Guitar scales are the lifeblood of all the music you will play. In this subject area, you will learn the scale patterns that are needed for almost all music you will ever play. You will also learn how to best apply these patterns from a technical & musical standpoint both in fretted and open forms.

Every music student probably groans when they think of scales. Scales or “scale” from the Greek meaning “ladder” as that is how they constructed are synonymous with virtually all music. The main point to consider is that scales are not an end unto themselves. You are not learning scales just so you can play scales. You are learning scales so you can then uses them to play melodies all over the neck.

Believe it or not, most melodies consist of only two elements; scales and arpeggios. There are other things within this such as note sequential patterns. For the most part though, scales and arpeggios make up most of the melodies you will play. Why not try taking a nursery rhythm or simple song. Learn it and then consider what you are playing. The song “Three Blind Mice” is a good example. If you don’t know this song, look it up on the web. It’s a simple nursery rhythm for children although it’s a little tricky in parts as it contains note groupings of a triplet. If you examine how this simple song is constructed you will see that it really is just a collection of scales, arpeggios and fragments of both. This is an excellent example on how scales are used to create and play songs or melodies.

The Guitar Scales Book That Accompanies This Course Available To Buy From The GMI Shop Or The Print Version From Amazon

Scales You Can Use - GMI Guitar & Music Institute

The chromatic scale and hundreds of other patterns are all found in the GMI – Guitar & Music Institute publication Scales You Can Use!

This full colour book can be bought either as a printed copy directly from Amazon, or as a PDF immediate download from the GMI Guitar Store.

Both books are exactly the same apart from the printed book including blank staff and TAB along with blank chord boxes for your own guitar scale ideas. The PDF book is 105 pages in total and the printed version is 152 pages in total.

What Is In This Guitar Scale Book?

  • An easy to understand template system that enables you to learn and play major, natural, harmonic and melodic minor scales over the entire neck in seven positions.
  • Included tutorials show how you can play pentatonic scales in 10 different keys within one fret board position.
  • Learn to play in 14 keys in one position using modal scales giving complete musical control over key changes.
  • Included fret maps detail a simple to understand root based system in two key positions giving you complete understanding.
  • Theoretical explanations of pentatonic, major, melodic and harmonic minor, blues, chromatic, whole tone and diminished scales.
  • A suite of “exotic” scales are included for those that are looking to learn patterns that are on the fringe.
  • Original music examples in music and TAB provided throughout Scales You Can Use! to ensure that you really learn the patterns shown. Open string patterns cover major, minor, pentatonic and blues scales.

To purchase the printed version of Scales You Can Use directly from Amazon click the link in the product box below.

To purchase the lower cost PDF format of Scales You Can Use! from the GMI online store and receive it immediately click Essential Guitar Scales – Scales You Can Use! This link opens in a new window.


We have plenty of other guitar courses on GMI from easy to difficult. You can access them without even signing up to the Guitar & Music Institute. If you do, however, sign up, you will be able to track your work and you will receive the latest updates on new courses, blog posts and lessons. Check out our own GMI guitar books which offer you low cost printed and ePublications to work from at home.


Chromatic Scales

Length: 10 minutesAuthor: Ged BrockieComplexity: Standard

chromatic scale guitar

ABOUT THIS LESSON: The Chromatic scale is the foundation of all chords, scales & arpeggios. It’s a wonderful tool for helping your picking technique, adjacent string playing and for use in improvisation.

Pentatonic Scales

Length: 13 minutesAuthor: Ged BrockieComplexity: Standard

pentatonic scale guitar

ABOUT THIS LESSON:  Pentatonic scales are used extensively within a wide range of music. This lesson shows how pentatonics can be played in five positions across the fretboard in one key utilising relative major and minor scales.

Blues Scales For Guitar Players

Length: 11 minutesAuthor: Ged BrockieComplexity: Standard

blues scale guitar

ABOUT THIS LESSON: The Blues scale is as popular today as it’s ever been. This lesson shows how you can extend all your Pentatonic Scales into Blues scales across the neck. This lesson pulls together theoretical and pattern concepts explained in the “pentatonic scales” lesson.

Seven Major Scales In One Position

Length: 9 minutesAuthor: Ged BrockieComplexity: Standard

seven major scales in one position

This lesson continues from the lesson which outlined the seven major scales and helps you to understand the musical power they offer in any one position on the guitar neck.

Harmonic Minor Scale Guitar Players Should Know

Length: 9 minutesAuthor: Ged BrockieComplexity: Hard

harmonic minor scale guitar

The harmonic minor scale is one of the most beautiful scales guitarists can learn. Learning them across the neck, however, can be difficult. In this lesson, you will not only learn the scale, but how to utilise your existing knowledge to help you make fast progress.

Whole Tone Scale

Length: 6 minutesAuthor: Ged Brockie

whole tone scale

The whole tone scale is often ignored as guitarists feel it is either hard to play or hard to use. In this lesson, you are introduced to a couple of ways to play the whole tone scale that is easy to grasp, learn and perform.

Diminished scale

Length: 6 minutesAuthor: Ged BrockieComplexity: Hard

diminished scale

If you have struggled to get your head around diminished scales, then this lesson will hopefully clear up any doubts or misunderstandings you have.