Dansm's Guitar Scale Lessons
Welcome to Dansm's Guitar Scale Lessons! My name is Dan Smith and I am a first-year grad student at Harvard University. I have been playing guitar for 5 years now. I have a page on guitar chord theory and the response was so great that I decided to put up a page of lessons on scales. Scales are one of the most important parts of playing guitar. Scales determine what chords you can play, what notes you can hit, and basically everything else about music. A knowledge of scales is an integral part of guitar and chord theory. Here I have lessons designed to teach you about scales, modes, and how they fit into the big musical picture. Make sure you read all the background pages I have created, because they will teach you what modes are and how to use them for faster soloing. Remember to have fun with these lessons, and if you have any questions, e-mail me!
Musician's Friend Homepage
I do not recommend memorizing all these scales. That would be rather pointless unless you desperately want to be Eddie Van Halen. I suggest learning one or two of the scales, because that's all you will ever use. Don't spend your time learning all the scales because then you will just get confused and you won't ever use them. Check out my page on which scales to learn so you know what scales are important in your favorite genre of music. And make sure you check out my RealAudio chord progressions to practice soloing. I hope this helps!

Important Background Information:

My Scale Notation
how to read all my scale charts

Which Scales Should I Learn?
this page outlines the important scales for a few main genres of music

Half and Whole Steps
information necessary for learning scales

What Are Modes?
a definition of modes for guitarists

Playing Scales: Fretting and Picking
get the most out of your hands while playing scales

Information on Keys
how do you know what key a song is in? check out this page for help

Which Scales and Modes Can I Play?
you have a chord progression in G, but what scales and what modes can you play over it?

Learning Scales
scales don't have to be boring; here are some suggestions so you learn them, not learn to hate them

Translating Scales and Modes Into Any Key
I showed you the modes in G or Em, so learn how to play them in ANY key

Minor Scales
how to make learning minor scales easier: the relatedness of major and minor scales
Metronome
a freeware metronome to help you practice scales and rhythm



The Major Scale
the most important scale in popular music; this page covers the major scale and its modes

The Minor Scales
the counterpart of the major scale: this page covers the natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales and their modes

The Pentatonic Scales
popular scales for rock guitar: both major and minor pentatonic scales


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1997 Daniel E. Smith.