Guitar Scales Library

An illustrated chart of guitar scales

les paul gold guitar
David Redfern | Getty Images

For guitarists looking to learn their guitar scales, the chart below outlines multiple patterns for playing popular guitar scales in all 12 keys.

All guitar scales shown here span two octaves, unless otherwise noted.

Chord Scale Library

rootmajor scaleblues scale
A♭A♭ majorA♭ blues
AA majorA blues
B♭B♭ majorB♭ blues
BB majorB blues
CC majorC blues
D♭D♭ majorD♭ blues
DD majorD blues
E♭E♭ majorE♭ blues
EE majorE blues
FF majorF blues
G♭G♭majorG♭ blues
GG majorG blues

 

Notes on Reading Guitar Scale Diagrams

The fretboard diagrams contained within this archive should be straightforward. The six vertical lines in each diagram represent a string, with the sixth string appearing on the left. The horizontal lines represent frets. The dots indicate which frets to play on the appropriate strings. If there is a number to the left of the diagram, that number is indicating the fret number the scale begins on.

Notes on Playing Guitar Scales

Begin playing these scales by fretting and picking the lowest note on the lowest string indicated. Play each note on the string in ascending order. When all notes on that string have been played, shift to the next string, and repeat this process. Performance notes accompanying each scale should outline any suggested guitar scale fingerings.

You'll want to concentrate efforts on initially playing these scales slowly and accurately, ensuring you use alternate picking techniques.

Consider using a metronome when playing these, paying careful attention to the speed at which you set the metronome. As you get comfortable with each scale, you can begin to slowly increase the tempo.

The Benefits of Learning Scales

Although constantly practicing scales is no ones idea of fun, there are actually many benefits to learning your scales all over the guitar fretboard.

  1. Your technique will improve. You'll find that pretty quickly, your picking will get more accurate, your fingering will get more precise and your speed will increase.
  2. Your "ear" will improve. As you play these scales repetitively, your ability to "hear" them will improve. This is helpful - especially when trying to come up with new riffs and solos.
  3. Your solos will improve. Most guitar solos are based in part off of some sort of scales. Getting these shapes under your fingers will allow you to begin soloing more fluently.