Here’s a guest post from playguitarscalesnow.com on why learning scales is an important part of learning guitar. Chords and scales are very closely related so consider splitting your time learning chords and scales for the best results.
1. You’ll know which groups of notes sound good together
When people first sit down and try and write a guitar solo they can get lost because of all the notes on the fretboard. Some of the notes on the fretboard work better together than others and learning scales will help you know which notes work well together and which don’t.
Not only that, some scales have a certain tone or feel to them. For example, a minor scale might have a sad or sombre tone to it. If you know what each scale sounds like you can choose the one you want to set the mood you are after.
2. You’ll know what notes to play over a piece of music
Chords are made from scales. So some scales will work with some chords and some won’t. If you know your guitar scales you’ll know which one to play over a certain chord progression.
This will help you make sure you are using the correct notes and will help you write better solos. This can also save you time and embarrassment if you are playing with other musicians and they ask you to solo over a chord progression. You’ll instantly know what notes to play that’ll work.
For more info on this check out my article “How to know what scale to play over a chord progression”.
3. Helps you learn the position of the notes
You can just learn the scale shapes and move it around the fretboard. But to really understand scales and to get the most out of them you need to know the notes in them. Learning the notes in any scale can be difficult but once you know these notes and can play it on your guitar it will help you learn the position of the notes on the fretboard.
Also if you know the position of your notes on your fretboard it will help you learn the notes in the scale. This can really help you when soloing because you can target certain notes to made you licks and phrases stand out.
4. Help improve your technique
Learning your scales can be a great opportunity to improve your technique at the same time. While you are playing up and down the scale shapes you can be focusing on other parts of your playing to improve them. For example making sure you use the correct fingering will help you with your co-ordination and dexterity and improve strength in your weaker fingers. Or practicing to a metronome will help you improve your rhythm and make you a much tighter guitarist in the long run.
5. Help you write better solos
The main reason people learn guitar scales is to write better guitar solos and they will definitely help you with that. In fact all of the other four reasons will greatly help you improvise and writer better guitar solos. If you are serious about doing this I recommend you start spending some of your practicing time learning guitar solos.