Special Training Lesson
A Scale is defined as a series of notes arranged in order from lowest to highest. Scales represent the way music is written and played, the scales we use are a result of good sounding playing and writing that history gives us. In other words, the interesting and listenable music came first then the scales were written down as a reflrction of the way composers and musicians worked and played. In music whatever sounds right is right. In music, your ear is the ‘boss’, the decision maker and the quality control department. Interestingly, the Scales that work and sound good have become the theoritical basis for our modern system of music.

All scales have a scale formula, the distances spereating their various member notes (also called scale degrees). So far, we’ve studied three essential types of scales:1.) The CHROMATIC, with its’ half steps between each and every degree of the scale


2.) The MAJOR, with its’ half steps between degrees 3 & 4 and 7 & 8 of the scale.

3.) The MINOR, with its’ half steps between degrees 2 & 3 and 5 & 6 of the scale.

scx801This course stresses the importance of playing in Position, with each finger being stationed to its own fret. This practice, called Position Playing, is one of the vital keys to success in your pursuit of guitar skills. Position Playing is a powerful and useful way of thinking about improvising, ear training and guitar playing in general. As you review and practice your scales play them all with the suggested fingerings. We can not overemphasize this point, learning to play in Position,will quickly and dramitically improve your ear playing, soloing and melodic creation. Look at Position Playing as a effective system of thinking about and managing single note passages.

Application & Acquisition…..

In this course you’ve studied a number of scale patterns played in the first or “Open Position”. Playing in the first or “Open Position” is incredibly valuable for developing and refining your abilities and should not be viewed as basic or beginner material. First position playing, that which involves the logical use of open strings, is becoming a lost art. Below are training exercises which help you to master your new fingering patterns, play along with each training exercise over and over, shifting your attention between the diagram and music notation, until you’ve memorized the pattern.

Chromatic Scale:The Chromatic Scale is the scale contains every note in the musical alphabet including all the sharps and flats that there are. All notes in the Chromatic Scale are seperated by 1/2 step. You should be totally comfortable with playing the scale in position and in tempo understanding the sound of the scale deep within your mind’s ear and also understanding the physical feeling of playing, the dance of the fingers, associated with the scale. Finally, we’ve presented interesting, well written Chromatic Scale based melodies : Habanera (Bizet), Flight Of The Bumblebee (Rimsky-Korsakov) for you to play.

Major Scale:
The Major Scale is the most important scale in our system of music. The Major Scale is also the foundation and organizing principle of music theory. Once again practice until you’re comfortable with playing the scale in position and in tempo understanding the sound of the Major Scale deep within your mind’s ear and also understanding the physical feeling of playing, the dance of the fingers, associated with the scale. At GuitarU.com, we never learn a scale without also learning what music that scale might be used to create, to this end we’ve studied several Diatonic (diatonic means Major Scale) melodies.
“C”Major Scale…

“G”Major Scale…

C Major & G Major Melodic Playing
As a guitarist, never learn a scale without also thinking about and internalizing the quality (musical flavor) of the scale, or without learning to play music with that scale. Brahms Lullaby, Arkansas Traveler, Pop Goes The Weasel, Joy To The World and Auld Lang Syne are the common knowledge melodies we’ve been working with. Be able to play several melodies these in both the keys of “C” Major & “G” Major smoothly, in tempo and strictly by memory. Make this habit of figuring out and then mastering all types of melodies part of your way of practicing and thinking.
“D”Major Scale…

“D”Major Scale…

“E”Major Scale…

D Major, E Major & A Major Melodic Playing

is a wealth of information and a treasure chest full of excellent and exciting ideas. In this course you ‘ve learned to play the simple tunes Yankee Doodle and Chicken Reel, both containing revealing information about the composition of melodies. Full length, performance quality pieces in this vein, Devils Dream and Whiskey Before Breakfast are included in the course to increase you repertoire, range and rhythm.

Classical music provides you an insight into the thinking and melodic sense of historys’ great musical minds. We call this processing greatness. This habit of processing (playing and thinking about) the greatness found in the masterworks of history is the closest thing to magic a guitar student may possibly find.

Minor Scales:The Minor Scale is probably the next most important scale in our system of music after the Major Scale. The Major Sound Quality and the Minor Sound Quality are the two types of sounds that dominate our world, our musical thinking, and perception. Major and Minor are the two tonalities that define our system of music..

“E”Minor Scale…

“A”Minor Scale…
“A”Minor Scale…
This course is a musical appraoch to scale playing, not just a another group of diagrams and theoritical terms, but a study and practice in living, breathing musical applications. To that end you’re learning to take the brilliance and beauty found in Classical music and Traditional music. This is a well known and accapted practice among top music educators and professional musicians, by adopting this practice your goal of becoming an excellent guitarist will begin to get closer and closer. God Rest Ye Merry Gentelmen, Farandole and Habanera are the minor scale melodies you’re working with. Practice these melodies until you can play them smoothly and in tempo.

We suggest that our students use this special lesson, Reference & Review number 1, as a warmup before each days study session. The basic scalular and melodic skills that you’ve learned up to this point will only take hold and come to complete fruition only with repitition that is done on a consistent basis. Use the scale training animations as “play-a-along” exercises, playing guitar right along with -in unison the exercises letting the graphics and audio recordings push your mind and fingers into the right movements. This will accelerate the learning process and develop your ear at the same time.


“My first experience with the guitar was taking lessons from Karl Aranjo as a high school student. His lessons were more than just a collection of tips and riffs: they were a method. As I look through GuitarU.com, I get to take a trip back through those lessons and am reminded about I loved about them. His strong focus on the fundamentals quickly draws a connection between general music theory and the particulars of how that theory can be applied to the guitar, even allowing us as guitarists to use our instrument as an abacus-like tool to enhance our musical insight. In high school, Karl’s lessons got me up to speed to jam with my friends and in the school band almost immediately. In the almost 20 years since I left high school and had my last lesson with Karl, the things he taught me have continued to serve me well; I’ve played almost continuously in a variety of styles (jazz, rock, funk, folk), both as a hobby and as a part-time professional (currently playing with San Francisco’s Smash-Up Derby). If I hadn’t grown up in the same town as where Karl taught, I might have missed out on a lifetime of fun playing the guitar. With GuitarU.com, wherever you are, you can benefit from the same quality instruction that I had!

-Grahm Ruby

“Mr. Karl Aranjo is one great teacher to work with. When working with him, he is very flexible, and will teach you all the basics and fundamentals you will need while learning how to play the guitar. From learning basic chords to crazy licks and solo’s. You will become an expert in no time and looking like a professional guitar player. In my experience, I learned to master chord progressions much easier and understand it in a better perspective. In my music career/hobby, it has given me nothing but success to play in a band as a front man/rhythm guitarist, compose my own type of music, and as well as songs that I really wanted to learn how to play on the guitar. Learning through Karl Aranjo was a great experience and has helped me understand the guitar a lot easier, I would not have wanted this learning experience any other way.”

-Julius Isaac

“I had the pleasure of being a guitar student of Karl’s for several years. Karl advanced my playing ability a great deal very quickly by giving me a perfect combination of guitar technique, theory and assigning songs that motivated me to continue learning. I highly recommend Karl for all level of guitar players no matter if you are a beginner or advanced.”

-Tom Hunt

”Karl Aranjo is a great and experienced teacher with an extensive knowledge of guitar playing and theory. His thorough online course, GuitarU.com covers the whole spectrum from the first time beginner to advanced.”

Blake Aaron- Internationally Known Recording Artist

”Karl helped me dive into the blues when I was first starting out, and learning how to improvise opened up many doors for me on guitar. He has a vast knowledge ranging many musical styles, and i would recommend him to anyone trying to learn the instrument!”

Eric Cannata Young The Giant