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Guitar Fretboard - Major Scale Patterns For Improvisation - Articles Surfing

Guitar improvisation is a necessary aspect of playing as it will help you to master the various scales of lead guitar and helps you to play solo.

Guitar improvisation can be divided into several categories that include using scales like the blues scale, minor and major pentatonic and many others as well as applying techniques like bends and tapping etc. Most of the guitarists end up spending their entire life trying to learn how to solo using only one or two different scales.

Most guitarists use the 5th and 12th frets but then this is not improvisation. Guitar improvisation uses many more scales and the entire fretboard. The scales that can be used for guitar improvisation include:

The Basic scales

There are mainly 5 basic scales that you as a lead guitarist should be able to play.

Learning the scales will help you in:
'Building strength so that your fingers can work independently on the fretboard
'Playing these scales will help you to train your ears in recognizing the basic note combinations
'You will be able to use various note choices for guitar improvisation as well as writing music

Once you are well-versed with the basic scales, you can move to the open position major scales.

Open position major scales

The open position major scales represent the 5 common keys for acoustic or electric guitar, which are C, G, D, A, E. It is important to play scales in the full range of a position. Even though a C major scale would technically only go from C-C, if you just practice that limited range you would be leaving out the notes in the upper and lower range of the first position. This is why these scales are written the way they are. You will start on the root of the scale and descend to the lowest note in the position, ascend to the highest and return to the lowest root note.

Minor pentatonic

The minor pentatonic is one of the major scales that is used extensively for guitar improvisation. It is also known as the king of all scales by many great guitarists of all times and they have been used repeatedly lead guitar improvisation. The minor pentatonic scale is also the most common scale used by rock, metal, alternative and blues bands. Penta stands for 5 and this means that there are 5 different notes in the minor pentatonic scale.

Blues scale

The blues scale is another major scale that is used extensively by blues guitarists. The blues scale is a type of minor pentatonic scale with an added note often called the blue note. This type of guitar improvisation helps in creating a little bit of tension that brings out the blues sound.

Major Scale Shapes

The major scale shapes should be studied by every lead guitarist as understanding it will help in guitar improvisation. This is also known as the CAGED scale system and is considered as one of the corner stones of understanding the guitar neck or fretboard.

Submitted by:

Eugene Walker

Want over 1000 Guitar Backing Tracks? Visit Planet of Rock for backing tracks and jam to professional live bands! Eugene is the founder of Planet of Rock Music Studios. He is a full time guitar teacher and has contributed to publications as Guitar Player and Maximum Guitar. Professional Guitar Jam Tracks - For The Rock Star In You



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