Training Lesson: Using The C Scale

scalej10Run The Scale

Your ultimate goal in practicing scales is to be able to run through the scale quickly and rhythmically, playing until the scale seems easy, like second nature. Use the illustration to the right to help you visualize the pattern, use this graphic to practce with. Practice slowly and cleanly, with a nice beat. If you can, say or sing:

Do – Re – Mi – Fa – Sol – La – Ti – Do

Practice with the play ong track below until you are in perfect unison with the recording. Emphasizse the sound of the root note, C in your ear -hearing the rest of the scale tones in relation to the root.


Work on the exercise unti you own it, until you can hear it in your head and zip through it quickly. Play it like it your favoritwe lick by your favorite guitar player, knowing all the while you are making your ear stronger.

Ear Training

When you learn to play scales you must learn not only the sound quality of the scale but also what kinds of music that scale might be used to create. To that end, we are going to study some classic, common knowledge melodies based on the key of C, analyze them and play them by ear, using the fingering pattern C major scale illustrated at the top of the page.

Below you see the 5 famous melodies you are going to be figuring out how to play, the blue play button gives you the music, to the right of each button you see the title of the song and a few hints or clues to make your job of playing by ear easier. To check your work, move your mouse over the hints.

The 5 melodies you’ve just worked were all played with the C Major Scale featured in this lesson. You may find it helpful to think of a melody as a mixed-up or reordered scale as countless solos and melodies are based on scale passages and scale patterns. The purpose of learning and playing common knowledge melodies is to make a very firm and clear connection between mental images (sounds in your head) of melodic material and the actual rhythmic execution (playing) of this material with smooth, well-worn fingering patterns and hand motions. Play these tunes as they are written out but try very hard to get them on your own and by ear. Remember, all notes will be members of the C Major Scale and are therefore played and thought of as part of the scale pattern we’ve been studying.


If you are studying a course in guitar scales, it’s because you want to be a good improvisor, a good lead player, right? Although I have a course in lead guitar playing, I think it’s improtant that any study of guitar scales must discuss the issue of improvising, or jamming.


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