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3 Amazing Guitar Scales You Must Add to Your Playing

Most guitar players know the pentatonic scale, and in modern music, it’s the go to scale for general lead playing, guitar licks, and guitar solos. But there are many more guitar scales out there that simply don’t get enough attention. Here are some guitar scales you might want to learn so that the next time you’re playing lead, you’re not stuck using the same old tricks. 

For more guitar scales, check out our Scale Finder.


Mixolydian scale - Joe Perry

Joe Perry of Aerosmith is known mostly for his quick bends, and bumpy riffs. He mostly used the blues scale but also mixed it up with some mixolydian scale playing as well. The mixolydian scale is very similar to the major scale, except it has a dominant 7th note. Another player that is known to use this scale is Carlos Santana. 

Learn how to play like Joe Perry here.


Phrygian dominant scale - Ritchie Blackmore

Sometimes used for metal, or hardrock, the phrygian dominant scale was often utilized by Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. The song “Gates of Babylon” is a great example of the phrygian dominant scale. When played as a whole, the scale sounds a little like a twisted, mysterious version of the major scale. 

Learn how to play like Ritchie Blackmore here.


Major scale - Brian May

In popular music, the pentatonic scale is number one, there’s no doubt there. But thanks to guitar players like Brian May of Queen, the good ol’ major scale can also have some of the spotlight outside of classical music. A lot of Queen’s larger-than-life, theatrical sound can be credited to May’s usage of the major scale. One of the classic examples of May’s major scale playing is in the middle guitar solo of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  

Learn how to play like Brian May here. 

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