The Major Scale: Pattern 2
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 ;)
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.
• 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!
17 Note Patterns
All my Scale Patterns (where possible) 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 practised with 4 notes between each metronome click (16th notes, semiquavers) you will always arrive back on the root note on the beat :)
Tips For Learning Scales
- 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 IT SLOWLY AND GET IT RIGHT
Don't make any mistakes when learning a scale. Play it 10 times perfectly (right notes, right fingering) 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.
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.
- 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 them :)
- LESSON STEPS -