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.
“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 notation, TAB, and Grids
- Step by step instructions for playing and practicing
- Lifelong access for future reference
- A technique practice tool that will last a lifetime.
“Is This Course for Me?”
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.**
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.
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Frequently Asked Questions
If you mark lessons “complete” as you go, your progress will be saved and you can pick up where you left off.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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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.