Rockschool Debut Technical Exercises: Scales

Updated: Apr 7

Whether or not you are planning on taking the Rockschool Debut grade, these scales are important to learn.

Firstly, think about this: Rockschool have taken a lot of time and effort to work out which scales should be learnt and in which order. And you'll notice that the first one - C major - is generally the first scale learnt on any instrument, in any style.

The other two scales - E minor and A minor pentatonic - are more important on the guitar than most instruments as so much guitar music uses them, from rock to blues to jazz. The pentatonic scale is something you'll still use even when you've been playing for 40 years.

Remember to practise these scales slowly. Start on the C major, pause the video when needed. Only move on to the next scale when you are happy with the first or you might start getting confused.

You do not have to play these scales quickly at this level. Your focus should be playing smoothly and making sure the notes all sound nice. In the exam you only have to play at 65 bpm using crotchets (1/2 notes). This means each note should last for just under a second.

Here's the video. Have fun and remember to play up and down the scale (ascend and descend).

Also use a scale to make up your own songs - this can be lots of fun!

Click on the scales below to download:

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