Major Scale Pattern 1

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In the Beginners Method we looked a little at the Minor Pentatonic Scale, but it is the Major Scale that is the cornerstone of all western harmony. I have quite a few lessons on The Major Scale Positions, CAGED and all that - but we're just looking at one pattern and then how to use it.

The Major Scale has seven notes (plus the octave in practice), which in solfege are the syllables: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti and Do. Probably you know how that should sound, right? singing in school and stuff... well if it doesn't sound like that, something is wrong... The good ol' Wikipedia has lots of well presented technical information on the Major Scale too.

We're going to be using this scale a lot during the Intermediate Foundation Stages and the first you need to do is to memorise it.

BEFORE you get started please watch the video and make sure you start off the right way or read the memorisation hints below. Have fun!

Major Scale Pattern 1

This is the most commonly learnt Major scale pattern. It is pretty easy to play. You should learn and get really good with this scale before you start to learn any more.

Please don't try and learn lots of scale patterns until you know how to use one properly first. You will just be wasting your time and making yourself sad because you'll be working on boring things when you should be making music with scales which is LOTS more fun!

We're going to get onto making music with this little puppy as soon as you have it under your fingers! But you do have to have it memorised first!

PLEASE LEARN IT SLOWLY AND FOLLOW THE FINGERING CAREFULLY! See further hints below.

Place that "R" on the 3rd fret and you will be playing the G Major!

MEMORISATION HINTS

• LEARN IT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, DON"T MAKE ANY MISTAKES AND GET IT 100% RIGHT
Do it so slowly that you can't make any mistakes. Even if it seems crazy slow. Really. It works. Play it 4 times perfectly at a very slow speed and you will find you can speed it up without making mistakes or develop bad habits you will have to correct later.

The fingering too - make sure you get it right. Perfect. Don't let any mistakes creep in.

• LEARN IT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, DON"T MAKE ANY MISTAKES AND GET IT 100% RIGHT

• LEARN IT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, DON"T MAKE ANY MISTAKES AND GET IT 100% RIGHT

• LEARN IT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, DON"T MAKE ANY MISTAKES AND GET IT 100% RIGHT

And one last time, 'cos it's really important!

• LEARN IT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, DON"T MAKE ANY MISTAKES AND GET IT 100% RIGHT
 

Root Notes are Red Notes
Just like Barre chords and Power Chords, Scales have root notes too! The root note gives the scale it's 'note' name and are shown in my scale diagrams with a red dot!

Look at Pattern 1 above and notice that the Root (RED) is on the 6th string (played with the second finger). Whatever note you put that on becomes the name of the scale. So place your Finger 2 at the 3rd fret and you will play the G Major Scale (because the note on the 3rd fret of the 6th string is the note G). Place the Finger 2 on the 8th fret and you will play the C Major Scale (because the note at the 8th fret of the 6th string is the note C). We are just going to be looking at it in G for now, but know that you can move it about too!

Practice

What there is more other than:

• LEARN IT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, DON"T MAKE ANY MISTAKES AND GET IT 100% RIGHT

• USE YOUR FINGER TIPS
Do not let your fingers "fold", use the tips the whole time, and definitely NO barres at any point when playing scales. Ever.

• LEARN IT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, DON"T MAKE ANY MISTAKES AND GET IT 100% RIGHT

• ALWAYS START AND END ON THE LOWEST ROOT NOTE
This will help train your ears into hearing the sound of the major scale, very important. So start on the lowest root note (R), play up as high as you can, then go back down as low as you can, and then back up to the root note. In this case the lowest root note will be on the 6th (thickest) string and played with the second finger.

• LEARN IT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, DON"T MAKE ANY MISTAKES AND GET IT 100% RIGHT

• LEARN TO MAKE MUSIC WITH THIS BEFORE LEARNING MORE
Probably the biggest mistake I see in young guitar players is that they want to rush out and learn all five positions of every scale ever invented. Much better to learn one scale and know how to use it!! So work on making music, not practising scales!! Saying that, you do have to spend a little time working on a new scale to make sure you get it right and get it feeling natural under your fingers!

• LEARN IT SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY, DON"T MAKE ANY MISTAKES AND GET IT 100% RIGHT

Hopefully, in the near future, you will be playing this and other Major Scales with the metronome. All the scale positions I teach as part of the CAGED System 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 practising scales with a metronome because if done correctly with 4 notes between each metronome click (16th notes, semiquavers) you will always arrive back on the root note on the beat, every bar :) There is madness to my method! [sic].

When you have it memorised we can look at the next lesson - some technical work to get you playing with better technique!

Intermediate Foundation 1

- LESSON STEPS -

Grades

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