Guitar Teacher WARNS! Hardest Thing About Scales

This lesson is all about the hardest thing that there is to learning scales. If you have trouble creating solos, it is more than likely because you are not aware of how to start understanding scale patterns on the neck in a more simple manner, and since you'd likely welcome an easy way to fix that, this video gets you started down the best path to fix this issue... 


Far too many guitar students are using scale shapes that are too big for soloing at first try and doing this will most certainly hold you back.


In this lesson, I’m showing a group of small major and minor scale patterns that can attack the most common flaws for new soloists to give players a more simplistic group of notes that are nicer to work with than the larger more vertical patterns that are found in most guitar scale books.


In this lesson, I’m also going to show you how to start into soloing by; using the first 5 notes of a scale, how to view the Pentatonic within those patterns, and how to think about other "Modes" of a key.

When you apply this easy drill you will start to feel better almost instantly about what you're playing and you can work towards permanently fixing your bad soloing habits that are holding you back.

I get asked this a lot… “which scale should I learn first, what’s the best scale to start with, what scale will have me soloing the fastest?” 

Guys really, there’s a lot to this whole “business,” of playing lead guitar, but the bottom line of effectively learning the scales, will all come back to only a couple of things.

1). Your ability to visualize and memorize the geometry involved with playing certain kinds of shapes on the neck.

2). How well you can comprehend the tonality (in other words the sound), that a scale produces so that you’ll be able to become the most proficient at actually using the scale to create music.

We will begin by taking a close look at some Key of “A” Major scale patterns on the neck.

Afterward, we’ll explore the shapes, and we’ll learn the reason behind why the scale is giving us a Major sound.

Then, we’ll take things a step further, by learning how the Major sound can produce other sounds, called modes.


1). Key of “A” Major Scale located upon the 4th string’s Tonic (7th fret)

2). The “powerful” first 5 notes, and the awareness of the leading tone.

3). The benefits of having no ½ steps – the Major Pentatonic, (blue notes).

4). Visualized as an “interval template” that can be moved anywhere.

Major scale patterns and their backing (Chord) progressions, have a unique group of notes from the 1st to 5th tones that work together to promote the major sound quality.

Once that interval pattern is committed to memory (the patterns shown above), it can be extremely helpful to use a backing set of chord changes for soloing on chord progressions that support that Major key sound.

Here’s a quick example progression in the key of “A” Major that applies the; first, third and fourth chords. They form a solid back-drop for practicing the use of “A” major’s 1st through 5th scale tones.

Backing Progression:


I wanted to take a minute to let you know, that if you want to learn even more about scales and theory I have a great offer for you.

With any donation over $5, or any merchandise purchase from either my Tee-Spring, or my Zazzle store, I’ll send you a free copy of THREE of my most popular digital handouts.

One is called, “Harmonized Arpeggio Drills” (it’ll train you on developing your diatonic arpeggios).

Another one is my “Barre Chord” handout which includes a page showing all the key signatures along with a chord progression that applies barre chords.

Plus, you’ll get my Notation Pack! It has 8 pages of important guitar worksheets for notating anything related to; music charts, guitar chord diagrams, and TAB.

As a BONUS for my Phrygian Dominant video, I'll also throw in a breakdown of all of the chords that are diatonic to the Phrygian Dominant scale.

Just send me an email off of the contact page of to let me know about either your donation or your Merchandise purchase and I’ll email you those digital handouts within 24 hrs.


The next thing to understand is that every Major scale can produce other scales called Modes. A mode uses all of the same scale tones (from the same key), but we get a different sound character because we begin and end the playing, of the mode, off of another note (that’s NOT the root of the key).

This means that if we were to select another tone from the notes of the “A” major scale, like for example the F#, we could build a new sound when we played off of that F# note!

5). Relative Minor tonality color (the 6th degree "F#" of the parent major scale)

6). Minor’s first 5 notes are very strong, plus the 6th offers more dramatic minor effects

7). Minor Pentatonic eliminates the ½ steps for greater melodic ease and control

8). Minor scales (just like Major) have an interval template that can operate anywhere!

9). Minor can exist off of the 4th, 5th and even off of the 5th string…

Knowing this information here, (about how the minor scale can operate as an easy to memorize minor scale shape on the neck) will help you to produce an interval oriented note layout, that’s easy to visualize, regardless of the level of skill you have with playing melodic ideas that fit into the Minor tonality.

For an example of this, I’ve put together a short Minor Key chord progression based off of the “F#” Minor scale and I’ll play you those chords right now. Plus, I’ll add some scale phrasing so you can hear the connection of the minor scale mixed in with the chord changes.



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