Mistakes You Must Avoid When You Learn To Play Scales On Guitar

You probably already know that scales are important for your guitar playing, but very few guitar players know how to practice scales correctly. This makes it hard to improvise guitar solos and limits how good of a guitarist you become.

Here are 3 big mistakes you must avoid when you practice scales on guitar:

Mistake #1. Learning Without Application

Learning more scales doesn’t make you a better guitar player – applying the scales you know on a deeper level does.

When you learn any new scale, learn how to improvise with it and become familiar with its sound. Listen to guitar players who use this scale, create your own guitar licks with it and learn how this scale is applied in songs you love. When you feel confident enough with a scale to use it in improvising, you have mastered it on a deep enough level to learn another scale if you wish.

Note: this does NOT mean you must only practice one scale for years… just don’t overwhelm yourself with dozens of scales you never learn how to use.

Mistake #2: Learning Scales In 1-2 Positions On Guitar

Do not make the same mistake as most guitarists by overwhelming yourself with tons of new scale patterns in only one or two positions. To master any new scale, you must learn to play it all over the fretboard. Getting stuck playing scales in 1-2 areas on the guitar severely limits your creativity.

To avoid this problem, you must consistently practice fretboard visualization. Visualize the guitar neck as ONE giant scale pattern and learn to navigate it fluently.

Warning: many systems for learning scales make this step very hard (more on this below). Work with a proven guitar teacher to learn how to visualize scales easily and fast.

Mistake #3. Not Following An Effective Process For Learning Scales On Guitar

You must have an effective process for: learning, visualizing and applying any new scale in your guitar playing.

Do NOT assume that “any system for learning scales is equally valid”. Many systems for learning scales on guitar are incomplete and damaging to your progress. The CAGED system is one such system. Using it creates A LOT of problems in your guitar technique and musical creativity.

Learn why the CAGED system sucks and what you should do instead to master scales on guitar. Avoid these mistakes in your guitar practicing and you will become a better guitarist and musician a lot faster.