Scales: Whole & Half Steps in Guitar Lessons

In guitar lessons with Fox Music of Virginia Beach, learning scales will be a regular thing. There are several different types of scales. The ones you’ll learn first are minor pentatonic and major scales. When first starting to learn scales in guitar lessons, you don’t even have to be able to read music. All you have to be able to do is count to 12, know the musical alphabet, and understand what whole steps and half steps are and how they relate to the guitar. In this post about guitar lessons, we will discuss whole steps and half steps. So, what are whole steps and half steps? Whole steps and half steps are the most basic description of the space or distance between two notes, called an interval. A half step on a guitar is a distance of one fret up or one fret down. A whole step is two half steps put together simply because two halves make a whole. So a whole step on a guitar is a distance of two frets up or two frets down. For example, if you are playing on the 5th fret and you are told to go down a whole step, you would now play the 3rd fret. If you are playing on the 5th fret and are told to go up a half step, you would now play the 6th fret. Before we move on, it is important to know which way is up and which way is down on the fret board. At first in guitar lessons, every one (and I mean every one) thinks that going down on the fret board would be going towards the body of the guitar. This is wrong! As we move towards the body of the guitar on the fret board, the notes get higher and higher in pitch. A guitar is a musical instrument and therefore we refer to which way is up and down on the fret board in terms of high and low notes in guitar lessons. It may feel backwards to you, but do your best to get in the habit of calling towards the body of the guitar higher and towards the tuning pegs lower. If this still doesn’t make complete since, think in terms of fret numbers. Where is the first fret on the guitar? It’s located where the fret board and the head of the guitar (where the tuning pegs are located) meet. As we get closer to the body of the guitar the frets go up in number, not down. It just wouldn’t make sense to say that going from the 1st fret to the 5th fret is going down.