Guitar Scales Quick Start Guide

The Guitar Scales Quick Start Guide is a great primer to learn the basics about guitar scales. 

If you're looking for the cheat sheet showing all the scale patterns you need for the key of G, you'll find it on page 12 of the Guide. I'd recommend printing that page (or the whole guide) for easy reference. 

I hope the Guide is useful to you, and serves as the first stepping stone to opening your eyes to how the fretboard works. There's much more to be discovered, and when you're ready to take that next step, I invite you to checkout my Guitar Scale Patterns course.

If you have questions about anything in the Guide, please use the comments section below and I'll do my best to answer.

Download Instructions:

Right click on the button below, and select Save As, or your browser's equivalent. If you left click on the button, it will load the guide in the current window. 

Leave a Reply 6 comments

Neal Carpenter - March 29, 2017 Reply

What about the 4,6,11 frets. Because there are no notes in the key of G on these frets, they are skiped.

    jboettcher - March 29, 2017 Reply

    Hi Neal, it's not necessary for a key to have a note on every fret. There will be frets in every key that are "unused" so to speak, but that's just a byproduct of how the fretboard works. For the same reason, there is at least one fret in every key that is used on all six strings. It seems like an anomaly, but it really means little beyond pointing to the design of the fretboard. That said, there are two notes (F# and B) on the 4th fret in the key of G major, you'll see them in the center diagram of the cheatsheet.

les cowan - April 1, 2017 Reply

thank you so much it will be very helpful

Goalo patrick - April 16, 2017 Reply

Hi Jonathan, many thanks for your professional approach of the guitar.
Absolutely perfect and complete.

Michael Durand - December 28, 2018 Reply


Why not the "actual" concept of modes; Do-Re-Me-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do, and the formula for each of the 7 modes? I don't get all this 1/2 concept stuff, then regardless of "Key", each mode could be applied. That's right, MODES are Scale Patterns (intervals) that were all learned in kindergarten, The KEY is Your Starting root note:

W=Whole tone, 2 frets H=Semi-Tone, 1 Fret

Do: Ionian (Major Scale)

Re: Dorian ( Mother of Pentatonic)

Mi: Phrygian ( Plays well w/ Ionian mode substitute for sad, minor "Aolian mode or "La")

Fa: Lydian (Jazzy major/minor chords, opposite of Ionian "Do") Root-w-w-w-h-w-w-h(root)

So: Mixolydian (Major feel with minor intervals, counters to Ionian "Do")

La: Aeolin (Minor Key, Blues, Sadness)

Ti: Locrian ( Theoretical Mode, Unworkable, Very Few Songs in this mode, it completes the Mathematical Equation of Pitch)

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti; next octave Do

Rock On

    jboettcher - December 31, 2018 Reply

    Yes, that's basically what I teach in the course.

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