Playing fast scales is something most guitarists earnestly wish to do, need to do, and sadly, have a lot of trouble doing! Scales are extremely complex, made up of many separate skills that must be mastered, and precisely combined. These separate skills are never taught before scales are given, instead, many students receive one or more complete scales to "learn" on their first lesson!
This will lead to disaster. If you practice scales without the necessary preparation for them, you will build in a lot of tension and a lot playing problems into your muscles.
The steps for mastering scales, which means the ability to play them fast, loud, and clean, are:
1) Practice of the Foundation Exercises for the left hand in "The Principles"
2) Learning the light finger and firm finger
3) Achieving finger curvature in all fingers
4) Eliminating Finger Squeeze and Finger Rise
5) Mastery of the essential finger combinations 1-4, 1-3, and 1-2
If you practice scales without this preparation, you will struggle to play fast and clean, as your fingers become tied up with tension. This tension can and usually does last a lifetime!
After you have properly prepared your fingers for scales, it is time to take them on. You should begin with my "How To Master A Scale" lesson.
Below, you will find a number of lessons that will enighten you as to what you need to master scales on guitar.