I have done all major, minor and pentatonic scales

closed as too broad by Stinkfoot, Richard, Dave, Doktor Mayhem Mar 4 '18 at 14:05

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    Impossible to say; there isn't a single right answer to this. And you don't really complete scales. Have you learned natural minor, melodic minor, and harmonic minor? Practiced all of the modes of the scales? Practiced in 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, and 7ths? Practiced in every key in all positions? Before doing a deep dive into scales, there are probably other things that you should learn. But what next? Sight reading? Some chords? How to transcribe? What are your goals? The best plan would be to find a good teacher. – David Bowling Feb 28 '18 at 15:42
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    Interesting. In my world the scales are never "done". All musicians I know keep on working on the scales for all of their lives. Never reaching perfection. So my suggestion is to keep on working on the scales you say you have done. – ghellquist Feb 28 '18 at 20:25

If you are like me, you should definitely do the triads. They are a direct technical continuation to scales. This way, you get to play (and hear) chords, which is very different from single notes.

For example, in the key of C:

C+E+G (major)
D+F+A (minor)
E+G+B (minor)
F+A+C (major)
G+B+D (major)
A+C+E (minor)
B+D+F (diminished)
C+E+G (major)
... (continue until you run out of fretboard, then go back)

The above are actually the "root-position voicings", where the root note is the bass note. This is a bit more advanced - easier to write than to play. You should start with "first-inversion voicings", where the root note is the highest-pitched one, like this:

E+G+C (major)
F+A+D (minor)
G+B+E (minor)
A+C+F (major)
B+D+G (major)
C+E+A (minor)
D+F+B (diminished)
E+G+C (major)

Then do the "second inversion" (you get the idea), and then root-position voicings.

You can apply this triad idea to the minor scales too.

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    I don't think that triads are "poor man's chords" at all. Typically you would learn a few open voicings and maybe some barre chords before talking about triads. You can get a lot of mileage using triads in your playing, and I think that many learners neglect this area of study. – David Bowling Feb 28 '18 at 19:58
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    Agreed. Will remove this part. – anatolyg Feb 28 '18 at 20:14

Provided you actually know all the scales mentioned, which means in different positions over the neck, frets and strings, then be aware that there are (as David mentioned) three different minors, and two different pents - minor and major, leading on to two different blues scales.

With all that under your fingers, modes should come easily, provided you realise they are adaptations of the parent scales themselves.

Guitar is one of few instruments which chords can be played on, so that's the next job. Majors, minors, 3 to 5 sevenths, depending how deep you want to go, diminished, half diminished, all this should keep you busy until this time next year!


If you're thinking in terms of 'doing' elements of music, now start on all the chords. Also 'do' all the tunes, as a soloist, as an accompanist and as an improviser over their chord structure. That should keep you going for a bit!


There are a bunch of good ideas already stated here, but I see no mention of metronome and rhythm study. Also chords and chord scales might lead to being able to play with others in a band, which was for me where my understanding of everything musical really became much clearer in a short period of time. I also found playing with others brought fun into the equation, and that made the work involved feel more like play.

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