The 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.