View Full Version : Confused with scales

11-08-2009, 04:59 AM
Hello all. In the major scale I thought the root was always the first note played, the first fret on the 6th string in each of the shapes :S

Position 5 starts at fret 15th. That'd be position 5 of the G scale because the root is in that case G (15th fret on 6th string). But can I play position 5 starting on fret 8 tho for example? And it'd still be shape 5 BUT of the C scale? ( since fret 8 on 6th string is C). So any shape can be played anywhere in the neck. Is that how it works? Thanks :D

11-08-2009, 07:52 AM
You have to explain yourself a little more clearly, I'm afraid. I don't understand what you're saying.

11-08-2009, 11:59 AM
You have to explain yourself a little more clearly, I'm afraid. I don't understand what you're saying.

I've answered this to myself already so it's ok. But I meant that any shape in the Major Scale can be played anywhere in the neck (of course it'll vary the key since the root note will be different if you move up or down).

I was confused because they are commonly called "positions" (1st, 2nd, 5th position, etc.), which sounds like it's the only place that actual "pattern" or "shape" can be played.

04-19-2010, 04:49 PM
So, there's a few things to clarify. First of all, there are 5 different patterns for the major scales. (Some people will contend there are 7, but really the other 2 are just slight variations.)

What you're talking about is really only one pattern. It's the one that starts with the root note on the 6th string as the first note. So, if you start the pattern on fret 3, then you're playing G major. If you start on fret 5, you're playing A major and if you start on fret 8, you're playing C major and so on.

However, there are other pattern possibilities for major scales. One other pattern actually has the root note on the 5th string. Here's how it works: I'll use a C major example.

So, on the 5th string, play the 3rd fret, using the middle finger. This will be your root note. The rest of the scale works like this.

String 5: Frets 3 and 5
String 4: Frets 2,3, and 5
String 3: Frets 2,4, and 5
String 2: Frets, 3,5, and 6 (here you'll have to slide your hand up a fret)
String 1: Frets 3,5

Also, note that you have some possible notes below the bottom root note.
String 6: Frets 3 and 5
String 5: Fret 2

Now for your soloing, remember that the root note is String 5, Fret 3. There's another root at String 3, Fret 5.

This is a pattern you can slide up and down the neck. As mentioned above, besides this pattern, there are 3 other patterns. But just having a second pattern will give you some flexibility. For example if you solo using C major, you can either use Pattern 1 with root on 8th fret, 6th string. Or you can use Pattern 2 with the root on the 3rd fret, 5th string. It'll give you two different tonal possibilities.

I hope this answer was useful. If I knew how to send out guitar neck diagrams as attachments, the explanation would have been much simpler.