When Less Is More – How To Keep The Guitar Simple

friendsThe other day I came across this quote that made me think:

“I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies”

It was talking about having a few great friends, versus tons of unreliable friends…

But it applies to the guitar as well.

Would you prefer to have tons and tons of scale patterns that you only know sorta-well, or have just three patterns that you know REALLY well, and that can deliver the entire fretboard to you?

You see, many people teach that you need to learn all kinds of scale patterns so that you can cover the whole fretboard… many recommend at least 7 different patterns, just to get started.

But with 7 different patterns, which one(s) do you default to when you’re in a bind and you just need to crank out a lick?

In an ideal world, we’d know every scale pattern there is to know (and there are hundreds) like the back of our hand, but hey, let’s be realistic here.

That’s why I focus on just 3 essential guitar scale patterns when I’m teaching someone how to navigate the fretboard.

These three patterns allow you to cover the whole fretboard, and they’re simple enough that you can pick them up quickly and remember them easily too.

Plus, you’ll find that in 99% of situations you find yourself in, these three are going to be all that you ever need to crank out a sweet sounding guitar solo.

Learn how to master the fretboard here.

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  1. Thanks for the tips! I agree that when it comes to playing guitar, you should start simple and slow and go from there. Patience and practicing are also really important to play well.

  2. I’ve played guitar for 8 years and realistically I use 2 or 3: minor/major pentatonic and full minor scale (don’t even know what it’s called but who cares). Maybe it’s called natural. Anyway I think these scales are more than enough to play good music and play solos in multiple music styles like blues, jazz, rock, metal pop ets.

  3. My nephew and niece really want to learn how to play the guitar soon. I liked that you pointed out they need to learn how to do the scales properly. It seems like they will need to find a teacher who will drill them on the basics.

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