Those who use a term like “Jazz scales for guitar” can not mean that the scales are meant specifically for Jazz, nor could they claim that they should only be used for guitar. Regardless of their intention, advocates of this phrase inadvertently present us with a half-truth. What they really mean can be expressed in the phrase, “Scales that Jazz guitarists can use”.
The demand for high-ranking keywords results in people stuffing phrases in articles or creating book titles that can mislead the reader. “Jazz scales for guitar” and “jazz scales on guitar” are long tail keywords that may bring good rankings for websites but they discourage those who are not jazz guitarists. Whether or not the problem should be addressed to Google is a matter that will take its course.
For now, the solution is to tell other musicians, to come forth and make use of those same scales that are not meant for, but mistakenly assumed to be for just Jazz guitarists. All of the scales that are fit for Jazz Guitarists are more or less just as beneficial to other musicians. They are the same scales that most other musical genres employ.
The first sight that pops up when we put the search term “Jazz scales for guitar” (without quotes) in Google shows us the “Bebop Scale”. Unfortunately, this Guitar site lays down a half-truth right at the start. “The Bebop scale is a Mixolydian scale” the site claims, but forgets to add that besides Mixolydian mode, it can be Dorian and Ionian modes as well. It can also incorporate the Melodic and Harmonic Minors.
If one looks up “Jazz Scale” as a Google search one will find Wikipedia just above the very same guitar site. Wikipedia sets us straight on the facts on the scales. It says: “Many ‘jazz scales’ are common scales drawn from Western European classical music…All of these scales were commonly used by late nineteenth and twentieth-century composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky.”
Any musician in any genre can and probably has used the scales that have been called “jazz guitar scales”. Don’t be fooled if you play another instrument in some other genre. You should be able to use any of these scales to your advantage.
This brings up the question about the peculiarities of instruments and styles. Is there any one instrument or style that precludes any particular scales? Is there an instrument or style that can claim a scale for itself? Can a book of “scales for Piano” differ that much from a book of “scales for the saxophone”?
The only difference in these books would be that of range and not of the essential scales themselves. There might be certain patterns in arranging the “scale exercises” that are beneficial to one more than the other is, but the scale remains the same.
With this in mind, I would suggest that the Rock, Blues, and New Age guitarist look at the scales meant for Jazz guitarists. Why stop there? Saxophonists and Vibes players can go ahead and make use of these scales as well; chances are they already have.
Meanwhile the same problem will continue: People will use certain keywords that will bring higher rankings, but those keywords will be misleading. This is a contradiction in that Google’s ideas of high-ranking keywords are not indicative of “helpful” sites. Why does Google put a site on the first page, first listing, when the site contains misleading information and half-truths?
The answer opens up a whole assortment of problems dealing with keywords, back links, meta-tags and descriptions, and more keywords in those descriptions. It seems like a silly game of SEO: a way to try to trick Google into liking you no matter how it actually affects the reader.