The 4 Best Guitar Scale Books To Fast-Track Your Playing

If you’re looking for scale books made for guitarists that can help you improve your skills and allow you to be able to write great riffs and solos, you’ve landed at the right place. It’s a good idea to have knowledge of scales and an understanding of when to apply certain ones, and to learn all about this, I’ve compiled a few of the best guitar scale books available. These will assist you in getting started on enhancing your rhythm and lead guitar playing with this incredibly indispensable part of music. Read on to find some excellent resources for you!

Guitar Scales For Beginners by Guitar Head

Everyone has to start somewhere, and Guitar Scales For Beginners is a fantastic introduction to those looking to learn about the most crucial aspect of music fundamentals – the scales and keys.

After all, without them, we wouldn’t know how to build chords, and music would not sound very organized. A big reason why your favorite songs sound great is that all of the notes in the key work together, and that involves knowing about scales. Scales aren’t just about solos – they provide the framework for harmony, and riffs are built around them as well.

I appreciate music books that not only show you visuals, such as charts, diagrams, and tablature but also show you how you can apply the concepts you learn. That’s a reason why I highly recommend this particular book to people who are starting to take a clear interest in learning more about the guitar and music in general.

Yes, it has a ton of shapes, patterns, and positions to reference and help you memorize, which is crucial, but it also goes into how you can actually use these guitar scales, which I think is vital for beginner guitarists who are enthusiastic about learning a new instrument without getting too bogged down by music theory concepts, which isn’t always the most exciting thing for new players.

That being said, learning music theory is valuable, and improvement is exciting, but certain books like Guitar Scales For Beginners make it more enjoyable.

The Guitarist’s Scale Book by Peter Vogl

Peter Vogl is one of my favorite authors that I recommend for any guitarist who wants to learn about music theory topics. Music theory is universal, but it’s helpful to learn about it in the context of the guitar, and that’s what Vogl does perfectly in all of his publications that I’ve seen.

So, let’s talk a bit about his book on guitar scales, shall we?

The Guitarist’s Scale Book explains everything you need to know about scales and modes clearly and in detail, and it has many of the same benefits as the previous book.

You will get all of the examples and exercises you need in tablature form, while Vogl also discusses how you’re supposed to use these scales, so you’re not stuck just trying to memorize them.

It’s crucial to commit scale shapes and stuff like that to your memory over time as you study and practice, but it doesn’t do a whole lot of good if you don’t understand how they’re applied, which is essential to making music with scales.

With that said, this book covers all of the essentials and even more! I think it’s cool he talks about jazz, exotic scales, and other “niche” ones, so there’s something here for people of all skill levels to enjoy, not just beginners. I can say the same thing about his other offerings, too, like his book on guitar chords that I recommend checking out if you pick this scale book for guitarists.

The Ultimate Scale Book by Troy Stetina

While I think the books mentioned above are some of the best at explaining guitar scales and how they work, many individuals simply want to have something portable they can reference where the information is more condensed.

Troy Stetina’s The Ultimate Scale Book focuses more on the shapes and patterns of scales and gives you perfect diagrams and tabs that you can quickly look up while you’re practicing at home or when you’re at your private guitar lessons since this is a light-weight pocket guide that you can easily fit into your guitar case and reference when you need a quick look at a particular scale.

While this little book doesn’t necessarily go into significant depth on guitar scales like the previous two books in this guide, it definitely doesn’t skip out on the content.

You’ll still learn about a huge variety of scales, the theory behind them, and how you should practice, but like the cover of it suggests, this one is a crash course on scales, and for many people, that’s exactly what they want and why I recommend this particular book.

The Guitar Grimoire: Scales & Modes by Adam Kadmon

While the previous book described itself as the ultimate scale book, I would go as far as saying The Guitar Grimoire: Scales & Modes is the most complete book you can find.

It is easily one of the most popular books out there and being published in the 90s, it’s been around for way longer than I’ve been playing guitar – and that’s a long time! I definitely remember seeing this book around years ago, though.

History aside, in this Guitar Grimoire book, you’ll be able to reference every single guitar scale that’s known to man and in every key. Of course, it covers some music theory and gives you plenty of charts so you learn countless shapes and patterns all over the fretboard, understand what chords these scales and modes are best played over, and how these scales are made in the first place by teaching you the formulas.

Overall, it is an amazing book for both beginners and advanced players, but admittedly, I think the latter will get the most out of what it has to offer, but that’s also why it considered one of the best books; it’s so incredibly thorough!

If you have some background with music theory already, you’ll get a ton of value from this right of the bat.  Although it does talk about theory, it’s not in extensive detail as a dedicated theory book, so I recommend studying up if you don’t know any music theory whatsoever. At the end of this article, I have some excellent resources that you can check out regarding this.

Without knowing how they’re used, it’s hard to get the most potential from knowing all of these guitar scales, so I recommend learning all you can about music so you can apply these effectively.

It’s also worth noting that The Guitar Grimoire is actually a series of instructional books, and this is just one of a handful of them. I highly recommend checking out Kadmon’s other publications if you get the chance to, but as far as guitar scale books go it’s hard to out-do this one.


These are just a few of the best guitar scale books that I recommend for all guitarists who want to improve their knowledge of guitar scales, learn some new shapes and patterns, and gain a deeper understanding of how these concepts are applied. With this knowledge, you’ll have the tools to take out a lot of the guesswork when trying to create musical ideas.

There are plenty of other great resources out there, too, but these ones definitely stand out the most to me, and any one of these will do just fine. If you’re a beginner, I recommend one of the first two books here, though, because you’ll get a more thorough understanding of how scales work, which will be very useful information as you continue forward in your guitar journey.

Why stop at scales, though? If you’re truly going to take your guitar playing to great heights, I recommend having a solid grasp of the fundamentals of music theory as a whole. Of course, focusing on scales and chords is fantastic, and you are encouraged to dedicate your practice time to them, but if you want a look at the bigger picture and be able to expand on your creative side, I’ve created a guide that’s similar to this one that shares some of the best music theory books for guitarists.

Like the guitar scale books I’ve shared here, having a resource specifically written for guitarists like you is invaluable and makes the process of getting acquainted with music theory easier. Check them out by visiting the link above and furthering your musical education.