Express Guitar - The Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit

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Beginners guitar lessons, scales - 4 tips to get the most from your lead playing 


 Learning guitar scales can be frustrating and confusing for the
 beginning guitarist. Often the student simply doesn't know where
 to start.

 How important are scales?

 It appears that learning and understanding scales is
 vital to becoming a better guitarist, how many scales should I
 learn and which scales should I learn first?

 Good questions, the truth is scales re important, they're like
 our musical alphabet. The thing to keep in mind is that you only
 need to know a few scales, guitarists often become obsessed with
 practicing scales and over their real purpose which is to make

 Here's a list to help you choose what scales to practice and
 eliminate the confusion.

 Tip 1 -- Select a style

 With literally thousands of scales to learn the first thing to do
 is decide on which style of music you want to play. Certain
 scales are more applicable to particular types of music e.g., the
 minor pentatonic scale works well for rock, blues, metal
 music...mainly songs with power chords.

 The blues scale is used mainly for rock, blues, metal music while
 the major pentatonic scale is mostly used for country, pop,
 country rock ...generally songs with open chords.

 Of course, I'm generalizing here, you can use any scale you wish
 for any style of music, however some scales work better than
 others. The idea is to use the correct musical alphabet (scale)
 for the style of music you want to play.

 Tip 2 -- start on the keynote

 Simply running up and down a scale won't produce any meaningful
 music no matter how fast you play them. It won't communicate
 anything to the listener.

 The idea is to train our brain and fingers to make musical
 decisions, which note do you want to play next? Where is the note
 I'm hearing in my head is it higher or lower than the previous

 To get this brain -- fingers connection practice starting on the
 keynote of the scale and decide whether your next note is higher
 or lower than the keynote.

 The keynote is the first note of the scale, e.g., the keynote for
 the A minor pentatonic scale would be 'A".

 Tip 3 -- record a background

 Once you have decided on a scale to practice, record a background
 in the key you want to practice. The recording does not have to
 be elaborate, a simple acoustic guitar will work fine.

 Record the backing track for 5 to 10 minutes duration, this will
 give you plenty of time to practice and try out your ideas.

 A good idea is to try and play just one note (the keynote is an
 idea choice for this), practice all different types of rhythms,
 slides, bends  etc., to see how creative you can be.

 Recording a backing track is very helpful as you will find that
 you react differently to certain chord textures, the same note
 will sound different when played against a variety of chords.

 Tip 4 -- learn all keys

 Guitarists should practice their favorite scale(s) in all keys,
 this is especially important when working with singers.

 Each key has it's own personality, certain keys have a warm
 feeling, while others are bright.

 Try playing a "G" minor pentatonic scale over a recorded
 background in the key of "G", then, play a "B" minor pentatonic
 scale over a pre-recorded background in the key of "B".

 Scales can "free your fingers and freeze your brain" the whole
 idea of scales is to help you play music. Think of music as a
 language, scales are our musical alphabet, knowing the alphabet
 is just the beginning, it's how we use the alphabet to
 communicate that's important.

 These ideas will help you develop your own style and soon you
 will be transferring the music you are hearing in your head onto
 the guitar.



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Rave Reviews for Express Guitar:


As a student of Mike Hayes since 1999, I have found his teaching methods and products to be first class. Whatever style or area of music I have been interested in, he has provided me with useful information, advice and study materials. His style of teaching and teaching products enabled me to progress through his guitar course far quicker than I ever imagined. He also helps in teaching yourself to find and develop your own style of music. Mike’s teaching gives his student’s the ability to become useful musicians, not just guitarists.

Stephen J Reid
Guitarist & Musician



This course teaches us how to learn, how to retain, and how to recall information quickly. This entire program is built around "connected learning" with key phrases, picture words ( yes there is such a thing ) and the most dynamic personal motivator I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Ken C Simpson
Business Owner & Guitarist
Queensland, Australia



The course is varied, in-depth and well-structured, making learning and comprehension fast, thorough and enjoyable. It’s a great way of learning, as you can pace yourself and move onto the next stage when you feel competent. I find this course both innovative and inspirational. I find myself leaving Mike’s lessons with the determination to reach my new goals.

Karl J Ricker
Sales Manager
Sunshine Coast, Australia