Scales & Arpeggios

Learning scales and arpeggios on guitar is a very important part of jazz's apprenticeship. You will find here a whole load of free guitar resources on this blog section as guitar neck diagrams, licks, tabs, formula charts and theory. These jazz lessons don't follow a sequence, you can jump into them in any order you choose.

  • 14 Types of Minor Scales & Modes For Guitar - Shapes and Theory

    This guitar lesson sheds light on the different types of minor modes and scales that can be used in jazz music. They are built with different combinations of intervals starting on different steps of several scales as the major scale, the melodic minor, the harmonic minor, the harmonic major, the pentatonic scale and the bebop scale. 

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  • Triad Pairs For Jazz Guitar - Theory, Tabs, Exercises

    The triad pair system is a technique used by many jazz improviser to build modern improvised lines. It consists of playing two adjacent triads from a scale. The most used are from the major diatonic system, however it is possible to use triad pairs from other scales as melodic minor, harmonic minor and harmonic major. This guitar lesson with tabs, shapes and theory is focused on triad pairs from the major scale only.

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  • What Is The Minor II-V-I Progression - What Scales And Chords To Play Over It

    What is a minor ii v i progression min

    The minor II-V-I sequence is equivalent to the major II-V-I sequence, but played in minor harmonic key. It is a must know for any guitarist who wants to learn to solo over tunes in minor keys.

    You will find minor II V I progressions in many jazz tunes as Autumn leaves, Blue Bossa, Black Orpheus, Stella by Starlight, The nearness of you, I love you, Speak low, Soul eyes, Valse Hot, Along came Betty, Stablemates, Are you real, I'll remember April, I hear a rhapsody, Tangerine, In your own sweet way, Nuages and many more.

    This guitar lesson for beginners explains what is the minor 2 5 1 progression, what scales and what chords can be used for improvising over it.

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  • Intervals on Guitar - How They Look On The Neck - Shapes and Theory

    Whether simple or compound intervals are a very important part of  music theory. Knowing them allow understand how scales, arpeggios and chords are built. Intervals are useful tools to visualize the notes and understand their relationships on the guitar fretboard. This lesson with downloadable pdf, guitar shapes and theory will help you better figure them out and play them on guitar.

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  • Harmonization of the Harmonic Minor Scale - Guitar Shapes & Theory

    This lesson dedicated to the harmonic minor scale explains how to build drop 2 and drop 3 seventh chords from it. This action which consists in stacking notes in interval of thirds starting on each tone of a scale is commonly called "harmonization".

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  • Diatonic Arpeggios and Scales - Guitar Chart Infographic

    This infographic printable for free provides diatonic arpeggio and scale shapes for guitar practice. It shows the relationship between arpeggios and modes of the major scale. 

    Diatonic guitar arpeggios and scales infographic shapes

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  • Guitar Arpeggios - Guide For Beginners - CAGED Charts and Theory

    Arpeggios are the backbone of jazz improvisations, they are easy to learn and play. They are very popular in all styles of music (rock, metal, blues, pop) because they allow to easily outline the harmony and create fluid lines.

    It is very important to understand what are arpeggios and how to use them into your jazz guitar solos. This guitar lesson provides the most important arpeggio shapes that any beginner jazz guitarist must know.

    In the first part, they are classified into seven qualities : major 7, minor 7, dominant 7, half-diminished, diminished 7, Major 7#5 and minMaj7 using the CAGED system, one of the best methods for learning scales and chords on the whole of guitar neck.

    The second part of the lesson shows the arpeggios within the main families of scales namely, major (diatonic), harmonic minor, melodic minor and harmonic major.

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  • 10 II V I Jazz Guitar Licks For Beginners

    2 5 1 guitar soloThe II-V-I sequence is the most common chord progression played in jazz music and a must know for any guitarist who wants to learn jazz language.

    The II, the V and the I (chords and scales) are constructed based on the corresponding second (II), fifth (V)  and first (I) step of the major scale.

    In this guitar lesson you will learn what's the 2 5 1 progression and how to play easy jazz lines over a 2-5-1 using the most common scales found in jazz music.

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  • 17 Essential Guitar Scales

    What Scale to Choose for Improvising?

    One of the most common question a beginner asks when he wants to start improvising on guitar is : Which scale to choose over which chords? However, there is a lot of scale and a lot of chord, it is easy to get lost. That's why it is important to make the relation between them, trying to understand what is the appropriate scale that fit the chord and vice versa. 

    This guitar lesson provides the seventeen most important scales with shapes and formulas to know for improvising over the most used chord types in jazz music (major, minor, dominant and diminished).

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  • Harmonization of the Melodic Minor Scale - Chord Shapes and Theory

    How to harmonize the melodic minor scale

    In this lesson we will see how to harmonize the melodic minor scale in thirds with seventh chords. In other words we will see how to build seventh chords by stacking thirds from each degree of the melodic minor scale.

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  • What Scale to Play Over 7b9 Chord

    Phrygian dominant scale guitar shapesDominant 7 flat ninth chords (7b9) are generally related to the fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale known as Phrygian dominant scale, which makes it the most obvious choice for improvising over 7b9 chords. However, we will see in this article that there are many other options.

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  • 5 Easy Jazz Blues Arpeggio Studies For Guitar

    This lesson contains five free guitar studies for beginners that outline the use of arpeggios over a Bb jazz blues progression. There are different kinds of jazz blues progressions. The one that is used in this eBook is built with a secondary dominant (VI7), a passing diminished (#IVdim7) and a turnaround (I7, VI7, iim7, V7). 



















    Bb7        G7 (b9)

    Cm7           F7



    I7              VI7

    iim7            V7



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  • How to Practice Pentatonic Scales On Guitar

    Pentatonic scales are scales with five notes per octave. They are frequently used in music all over the world. The word "pentatonic" comes from the Greek word "pente" meaning five and "tonic" meaning tone.

    Talk of "the" pentatonic scale generally make reference to the major pentatonic scale and its relative minor. It's a mistake, indeed there are many types of pentatonic scales (Egyptian, Ritusen, Man gong, Altered, Locrian...).

    Pentatonic scales are considered earlier than heptatonic scales (seven-note scales) and can be divided into two categories :

    • Containing semitones (hemitonic)
    • Without semitones (anhemitonic)

    The purpose of this post is to propose some tips and ideas for practicing and develop pentatonic scales.

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  • 12 Types of Major Scales - Guitar Lesson With Diagrams

    12 types of major scales

    What's a Major Scale?

    A major scale is a scale containing a major third (3) and a major seventh (7). There must be four half-steps between the root and the major third and one half-step between the major seventh and the root. The most known is the major scale spelled 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7.

    What Are the Twelve Types of Major Scales?

    When we think about major scales, the first that comes to mind is the Ionian mode, best know as THE major scale. However, there are several other types of major scales (Ionian #5, Lydian augmented #2, Ionian b6) which deserve a little more attention. Here they are listed with guitar shapes and formulas. 

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  • II V7 Bebop Patterns - David Baker - Analysis and Scale Diagrams

    Bebop patterns for guitar david baker 10This blog article is related to the video tutorial published on JGL YouTube channel. It contains 10 II V7 jazz bebop guitar patterns with analysis and scale shapes.

    These lines come from the first chapter of David Baker's book "How To Play Bebop Vol.2 - Learning the bebop language". They correspond to the first ten exercises of the section named "The Use of The II V7 Progression in Bebop".

    You 'll find in this lesson a quick analysis of each pattern with scale diagrams (Dorian, Dorian bebop, Mixolydian, dominant bebop, Mixolydian b13, altered, mixo-blues and half-whole diminished).

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