To practice and learn scales, I get my students to follow a 4 stage system.

4 stage system:
-Memorize the scale
-Metronome the scale
-Learn where the roots are
-Improvise with the scale

-No right or wrong way. Everybody has a unique approach to getting a scale memorized. Unfortunately, there is no easy way, or single correct way to memorize a scale. Some people like to run it up and down repeatedly to get muscle memory. Some people like to divide their strings up between high and low. No one way! Before moving on from this stage, you want to be playing the scale up and down without looking at the scale chart or tabs.

Metronome the scale:
-Depending on where your playing is at, this is a good step to focus on for a while. If you are a total beginner, I might suggest even spending a few weeks to a month on this step. Build a little bit of speed so you are able to play the scale at at least 120 beats per minute with a metronome one note per click.

Learn where the roots are:
This step may seem a little bit pointless, but this stage is super important for your ears, as well as for the next step (improvisation) Due to the nature of the guitar, when you learn a scale you
are actually learning the scale across multiple octaves. You play the same group of notes at least 2 times through. (example) You don’t have to learn exactly what every note in the scale is,
just memorize where the roots are. I’ve got this written out on the PDF, but here’s a way you can find it yourself (Count to 5 for pentatonic scales. 7 for full scales like major and minor or modes)
Feel the tug of the root as you get closer to it! When you improvise, always try to end every phrase you play with a root! It’s an easy way to make your improvising sound purposeful.

-when improvising, don’t expect to sound like a God right away, but don’t be hard on yourself. Laugh at your technical mistakes (they’re going to be there) Enjoy creating music! Start this step
by just “wandering the scale” without a backing track. Next, try wandering the scale to a backing track. (backing track explanation) Drone backing tracks are fun at first because there’s no
rhythm. (drone explanation) Next try a few backing tracks across different genres of music. There are thousands of great free backing tracks on youtube for you to practice to.
Here is the main reason why you need to follow this 4 stage process every time you learn a new scale. As a teacher, I see this all the time: Someone will say that they learned their modes, or all
5 positions of the pentatonic scale. But it’s been a few years, and they’ve forgotten how to play them. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather learn something right the first time so that
I don’t forget it, and it sticks! I don’t want to have to come back to learn the scale again!

How To Practice Guitar Scales Effectively – Download the free lesson PDF – tabs/chords here:

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How To Practice Guitar Scales Effectively

0:34 Lesson Start: How To Practice Guitar Scales Effectively
1:48 The First Stage: Memorization
4:25 Stage 2: Metronome
6:09 Stage 3: Roots
10:05 Stage 4: Improvising

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Will & Mike B w/ Campfire Guitar Star

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Keep on rippin’ it up,

Will Ripley & Mike B from Campfire Guitar Star