The Right Way To Practice SCALES On Guitar

Tommaso Zillio

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melodic guitar lead

Yesterday I was surfing on YouTube and I noticed a disturbing puzzling trend…

So many guitarists are posting videos with titles like: “You don’t need scales to play guitar”

So I did what I never do (for good reasons…). I watched a few of them…

… and it was like being transported in a parallel universe. I could not believe my eyes/ears.

There was so much bad wrong moronic misguided hilarious heck I can’t even find an adjective that is not offensive erm… questionable advice that I facepalmed so hard I had to have my glasses fixed.

Here are a few pearls from these videos that I picked in a totally biased way (*):

(*) Hey, at least I am not pretending.

  • “Scales are boring”. Uh. Maybe you should find a more fun way to practice them?

  • “You play scales up and down and you learn nothing” Well, duh! Why are you even playing them up and down? Maybe you should find a more useful way to practice them?

  • “You can’t make music with scales” What? Of course you can make music with scales! That’s what they are there for. We literally invented them for this reason! Maybe you should find a more creative way to practice them?

  • “If you practice scales you will sound scalar” Errr… not really. Only if you practice them up and down, which you shouldn’t be doing anyway! Maybe you should find a more…

… sorry, were you saying something?

“Ok Tommaso we got what you are doing. Can we cut to the chase so you can tell us HOW we can practice scales in a more fun, useful, and creative way?”

Why, thought you never ask. I have just the thing for you:

NOTE: This video features a whole minute of good-natured sarcasm on “you don’t need to learn scales” so click on it only if you have a sense of humour ;-)

P.S. …and yes, this is one of the many unbelievably practical music theory exercises I train guitarists on in the Master of the Modes guitar course.

Goes without saying, I’m showing this to you to entice you to check out my course to help you out with no ulterior motive whatsoever.


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