Guitar Scales Tabs: The Ultimate Guide

Looking for guitar scales tabs? You’re in the right place! 

guitar scales tabs

In this free ultimate guide you will learn:

  • 2 quick and easy tips that will make you learn scales at lightening speed.
  • 4 essential guitar scales tabs that will make you sound incredible!
  • The top secret tip that will help you learn scales in ALL keys.

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4 of the most popular scales used by all guitarists are:

  • The Major Scale.
  • The Minor Scale.
  • The Minor Penatonic.
  • The Blues Scale

For the purpose of these examples, we’re going to show you these scales in the key of A.

Let’s get cracking!

Guitar Scales Tabs | The Major Scale

The major scale is one of the most versatile scales you can learn. It can be used in a variety of genres such as rock, pop, blues, country and even jazz.

It has a bright and positive sound.

Here’s the guitar scales tabs:

guitar scales tabs

When can I use this scale?

This scale works exclusively over major keys.

For example, if you were playing in the key of A major. The A major scale would work perfectly in this key.

Want to know how to learn guitar scales? go here: Learn Guitar Scales In 8 Easy Steps

Guitar Scales Tabs | The Minor Scale

The minor scale is the perfect scale to learn if you want to play rock, metal or even blues! It is less vibrant than the major scale, but its dark sound is perfect for creating tension and suspense.

You can use this scale in a minor key or over a minor chord.

To learn more about improvising in guitar keys go here: How To Play Lead Guitar

Here’s the guitar scales tabs:

guitar scales tabs

Guitar Scales Tabs | The Minor Pentatonic Scale

The minor pentatonic scale is one of the easiest scales you can learn. Many people think that the minor scale and the minor pentatonic scale are two different scales.

This isn’t the case. Think of the minor pentatonic scale as the smaller brother of the minor scale.

They use the EXACT same notes, the minor pentatonic scale simply uses less.

If you’re familiar with rock or blues music, you have definitely heard this scale.

You can use this scale:

  • Over any song which is in a minor key.
  • Over a 12 bar blues.
  • Over a minor chord.

Here’s the guitar scales tabs:

Minor Pentatonic Lick

If you want to learn this scale in further detail, check out these articles:

Without guitar scales, guitar solos wouldn’t exist. Check out 50 of the greatest guitar solos here by the NME: 50 Greatest Guitar Solos | NME

Guitar Scales Tabs | The Blues Scale

This scale is popular amongst blues and rock guitarists as it has a great bluesy sound.

You can really spice up your guitar solos with this scale!

One of the best things about this scale is that it can be used over major and minor keys.

Here are a few examples of when you can use this classic scale:

  • Over a major chord progression.
  • Over a minor chord progression.
  • Over a 12 bar blues.

To get the best out of the blues scale, experiment with using it in a variety of different musical situations.

Here’s the guitar scales tabs for this cool scale:

guitar scales tabs

Try using this scale over this A blues backing track:

If you want to know more about blues guitar, go here:Blues Guitar Lessons For Beginners : 4 Ways To Sound Awesome Quickly

Do I need to learn guitar scales in different keys?

The short answer is, yes you do.

The 5 most common guitar keys are C, A, G, E and D.

We’re going to show you each of the guitar scales tabs for each of these keys.

The C Major Scale

Here’s the major scale tabbed out in the key of C:

c-major-scale

You can use this scale over anything in the key of C major.

Want to know more about the key of C major? Go here: Understanding the chords in the key of C

We’ve already learnt the major scale in the key of A. So the next major scale key we must learn is the key of G.

The G Major Scale

Here’s the guitar scales tabs for the G major scale:

guitar scales tabs

You can use this chord over anything in the key of G major.

Learn more about the key of G major here: Chords in the key of G and tips for understanding keys

The E Major Scale

Here’s the guitar scales tabs for the major scale in the key of E:

guitar scales tabs

Learn this scale if you want to solo in the key of E major.

Learn more about the key of E major here: Chords In The Key Of E

The D Major Scale

The final major scale key you must know is the key of D major.

Here’s the guitar scales tabs:

guitar scales tabs

Now we’ve learned the major scale in 5 of the most common keys. Let’s learn the minor scale equivalents.

When you learn the minor scale, the keys have to change.

Instead of the keys being C, A, G, E and D.

They are now:

  • A minor.
  • F#minor.
  • E minor.
  • C# minor.
  • B minor.

These are known as relative keys.

Let’s learn each of the minor scales in these keys.

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The F# Minor Scale

We’ve already learned the minor scale, minor pentatonic and the blues scale in the key of A minor.

So, let’s start with the key of F# minor.

Here’s the guitar scales tabs:

guitar scales tabs

The F# Minor Pentatonic Scale

Here’s the guitar scales tabs for the F# minor pentatonic:

guitar scales tabs

The F# Blues Scale

Here’s the tab for the F# blues scale:

guitar scales tabs

All of these scales would work over the following chord progressions.

  • Anything in the key of F# minor.
  • A F# blues.

F# minor is the relative minor key of A major.

Therefore you could use any of these scales over the key of A major.

Now we’ve learned all of our scales in the key of F# minor, let’s move on to the next key, E minor.

The E Minor Scale

Here’s the guitar scales tabs for the E minor scale:

guitar scales tabs

The E Minor Pentatonic Scale

Here’s the tab for the E minor pentatonic scale:

e-minor-pentatonic

To learn how to use this scale in a musical context go here:E Minor Pentatonic Scale: The Ultimate Guide

The E Blues Scale

Here’s the guitar tab for the E blues scale:

guitar scales tabs You could use any of these scales over a:

  • A 12 bar blues in the key of E.
  • Anything in the key of E minor.

The E minor scale is the relative minor key of G major.

Therefore, you could use any of the E minor scales over:

  • Anything in the key of G major.

Now, let’s look at our minor scales in the key of C# Minor.

Here are the guitar scales tabs for the minor scale, minor pentatonic and blues scale in the key of C# minor.

The C# Minor Scale

guitar scales tabs

The C# Minor Pentatonic Scale

c-minor-pentatonic-scale

The C# Blues Scale

guitar scales tabs You could use any of these scales over a:

  • C# minor chord progression.
  • C# blues.

As C# minor is the relative minor key to E major. You could also use any of these scales over a chord progression in the key of E major.

Let’s take a look at our final minor key, the key of B minor.

Here are the guitar scales tabs for the minor scale, the minor pentatonic and the blues scale in the key of B minor.

The B Minor Scale

b-minor-scale

The B Minor Pentatonic Scale

guitar scales tabs

The B Blues Scale

b-blues-scale

You could use these scales over:

  • Anything in the key of B minor.
  • A B blues

As D major is the relative major of B minor. You could also use these scales over anything in the key of D major.

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It can be disorientating for guitarists to understand which scales work with which keys.

With this in mind, we created a cheat-sheet; a key and scale-finder that you can use again and again. Click here to download your copy.

 

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What’s a relative minor scale?

A relative minor scale is a scale which shares the same notes as a major scale from the same key.

Both scales use identical musical notes. However they both have different starting points.

Let’s take a look at an example to understand this further.

For this example, we’re going to use the key of C.

The C major scale consists of the following notes.

C D E F G A B

The relative minor of C major, is A minor.

The A minor scale is made up of these notes.

A B C D E F G

Can you see how both scales use the EXACT same notes. However, the C major scale starts on the note C.

The A minor starts on the note A.

  • Therefore, C major is the relative major key of A minor.
  • A minor is the relative minor key of C major.

How do I find relative minor and major keys on the guitar?

Luckily, for us guitarists, there’s a really simple way of finding the relative major and minor keys on your guitar.

This works for ANY key.

This is a really useful tip, so listen up.

  • For every major scale, you can find the relative minor scale, 3 frets down.
  • For every minor scale, you can find the relative major scale, 3 frets up.

Try this:

  • Play a C major scale which starts on the 8th fret of the low E string. (6th string.)
  • Move down 3 frets to the 5th fret of the low E string. (6th string.)
  • Play a minor scale starting on the 5th fret. (5th string.)
  • You should be playing the A minor scale!

As mentioned before, both of these scales are EXACTLY the same. They just have different starting points.

You can also do this from a minor perspective. Let’s use the key of B minor for this example.

Try this:

  • Play a B minor scale starting on the 7th fret of the low E string.
  • Move up 3 frets to the 10th fret of the low E string.
  • Now play a major scale shape, starting on the 10th fret.
  • You should be playing the D major scale!

That’s it, that’s how you find the relative major and minor scales on the guitar.

Why is this useful for guitarists?

This is SO useful to know, as you now have two options when improvising.

  • If something is in a major key. You can use the relative minor scale.
  • If a piece of music is an a minor key, you could use the relative major scale.

One the hardest things about improvising is creating interesting sounds with a new scale.

However, if you understand relative minor and major keys, you can use ANY type of scale over ANY chord progression.

This comes in handy when you’re faced with playing in a uncomfortable key.

For example, if you find major keys hard but know how to use minor scales. You can use the relative minor scale over a major key.

  • So, if you’re playing in the key of C major, you can use a A minor scale.

Or, if you find minor keys difficult, but find major scales easy. You can use the relative major scales over a minor key.

  • So, if you were playing in the key of D major, you could use a B minor scale.

Here’s a list of ALL of the relative major and minor keys.

scales-and-frets-in-all-keys

How do I play guitar scales in all keys?

To play guitar scales in all keys, you MUST change your starting note.

The great thing about guitar scales is that they are moveable patterns. Once you’ve learned one pattern, you’ve automatically learned 12 others too.

By changing your starting note, you’re changing what key the scale is in.

99% of all scales start on the low E string.

Here are ALL of the notes on the low E string:

e-root-notesBy starting a scale on a different fret, you are changing the key.

For example, if you wanted to play a scale in the key of C. You would start it on the 8th fret of the low E string.

So each of your scales would become:

  • The C Major Scale.
  • The C Minor Scale.
  • The C Minor Pentatonic.
  • The C Blues Scale.

Let’s say you wanted to play a scale in the key of F#/Gb. You would start your scales on the 2nd fret of the low E string.

So each of your scales would become:

  • The F# Major Scale.
  • The F# Minor Scale.
  • The F# Minor Pentatonic.
  • The F# Blues Scale.

Here’s a really fun challenge that will take your guitar playing to the next level:

  • Try playing the major scale in all 12 keys.
  • Try playing the minor scale in all 12 keys.
  • Try playing the minor pentatonic in all 12 keys.
  • Try playing the blues scale in all 12 keys.

Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map

If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).

Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.

(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)

We made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. We hope that makes sense!?

NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

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We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

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