You are on page 1of 10

Guitar Scales

The guitar scales at GOSK are shown in five different positions, which allow you to cover the
whole fretboard. Some of the scales have an additional sixth position, a 3-notes-per-string
pattern, for fast runs.
How to read the scale diagrams?
The six horizontal lines represent the strings. The first
string (highest tone) is on top and the sixth string (lowest
tone) is at the bottom. The vertical lines represent the frets.
The numbers below the diagram indicate which finger to
use on each fret (1 is the index finger).
The shows you where to put your fingers.The is the root of the scale (the root gives the scale
its name; i.e. if the note E is the root of a harmonic minor scale, the scale is an "E harmonic
minor").

Major scales
y Major
y Major pentatonic

Minor scales
y Natural minor
y Harmonic minor
y Melodic minor
y Minor Pentatonic


The 7 modes
y Ionian(same with Major Scale)
y Dorian
y Phrygian
y Lydian
y Mixolydian
y Aeolian ( same with Natural Minor
scale)
y Locrian
Misc.
y Blues
y Lydian b7
y 8-tone scales
Major (Ionian) scale for guitar
The major scale, identical to the Ionian mode, is the cornerstone of western music. As other
diatonic scales, the major scale is made up of seven notes (eight if you include the octave). The
Ionian scale, or mode, is the first of the seven musical modes. Ex: C major consists of the notes
C, D, E, F, G, A and B (all the white keys on a piano keyboard).
Intervals: 1--1----1--1--1--
Chord fit: Major triads, maj7
Major, 1.position


Major, 2.position


Major, 3.position

Major, 4.position

Major, 5.position

Major, sweep pattern

Major pentatonic scale for guitar
A pentatonic scale is made up of five notes per octave (penta = five). The major pentatonic scale
is similar to major diatonic scale, but without the fourth and the seventh note. Ex: C major
pentatonic consists of C, D, E, G, and A.
Intervals: 1--1--1--1--1
Chord fit: Major triads, 6th, 7th, 9th, 13th, maj7, add9
Major pentatonic, 1.position

Major pentatonic, 2.position

Major pentatonic, 3.position

Major pentatonic, 4.position

Major pentatonic, 5.position

Natural minor (Aeolian) scale for guitar
The natural minor scale, identical to the Aeolian mode, is a diatonic scale made up of seven
notes (eight if you include the octave). The Aeolian scale, or mode, is the sixth of the seven
musical modes. Ex: C natural minor consists of the notes C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab and Bb.
Intervals: 1----1--1----1--1
Chord fit: Minor triads, m7, m9
Natural minor, 1.position

Natural minor, 2.position

Natural minor, 3.position

Natural minor, 4.position

Natural minor, 5.position

Natural minor, sweep pattern

Harmonic minor scale for guitar
The harmonic minor scale is similar to the natural minor except for a raised seventh. The raised
seventh gives the harmonic minor a distinctive three-semitone interval (three half steps) between
the sixth and the seventh note. Ex: C harmonic minor consists of the notes C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab
and B.
Intervals: 1----1--1----1--
Chord fit: minor triads, mmaj7
Harmonic minor, 1.position


Harmonic minor, 2.position


Harmonic minor, 3.position

Harmonic minor, 4.position

Harmonic minor, 5.position

Harmonic minor, sweep


Melodic minor scale for guitar
The melodic minor scale is similar to the natural minor except for a raised sixth and seventh.
Melodic minor is identical to the major scale except for a lowered third. Ex: C melodic minor
consists of the notes C, D, Eb, F, G, A and B.
Intervals: 1----1--1--1--1--
Chord fit: Minor triads, mmaj7
Melodic minor, 1.position

Melodic minor, 2.position

Melodic minor, 3.position

Melodic minor, 4.position

Melodic minor, 5.position

Melodic minor, sweep pattern

Minor pentatonic scale for guitar
A pentatonic scale is made up of five notes per octave (penta = five). The minor pentatonic scale
is similar to the natural minor scale, but without the second and the sixth note. Ex: C minor
pentatonic consists of C, Eb, F, G and Bb.
Intervals: 1--1--1--1--1
Chord fit: Minor triads, m7, m9
Minor pentatonic, 1.position

Minor pentatonic, 2.position

Minor pentatonic, 3.position

Minor pentatonic, 4.position

Minor pentatonic, 5.position

Dorian scale for guitar
The Dorian scale, or mode, is the second of the seven musical modes. It is similar to the natural
minor except for the raised sixth. The Dorian scale is the minor scale that appears when a major
scale is started from the second note (second scale-degree). Thus, a C major scale played from
"D" is a D Dorian scale. This is why the term "mode" is more appropriate than "scale".
The D Dorian mode is the same as a C major. So what's the difference? There is no difference;
it's the chords that create the magic. Playing a D Dorian scale over a C major chord will sound
exactly like playing a C major scale (because they are identical). However, playing a D Dorian
scale over a D minor chord will sound "Dorian".
Intervals: 1----1--1--1----1
Chord fit: minor triads, m7, m9




Dorian, 1.position

Dorian, 2.position

Dorian, 3.position

Dorian, 4.position

Dorian, 5.position

Dorian, sweep pattern

Phrygian scale for guitar
The Phrygian scale, or mode, is the third of the seven musical modes. It is similar to the natural
minor except for the lowered second. The Phrygian scale is the minor scale that appears when a
major scale is started from the third note (third scale-degree). Thus, a C major scale played from
"E" is an E Phrygian scale. This is why the term "mode" is more appropriate than "scale".
The E Phrygian mode is the same as a C major. So what's the difference? There is no difference;
it's the chords that create the magic. Playing an E Phrygian scale over a C major chord will sound
exactly like playing a C major scale (because they are identical). However, playing an E
Phrygian scale over an E minor chord will sound "Phrygian".
Intervals: --1--1--1----1--1
Chord fit: Minor triads, m7
Phrygian, 1.position

Phrygian, 2.position

Phrygian, 3.position

Phrygian, 4.position

Phrygian, 5.position

Phrygian, sweep pattern

Lydian scale for guitar
The Lydian scale, or mode, is the fourth of the seven musical modes. It is similar to the major
scale except for the raised fourth. The Lydian scale is the scale that appears when a major scale
is played with the fourth note (fourth scale-degree) as the root. Thus, a C major scale played
from "F" is an F Lydian scale. This is why the term "mode" is more appropriate than "scale".
The F Lydian mode is the same as a C major. So what's the difference? There is no difference;
it's the chords that create the magic. Playing an F Lydian scale over a C major chord will sound
exactly like playing a C major scale (because they are identical). However, playing an F Lydian
scale over an F major chord will sound "Lydian".
Intervals: 1--1--1----1--1--
Chord fit: maj7, maj7#11

Lydian, 1.position

Lydian, 2.position

Lydian, 3.position

Lydian, 4.position

Lydian, 5.position

Lydian, sweep pattern

Mixolydian scale for guitar
The Mixolydian scale, or mode, is the fifth of the seven musical modes. It is similar to the major
scale except for the lowered seventh. The Mixolydian scale is the scale that appears when a
major scale is played with the fifth note (fifth scale-degree) as the root. Thus, a C major scale
played from "G" is a G Mixolydian scale. This is why the term "mode" is more appropriate than
"scale".
The G Mixolydian mode is the same as a C major. So what's the difference? There is no
difference; it's the chords that create the magic. Playing a G Mixolydian scale over a C major
chord will sound exactly like playing a C major scale (because they are identical). However,
playing a G Mixolydian scale over a G major chord will sound "Mixolydian".
Intervals: 1--1----1--1----1
Chord fit: 7th, 9th, 13th
Mixolydian, 1.position

Mixolydian, 2.position

Mixolydian, 3.position

Mixolydian, 4.position

Mixolydian, 5.position

Mixolydian, sweep pattern

Locrian scale for guitar
The Locrian scale, or mode, is the seventh of the seven musical modes. It is similar to the natural
minor scale except for the lowered second and fifth. The Locrian scale is the minor scale that
appears when a major scale is played with the seventh note (seventh scale-degree) as the root.
Thus, a C major scale played from "B" is a B Locrian scale. This is why the term "mode" is more
appropriate than "scale".
The B Locrian mode is the same as a C major. So what's the difference? There is no difference;
it's the chords that create the magic. Playing a B Locrian scale over a C major chord will sound
exactly like playing a C major scale (because they are identical). However, playing a B Locrian
scale over a Bmb5 chord will sound "Locrian".
Intervals: --1--1----1--1--1
Chord fit: m7b5




Locrian, 1.position

Locrian, 2.position

Locrian, 3.position

Locrian, 4.position

Locrian, 5.position

Locrian, sweep pattern
Blues scale for guitar
The blues scale is similar to the minor pentatonic scale, but with an additional lowered fifth. The
lowered fifth, also known as the "blue note", is essential in blues music. Ex: C blues scale
consists of C, Eb, F, Gb, G and Bb.
Intervals: 1--1------1--1
Chord fit: 7th chords, m7
Blues, 1.position

Blues, 2.position




Blues, 3.position

Blues, 4.position




Blues, 5.position

Lydian b7 scale for guitar
As the name indicates, the Lydian b7 is Lydian scale with a lowered seventh. The Lydian b7 is
the fourth mode of the melodic minor scale. The Lydian b7 is great for dominant 7th chords as
an alternative to mixolydian.
Intervals: 1--1--1----1----1
Chord fit: 7th chords, 9th, 13th
Lydian b7

Eight-tone scale (diminished scale) for guitar
The eight-tone scale is constructed by alternating whole step and half step intervals. This
construction gives the scale 8 notes per octave. The eight-tone scale is also called the diminished
scale. The eight-tone scale can also begin with a half step, sometimes referred to as a "half-whole
diminished". Ex: C eight-tone scale consists of C, D, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, A and B.
Intervals: 1----1----1----1-- or --1----1----1----1
Chord fit: dim7
8-tone, 1- ...


8-tone, -1 ...