Scale Guide Advanced

Welcome To Part Two Of This Scale Guide

Transposing minor scales

The Video Below Gives Some Examples For Transposing Scales

Transposing these scales is really easy as long as you know your bar chords. Notice the second scale aligns with the A minor bar chord. (E form) So where ever you move this chord you will find the second position scale for that key. If you were to play a G minor chord at the 3rd fret you would find this 2nd scale for G minor at the 3rd fret as well.

Since all the scales hook together the same way it would be easy to find the other scale patterns. If you were to play the B minor bar chord at the 7th fret you would find the 2nd scale position for B minor at the 7th fret as well. So now try the songs below and move some scales around. Try transposing some of these scales and play them with the following songs below. You will be able to hear when the scale fits.

Backing Track G Minor

Backing Track B Minor

 

Just as the second scale aligns with the E form bar chord , the 5th scale aligns with the A form bar chord at the 12th fret. Where ever you move this chord you will find the 5th scale for that key. The chord is outlined in green. If you where to play this chord at the 5th fret you would have a D minor chord. You would also know where the 5th scale is for D minor. (5th fret) If you went up a half step to the 6th fret you would be at the 1st scale number for D minor.

This Video Below Provides More Examples For Transposing Scales

If You played this chord at the 7th fret you would have an E minor chord. The 7th fret would also be the location of the 5th scale for E minor. Try playing these scales with the songs outlined below. Print out the transposing charts if you need them.

Backing Track D Minor

Backing Track E Minor

Backing Track C Minor

Major Scales

Every major scale has a relative minor key. Because major and minor connects in this fashion we can use the same 5 scales we have already learned. We can use those 5 patterns to play major keys too! All we need to do is adjust these patterns for all the major keys! The 12 minor keys and the 12 Major keys can all be played using the same 5 patterns we already know!

To find the relative minor key for any major key all you need to do is count down 3 half steps. So if you want the relative minor key for A major count down 3 half steps from the root note. Three half steps down from A is F#. So F# minor scales is what you would use to play in the key of A major. Using this same system you can also see that the relative minor key for G major is E minor. The relative minor key for D major is B minor. The relative minor key for B major is G# minor, and the relative minor key for C major is A minor.

So as you can see, the same 5 scale patterns work for both major and minor keys! Now that you know that the A minor scales will work in C major try the following song in C major below and see how different the scales sound in a major key

Backing Track C Major

Let’s try transposing into another major key. This next song is in the key of A major. The 5th scale will be found at the 9th fret. The second scale will be found at the second fret. We use F# minor scales to play in the key of A major

Backing Track A Major

So far after playing and transposing the scales we learned how the same scale patterns in this guide fit into different keys. As you play the scales over the songs you begin to hear how they fit. However, running scale patterns over a song does not make a guitar solo. There are a lot more factors that go into playing a solo. Bending strings, hammer ons, pull offs, vibrato are just some of the techniques in creating great solos.

Scales are used to pull a melody from patterns. It is beyond the scope of this guide to teach you everything there is about making a great guitar solo. That being said we can cover a few of the common tips and techniques guitar players use to create great solos.

Pentatonic Scales

So far we have studied Diatonic scale structures. They are called Diatonic scales because there are 7 notes in the octave. There is another set of scales called Pentatonic. They are called Pentatonic because there are only 5 notes in the octave. Pentatonic scales patterns are the exact same patterns as Diatonic scale patterns. The only difference is there are two less notes in the octave.

 

You can kind of see the outline structure of the Diatonic scales with in these Pentatonic structures. Pentatonic scales are used in Rock, Jazz, Country and Blues music. There are major and minor keys for pentatonic scales as well. The example above shows minor pentatonic scales in A minor. They transpose into other minor keys the exact same way the diatonic scales are transposed. These scales can also be transposed into major keys the same way. (count down 3) Try the Pentatonic Scales with the songs you already played in this guide and see the difference these scales can make.

Blues Scales

 

I love blues music. Blues scales are pentatonic scales with an added flat 5th. Pentatonic scales are the most popular scale forms for blues guitar. The blues scales above are very common for blues guitar. Print out these scales and take the time to learn them.

Scale Formulas

Below is a list of scale formulas using scale degrees. The scale degrees get their name from the Major Scale. If a note in a given scale is different from the Major scale it is shown by using a flat.

 

Harmonic Minor

The one thing all minor scales have in common is a flat 3rd. That is what makes it minor, but there are differences in other scale degrees. The natural minor scales have a flat 3rd, flat 6th, and a flat 7th while the harmonic minor scales have a flat 3rd and a flat 6th, but no flat 7th.

Harmonic Minor Scales are popular for many styles of music including classical, flamenco, and Jazz. They have a haunting and unique sound. This scale is designed to be used where there is harmony. They were very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Melodic Minor

Melodic Minor Scales were used primarily in vocal arrangements in the 17th and 18th centuries. Most singers found the interval between the 6th an 7th scale degrees of the Harmonic Minor Scale awkward and difficult to sing, so they raised the 6th scale step in addition to the 7th scale step.

Melodic Minor Scales have a flat 3rd only and they are ascending scales only. This means you play them while going up in pitch. When you descend or go down in pitch you use the natural minor scales. This is the way these scales were used during the classical era. There is another type of Melodic Minor Scale called Jazz Melodic Minor. These scales are the exact same scale forms, but you play the Jazz Melodic Minor Scale in ascending and descending order.

Below you will find all the scale patterns we covered in this page in PDF. Print them off and place them on your music stand. This will help you memorize these scale patterns.

Pentatonic Scales

Blues Scales

Harmonic Minor Scales

Melodic Minor Scales

Scale Formulas


Transpose minor 1

Transpose Minor 2

Scale Transpose Major