10 Easy Steps To Learn Guitar From Scratch Part 4

10 Easy Steps To Learn Guitar From Scratch – The Easiest Way To Learn Guitar Part 4

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Step 9) What Scales Can You Play Over Chords?

Learn to play basic scales. The first scale we will learn is the pentatonic scale aka. the rock scale. This scale is used in a lot of rock and pop songs especialy when soloing over chords.

Basically a scale is just the notes you can play over a certain chord that fits with the chord. There`s certain notes in a chord and you can play these notes one by one with additional notes that fit to the chord.

So how do we play the pentatonic scale?


This is the easiest and one of the most well known scales out there. If you learn this shape you can basicaly start to do some basic soloing over any pop or rock song as I will show you. This is the first position, below you can see all the different positions of the pentatonic scale.

Minor Pentatonic

These patterns can be played one after the other as they always repeat in the same patterns down the neck. The only question is which note or key are you starting in? If you can find the right key, you can start to play the scale sequence in order and know which notes you can play. Basicaly you will learn to know the fretboard and the relationship between the notes and which notes fit together.


How To Play Guitar On Any Song (solo)


If you want to learn to play solo guitar to any song out there I highly recommend that you learn all the church notes which are based upon 7 scales or modes. You do not need to go to church to play these, but if you do learn them, you will be on your way to master the guitar. These scales are golden!

Guitar Modes


I will show you all the different shapes starting with the C Ionian mode. This is the first mode and are often labeled with the Roman number I. Dorian is labeled II Phrygian is III etc. The white dots are the C notes and are the root notes. If you play all the notes both white and black you are playing within the C modes which you can use to play over songs in the key of C.

Don`t get confused by the names of the modes, it`s just what they`re called. If a song is played in a different key than C you have to find the root note of the song and then start these patterns on that note instead of starting at the C note. You play the same patterns and the same order of the notes, you just start at a different note if that makes sense.



Learn the C major scale and how to play it on the whole fretboard. If you look at the picture below and at the thickest E string where there`s a red dot around the C note, and compare that to the Ionian shape above, you should be able to see that these are the exact same patterns. Think of it as the different modes above are just little pieces of the puzzle. There`s seven pieces that you need to put together in order to get to the full picture below. Can you spot the other patterns from the picture above in the picture below?

If you start at the same red dotted C on the 6th E string and move a whole step down to D, then look at the Dorian shape above, you should see that they are exactly the same. 

If you move down and start at the E you get the Phrygian shape. As you can see the picture below is only the first 14 frets, so if you want to continue the notes then just mentaly pretend that the notes on fret 15 are the same notes as on fret 3. If you look at the notes at fret 13 they are the same as the notes on fret 1 and the notes on fret 14 are the same notes as on fret 2. So fret 15 will again be the same notes as the notes on fret 3 etc.

Now look at the C Major scale below. All the modes above are in these frets and we start at the C (Ionian) note to make this a C Major scale. If we where to start at the D (Dorian) instead then this would be a D Major scale etc.


Learn the A minor scale on the whole fretboard. If you compare the picture above with the picture below you should see that these are the exact same notes being played. There`s no difference. The only difference is where we start to play. In the picture above we start on the C note and in the picture below we start on the A note. The C Major scale above has a whole step between the 2nd (D) and 3rd (E) note, and between the 4th (F) and 5th (G) note, which give it a Major or happy sound. 

If you look below and start at the A note you can see that the 2nd (B) and 3rd (C) note is just a half step apart, the same with the 5th (E) and 6th (F) note. This gives the minor or sad sounding notes. Can you see which mode the A minor scale represents from the mode shapes? It`s the Aeolian mode. 

If you learn all the modes you can basically play and improvise to every song and genre out there. Of course this takes time to learn so it`s best to practise one mode at the time. Focus on learning the Ionian mode first, then dorian etc. It can seem overwhelming at first but over time and if you learn a little each day, you will eventually connect the dots and learn all these scales. 

There`s a lot of scales you can play but with these scales you will be set to a great start. Also remember that just playing scales one note after another can sound boring and predictable, so feel free to be creative and change order of the notes you play. Experiment and it doesn`t matter if you make any mistakes. The main point is to learn and even learn to hear when you are playing a wrong note, because music is all about listening and make music that you feel good about and want to hear!


How Much Time Will It Take To Learn Guitar?

You should try to practice guitar for 1 hour a day. If you play more than 1 hour this is no problem but try to play a minimum of 30 minutes a day. It is very hard to stay disciplined over time and play 1 hour a day for a long time. I dare you to try it.

Life can get in the way of practicing and your motivation will vary over time. Somedays you want to quit and other days you can`t wait to get home to pick up your guitar. Some days you might struggle to play 1 hour and others you can play for many hours straight.

Don`t overdo it because this can lead to injury (if you want to learn how to play fast) and you can get sick of playing. If there`s a part you are trying to learn but your skill level is not developed yet because you haven`t been playing for that long, you are getting frustrated and angry, then it might be a good idea to put your guitar down and rest or play something completely different.

Also if you are starting to neglect your life, friends, and family, it might be wise to limit your daily playing. Best is to stay consistent over time, about 1 hour a day, and don`t push your limits to fast. You want to keep playing guitar for life because you love it and there`s no shame in wanting to be good, just don`t overdo it although I can almost guarantee that you will over periods of time!

Pick up some of your favorite songs and look up the chords for them on Google. Try to play songs and watch tutorials on Youtube