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Electric Guitar Manual

How to Use Guitar Scales

What Guitar Scales to Use for Each Musical Theme

To know which guitar scales to use in a musical theme, we must first know the key of the song in question.

But first of all, I want to comment that the guitar must have been tuned using an electronic tuner, so that everything fits. Today the electronic tuner is an accessory that no guitarist can be without, for convenience and precision.

We can find out the key of a song by ear, using the C major scale to search through its notes. Once that note is found in clear consonance with the song, it is most likely that that note is the Tonic (the note that gives the tone).

How to Use Guitar Scales

If we have difficulty finding the tone of a song, we can also search the tonality of a song on the internet.

I remind you that the guitar must be tuned in concert tone or standard tone. The typical tuning tone of any electronic tuner. If not, the tone that we have found on the internet will not match.

We can search on Google, putting the title of the song accompanied by the word key, and many times it comes up first time.

For example, the song “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits is in the key of D minor, so we go straight to this scale. We can finish the different phrases in colored notes that would be the tonic in green, the third note of the scale in yellow, and the fifth in blue.

Minor Scale

As we can see, these colored notes form major or minor chords, depending on whether the scale is major or minor, and on the key that gives it its name. In the example above they would be D minor chords.

What Guitar Scale to Use, Major or Minor?

If the key is minor, we can use the natural minor or pentatonic scale. But if the key is major we can use its major scale, and also its minor scale. Method widely used by guitarists, playing the guitar solo in minor, while the key of the song is major. Or we can also mix the two tones, and do parts of our improvisation in minor, and others in major.

Pentatonic Scales

Pentatonic scales are widely used for guitar solos, because they are all advantages. They are easier to use because they have fewer notes, and they sound very good.

Pentatonic Scales

To practice scales it is highly advisable to use Blues themes. Very suitable genre for improvisation, since they usually have simple and repetitive chord sequences. Something that will allow us to improvise with some ease. For this musical style, minor scales are the thing.

Even if our favorite genre is Metal or Rock, it doesn’t hurt to practice with Blues. Essence of many musical genres, where we will learn to let go of our fingers and master scales and improvised phrases that we will later use in our favorite music.

Guitar Scales all Chart