Why You Should Practice Scales On the Guitar

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, we may receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Has your guitar teacher been insisting that you do guitar scales?

Finding it difficult to understand why you should practice scales on guitar?

While most newbie and intermediate guitar players have heard that they’re supposed to be practicing their guitar scales regularly, few really understand what the importance of them really is. Most guitar players would prefer to be practicing the leads from their favorite songs rather than repeating predictable guitar scales ad nauseam.

Unfortunately, if you want to become a master of the guitar it’s important that you practice guitar scales regularly. Especially if done while using a high-quality metronome, practicing your scales will make you a much better guitar player over time.

Ready to learn more? Below we’ll give you the top reasons why you should be practicing guitar scales on a regular basis.

1. Develop Your Ear

One of the top reasons to practice scales on the guitar is because it can help you train your ears to recognize different notes and intervals. As a musician or as a guitar player who wants to become a better musician overall, developing your ear and recognizing notes and distances between those notes is absolutely essential.

Running through the guitar scales you find in a book such as this one will have a profound effect on your ability to hear different notes and will make you a better all-around musician.

2. Create Muscle Memory

While hearing the differences between different notes on the fretboard is useful, playing guitar takes a lot more than that. Developing your muscle memory is just as important.

Playing your scales regularly will help your fingers recognize where one note leads to another in different keys and places on the fretboard. This muscle memory should not be taken for granted, and the only way to improve it is to practice regularly.

3. Build Finger Strength

In addition to improving muscle memory for your fingers, you also need to build up strength and callouses in your fingers as well.

Playing scales regularly each time you practice can help you give your fingers the strength they need to play real solos and leads that you’ll want to play as a guitarist. You’ll be able to press down on the frets more easily and will learn to stretch your fingers better as a result of playing scales religiously.

4. Learn the Fretboard

In addition to the above benefits, playing scales often all over different parts of your guitar neck will help you learn the fretboard. The more you know the fretboard the more chances you’ll get to do interesting stylistic things both when it comes to playing leads and when it comes to playing unique and interesting variations of chords.

As a result, you’ll understand how each fret and note fit together and this will give you endless options of how to play a cover song to make it your own or to write interesting songs all on your own.

5. Start Shredding

So what do all of the above benefits of practicing scales have in common? The answer is that each of them serves as the backbone for becoming the guitar player that you want to be.

While you may dream of playing the masterful solos of Steve Vai or Stevie Ray Vaughn, it will be much harder to do if you don’t have plenty of finger strength, a great ear, and a working knowledge of the guitar fretboard.

By practicing your scales regularly you’ll then be able to use those scales and deviate them when it comes time for your next guitar solo. As a result, you’ll be a much better lead guitar player.

Understanding Why You Should Practice Scales On the Guitar

While there’s a lot to learn to become an amazing guitar player, practicing scales on the guitar is one of the key pieces of the puzzle. By now you should be starting to understand why you should practice scales on guitar and exactly what it can do for you as a budding guitarist.

If you’re looking for a great guitar scales book as a beginner, The Guitarist’s Scale Book is a great resource to use.

Trying to find more ways to enhance your guitar training? Check out our list of the best music theory books now.