Scales Patterns

author: guitar-matt2004 date: 07/15/2004 category: scales
rating: 9.4 / votes: 134 
Here are some useful scales. These scales will help you with many things, such as composing music, playing existing music, improving speed and accuracy, and soloing. Remember, that these are patterns, which means you can move them up and down providing you keep the same fret distance between each note. I have based all of these scales in A. To assist, I have included finger numbers for the way that I play the scale, It may not be the *best* way, but it works for me.
Legend:
R = Root Note
1 = Index Finger
2 = Middle Finger
3 = Ring Finger
4 = Pinky Finger

1: A Natural Minor (Two Octaves)
e|------------------------------5------------------------------|
B|------------------------5-6-8---8-6-5------------------------|
G|------------------4-5-7---------------7-5-4------------------|
D|--------------5-7---------------------------7-5--------------|
A|--------5-7-8-----------------------------------8-7-5--------|
E|--5-7-8-----------------------------------------------8-7-5--|
    R             R             R             R             R
    1 3 4 1 3 4 1 3 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 4 2 1 4 2 1 3 1 4 3 1 4 3 1


2: A Harmonic Minor (Two Octaves)
e|----------------------------4-5-4----------------------------|
B|------------------------5-6-------6-5------------------------|
G|--------------------5-7---------------7-5--------------------|
D|--------------6-7-9-----------------------9-7-6--------------|
A|--------5-7-8-----------------------------------8-7-5--------|
E|--5-7-8-----------------------------------------------8-7-5--|
    R             R             R             R             R
    1 3 4 1 3 4 2 3 4 1 3 2 3 1 2 1 3 2 3 1 4 3 2 4 3 1 4 3 1


3: A Major (Two Octaves)
e|----------------------------4-5-4----------------------------|
B|------------------------5-7-------7-5------------------------|
G|------------------4-6-7---------------7-6-4------------------|
D|------------4-6-7---------------------------7-6-4------------|
A|------4-5-7---------------------------------------7-5-4------|
E|--5-7---------------------------------------------------7-5--|
    R             R             R             R             R
    1 4 1 2 4 1 3 4 1 3 4 2 4 1 2 1 4 2 4 3 1 4 3 1 4 2 1 4 1
Note: when the pentatonic scales are played, an additional note is often added in at the end of the scale. Its perfectly fine not to play this note at all. I have put the note in brackets. This applies to Scale 4 and 5.
4: A Pentatonic Minor (Two Octaves)
e|----------------------5-(8)-5----------------------|
B|------------------5-8---------8-5------------------|
G|--------------5-7-----------------7-5--------------|
D|----------5-7-------------------------7-5----------|
A|------5-7---------------------------------7-5------|
E|--5-8-----------------------------------------8-5--|
    R         R         R     R         R         R
    1 4 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 4 1  4  1 4 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 4 1


5: A Pentatonic Major (Two Octaves)
e|----------------------5-(7)-5----------------------|
B|------------------5-7---------7-5------------------|
G|--------------4-6-----------------6-4--------------|
D|----------4-7-------------------------7-4----------|
A|------4-7---------------------------------7-4------|
E|--5-7-----------------------------------------7-5--|
    R         R         R     R         R         R
    1 4 1 4 1 4 1 3 2 4 2  4  2 4 2 3 1 4 1 4 1 4 1
Ok, so there are the basic scales. Practise them through at take notice of the finger patterns, as they are quite cumfortable once you get used to them. "Great, after a bit of practise you can make up some short solo licks and put together a solo (Particularly using the minor pentatonic, which I generally find is easiest). So, your playing along with your band, come to take your solo, and it sounds great, except, you're stuck. It sounds good but needs more variety in pitch, needs to go a bit higher up. Well how can you do that? The easy way out would be just to raise the pattern 12 frets, but this usually ends up sounding out of place." The above descibes how I was, still partly am, and why I am writing this lesson. I worked out the below 4 scales for my own use and improvement, but I decided to share them. These scales span 3 octaves, rather than 2, which gives you alot more (almost all) the range of the fretboard, and help you to do buildups to the higher notes. For these, I am only giving the ascending (going up), the finger pattern is the same coming back down, as are the frets.
6: A Natural Minor Extended (3 Octaves)
e|-----------------------------------------------12-13-15-17-|
B|-----------------------------------10-12-13-15-------------|
G|---------------------------9-10-12-------------------------|
D|-----------------7-9-10-12---------------------------------|
A|----------7-8-10-------------------------------------------|
E|-5-7-8-10--------------------------------------------------|
   R               R                 R                    R
   1 2 3 4  1 2 4  1 2 3  4  1 2  3  1  2  3  4  1  2  3  4


7: A Major Extended (3 Octaves)
e|-----------------------------------------------12-14-16-17-|
B|-----------------------------------10-12-14-15-------------|
G|---------------------------9-11-13-------------------------|
D|-----------------7-9-11-12---------------------------------|
A|----------7-9-11-------------------------------------------|
E|-5-7-9-10--------------------------------------------------|
   R               R                 R                    R
   1 2 3 4  1 2 3  1 2 3  4  1 2  3  1  2  3  4  1  2  3  4


8: A Minor Pentatonic Extended (3 Octaves)
e|-------------------------------------12-15-17-|
B|----------------------------10-13-15----------|
G|-----------------------9-12-------------------|
D|-----------------10-12------------------------|
A|---------7-10-12------------------------------|
E|--5-8-10--------------------------------------|
    R           R             R              R
    1 2 4  1 3  4  1  3  1 3  1  3  4  1  3  4


9: A Major Pentatonic Extended (3 Octaves)
e|---------------------------------12-14-17--|
B|------------------------10-12-14-----------|
G|-------------------9-11--------------------|
D|------------7-9-11-------------------------|
A|--------7-9--------------------------------|
E|--5-7-9------------------------------------|
    R          R            R            R
    1 2 4 1 3 1 2 4  1 3  1  2  3  1  2  4
And there you have it. Practise these and you will notice substaintial improvement. Id reccomend practising clean, and slower to start with, to make sure you hit each fret accuratley and pick at the right time, then speed it up! Make sure you go ascending and descending!
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