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Watch the Scales online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Gym: Scales Workouts

The next trio of Scale Workouts once again puts the venerable pentatonic scale in the spotlight. You can apply a consistent alternate picking pattern that's centered around the outside and inside pivot approaches we just made use of in the Level 1 Workouts.

You may have noticed I referred to the scale as "pentatonic" without labeling it as minor or major. The reasoning is simple: It's both (and more)! The important part here is you get the five fingerings down so you can play the Workouts. In your studies you'll discover what makes the scale minor or major, but, for now, let's stick to the plan: WORKOUTS!

When opening up the Power Tab charts you'll notice the two sections of two line Workouts start at the top of the scale. This approach is purposeful and is meant to get you in the right head when you start to improvise your own licks and solos. Many players first improvise from first impressions and [much] more often than not scales are always presented from the bottom and played in an ascending fashion. While that's all well and good the action for guitarists when soloing is mostly in the upper half on the unwound strings. So, we start there.

As for fingerings I may use an approach that may seem a bit unorthodox to some at first. Again, it's about what you're actually doing with these scales and that's rippin'! The top halves of the scales are played with a focus on the fret hand 3rd finger fretting the higher of the two-note-per-string pattern as opposed to the more seemingly "correct" 4th finger. That's because the techniques you'll most likely employ in those areas - bending, legato, etc. - tend to be played more comfortably with the 3rd finger. As you get more into soloing and playing licks you'll see what I mean.

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