The Major Scale - Pattern 1
Learn how to play The Major Scale Pattern 1 in this free lesson
We're starting here with Pattern 1 of The Five pattern system. It's the most common Major Scale pattern to learn first.
Video Guitar Lesson
This is the most commonly learnt Major Scale pattern and the first one I teach in the Intermediate Course.
When you practice make sure you start and end on the lowest root note (the red one on String 6) because it will help you hear the true sound of the scale.
When you play 'for real' (improvise), play the notes in whatever order you like!
You should learn to USE this scale pattern before you start to learn any more patterns. Please.
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. Leave off the lowest note for now and then notice that the pattern on strings 6 & 5 is the same as strings 2 & 1, fingering 2-4/1-2-4 and the middle pair of strings are both 1-3-4 fingering.
• Notice the edges of the pattern are all the notes across with Fingers 1 and 4, except for th 'hole' on String 2 which Finger 1 fell off ;)
• The 'middle' of the pattern uses fingers: 2/2 / 3/3 / 2/2
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!
There are not really any logical fingering alternatives for this pattern.
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