Jazz Guitar: Painless Scale Positions

Master the Jazz guitar scales with this step-by-step course. Why don't you vanquish scale positions once and for all ?!
23 reviews
  • Marc-Andre Seguin JazzGuitarLessons.net

    Marc-André Séguin is the webmaster, "brains behind" and teacher on JazzGuitarLessons dot net, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar.

    Marc-André draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar. This includes over 5 years of teaching one-on-one on Skype and over 15 years of teaching "in person" lessons.

    You may have already taken online courses from Marc-André such as "Learn the Fretboard", "Jazz Guitar Chords: Introduction Course" or "Jazz Guitar Chords: Lesson 2". The goal on uDemy is to offer you, the students, more thorough lectures on jazz guitar topics to deepen your understanding of the music and the instrument.

    About the website: has thousands of unique daily visitors, over a million views on Youtube, curious students from all continents ... and the website continues to grow steadily!

    Marc-Andre Seguin
    "Improve Your Jazz Guitar Playing with a *REAL* Teacher"

  • Lifetime access to 44 lectures
  • 2+ hours of high quality content
  • A community of 600+ students learning together!

Jazz Guitar: Painless Scale Positions

Master the Jazz guitar scales with this step-by-step course. Why don't you vanquish scale positions once and for all ?!
23 reviews


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Jazz guitar scales are the single most used musical device in jazz improvisation and comping. In this jazz guitar scales lesson, you'll master scales in the common "positions system" efficiently, easily and logically. Plus, a friendly teacher delivers the materials to you step-by-step. (-:

Through clear and concise explanations you'll be shedding the light on the most obscure parts of the guitar fretboard. This course focuses on Jazz guitar scale positions and what lies within them. Instead of seeing a chart with a bunch of dots on the guitar and being asked to memorize everything, here, we'll focus on the music making potential of the scale positions.

Step-by-step, note-by-note and through precise assignments, you'll visualize the major scale, the II-V-I progression in every key and in every position (including arpeggios and chords). Don't be scared now! We build everything from scratch and every jazz guitar lesson is progressively *slightly* more difficult.

This Jazz guitar scales course uses a radically different approach to learning the classic 'positions', so the sequence of the assignments makes for a smooth learning curve. No more roadblocks, no more quitting after you memorized a bunch of dots on the fret board (and forgot them!) Simply put: shed a few scales and make LOTS of music with them!

    • Owning a guitar.
    • Practice: be prepared to spend time working out the numerous (gradually more difficult) assignments!
    • Curiosity, open mindedness and a positive attitude. (-:
    • Over 44 lectures and 2.5 hours of content!
    • Master the positions through the following:
    • Cycle of 4ths, Modes for II-V-I, Arpeggios, Chord Shapes.
    • ... and ... The ultimate (last assignement) bring you to playing ALL of this in all 12 keys, flawlessly, effortlessly!
    • Beginner and intermediate jazz guitarists.
    • Especially designed for: 1- those who are starting from scratch learning scales, 2- Those who know 'just a little' about positions and want to *finally* master them all.


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  • 1
    Introducing 'Painless Scale Positions'

    Find out about this course and what YOU can get out of it!

  • SECTION 1:
    Strings, Positions Concept and "The System"
  • 2

    Welcome abroad! This lecture covers: 

    • What you need
    • What to expect
    • A quick outline of the content for this whole course.
    Let's get started with this!

  • 3
    The Concept of Positions

    In this lecture we'll cover what a position *is* and one basic example of the "string" - "finger" numbering system.

  • 4
    Finding Your Roots (PDF)
    1 page
    PDF reference for lectures 3 and 4. Contains what you need to know as far as "note names" on strings 5 and 6.
  • 5
    Finding Your Roots (VIDEO)

    This is where you get the "tips" on the best way to memorize the notes on the 5th and 6th strings.

  • 6
    The System (VIDEO)

    This is where we're having our first look at the "organization" behind the five positions we'll be working with. Grab your guitar now!

  • 7
    The System (PDF)
    1 page
    The PDF reference chart for the 5 positions (one-octave fingerings only)
  • SECTION 2:
    Cycling One-Octave Positions
  • 8
    Memorizing Positions

    The system that we'll be using to memorize scale positions in all keys is the cycle of 4ths. Here's how it works.

  • 9
    Circle of Fourths (Diagram)
    15.57 KB

    Keep this handy for reference! You can also see the theory section on the JazzGuitarLessons.net website if you really want to understand the logic behind this: http://www.jazzguitarlessons.net/jazz-theory.html

  • 10
    Assignment 1 (PDF)
    2 pages
    Your first attempt at cycling one-octave scale positions (from C major 5-2 up to C major 6-4 ... playing in all keys in between!) Have fun with this one!
  • 11
    Assignment 1 (VIDEO)

    The note-for-note walkthrough video for assignment 1 (along with important points to remember when working on the assignment by yourself.)

  • 12
    Everything In Order

    A little recap of Assignment 1 ... and a bit about why you need to remember the order in which the keys / positions appear in the cycle of 4ths. The information will be invaluable in Assignment 2 through 5.

  • 13
    Mastering One-Octave Scale Positions

    The last bit information we're missing to tackle Assignment 2, 3, 4 and 5. It's 'pep talk' time!

  • 14
    Assignments 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 (PDF)
    3 pages

    Descriptions of the assignments.

  • SECTION 3:
    Play Alongs
  • 15
    Play Along: Assignment 1
  • 16
    Play Along: Assignment 2
  • 17
    Play Along: Assignment 3
  • 18
    Play Along: Assignment 4
  • 19
    Play Along: Assignment 5
  • SECTION 4:
    Almost There ...
  • 20
    Assignment 6

    This is the "last frontier" for the one-octave scale positions! One last step and we're good to continue on this scale positions journey...

  • SECTION 5:
    Completing Positions
  • 21
    Completing 'The System' (VIDEO)

    This is where we finally encounter all the 'available' notes in each of the 5 scale positions.

  • 22
    The System 'Take 2' (PDF)
    1 page
    Completed positions in the key of C. Same as in 'The System' PDF file but reaching all the way up and down to every reachable notes in the range of each 'box'.
  • 23
    Degrees of Danger

    Discussing the #1 problem amongst GUITARISTS learning their scales by positions + exercises to get familiar with scale degrees (in order to avoid the problem, of course!)

  • SECTION 6:
    Getting More Personal
  • 24
    Getting Personal with 5-2

    A LONG lesson on all the materials we'll be using throughout (virtually) all the remaining assignments.

  • 25
    Assignment 8 (PDF)
    1 page

    The first of the more 'explorative' assignments in the course. Playing on the ii-V-I using a definite position (with modes, scales, arpeggios, chords, etc)

  • 26
    Assignment 8 (VIDEO)

    A play along, with a few detailed explanations on how to master assignment 8.

  • SECTION 7:
  • 27

    Food for thoughts as we are at (or almost) the half-way point in this course.

  • SECTION 8:
    Tackling More and More
  • 28
    Assignment 9 (VIDEO)

    To-the-point, concise instructions for assignment 9. Probably the simplest assignment in the whole course!

  • 29
    Prep for Assignments 10 - 11 - 12 - 13

    An overview of the next four assignments... they're all in the same vein! It's only so you're not too surprised of the content when you see the upcoming PDFs for assignments. As always, if you understand this lecture well, all you have to do after is 'go through the motion' and play slowly and perfectly through the assignments.

  • 30
    Assignment 10 (PDF)
    2 pages

    One of four assignment "in the same vein": three parts tackling cycling completed positions, connection with positions shift and 'getting personal with' arpeggios / modes session.

  • 31
    Assignment 10 (VIDEO)

    Run-through of assignment 10 in video format (with some important comments and notes about how to proceed with special cases...)

  • 32
    Assignment 11 (PDF)
    2 pages

    One of four assignment "in the same vein": three parts tackling cycling completed positions, connection with positions shift and 'getting personal with' arpeggios / modes session.

  • 33
    Assignment 12 (PDF)
    2 pages

    One of four assignment "in the same vein": three parts tackling cycling completed positions, connection with positions shift and 'getting personal with' arpeggios / modes session.

  • 34
    Assignment 13 (PDF)
    2 pages

    One of four assignment "in the same vein": three parts tackling cycling completed positions, connection with positions shift and 'getting personal with' arpeggios / modes session.

  • 35
    Quick Note

    A quick note about the last four assignments, did you notice something wrong or missing?

  • SECTION 9:
    Last Detour
  • 36
    Positions Connection Etude

    Explanations, precisions and warnings on Assignement 14.

  • 37
    Assignment 14 (PDF)
    2 pages

    Second to last assignment. Covering ALL the five positions ... all connected together (by seamless position shifts) as a long stream of 8th-notes

  • SECTION 10:
    Home Stretch
  • 38
    Assignment 15 (VIDEO)

    Your last little bit of suffering for this course! This explains the final assignment.

  • 39
    Assignment 15 - PART 1 (PDF)
    3 pages
  • 40
    Assignment 15 - PART 2 (PDF)
    3 pages
  • SECTION 11:
  • 41
    Graduation Ceremony

    Sincere congratulations! Have a drink, eat some cake ... do something to PARTY! (Give yourself a good tap on the back, you deserve it.)

  • 42
    Certificate of Completion (for graduates only)
    1 page
  • 43
    Thank You's (please read)
    Because I was too excited to give you your "Certificate" and get talking about the follow up course, I almost forgot this: 1- A Big Thank You Thank you for taking this course and participating in this thing. It means a lot to me ... I've been using the JazzGuitarLessons.net and other online courses…
  • SECTION 12:
    Download ALL PDFs
  • 44
    ALL PDFs For This Course
    369.47 KB

    Download this small ZIP file containing all the PDFs for this course. (If you're having trouble viewing PDF straight from the udemy platform).


Hours of video content
Course Enrollments


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  • Phil Knight
    Does exactly what it promises

    Excellent course , great to get all of those scale shapes connected and working.

  • Patrick LeBoutillier
    Great course!

    This course was what finally made me sit down and learn my scales. The videos are great and there are a lot of explanations by Marc, not just videos of him playing. I definitely recommend this course. Can't wait for the second part!

  • Gloria Hamilten

    I'm sorry but what he does is just not clear to me. I am very proficient in piano and theory of the piano, I taught myself the trumpet and now I'm teaching myself the guitar but what he tries to do with just using C major at the beginning makes no sense. For one thing, I can't really see what his fingers are doing. Even with the fret notes written out in front of me I couldn't work out where he was getting the D, E, F, etc on the fret board. He was also playing the first exercise too fast and then sped it up even more when he repeated it. I did the free Erich Andreas' course and that made sense. I thought this one would add to it but it doesn't. I'm not going any further with it. Just because a person can play an instrument does not mean that he can teach it. I do not wish to be rude as he seems a nice fellow.

  • Vossymusicman@gmail.com

    "Painless" is the word!! Thanks Marc for your insight into how to present a course which covers a lot of ground in a concise and interesting format. As soon as I finish this one (currently 80% complete - I'm being tough on myself)) I'll be working through your other courses.

  • Howard White
    Fantastic course

    Really enjoyed this course Marc. I came at it with a basic (self taught) knowledge of the CAGED system and 3 notes per string scales, but actually wished I had learnt this first, as my bad habits sometimes trip me up. Its logical, easy to follow but gets progressively challenging (in a good way) that kept me coming back and finding little extra things in it. My playing has DEFINITELY improved since starting this course, and I suprised myself last week when i was jamming with my buddies. It does sink in, and is a system that you can keep coming back to and polish up all the time. Marc's stye of teaching is fabulous - engaging, entertaining and personal. Really great course - more please !!!

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