Seven Strings I: Scale Patterns

author: Sevenstring18 date: 11/30/2009 category: scales
rating: 9.6 / votes: 8 
Congratulations! You've just bought your first 7 string guitar. Now you can play all those lower notes without tuning down. You can also play more notes with less movement. Then you hit that fun little snag: "What am I supposed to do with this extra string?" This happens to a lot of people when they buy an extended range guitar. The problem here is that they look at their new guitar as a whole new beast. In reality, it's just one more string. All you have to do is add one more string to the 6 string patterns you already know. If we look at a 7 string guitar in standard tuning, we see that the seventh string is tuned to B (BEADGBE). If you've already learned your scales on a 6 string, all you have to do is add one more string. Let's go through all the modes of the C Major scale to see how they look: - C Ionian (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C)
e|------------------------------------3-5-7-|
B|-------------------------------3-5-6------|
G|-------------------------2-4-5------------|
D|-------------------2-3-5------------------|
A|-------------2-3-5------------------------|
E|-------1-3-5------------------------------|
B|-1-3-5------------------------------------|
Simple right? Now let's look at the rest of the modes. - D Dorian (D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D)
e|-------------------------------------5-7-8-|
b|-------------------------------5-6-8-------|
G|-------------------------4-5-7-------------|
D|-------------------3-5-7-------------------|
A|-------------3-5-7-------------------------|
E|-------3-5-7-------------------------------|
B|-3-5-6-------------------------------------|
- E Phrygian (E,F,G,A,B,C,D,E)
e|--------------------------------------7-8-10-|
b|-------------------------------6-8-10--------|
G|-------------------------5-7-9---------------|
D|-------------------5-7-9---------------------|
A|-------------5-7-8---------------------------|
E|-------5-7-8---------------------------------|
B|-5-6-8---------------------------------------|
- F Lydian (F,G,A,B,C,D,E,F)
e|------------------------------------------8-10-12-|
b|-----------------------------------8-10-12--------|
G|-----------------------------7-9-10---------------|
D|----------------------7-9-10----------------------|
A|---------------7-8-10-----------------------------|
E|--------7-8-10------------------------------------|
B|-6-8-10-------------------------------------------|
- G Mixolydian (G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G)
e|-------------------------------------------------10-12-13-|
b|-----------------------------------------10-12-13---------|
G|---------------------------------9-10-12------------------|
D|-------------------------9-10-12--------------------------|
A|-----------------8-10-12----------------------------------|
E|---------8-10-12------------------------------------------|
B|-8-10-12--------------------------------------------------|
- A Aeolian (A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A)
e|------------------------------------------------------12-13-15--|
b|---------------------------------------------12-13-15-----------|
G|------------------------------------10-12-14--------------------|
D|---------------------------10-12-14-----------------------------|
A|------------------10-12-14--------------------------------------|
E|----------10-12-13----------------------------------------------|
B|-10-12-13-------------------------------------------------------|
- B Locrian (B,C,D,E,F,G,A,B)
e|-------------------------------------------------------13-15-17-|
b|----------------------------------------------13-15-17----------|
G|-------------------------------------12-14-16-------------------|
D|----------------------------12-14-15----------------------------|
A|-------------------12-14-15-------------------------------------|
E|----------12-13-15----------------------------------------------|
B|-12-13-15-------------------------------------------------------|
Now look at these patterns from the 6th string up. Do they look familiar? If we take the 7th string off and start on the 6th string, we get the following modes (in order): - F Lydian - G Mixolydian - A Aeolian - B Locrian - C Ionian - D Dorian - E Phrygian So, all you're doing is adding another 3 notes on top of the patterns you already know. If we look at it this way, it is much easier to learn the scales because we're not trying to learn whole new patterns. We're just adding more notes! You can do the same thing with any scale you want to. It is also fun to explore different ways of playing your scales. Learn the notes on your guitar, then experiment with your own patterns. Part II will cover 7 string arpeggio shapes. If you'd like to request a lesson on any subject, just leave a comment, and I will do my best to write one if time permits.
More Sevenstring18 lessons:
+ Seven Strings II: Seven String Sweep Arpeggios Guitar Techniques 12/01/2009
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