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Guitar Scales Made Easy

C major modes intro] [ C Ionian ] [ Dorian mode ] [ Phrygian mode ] [ Lydian mode ] [ Mixolydian Mode ] [ Aeolian mode ]
Locrian mode ] [ Basic major scale fingerings ] [ F major modes ] [ G Guitar Modes ] [ Constructing Scales ]
Key Signatures and constructing major scales ] [ Modulation, cadence, progressions ]

Guitar Scales
D major and shifting positions

The two illustrations below will show you how to play the D major guitar scale in 5 different positions of the guitar fretboard. Each position shown, equals the fret number position. For example, the 2nd position represents the 2nd fret position on the guitar fretboard. The 4th position would represent the 4th fret and so on, up to the 7th fret position.

You may even run into musical notation that uses this position numbering system. The fingering for this guitar scale exercise has been included under the tablature. This is a great exercise to get familiar with different positions of the D major scale. It will help you get out of the box patterns and experience a few different areas. Once you learn this exercise, it would be a good idea to transpose it to other keys. Move everything higher by two frets and you will be in the key of E major. For example, the first note would start at the 7th fret.

The eight notes in the first measure, 2nd position below are D B C# D, E C# D E. You play this guitar scale with your 4 finger.

Guitar Exercise in the key of D major guitar scales

Guitar Exercise in the key of D major and guitar scales

Guitar notes illustrating the melodic pattern guitar scales

The Illustration above shows how the guitar scale tablature above was constructed and what the notes would look like in the 1st and 2nd measures. What we have done, was construct a melodic pattern. Look above and notice the D B C# and D notes and their specific guitar scale pattern. Then look at the E C# D and E notes and their specific pattern. Notice how each pattern has been

Recall the notes in the key of D major are:

 D  E F#  G A   B  C#  D  E  F#  G .......

guitar notes in D major guitar scale

These melodic patterns were constructed by starting with the D note, then moving down a 3rd to the B note. Then up a 2nd to the C# note and then up a 2nd to the D note. D B C# D.

Then you repeat this pattern with the next note or the E note. Start with the E note, then down a 3rd to the C# note. From the C# note up a 2nd to the D note. From the D note up a 2nd to the E note. E C# D E. Then you would move to the F# note and repeat the same thing down 3 up 2. F# D E F#

You can use this technique to come up with an endless number of melodic patterns. To count 2nds and 3rds and such, you count from the note you start at as 1. For example, look at the D note below. Say you want to go up a 2nd. You would count the D note as 1 and the E note as 2. So you would have D and E. If you wanted to go down a 3rd from the E note, you would count E as 1, D as 2 and C# as 3. D E C#.

D  E F#  G  A   B   C#   D   E   F#  G ......

Try to come up with your own melodic patterns for each of these guitar scales. You can start on any note you want and use any guitar scale in any key. We can do one more pattern in C major. The notes in the key of C major are:

C D E F G A B C D E F...... I like to add a few extra notes on the end so we can go backwards.

Now start with the C note. We will pick four notes, these can be any notes we want. Take the C E D C. That is up a 3rd, down a 2nd, down a 2nd. To create the next pattern, you can start on the D note or any other note in the scale. I will pick the D note. By going up a 3rd from the D, we would have the F note. D F, then down a 2nd would be the E then down a 2nd, it would be the D. We would then have D F E

Once you figure out the notes to use, you can then figure out the tablature.

Anyway, this is something that should be learned at some point in time.

Gool luck,

Guitar Secrets


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