sample page

You can use scales as the basis for solos, riffs and fills.
But many guitarists:

  • only know a few scale shapes
  • don't know how to move them around the neck
  • don't know how to move beyond scales
    ("everything I play sounds like a scale.")

Follow along in this tutorial for a simple explanation.

How to use scales

Start here

Scale types, scale shapes, and how to start learning about scales.
intro to scales and scale shapes

If you know nothing else...

You should know this one. By far the most common scale shape used in rock.
basic 6th-string-root shape

Another common shape

This one goes with your basic 5th string power chord/barre chord.
basic 5th-string-root shape

Major or minor: when to use which

It's not as straightforward as you might think. Use this as a starting guide.
which scale: major or minor?

A simple way to get a different sound

Think of the chord, not just the key. Includes examples from famous songs.
which scale: key or chord?