One of the biggest debates I see in blues-land is the debate about music theory…

And while I’m a big theory geek, and love it, I realize it ain’t for everyone. However, I do find that when you can find a use for it, it because… well, useful!

So here is how the granddaddy scale of all music theory works on the guitar. If you know this, you can do almost anything else.

    22 replies to "Guitar Lesson The Major Scale On Guitar"

    • Louis Ogden

      Great lesson, Griff. One of the most useful things in theory for me is ‘the circle of fifths.’ Going clockwise, starting at C (has no sharps) then go to the fifth which is G (has one sharp), etc. Going counterclockwise, it can be called ‘circle of fourths’ – C to F which has one flat, etc.

    • Alexander Aliganga

      Excellent lesson Griff, I love theory and hopefully you’ll have plenty more lessons like that in the future. Thanks again,

    • Jim Russell

      Griff, an excellent lesson as always. I fully understood it as you told it but It’ll take a lot to memorise.
      I’m going to put it in my daily practice I promise, it really makes sense but the more time consuming part and the hardest part is in making sure I can do it in any key.
      You’re a gem, thank you.

    • peter a hancock

      Great lesson!!!!

    • Don Craig

      Why do you make a whole step from B to C# and then a half step to D? Why not a half step from B to C and a whole step to D? If you want us boffins to give it a go, please explain these things.

    • Michael Chappell

      Hey Griff,
      Great lesson and refresher.

      I just got looking for the BGU Major & Minor Blues Scale Boxes such as Minor Boxes 1-5 and the Major Boxes 1-5 seems close to the major pattern you used for this lesson. The chart shows the Red notes being the Root notes and the Blue Notes are the Blues notes and if you leave the blue notes out then you have the Pentatonic boxes and your explanation is great. So as I was a bit rusty on the major scale and used this Box chart, I suppose that would be a good refresher?

      Nice lesson here,

      Michael -Sydney- Australia – Sept 18, 2019.

    • Mike G.

      How could you even talk guitar ,without some basic theory. Or be able to play with other people. When you guys coming to the east coast to play?

    • Chris CLEMANS

      This is one of your best lessons!! Thank you

    • Tea

      I love this, now i understand it much better.

    • DaveyJoe

      Great lesson Griff! 2and1/2 and 31/2. Got it!

    • Jim P.

      Thanks Griff. I love your theory lessons. You explain it so well. I actually have your theory course and finished it a long time ago. Could you do some more theory online lessons relating the major and minor pentatonic scales to the major scale with logical explanations as to how and why they work. Also, can you talk about the minor scale as opposed to the major scale and discuss it’s significance/importance? Thanks.

    • Cliff Walker

      Learned the major scale when I was 4.
      Root-w-1/2-w-w-w-1/2-root. Learning it on a fret board, either 3 notes per string or 4 notes moving up and down the board is a challenge, but opens the neck and the boxes begin to blend. So much more fun slip sliding away.

      • Karl

        Cliff, I think it’s a bit clearer if you say “start with the root; then move w – w – 1/2 – w – w – w – 1/2.” That last 1/2 will have you back at the root but an octave higher. If you repeat w – w – 1/2 etc. then you’ll wind up another octave higher.

    • Richard Freitag

      Thank you so much. This makes sense to me the way you modeled it and explained it.

    • tony

      I once discovered a lady bass player on line once upon a time and she said if you can figure out how to play twinkle twinkle little star , here comes the bride and somewhere over the rainbow you could play almost anything . Its all in a major sound .

      • Grant

        Very true!

    • Donovan Hulbert

      Theory is not boring if someone explains it to you well enough to understand it. If they are bad at explaining it, it will be a horrible thing to go threw. Griff does well at it.

    • Rob

      Very timely for me. I’m working on Joe Satriani’s “Just Look Up”, which , near as I can figure, is in E major.
      I love the major scale in rock.
      i.e. Allman Brothers ‘Jessica’, ‘Blue Sky’. Santana’s ‘Samba pa ti’
      Thanks much.

    • Sean Salins

      Griff, excellent synopsis and I agree…very valuable. Thanks for all you do!

    • James Edwards

      Hey Griff, just curious, what model is that tweed colored Fender amp in the background?

      • Griff

        It’s a deluxe reverb reissue, but its covered in a creme tolex.

    • Chris Roper

      If only the”anti-boffins” would give it a go, the world would be a better place…..or wot? That includes my son and his son who thinks theory is for learning piano and that guitars take care if themselves!!
      Cheers, Mr Hamlin.

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