The Major Scale - Pattern 2
Learn how to play The Major Scale Pattern 2 in this free lesson
Next up we're looking at Pattern 2 of The Five pattern system. It's a very useful scale pattern to learn, connects easily with Pattern 1 (which you should already know and be able to use well!) and is particularly useful as a Dorian Pattern for blues playing (can you see the Minor Pentatonic Pattern 1 contained in it?)... but lets not get ahead of ourselves ;)
Video Guitar Lesson
This is sometimes referred to as the Dorian pattern because the lowest note is the second scale degree - but you're going to start on the root note and hear it as the Major scale, aren't you? :).
3/4 - this note should use the 4th finger when the scale is descending and the 3rd finger when it is ascending. I believe this is the best fingering and keeps you hand in the best position.
Some struggle with this pattern because the root note is on String 4, but you're going to be a good student and learn the notes on all the strings, aren't you?
As well as the TAB above I made a Guitar Pro Major Scale Pattern Practice file for you. You'll need to buy Guitar Pro to use it (get a 20% discount through my site here!) and then you want to use the cycle / loop funtions to practice one pattern at a time and adjust the tempo to suit your technique level, you could also print it!
• I usually break this into 3 pairs of strings. Notice the middle pair and the Strings 1/2 pair both have the same finger patterns.
• Notice there's a fret with no notes in it - a danger zone!
What else can you notice about the pattern visually? Think about it. The thinking will help even if you decide you can't see anything else to discover!
I find using visual tricks like these might help you remember it. You'll also find working on visualization might help - practice your scales away from the instrument!
The most common fingering alternative is to move the two notes behind the root (strings 3/4, played with first finger) to strings 5/4 and playing them with the little finger. I don't see this as a bad way of doing it but this way the third of the chord is closer to the chord shape (which is how I see scales).
This pattern is also similar to Pattern 2 of the 3NPS (3 Notes Per String) system, which has some advantages and some disadvantages.
17 Note Patterns
All these Patterns have 17 notes (3 notes on each string, except for one string which will have only 2 notes). This gives you the perfect number for practicing scales with a metronome because if done correctly with 4 notes between each metronome click (16th notes, semi quavers) you will always arrive back on the root note on the beat :)
Tips for learning scales quickly, easily and perfectly
• DO IT SLOWLY AND GET IT RIGHT
Don't make any mistakes. Play it 10 times perfectly at a very slow speed and you will find you can speed it up without making mistakes and developing bad habits you will have to correct later.
• USE YOUR FINGER TIPS
Do not let your fingers "fold", use the tips the whole time, and definitely NO barres at any point. Ever.
However, you do want to allow Finger 1 to rest lightly on all the strings to mute all the strings under it and the tip of Finger 1 should touch the string above (the thicker string) as taught in the String Muting Lesson, part of the Intermediate Course.
• ALWAYS START AND END ON THE LOWEST ROOT NOTE
This will help train your ears into hearing the sound of the scale, very important. So start on the lowest (in pitch) root note, play up as far as you can, then go back down as low as you can, and then back up to the root note.
• LEARN THE PATTERNS (SHAPES) ONE AT A TIME
It is very important that you learn all five of these patterns... eventually, but please learn to make music with them. Much much better to be able to use one scale shape and play a solo than play five up and down and not be able to do make music with any them :)
And if you are really serious...
DVD: Master The Major Scale