What Makes A Good Guitar Scales Book

Scales are an essential part of music whether we consciously think about using them or not. A guitar scales book should be a part of any beginning guitar players arsenal. When I first started playing, I knew I wanted to understand how music was made, and I knew pretty quickly that scales were the building blocks. I didn’t understand what a scale was, other than a series of tones arranged in a particular order, but I knew I wanted to find out the rhyme and reason behind guitar scales.

I went through one guitar scales book after another, trying to get the “magic” understanding that would demystify the guitar scale for me. The first books I bought were simply encyclopedias of scales. We’re familiar with major, minor, pentatonic, and blues scales, but these are not the only scales out there. You’d be amazed at just how many ways twelve notes can be arranged in consecutive order. I memorized the notes in as many scales as I could, driving myself insane trying to keep them separate in my head. In doing so, I missed the point of playing guitar altogether.


A good guitar scales book will be more than a compendium of scales listed one after the other, with no regard to their use or structure. A good book of guitar scales should explain to you how scales are built and in which situations those scales may be of use. Committing a hundred scales to memory with no idea how they are conceived or how they work will not make you a better guitar player.


Some music theorists suggest you only need to know two scales, the major and minor, and that everything you play will be a derivation of those scales. This makes a lot of sense. Learn how to build these two scales and you can play them in any key, then the notes you leave out or add to these scales later will give you variations like the blues scale, the pentatonic scale, and others.

There are a lot of books on the market for guitar scales, but a good guitar scales book will give you the information you need to build the scales and how to use them. Now days, thankfully, you can find a lot of this information online in easy-to-digest lessons that aim to get you playing guitar rather than simply studying music theory.

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