the A chord with a first-finger barre. Your third finger should fall into place.


2. A minor pentatonic 

Chord

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Play each note one by one to check they’re ringing clearly – adjust your thumb position if needed.

Scales

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Notice how the notes of the chord are found within the scale. It means they’ll sound good together.

tab

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Jimi Hendrix used to thicken his lead lines with doublestops. This lick shows how he might have combined them with a bluesy bend. Try branching out your ideas by using other notes from the chord and scale.


3. Mixolydian 

Chord

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Notice how the dominant 7th chord sounds unresolved, like it needs to move to another, more final chord.

Scale

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Look closely! Once again the notes of the chord are found in the scale. Jam around the two together.

Tab

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This laid-back melody is inspired by the North Mississippi Allstars’ softer moments. Once again, play close attention to the lick’s feel and try some more ideas with other scale and chord notes.

Learn more about the minor pentatonic