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Beginner Guitar Scales Understanding

Alok Kulkarni
10 Aug 0 0

When you first learn how to play guitar chords or any musical instrument, you will find very quickly that every piece of music, whether it is by Bach or the Bee Gees, is built around scales.

A scale is simply a series of musical notes that are used to create the chords, melody, and harmony within a song. All electric and acoustic guitar chords, including the basic guitar chords we will be covering in this lesson and the more complex ones we will deal with later, are based upon scales. The very essence and character of any piece of music are founded on the scale, and only when you understand what a scale is and how it works, will music make any sense at all.

There are many kinds of guitar scales, but for this lesson, we will be interested only in major scales for guitar. Minor scales will be covered later.

When musicians identify the scale that is used in a particular piece of music, they use the word “key.” In other words, when someone says that a song is “in the key of C,” what they mean is that the song is based on a C major scale. This is an excellent scale to start with because it contains no sharps or flats, and is, therefore, the easiest to understand.
The first C in this scale, the one on the left, is known as “Middle C.” You can usually identify Middle C because it has a short line through it. In this scale, Middle C is the “root.” That is, it is the first note in the scale, and the note from which the scale gets its name. You will notice that this scale also has a C at the end. This second C is called the “octave,” which means “eighth,” because it is the eighth note in the scale. This second C is the first note, or the “root,” of the next scale. The “octave” of that scale is the “root” of the scale after that, and so on.


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