Many newcomers to the guitar cringe when their teacher informs them that they are going to have their first guitar scales lesson. It is understandable for without knowing scales you cannot appreciate their value and usefulness and they can seem just like a boring pointless exercise.
It is still vital for guitar beginners to start learning some music since that is what it is all about and being able to play some tunes encourages people to work harder to learn more. Once a student has been learning for a short time it is important to introduce a guitar scales lesson for various reasons.
There are so many advantages to learning scales on the guitar that it is impossible to cover them all here but one of the main benefits is that it is a great exercise for both the hands. Being able to move effortlessly up and down the fretboard while employing different plucking/fingering techniques with the other hand guarantees that the student will be able to learn a musical piece much earlier.
Learning where the notes are on the fretboard will help with the understanding of chords and how to play them in different positions over the fretboard. This leads to probably the most important benefit that occurs after a good knowledge of guitar scales has been achieved – the ability to improvise. Whether you want to play exciting heavy metal riffs or complex accompaniment to a jazz rhythm it is impossible to improvise unless you have a solid grounding in the playing of guitar scales.
It really is the mark of a fine musician to be able to sit in with others, pick up the music, dominate the piece with complex improvised scalar melodies while still staying relaxed and make it seem so so easy.