Intermediate Scales

Turn your barre chords into pentatonic scale shapes

Minor, Major, Blues, and Conspirian

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Pentatonic scale exercises

Learn to play over changes using pentatonic scales

To use scales successfully you need to swap scale every time the chord changes. Many guitar players don’t do this, instead, they pick just one that “kind of works” and ignore the chord progression beneath.

This is called using a “blanket scale” and means that they’ve set themselves up for a lifetime of guessing what notes will work.

The listener always hears melodies in relation to the chords so even if you don’t think you do it, it is still happening – the scale always does change with the chords.

Since scales do change when the chord change, whether you like it or not, it is in your best interest to get so good at playing scales that you can swap them as the chords move along.

Do this and you’ll be playing with the music, rather than “on top of it”.

Every pentatonic scale shape can be directly linked to a barre chord shape. As there are only five minor and five major shapes to learn, this won’t take long.

Even better news, when you start playing using modes (Mixolydian, Dorian, Aeolian, etc) they can, in turn, be built from the pentatonic shapes by only adding a couple of notes.

To fully understand how to use scales to your advantage you need real songs and actual examples, just practicing the shapes won’t be enough so I’ve incorporated all this into the courses.

Not only will you learn how to change the scale as the chord changes, you’ll also start seeing music in a completely different way and leave all those blanket scale guys behind.

You can see the first basic exercises from the course by following the links below.

Minor Pentatonic

The most common scale around is the Minor Pentatonic. This is usually the first scale you learn and use when improvising on the guitar.

Countless hit melodies are based on this scale as well so it really is a must to learn. Once mastered you can build upon it by adding notes to the framework.

Go to Minor Pentatonic.

Blues scale

Blues ScaleOne of the most popular scales used in modern music is the Blues scale.

The Blues scale is usually the second scale you learn after the Minor Pentatonic as all you do is add one note to it.

Go to Blues scale.


ConspirianThis scale is similar to the Blues scale, we just add one more note, the maj7.

Conspirian is a unique scale to Spytunes, it holds no modal notes and can, therefore, be used no matter what minor chord you play over.

Go to the Conspirian.

Major Pentatonic

We can often use a Major Pentatonic scale to create licks and melodies over major chords.

As all pentatonic shapes can be traced back to a chord shape, they’re easy to understand, visualize, and remember.

Go to Major Pentatonic.

Related Pages


All those open position chords you learned in the beginner course now become barre chords and pentatonic scales.

We’ll use this to map out the entire fret board. Everything becomes easier to visualize once this foundation is laid.

Go to Intermediate guitar exercises.

Acoustic Course

Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fret board.

Go to Intermediate guitar course.

Intermediate Acoustic Songs

You can learn how to play these intermediate songs on the acoustic guitar.

A Change Is Gonna Come, American Pie, Angie, Babylon, Blowin’ In The Wind, Dreadlock Holiday, Fast Car, Hey There Delilah, I Can’t Stand The Rain, I’m Yours, Kiss Me, Mad World, Red, Starman, Sunny Afternoon, and Whistle For The Choir.

Go to Intermediate acoustic songs.

Electric Course

Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

These Motown/Soul songs require you to learn how to play fractions of barre chord shapes and build improvised licks using pentatonic scales.

Go to Intermediate electric guitar course.

Intermediate Electric Songs

You can learn how to play these intermediate songs on the electric guitar.

Be My Baby, Can I Get A Witness, Get Ready, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Jimmy Mack, Master Blaster (Jammin’), Money (That’s What I Want), My Guy, Rescue Me, Respect, Son Of A Preacher Man, Soul Man, and You Can’t Hurry Love.

Go to Intermediate electric songs.

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Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

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