Importance of scales

My observation on importance of Scales is that it is that they are too often dismissed because" they are boring and tedious" or “Learning songs should be first” For me they are the place I go back to each time I need to focus on Basics, Techniques or overwhelmed with How much their is to learn.Ive had a few Instructors, including :saxophone: who took this approach. I don’t get that … With scales there is the opportunity of improvising,which is what I enjoy…

I think it’s a lot to do with how they are taught as to whether you find them interesting or not. I’ve recently started learning the major scale and when I see the relationship between the major scale and other common scales I find it really interesting. It also marries up very nicely with my efforts to learn the notes on the fretboard.
I’m taking the approach of just a few minutes here and there rather than hardcore dedicated study which I’d find off-putting. As I’m just a beginner I’m not in a position to be writing my own songs but as I get more competent at playing I’ll have hopefully built up enough theory to do make up my own riffs / licks / songs

I pretty much do scales at every practice session as it helps, for me, with finger agility and memory.

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I watched a YouTube video yesterday that ended with this quote:

“If you’re not sure what to practice, practice scales. They make everything else better.”


Yep, scales of some sort are always a daily part of my practice.
For technique, they’re a great starting point for introducing new skills, eg. string skipping, playing triplets, legato, sliding etc
Simply playing a scale up and down repeatedly after you’ve internalised it is however a waste of time, and probably relates to the ‘boring, tedious’ label you mentioned.
As Justin repeatedly says, once you learn something, get musical with it. Play the Major scale in 3rds, 5ths, 3 in line, one finger melodies, start improvising with it, build chords with it. The list is endless.
From a theory/ learning perspective, the Major scale is my home base. Most things I’m learning all relate back to the Major scale in some way. It’s my reference point. From analysing/ working out chords, other scales, intervals, learning songs, solos etc etc. And if I ever get lost or confused, I just go back to the Major scale and start working it out from there.
Some don’t give a crap about scales, and thats fine too. Whatever works for you.

Cheers, Shane


Good for speed and dexterity and cementing the knowledge of the positional interval relationships.

But remember …


@TheMadman_tobyjenner Thank-you for this. Just what I was needing/looking for.

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I don’t think anybody who really wants to learn guitar will say scales are not important.

As per Justin’s video above, learning them for the sake of learning them doesn’t really benefit you.
It’s all very well being able to run through a scale at 200+bpm, but if can’t do anything other than play them at speed, it doesn’t really benefit your playing.

I’m new to guitar. Really new. I did study/play violin for some time. Every practice session started with almost an hour of major/minor scales and arpeggios. For years. Can vary rhythm, intonation etc to change up. I think you come to like what you know.