I recall when I was little and started learning to play the piano, all I learned for the first ‘many’ lessons were scales. Oh! how I loathed practicing scales! I seemed to be going to lessons for weeks and weeks and in spite of everything couldn’t play a song, not even a plain song.
Years later once I decided to learn how to play acoustic guitar, scales were one thing I knew I would have to do however at least after the first lesson and only being shown two chords, I was able to play a song. Okay “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” is not, the for the most part moving tune, but Hey! it was a song that I could practice and yet sing along to.
That made all the difference. When I was told I would have to be taught scales and practice them, I was quite glad to do it.
WHAT IS A SCALE?
A scale is a group of notes, these notes are played in an ascending and descending run. There are many scales, every one has special note patterns these being unique with characteristics and qualities.
The guitar is not more exciting than the piano once it comes to practicing scales. Like the piano, the idea is to strengthen the fingers and improve the fingers ability, to travel through the notes on the strings. It also helps with the co-ordination, the hand-eye and getting at ease with the musical instrument.
Similar to the piano there is a fundamental scale and that is where we all start. Even the top guitarists started there. The fundamental scale on the guitar is called the chromatic scale. On the piano it is C.
You will become skilled at other scales as you keep practicing, like the Major Scale and the Minor Pentatonic Scale, possibly a little more exciting but you need to get that Chromatic Scale and nearly make it your own, then go ahead with the others.
You are not just going to learn scales, as your lessons proceed you will study notes and learn guitar chords and will be able to play songs, not just Row, Row, Row, Your Boat.
Please don’t undertake too much too quickly, there are scores of straightforward songs that you can learn to play on the guitar, these songs contain a note, chord structure that is easier for beginners learning the guitar.
A couple of these are
Blowin’ in the Wind
Man on the Moon
Leaving on a Jet Plane
There are plenty of others too, simply Google easy guitar songs. Bear in mind as I said previous, the top guitarists all learn how to read guitar chords, it is truly that after years and years of practicing they can make them sound nothing like scales. That’s something to strive for.