As you're beginning to learn any new instrument, one of the most essential parts of any practice routine is going to be scales and other technical exercises.

There are lots of different ways to practice your scales on guitar, but there is no doubt that it has to be included into your daily practice session in order to be effecting in the long run.

Here are a few tips for getting started.

Know the Types of Scales

The first point to keep in mind when learning scales for any instrument is to remember that there are a number of different types of scales for you to choose from.

There are literally dozens of different scale sounds, modes, and variations to learn, which turns into hundreds of scales when you multiply them across all twelve keys! Fortunately, you don't need to know every single one of them to get started, and you can learn the rest gradually as you progress with the instrument.

For starters, there are three main scales you should focus on:

  • Major scales,
  • Minor scales, and
  • Blues scales.

If you can play each of these scales well, you'll be able to work your way through a large majority of the music that's out there, and certainly all of the common beginning and intermediate guitar pieces!

Learn more about types of scales.

Pick a Starting Scale

Now that you know which scale groups you need to focus on, it's time to pick a specific scale to start with.

Many people start with a common major scale, for example the C, F, or G major scale, since they are common keys and easy to play. You might also consider working on the relative minor scales for each, the A, D, and E minor scales respectively. Working on relative major and minor scales together is a good practice because you'll be able to learn two very closely related scales at the same time, doubling the bang for your buck!

Another option is to go with a blues scale. This is a great strategy to use if you want to play blues or jazz music, but is also common throughout a lot of rock music. Rock, after all, had its roots in the blues! Picking the right scale here can also translate across a lot of pieces. The G Blues Scale, for example, is a great place to start for many guitarists, because it is both very common across a wide range of music and something that can be learned in a day or two.

Because G is such a common key for guitarists to play in, the G blues scale can feature prominently across a lot of different songs. That makes it a good investment of your time and a great place to start before working through the other keys, which brings us to the next point...

Go Through All 12 Keys for Each Scale

Finally, it's important to remember that wherever you start, you ultimately want to practice everything through all 12 keys. Good musicians are experts at playing things in multiple keys, and if you're serious about learning an instrument you should be able to play as effortlessly in Dflat or F# as you can in C or G!

A good teacher or course can help guide you to find a good practice schedule for your scales, and gradually prepare you to play in any key!

For more information and to get serious about learning to play guitar, read more about the best online guitar courses.