Header Bar

how to play segovia scales

Better Technique, with “Segovia’s Favorite Scales”


The “Segovia Scales” have been a popular tool for classical guitar technique practice for decades.

While the great guitarist Andrés Segovia did not “write” these scales, he did recommend them to students.  Any word from him at the time was considered gospel (and still is in some circles), so these scale patterns have managed to remain an integral part of many players’ guitar technique practice.

This particular fingering of major and minor scales offers some distinct benefits and challenges (some listed below).

This course explores not only the shapes themselves, but how they relate to other common scale shapes, the music theory behind major and minor scales, and how to navigate the technical issues and develop the skills to play them grace and ease.

When asked about technique practice, Segovia often answered to the effect of, “Ah, play scales for two hours every day.”  Most of us won’t do that, but they are unquestionably valuable for building your guitar abilities, and can be very rewarding to work on.


learn segovia scales



“Very glad to have subscribed to this course “alla carta” and I feel it is a really good plan for many of the reasons and benefits you explored so well ! It is also a warm up, the way to place correctly the left hand and to learn first the shapes, then all the keys little by little… Moreover this course gives us many other tips, advice, music theory ( fifth’s ) … A great deal, but a great treasure for life also ! I was won with this excellent course.” Patrick S.

“Thanks Allen. It’s so true what you write. I’d like to share a personal story. When I was in music school, my teacher never made me play scales. I dreamed of playing Bach’s Chaconne one day, but hardly made any progress. My teacher then recommended that I take a masterclass with John Mills (student of Segovia). The first thing he did each morning was making us play one of the Segovia scales together. After that I took lessons from a concert guitarist who also made me play scales.
Within a year I could play most of the Chaconne variations! I recognized the major and harmonic/melodic minor scale pattern which helped me enormously to memorize the variations and helped so much understanding the music better.”  Margreet de Brie

In This Course, You’ll Discover:

  • How to play above the 12th fret
  • How to ingrain patterns
  • How major scales work
  • How minor scales work
  • What a “melodic minor” is
  • How to shift positions smoothly

With This Course, You’ll:

  • Gain learning strategies
  • Explore music theory
  • Practice shifting positions
  • Focus on connecting notes
  • Understand scale practice goals
  • Discover new ways to practice
  • Join a guitar tradition

Listen to “Segovia’s Favorite Scales”:

“Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.”  Andrés Segovia


In This Course, You’ll Get:

  • 26 Highly Detailed HD Video Lessons
  • 30-pages of PDF Practice Resources
  • Detailed explanations of the scales
  • Multiple versions for easier learning
  • Includes music notationTAB, and Grids
  • Step by step instructions for playing and practicing
  • Lifelong access for future reference
  • A technique practice tool that will last a lifetime.
“I like that you include harmonic analysis and dynamic analysis as you combine them with tips on musicality. In addition, your coverage of the technical aspects of fingering both right and left hands has proven to be quite helpful. You made this piece accessible to a person studying for a year, as well as people who want to take pieces such as this to a higher level of musicality and understanding.” Phroneo K.
Many thanks for your kind words and advice. Good music teachers, in my experience, are rare. You are beyond good. You are excellent. Truly you are a gifted teacher, and I’m thankful for having found you on the internet.” F. Anthony
“Thanks so much Allen, I’m watching your class now and really enjoying it! I’ve never delved so far into analyzing a piece before, it’s wonderful.” Jack C.

“Is This Course for Me?”

segovia scales

Andrés Segovia


Maybe, maybe not.

These scales take some serious work to initially memorize.  And if you are not used to playing in the higher positions, these scales will send you into those zones (for better or worse!).

If you are intrigued and excited by the prospect, then absolutely dive in.

However, if you are lukewarm on scales or simply feel that scales are something you’re “supposed to do”, then save yourself the struggle and work on something else that inspires you.  (That said, I am a huge advocate for scale work.)

Also, while not necessary, it will help greatly if you already know the 5 single-position scale shapes.

In short, trust your gut.  If you are curious and drawn to this practice, jump in with both feet.  If not, that’s perfectly alright, too.


Explore the Segovia Scales: $39

This course on “Segovia’s Favorite Scales” costs $39 for lifetime access and all supplementary materials.

**Become a member of The Woodshed and get full access to this and all courses included in your membership.**

Purchase This Course Now and Get Started Purchase just this course.
Join the Woodshed and Access This Course, PLUS Much More
The Woodshed is a complete program to learn classical guitar.

  • Access to every course on CGS.
  • A step-by-step technique program.
  • Access to a massive library of play-along skill-building videos.
  • One-on-one feedback and support included.

The Woodshed is $49/month, billed automatically. Cancel anytime, with no contracts. Full money-back guarantee, plus keep this course for free, just for trying it. Learn more here.

After you’ve completed your purchase, you can come back to this page and the modules below should be unlocked. You can view and access all your courses anytime on the My Courses page, found in the top menu bar of any page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I download the course videos or access offline?

Currently, videos only stream and cannot be downloaded. You will need internet access to view the videos.

Does this course include the sheet music?

Yes, you get sheet music to download and print, including standard musical notation and guitar TAB. You’ll also find the music separated into small sections for closer study, as well as any other helpful study-aids.

Are TABs included?

Yes, you get both standard musical notation and TABs PDFs to download, save, and print.

How long do I have access to the course?

Once you purchase the course, you have lifetime access. You can proceed at your own pace. You can start and stop as you wish, and know that it will always be here.

If you mark lessons “complete” as you go, your progress will be saved and you can pick up where you left off.

Can I go at my own pace?

Yes. There is no limit on time, and you can progress at whatever pace is most comfortable for you.

If you need to take a break from the course (to travel, or to focus on other things), you can pick up where you left off.

Move through the lessons as slowly or as quickly as you wish.

How can I tell if this piece is good for my level?

As you watch the video and look and the excerpt above, ask yourself the questions:
“Have I played music using these notes?”
“Do I recognize any of the “shapes in the left hand?”
“Are there markings or techniques I don’t recognize or understand?”
“Does this piece get me excited, and just a little scared?”

Most pieces of music can be a wonderful experience for a wide range of players. If you’re a beginner, your challenge will be getting the notes and controlling your hands. If you’re a more advanced player, the notes may come more quickly, but you may need to work on playing more beautifully (phrasing, connecting the notes, balancing the voices, etc).

There is always more to learn. As long as you take your time and focus on specific challenges one at a time, you can enjoy moving forward and learning a wide variety of music.

Can I view this course on my phone or tablet?

Yes, all courses and videos will work just fine on all common devices.

What if I have questions about the course?

If you have any questions on the course, or on any of the lessons within the course, you can leave a comment on any page. (Comments on the website are best, because others can see them as well.)
If you would rather not leave the question as a comment, you can email me directly. I will promptly do my best to answer any questions you have.

What if I buy this course and it's too hard for me?

If you get in over your head, that’s okay. You can return the course and get a refund, or you can keep it and come back to it later.

If you feel overwhelmed, you can also email me for advice or input.

Also, if you feel like it may be too difficult, you may be able to simplify your practice. Focusing on one small aspect (such as the right hand alone) of one small section at a time is very helpful.

What happens next?

If you are ready to purchase this course, you can click the purchase button above or below this text.

After you complete the checkout, you will have access to the course.

If you do not already have a username and password, one will be emailed to you. (Your username is usually your email address).

You can login at the top of any page.

Once you are logged in, you can find your courses in the “My Courses” tab at the top of any page.

To begin the course, print your materials and progress through the lessons.

If you ever have technical difficulties or something doesn’t seem to be working correctly, you can contact me and I’ll help as soon as I am able.


Take this Course

8 Responses to Better Technique, with “Segovia’s Favorite Scales”

  1. Atokpa November 19, 2018 at 9:19 pm #

    Hi Allen,
    Glad to join this course. I am learning the classical guitar for 5 years by a private lesson once a week pace.
    Every morning I start my practice from playing Segovia scale on A, G, E, F, D, Eflat and Bflat. In such situation, why did I join this course ? The answer is quite simple and clear. I want to learn deeper. Segovia scale is the base of all guitar play. It is the ground I stand on. Not only mastering the pattern, but also I want to pay more attention to move how legato from a note to next, and how equally I make a sound to each note, loudness, tone, time, etc. I look forward to get started from now on.

    Best from Japan,

    • Allen November 20, 2018 at 8:05 am #

      Hi Atokpa,
      A thousand thanks for joining the course. I hope you enjoy it and it helps you to meet your goals.
      If I can help, please contact me anytime.


  2. freegassman November 5, 2018 at 12:21 am #

    This course is beyond organized, thourough and just plain Cool.

    Scales are “The Perfect Organism” as Ash would say (Alien)

    Deep Bow, Allen.

    • Allen November 5, 2018 at 2:42 pm #

      Thanks, Jason!
      All the best,

  3. Byron Hitchens May 22, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

    Is it all just printed material or does it include videos?

    • Allen May 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

      Hi Byron,
      Yes, you get access to 26 videos as well as a 30-page pdf guide.

  4. Antonio Sandoval October 5, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

    HI I am interesting to purchase the Andres Segovia scales, can I be able to make copies of PDF scales……?
    thank you..
    Antonio Sandoval

    • Allen October 5, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

      Hi Antonio, Thanks for the question.
      All course materials (for all courses) are in pdf form and available for download, which you can then print.
      thanks much,

Leave a Reply