The Complete Jazz Guitar Scale Guide

Jazz Guitar Scales are one of the most important and sought after musical devices for improvisors of all levels, backgrounds and musical tastes, which is why I decided to put together this jazz guitar scale guide.

They provide theoretical knowledge about how notes are arranged in a musical contest, teach us the different positions on the guitar and open our hands, eyes and ears to the geometrical nature of the instrument.

For those of us who are learning scales in order to better our abilities as improvisers, it is important to keep in mind that while jazz guitar scales are a great way to learn the neck of the guitar, get different sounds in our ears and train our fingers to do what we need them to do, their knowledge alone will not make one a great improviser.

A thorough knowledge of the vocabulary (licks, patterns and melodies) of the genre you are interested in, coupled with a good knowledge of triads, jazz guitar scales and arpeggios, is the best way to ensure that you are ready to rip a great solo the next time you step on stage.

Click on any scale or mode below in the jazz guitar scale guide to learn more about how each mode is built, how to apply these concepts to a musical situation and to get fingering charts for 1 and 2 octave modes, along with three fingering variations for each.

Learn Jazz Guitar Scales and Jazz Guitar Scale Patterns with the Matt Warnock Guitar Jazz Scales App.

Have a question or comment about the Jazz Guitar Scale Guide? Post it in the MWG Forum Jazz Guitar Scales Thread.

Jazz Guitar Scale Guide



Jazz Guitar Scale Guide – Major Modes




Jazz Guitar Scale Guide – Melodic Minor Modes





Jazz Guitar Scale Guide – Harmonic Minor Modes





Jazz Guitar Scale Guide – Harmonic Major Modes





Jazz Guitar Scale Guide – Blues Scales





Jazz Guitar Scale Guide – Pentatonic Scales





Jazz Guitar Scale Guide – Symmetrical Scales





Jazz Guitar Scale Guide – Bebop Scales


18 Responses to "The Complete Jazz Guitar Scale Guide"

  1. Ron Askew says:

    This is a recommendation that you include in your scale eBook some discussion about scale fingering.

    Note that the use of the 3-note/string scales are good for fast hammer-on/pull-off execution and provide the shape migration information that is needed to bridge the static scale shapes.

    1. Matt Warnock says:

      Hey Ron,
      Thanks for the suggestion, the book isn’t meant to tackle guitar scale shapes, that’s a lot of information, it’s more to outline the five scale techniques as a means of practicing scales.

      Because of the variety of scale fingerings for guitar, I try and cover as many different ones as possible in different articles, but it’s hard to get to all of them as much as I might want.

      Anyway, thanks for checking out the site and for the suggestion.

  2. Ron Askew says:

    Did not mean to suggest that you should write a treatise.

    Was trying to suggest that you wax philosophically and generally as to the value of your offering.

    I have found that the most important and often missing ingredient in most guitar books, sites, etc, is that the guitar learner (note I did not say student) is not told the WHY of it all.

    The most important thing that a player should know while practicing is what he might be thinking and what the important values are.

    If she is new to these issues, she should not have to discover the value of everything for herself.

  3. Matt Warnock says:

    Ron: I was just kinda thinking out loud in my response. It’s a good suggestion, valid point about the why. I’ll see if I can’t squeeze something like that into the next edition of the book, and it would make a good topic for an article, so I’ll put it on my list and hopefully get around to it sooner than later. Cheers

  4. Eduardo (Portugal) says:

    I Must Say a Love your Blog and it´s a everyday routine… in Hope of something new and Challeging .. I love the tritone division , augment Division and many outhers …A really Thanks !!

    I would like to suggest some Pentatonics to add to Your Blog… Probablly you already now !!

    C Mixo C D E G Bb under a C7 Chord
    Minor 6 G Bb C D E under a Cm7 Chord

    Mixo #9 C D# E G Bb under a C7 Chord or Cm7 Bluesy

    Pent Half Diminishead C Eb F Gb Bb (m7 b5 or m7 Chord)
    Dorian Eb

    C Mixo (11) C E F G Bb Under C7 Chord

    Altered Pent C Eb E Ab Bb (C7 alt or C# m6 Chord)

    Love your Blogg !! I Hope if you can talke about Reharmonization Techniques
    in a Tone in the prespective off melody and Harmony


  5. Eduardo (Portugal) says:


    Minor 6 G Bb C D E under a Gm7 Chord


    1. Matthew Warnock says:

      Obrigado! I have been planning on doing an article talking about altered pentatonics so i will have to get on it sooner rather than later! abracos

  6. sebastian cazeiro says:


    Just a short note to thank you.

    What we see around nowadays is a lot of confusion, short cuts, generating a huge amount of time wasting that only makes people sound like each other.

    Teaching is a gift and for me at least, you are among the very best.

    All the best to you,

    Sebastian Cazeiro.

    1. Matthew Warnock says:

      Thanks you Sebastian, that really means a lot. I have always tried to be a good teacher, so I am glad that shows in my articles and videos. Your words are much appreciated.

  7. richard vandyne says:

    Matt- I hope i am in the right area but I am looking for some material that will give me some idea of how to play scales /soloing where you extend that scale all over the board within the context of the song or key you are playing. I see players playing a tune and they are playing all over the fretboard yet staying within the key that,s written. I have always stayed within a given area and never ventured out. What am i missing<????????????

  8. nelson says:

    Matt can you help me whit the harmonic analisis of wave of Jobim and scale used
    thank you

  9. Javier says:

    What would you suggest: learning scale patterns first or learning the notes of each scale and then “apply” them in the neck?

    1. Matt Warnock says:

      Hey, I would say check out the shapes first, so you can hear the collection of notes on the neck, then as you’re doing that learn the names of the notes. Hope that helps!

  10. Jess Michael Hagosojos says:

    Thanks for helping me. Since that I can’t find a friend that has a deep knowledge in Jazz Scales but you help me. Really, I really appreciate that you create this kind of website. Thank you for whoever you are.

  11. Mike C. says:


    I was wondering if you could address hexatonic scales. I’m recently studying them in relation to Randy Vincent’s Line Games book. I’m curious as to your take on Randy’s “basic hexatonics” which tend to held a major scale with the 4th note removed for a Major chord and it’s relative minor, as well as the same formula for the “melodic minor” hexatonic scale. This would yield, for example, C-D-E-G-A-B for C Maj chords and Am chords. While some people ind that this is basically the relative minor Pentatonic scale with an added 9, others see it as a Major Pentatonic scale with a Major Arpeggio, and still others see it as the Major Scale with unstable 4th removed. I see it as being non-committal to the inclusion of the Lydian #11 or the Dorian Maj 6.

    My question is what is your take on this concept. randy has several example of the use of this scale by Joe Pass and Pat Martino, among others? What would the benefit be of using this technique over full major/minor scales be?

    1. Matt Warnock says:

      Hey Mike. I think those scales are valuable if you can find them useful in your playing. I have mostly studied pentatonic scales in this fashion, removing two notes from modes to produce a targeted sound for certain chords, so can’t comment much on Hexatonic Scales. Since pents fit so nicely on the guitar I tend to gravitate towards those mostly in my playing.

  12. Mike C. says:

    I’m the same way. I’m more of a pentatonic-in-modal-situations kind of guy, and hadn’t really heard of hexatonics as a “thing”. Randy Vincent had some good things to say about it and he does use some nice examples of Joe Pass in particular, although he admits that he never heard/saw Joe refer to them as such. Randy also cites personal experiences on how Diorio, Lage, etc., think about these scales when playing them, so apparently some players consider then a vocabulary tool.

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