Practicing scales is part of the guitarist’s healthy practice diet. There are a great variety of types of scales and exercises available to learn from. Some of the most helpful in my opinion are memorizing the mode patterns and learning diatonic major and minor scales. Andres Segovia’s Diatonic Major and Minor Scales is particularly helpful for building technique, precision, and a solid knowledge of the fretboard. For beginners however, Segovia’s scales are fairly difficult. It is better to start with simple major and minor scales in the first position. I’ve constructed this exercise to build speed and precision using the left and right hand. Click at the bottom to download the exercise in pdf. format.
Instructions for the exercise:
- The goal is to play the entire exercise continuously at an even tempo, though the student may learn each scale separately at first.
- The first step is to learn each scale and its ending chord. Each ending chord for each scale is based on a major or minor triad form with some inversions.
- The second step is to note the dynamic markings on each of the lines. The first two lines should be played Piano, the 3rd and 4th should be played Forte, and the last two lines should be played Piano.
- Left hand fingering should be written for each scale by the student (with the assistance of a teacher) to determine the best approach to these notes in the first position
- Right hand fingering should be written for each of the chord forms.
- The sharps and flats of each of these basic major and minor keys should be memorized by the student.