New Practice Resource: Open Position Scales

3:30 PM Paul Horn 0 Comments

A Systematic Approach to Practicing Scales


I began studying and playing the classical guitar in 2009, and throughout the years I’ve developed and revised my day-to-day practice book. This book is tailored to the areas that I need practice on, and is setup in a way where I can practice those areas every day without being overwhelmed.

From this practice book I’ve developed several routines that I thought would be helpful to the classical/fingerstyle guitarist community. So, from time-to-time, I will be releasing what I’m calling Practice Resources.

Practice Resources will consist of digital PDFs and physical books that are not only scale books, chord books, or technical resources, but also a practical approach to practicing all of the techniques that you need to touch on each week.

What’s so different about this book?

Have you ever seen a scale book only dedicated to Open Position Scales? I haven’t. I think that’s why I’ve started with the Open Position Scales book, but as I said, this is not just a scale book: it’s a practice approach. How is that? I’m glad you asked. When approaching the practice of scales, you’ll notice that you have 24 major and (relative) minor scales in 12 keys. There are other scales to learn as well, however, let’s just start with the relative minor scales. As a guitarist, you would want to learn as many scales in as many keys as possible. With the abundance of scales, modes, and positions, that can be overwhelming. So, I got to thinking, how can one approach this awe-inspiring task?

I start with the major scale, next play the relative minor of that scale, and then move on to the major scale of the fifth degree. I have found that you can get through all of the major and relative minor scales in six days with only practicing them five to ten minutes each day. Okay, that sounds more complicated than it is:

Let me Show you What I Mean

It’s Monday (oh Monday), and you have sat down to practice your guitar. Opening the Open Position Scales book, you see the C major scale. You play through the scale, slowly at first, getting the notes under your fingers.


As you finish up the C major scale, you move on to the A minor scale, the relative minor of C major.


Once you finished A minor, you move to G major, and then to E minor. Before you know it, you have played through the first four scales for the week. On Tuesday, you move on to D major, B minor, A major, and F# minor… and so on and so forth. It’s pretty much that straight forward. Once you have finished playing through the book, you start over again on Monday.

How the Book is Set Up

The book itself is set up in three sections. For those who like only notation, the first section is set for you.


The second section are for those who want tablature in addition to the notation.


The third section contains scale charts for reference with the suggested left-hand fingering.


Again, the book layout is fairly straight forward and is good for beginners and those who want to add to a reference to their musical library.

How to Get the Book

Scale practice is one of the essential foundations to any music instrument. To get your copy of the book, please follow the links below:

Get a physical copy | Get the Digital PDF | Free Copy with Newsletter Sign-up