C Major Guitar Scale

So now your probably wondering if your fingers are going to toughen up enough to play the F Chord. Don’t worry, they will. But you have to stick with it if you really want to learn.

So many attics, basements and garages are full of barely used guitars, only because it is not an easy instrument to master. So keep in mind that if you want to be a good guitarist the best thing you can do is practice, there are no fast easy fixes. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Now you might have been wondering, if the Em was so easy to learn why wasn’t it the first chord I learned. Surely when you were trying to fret the F Major you we’re wondering there must be easier chords to play then this?

And the answer is yes, but few are as important and widely used as C, F, and G. Once you know these 3 chords you can play a wealth of songs; in the millions. This is why these chords were chosen to start you out on, because the more you enjoy playing the more you will stay dedicated to learning. And I guarantee you there is a song out there that you love that has these 3 chords in it.

These 3 chords did not combine by some magical force. There is an exact science to it all. When you play these 3 chords together or 4 if you include the Em you just learned, you are playing in the Key of C.

It can be important to know what key you are playing in, especially if you are playing or improvising with other musicians. Before you can start playing with other people you need to know what key it’s in, because this will tell you what chords and notes you can use and sound good.

We’ve seen how music consists of 12 notes: A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#. A# is also known as B, D# is also known as E; and so on.

There is a major key based on each of these 12 musical notes — A Major, D# Major and so on. Each of these keys consists of an 8 note scale. You probably learned it in elementary school, doh, re, mi, fah, soh, la, ti, doh. Every major scale consists of this pattern it looks like this:

tonetonesemitonetonetonetonesemitone
C^D^E^F^G^A^B^C
doh^re^mi^fah^soh^la^ti^doh

All the chords in the Key of C Major consist of some combination of these notes, and the scale of C Major consists of all of them.

Exercise: The Scale of C Major

Here is what the C scale looks like on a fretboard, due to the amount of notes there are on a guitar there are other ways to play the C scale, but we will stick to the first 5 frets of the fretboard for now. When practicing this scale, you can either count out loud, 1, 2, 3, 4 (should all be even) or if you want to learn the notes you can alternately say the names of the note as you play them. The bottom part of this diagram shows you what finger to fret the guitar with.

C Scale Lesson

Picking

You can pick them all with downstrokes as well as down and up strokes. Just make sure if you are picking up and down to do it evenly. Up, Down, Up, Down. Once you get to the highest C on the G string then make your way back in reverse. This scale should sound like ‘doh, re, mi, fah, soh, la, ti, doh’.

Try to practice this scale at least 50 times in a row if you can. The best way to train your fingers is through repetition. Take your time and master it, a veteran bluesman used to tell me, “The slower you go, the faster you will get there”.