smooth scales

Here is another Friday 10-second tip for you to enjoy…

It’s all about playing notes with smooth transitions.


When you play songs, scales, riffs, or melodies, do you find that the music sounds smooth?

And are the transitions between notes seamless?

Or are there awkward little pauses which ruin the flow of the music and nag at you?

If it’s the latter, one of the most important things you can do when playing anything melodic such as a melody, riff or scale is this…

Make sure each note transitions smoothly into the next one


How do you do that you might ask?

Well, this is where scales come in handy.

But don’t do what most people are taught to do.

Most people are taught to play a complete scale over and over.

This is overwhelming as a complete scale usually means two octaves (if it’s a Major or minor scale) meaning 15 notes to be played!


I’m not a fan of that approach.

I’ve seen it countless times where students play the full scale, but it’s full of pauses at various points.


Instead, I prefer to get students to:

  • At first, play the first two notes of the scale only.
  • Play them back and forth over and over so the notes transition into each other without silence. Practising just the first two notes in a scale like this is key.
  • Once you get the first two notes smooth, practise the transitions between the 2nd and 3rd note, then the 3rd and 4th notes, and so on.

You see, scales will challenge your fingers in different ways, and there will always be different finger combinations on different strings and frets between each scale.

That’s a good thing in many ways as scales will challenge your fingers like real music does…

…but make sure you break down every scale you learn into these two note “pairs” to begin with.


Get them smooth and then piece the scale together gradually.

Do that and you’ll save yourself a tonne of time down the line fixing bad habits and trying to eradicate awkward pauses.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Also, keep in mind technique, positioning, non-playing fingers, and coordination are all important.


I’m covering all this in a new DTAA lesson out on the 1st of May.

To get these lessons, check them out below…

The Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy


Enjoy your Friday!

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. If you join the academy by the end of the month, you’ll get TWO books of mine posted out to you.

#1 – Guitarists Get Theory

#2 – Essential Guitar Technique

The paperbacks for these are not available anywhere else, but I’ll send them to you as a free welcome gift.


P.P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.

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