View Full Version : Scale shapes confuses me

04-02-2014, 05:51 AM
I am a saxophonist, who just picked up my first string instrument, and need some help with the logic behind scale positions since it confuses me a little.

Ok lets see if i can explain:
I know that you can (for example) take the open C major scale position and move it down the fretboard: C#,D,E etc. And i know that i can do the same with chords (CAGFD). But what about the 2-5th position in the scales? For example here http://www.ukuleletricks.com/how-to-play-a-c-major-scale-on-ukulele/ (scroll down)

Is it like with chords that after C comes an A:shape, then G shape? If so, what are the groundshapes for major scales? Sorry if im asking obvious questions but ive been googling like a madman but i just get more confused.

What i am looking for is a logic structure for major scale shapes so i can transpose to all keys. I seem to be missing something here.

04-02-2014, 09:24 AM
1. You may want to repost this is the "Ukulele Tips, Tricks, and Techniques" forum.
2. Also see the sticky thread there Uke-Scales-Three-Notes-Per-String-Method (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?9272-Uke-Scales-Three-Notes-Per-String-Method&p=91363#post91363)

The link you provided shows five different scale shapes. In each of these the Root note of the scale is in blue.
You can shift any of these five shapes up or down the neck to obtain a different scale. After shifting, the blue note is the root of the scale. (It may take some effort to identify the blue note.)

For example, if you want to play an F scale, using the Position#1 shape may feel awkward because you'll be playing up on the neck. (C-string, fifth fret is an F: the #1 scale shape needs to be shifted up to the fifth fret to get the F scale).

On the other hand, the E-string first fret is an F. So to base a scale on this, pick the shape which has a blue/root note on the E-string. Position #4 should work. Shift it seven frets down (toward the tuners). The notes that were on the 7th fret become open (unfretted). The blue note then sites on the E-string, first fret. As an aside, the red notes are now part of an F scale, however the actual F is in the middle of the scale.

Not sure what you meant by the C, A, G chords reference. Can you clarify a bit?

04-02-2014, 09:41 AM
You might find Fred Sokolow's Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps (http://www.amazon.com/Fretboard-Roadmaps-Ukulele-Essential-Patterns/dp/1423400410/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396467617&sr=8-1&keywords=ukulele+fretboard+roadmaps) useful. While not exclusively about scales, it does address them, as well as patterns based on shapes to remember common chord progressions.

Appalachian picker
04-02-2014, 11:02 AM
I know it doesn't help you right now....but you probably should learn the notes of the fretboard and not the "shape" or pattern of the scale. That way you can play scales on a single string and across the strings and really impress friends by mixing it up! Not only is it good for learning the scale, but it's also not a bad way to work on technique and finger speed. You'll also know where very note is on the fretboard.

I'm weird...I actually like to play scales on my uke and guitar.