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Guitar Scale Sequencing

Lead Guitar

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This is the introduction lesson to the section on scale sequencing. We will cover what a scale sequence is, and why it is important for you to start using sequencing in your playing. First of all, we need to talk about what a sequence is. If you took a series or patter of notes and repeated those notes throughout a scale or arpeggio, that would be a sequence. For example, let's say that you wanted to play a scale sequence in in three's using your G major scale. You would play the first three notes of the G major scale starting on the G note. Those notes would be G, A, and B. After that, you would play three more notes starting on an A note. This would be the second scale degree of G major. Those notes would be A, B, and C. This is a very simple example, but there are a ton of sequences that you can use with your major scales, pentatonic scales ,and arpeggios. These range anywhere from fairly simple sequences, to some pretty difficult ones. For this series of lessons we will keep our sequences on the simple side.

The great thing about sequencing is that it digs you out of the rut of just playing a scale or an arpeggio in order all the way from one end to the other. Playing scale is your solos is great but that can get boring, and after a while your solos can start to sound like you are just practicing. Playing sequences, like the ones presented in these lessons, is one of the first ways to really start to put some color and variation in your playing. Once you have learned a few of these sequencing patterns you will probably notice that they are great exercises for keeping your hands in shape. I recommend that you start using some of these scale sequences in your daily practice routine. Scale sequences also really help to build your left hand strength up fairly quickly.

No matter what kind of music you are in to, you will be using sequencing to some degree. You can find examples of sequencing in country guitar, jazz guitar, metal guitar, rock guitar, blues guitar, and fusion guitar. After you have become familiar with the sound of these scale sequences, I am sure that you will be able to start identifying them is some of your favorite recordings. If you are in to rock or metal, you should try listening to Paul Gilbert or Yngwie Malmsteen. These guys use sequencing in their playing all of the time.

The lessons in this series will cover sequencing in 3's, 4's and 6's using the major scale and pentatonic scale. There are many types of guitar sequences that we could cover, but these should be enough to get you familiar with how sequencing works. Don't be afraid to try and make up you own sequences and patterns. Make sure to use a metronome or a drum machine when you practice. This will help make your playing a lot more even and professional sounding. These sequences can be difficult at first, so take your time with these lessons and be sure to start off slowly. Once you have a sequence down, make sure to start using it in your playing right away.