3 Octave Guitar Scales – Super Easy Style!

I have been playing guitar for quite a long time and this is something I wish someone taught me years agao. In fact I wish someone taught me this decades ago. It is so simple, yet has helped me to increase my speed playing scales, it helps me visualize the freeboard more easily, and is a great warm-up. Like many guitarists, I played my 2 octave scales for many years. Then while soloing I would play in position 1 for a while, then shift up an octave and play the exact same shape. Like I said, this liberated me and it makes use of easy fingering patterns.

On the guitar there are repetitious patterns that make it easy to visualize the scale. Generally, each scale is made of 7 notes and then the pattern repeats. I realized that with all standard scales, there is a two string pairing where the fingering repeats. (examples…)

G Major

G Major w:fing

Look at that fingering! Besides the first note you get a repeating pattern of 1, 3, 4, 1, 1, 3, 4 (highlighted in yellow).

So with the Major scale, we are always sliding from the 5th of the scale to the 6th of the scale with our 1st finger and the pattern uses only the fingers 1, 3, 4.

G minor

G Minor w:fing

Look at that fingering! Besides the last note you get a repeating pattern of 1, 1, 2, 4, 1, 2, 4 (highlighted in yellow).

So with the Minor scale, we are always sliding from the Root of the scale to the 2nd of the scale with our 1st finger, and the pattern uses only the fingers 1, 2, 4.

G Dorian

G Dorian w:fing

This is also very similar to the G minor scale and uses the 1, 2, 4 fingers. It starts with a slide but then has a repeating slide on the 5th to 6th. So the pattern is 1, 2, 4, 1, 1, 2, 4 (highlighted in yellow)

 

Of course there are more scales than this, but this can cover a lot of territory. I hope this helps you starts seeing the fretboard in a new way!

 

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