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Watch the Modes That Matter online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Modes That Matter

Scales can be fingered in so many ways it will make your head explode. A single vertical position alone can garner myriad ways to play the same scale. Throw in surrounding vertical areas, horizontal and diagonal approaches as well as unique fingering patterns and you'll start to see what I'm talking about. To attempt to know them all is beyond impossible. And, is it really necessary? Here's the simple answer: Absolutely not. What you need to know is whatever system of fingerings will enable you to see the neck in its entirety.

Attached to this segment in PDF form is a scale fingering compendium that spans the gamut. Seriously, there's a LOT of scale fingerings to choose from here, folks. But, notice I used the phrase "to choose from" as opposed to "to know" or "to learn", or worse, "to memorize". This collection is meant for you to peruse and choose. Find a system (or two) that feels good and works for YOU. Find one that makes the most sense when it comes to what you want to play both physically and stylistically. You may discover certain scales work better for you within one approach as opposed to another for another scale. What's more as you explore all the options you may even come up with a system all your own! There's no rules here; go with whatever works for you. If it means knowing them all--that's cool, too

After finding a set that works for you make sure you "play" them as opposed to "practice" them. Dig right in and start constructing lick and riff ideas. And, when doing so make sure you force yourself to immediately start applying all the guitar-istic phrasings we love to utilize--legato techniques, bending, etc. Make the scales become part of your playing right from the start and not something that feels like an exercise or task. This will help you get these new sounds into your music that much faster. Aside from the initial learning of the scale(s), if you catch yourself going into robot mode playing them from bottom to top over and over and over and more: STOP. It shouldn't feel like you're trying to memorize them. Remember: Play music! Make if fun!!

Now, let's hear what they sound like…