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Major Scale Pattern

Let's make some sound!

OK, you're tuned and ready. Now let's talk about scales for a moment while you get some hands-on stuff going. Look at the pattern below. This is a fingering pattern on the guitar that produces the succession of sounds we call the major scale. If you have had any kind of music training you will recognize this scale as soon as you begin to play it. It is the reference scale of popular music, the base from which which everything else is constructed. You will need to practice this scale until you are absolutely certain that your fingers will fall off if you run it even one more time, and then run it one thousand more times, and then run it as often as possible for as long as it takes to play it well. Notice the finger numbers identified on the pattern. Don’t cheat by using the wrong finger. Follow the pattern. Your pinky will not want to cooperate at first. Stick with it. It will take some time. Don't give up!

Major Scale Pattern

We recommend starting this scale on the sixth string, 5th fret. Then just play the rest of the notes as dictated by the pattern. Play through the scale, then play it in reverse ( starting on the first string and playing backwards to the sixth string.) You want to play this scale very slowly at first. Do not succumb to the temptation to get in a rush attempting to play something that sounds like a professional lead. Just play the scale one note at a time, making sure every note rings out clearly. If you find that you are getting dead notes, check to ensure you are mashing the string just behind the fret, not on top of the fret. Be sure you are hitting the correct string with your pick. You want to play the notes in succession, with the beginning of a note immediately following the previous note, with no time gap between notes. You may not be able to do this at first. Keep working on it.

This is how the major scale pattern will sound if played starting at the A note on the sixth string, fifth fret.

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