Lead Guitar Mastery Pt 2: Guitar Scale Cheat Sheet

Last week, we looked at the 3 scales you need to become an awesome lead guitarist.

This week, I'm giving you the ultimate secret to using them to make your guitar solos sound good in any key (don't forget to download the PDF Cheat Sheet at the end).


The Secret: Relative Keys

Get ready for some voodoo magic here.

A C Major scale has the following notes in it: C - D - E - F - G - A - B

Astute observers will notice that this is really just going through the alphabet (apart from jumping from G to A, as that's where our musical alphabet ends).

An A Minor scale has the following notes in it: A - B - C - D - E - F - G

Notice anything interesting?

They are made up from the exact same notes.

That means it is unnecessary to learn both scales. In fact, every single major scale has a relative minor scale.

So don't learn them all. Learn the bare minimum, become a pro with it, and learn the alternative scales and shapes when you are sick of your existing patterns.

Let me phrase this a different way, because I know this is not the sort of advice most guitar teachers will give you: you don't need to learn many more scale positions because, after your 3 core scale shapes, new scale shapes do not add any new notes to your solos.

All they do is give you different arrangements of the same notes.

Instead, I want you to do 3 things:

  • Master the 3 scales we looked at last week (and I mean master. memorise, play them inside out, back to front, from any fret, at any tempo)
  • Download the cheat sheet below (if you can memorise this info, even better) to find which scales work best over each key
  • Match the scale shape to the key of a song and solo over it. Endlessly, until your solos sound as good as you want them too.

(If you need a more detailed guide on finding the root note of a song for soloing, you can check out this guide here first).

The next 9800 hours or practice are up to you, and you know what to do with it - start soloing!

 Get yourself a guitar practice buddy or get out your backing tracks, and get those fingers, ears and inner creative muscles honed.