Photo by Mikkel Bech on Unsplash

There’s way more than blues-rock fodder buried in the crevices of the most overused scale in music.



  • Explain how chords are generated from scales.
  • Create unusual harmonies, chord progressions, bass lines, and melodies using the blues scale.
  • Demonstrate how music theory and musical intuition can coalesce to create unique sounds from traditional materials.
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Last updated on May 21, 2022

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for blues music, but the blues scale can yield beguiling musical results that bear little resemblance to the traditional blues—particularly if one looks at (and listens to) the scale from a different point of view.

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The Most Popular Scale in the World?

It’s not the blues scale. Thankfully.

Chops: Beginner
Theory: Beginner
Lesson Overview:
• Demonstrate several uses for the major pentatonic scale.
• Explore different forms of world music.
• Highlight techniques that will give your guitar playing a more cosmopolitan sound.

Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.

While many guitarists are aware of the minor pentatonic scale's use in blues and rock music, it's the major pentatonic that is known the world over. Or is it? In this lesson we'll span the globe searching for the prevalence of the major pentatonic.

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When you think about it, it's fascinating how much a fraction of an inch in scale-length difference can affect an acoustic guitar's tone.

String scale length certainly affects playability, but it also has a huge role in a guitar’s sound.

Much has been written about scale length and how it relates to playability, but it seems that less is said about how tone relates to scale. If you're considering having a custom guitar built, it would behoove you to spend some time with different scale lengths to determine which one is a good fit for you. It's an often-overlooked variable that can make all the difference timbrally. At Huss & Dalton, we offer three different scale lengths for our standard models, so for this month's column, I'll cover each and speak a bit about both playability and tonal differences.

Most builders offer something featuring this length and will often refer to it as “long scale." It's usually found on guitars with necks that join the body at the 14th fret, such as dreadnoughts and OMs. Long scale is widely thought of as the scale of choice for both flatpickers and modern fingerstyle players. That's pretty remarkable, given these two camps rarely agree on much else.

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