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'!. Tracks 7r-76

RGT Grade Five: Scales


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EXAMINFO contro of the gu tar
I RGT exams progress to Grade
8, plus a Teacher's Diploma- SCALE SPEED
Exams are held a I across the As a guideline, sca es at Grade
LIK and ov-orse:s Readerq of GT Frve shou d be p ayed at a tempo
can obtarn a free e ectric guitar
of approx rnate y 120 beats per
exam info pack detailing the
req!irements for all grades by
mrnute wth two notes p ayed

contact ng the RGT on 01424


for each beat, (the harmon sed
222222. E mal : office@Registryo sca e at about haf thls tempo)
f GuitarTutors.com. or download But remember that this s simplV
it at:www. RGTorg.uk. lf you a quidel ne and you shou d
need a teacher to help you work choose a tempo at which you
through the grades, a full list of fee cornfortab e and conf dent:
reqistered teachers is ava abLe on wh e you miqht ose some marks
the RGT website.
for an overly slow performance
o{ a scale, you wil ose far more
HAVING A SECURE knowiedge if rushing produces errors. As
of the most mportant sca es an exarniner lsometimes see
makes lead gu tar playing much candidates who are c early
easier and qulcker to learn, capable of play ng the scales
and makes rmprovisation more accuratey but mess them up by
successfu . S.ales provide the attempt ng a pointless turbo-
framework of notes for you charqed performance - just
to choose from that wi fit n as neTVous or nexper enced
wth the re evant key, hence publc-speakers often ta k too
the first sectlon of each RGT quick y and then stumb e over
exam is'Scales' At Grade Fve, the r words. So always th nk
you should be able to playthe carefu ly allout the ternpo before
following scales in ary key: start ng to play a sca e. f it's
one-octave minor pentatonic performed accurate y, even y and
and blues scales in five different with the most popular sca es PLAYING SCALES c early you' I get full marks, and
{ingerboard postions; one used by rock guitarsts the For the exam, each scale this w lstand you n good stead
octave major s(ales n three minor pentaton c and blues should be played ascending for the rema ning sections of the
different f ngerboard posit ons; scales be ng performed in five and descend nq, from memory. examination. GT
two octave major pentatonic d fferent positlons. Know ng The tempo should be even and
scales in three different scales in f ve d fferent post ons there shouldn't be a pause or
fingerboard postions; two means that you can cover the repeat of the top note llefore NEXTSTAGE
octave harmonic rninor scales; who e f ngerboard, enab ing descend ng Exam cand dates X A RGT grade exams are
and one octave m nor pentaton c you to break away from box- who p ay their sca es us ng the QCA accredited and p aced
on the Natrona Qrra ifrcations
scale in ffths (see Examples shape playing and exp ore the r ght notes sornet mes m ght not
Framework. and from Gracie Six
and fretboxes). f ngerboard in a more who strc a ways ach eve full nrarks. Th s
onurards they a so attract UCAS
The purpose of learning and musca way. Each postion is he.ause the exam ner w ll he points (wth dire.t eqLr valence
these scales is so they can be w lalso varyslghty n tone. For lstenrng for even sca e p ay ng, io AS and A eve s). Sc f
used later on ln the exarn during examp e, the note A played on as th s demonstrates that the you're ih nk ng of appylnq to
the'core ead gu tar play ng' the f rst string 5th fret wi have a candidate can stay in time when a coll€ge or un versrty to study
section when you'll need to more cutting tone than f piayed p aying an mportant sk for ANY subject, the UCAS points
improvise a gu tar solo. on the second string loth fret any mus c an. The exam ner awarded for your RGTexam
By Grade F ve ievelyou'll or th rd str ng l4th fret. So us ng wil also award marks for scale
wrl help you galn entry. (Se-"
the UCAS calculalor on the RGT
be expected to know your diflerent postions s a so a great p aying that s clear of buzzes
webs te for more nformauon.)
way around the f ngerboard, way to expand tona range. and muted notes, as th s

The examiner will award marks for playing that's clear of buzzes
and muted notes, as this demonstrates secure technical control
86 Guitar{echniques lanuary 2007
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A l.linor Pentatoni. S.ale- I octave,5 position3 A Major Scale - I o.tave, 3 positions

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A Blues S.al€ - I o.tave,5 positions A Maior Pentatonic Scale - 2 o.taves,3 posirions


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EXAMPLE 1 A MINOR PENTATONIC SCALE ONTHECD S Tracls


One octave, f ve posit ons. A though every scale is notated ascend ng a different fret to play n another key. Other systematic and ei':-= .
only, ea.h scale shou d be played ascending and descend ng f ngerings may be acceptable ln the exam, provlding the sca e: : :
wthout repeating the top note. These fingerinqs can be moved to p ayed accurately and, wherever possible, al nthesameoctar.

B
G
D

EXAMPLE2 ABLULSSCALL ONTHECD S Tracls


One octave, five postions. Notice how the A blues scale contains the same notes as A min pentatonic, with the addition of Eb (the b5 no:.

s B

lanuary 2006 GuirarTerhniques 87


ffi ONTHECIT'; TracksTt-76

EXAMPLE 2 A BLUES SCALE ...CONTINUED ONTHECD $| Tracks

E
B

One octave, three positions. Remember to keep the tempo even across all three scale positions.

E
B

EXAMPLE 4 A MA.]OR PENTATONIC SCALE ONTHECD & Tracks


Two octaves, three postions. Note that, unlike the previous sca es, each poslt on of this scale rs requ red in a two-octave range

E
B
G
D

EXAMPLE 5 A HARMONIC MINOR SCALE ONTHECD S) Tracks


Two octaves, one position. This scale is requ red in only one fingerboard position.

E
B
G
o

One octave in fifths. This scale s harmonised - two notes are p ayed together. Choose a s ower tempo to accomodate the posit on sh fts.

E
B

88 Guita,llechniques January 2007