Hello everybody!

I'm getting tired of the three notes per string scales and the major, minor, augmented and diminished sweeps. I want to learn what people practice to be able to play patterns that completely cover the entire fretboard, from the lowest notes on the top string to the highest notes on the bottom string all in one run!

Well if you're learning the major scale (or any scale for that matter) it's gonna be made up of different "positions" that you can use in different spots on the neck.


Just find whatever pattern you already know, and learn the next one. Find out how they fit together (you're only going to be playing a couple "new notes") and once you have that down, continue on. You'll be playing the whole neck before you know it!
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Hello everybody!

I'm getting tired of the three notes per string scales and the major, minor, augmented and diminished sweeps. I want to learn what people practice to be able to play patterns that completely cover the entire fretboard, from the lowest notes on the top string to the highest notes on the bottom string all in one run!


You're looking at it wrong - learn small clusters of notes and then connect the clusters into longer patterns. If you simply learn long elaborate patterns you'll be a repetitive robot soloist and you'll be a slave to the pattern without really understanding where you are and what's going on from an interval standpoint.

Unfortunately, in order to play all over the fretboard - you need to know the entire fretboard...there's really no shortcut.
"Melodic sequences" might be what you're looking for. Basically, you take a scale and play it in some kind of pattern.

For example, you could play scale degrees like: 6,5,4,3 4,3,2,1 2,1,7,6... etc. (descending 2 scale degrees every four notes)

It's just the same pattern over and over again and it can cover as many octaves as you like. Figuring out your own frettings for these is a good exercise. Pretty much anytime you hear some really long alternate picking/eco picking run at the end of a solo or something it's a simple melodic sequence.

You'll need to learn how to change positions (or maybe even do slides) with your left hand while you are picking steadily to cover 3+ octaves in one run. If you do it one octave at a time, you'll find the patterns are basically the same anywhere you go.
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Some practical advice : learn the pentatonic minor scale on two strings ( E-A, A-D, D-G, G-B, B-E) and incorporate slides to change positions - it's a great way to get around the fretboard.
learn scales as 4 nps, you can't help but move way up or down the neck, it is truly the best way to learn the fretboard. Holdsworth would confirm.
many different ways to get there...in my studies of symmetric harmony-seeing groups of chords as "one chord" (ie G7 Bb7 Db7 E7) and breaking each 4 note cell down of each chord and connecting them .. in all inversions-having them resolve to different tonic chords..finding different ways to use them-starting with the third of each chord or the fifth..and of course alter them- b9th #11 etc..surround the root notes with diminished/augmented lines - create turnarounds that lead to other turnarounds a minor 3rd apart ( Bb Db7 Gb B then G Bb7 Eb Ab) in all chord qualities and alterations..this will take quite a bit of time and practice to get this thinking down..but it will open new roads and you may feel overwhelmed at all the possibilities that present themselves..
play well

If you're practicing 3nps scales straight up and down, yeah, it's going to get old after a while. And while there's some benefit to your technique, it does fade off after a while, once you get comfortable with this kind of practice.
Here's a small alteration to how you're practicing these scales that you could do to add a lot more interest, and really help get the different shapes connected.
So if you're playing say, Am, strict 3 nps per string, starting on the A at the 5th fret of the 6th string, then the highest note is going to be the D at the 10th fret on the 1st string. Suppose you were to extend it by one note at the end, so that it ends at the E note, 12th fret, 1st string. Well suddenly things get more interesting. How do you get there? Well, you can slide on the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd or 1st strings. Practice different ones on different days. Also, how do you slide? You could take the first note under your index finger, and slide up from it, then play the next three notes. Or play the first three notes on a string and slide with your pinky. Or even slide with one of your in-between fingers. You can do a picked slide, or a legato one. Etc, etc. Just by adding one more note at the end of the scale, dozens of permutations open up. This will get you practicing things a little differently each day as you try the different possibilities out, and really help you start connecting those shapes into a whole. Once you've spent some time exploring this, the next step is to extend the scale by two notes, so now you have two places where you must slide up. And so on. This is particularly fun to do with the blues scale. Some really surprising possibilities open up that you might not think of with more positional playing. It's fun to play it in triplets with fairly strong accenting. And sometimes a challenge to make sure the feel of the triplets survives the gymnastics while you are shifting positions.
Make up a run that goes from the beginning of the fretboard up the neck all the way.

Key of G...

Last edited by Virgman at Feb 24, 2015,
Just remember how music works, you shouldn't be looking at the guitar and thinking "right, make me some music". It should always be you with an idea in your head first, then you go to the guitar and ask yourself "right, how do i get this idea out of my head and turn it into something real"

You learn how to play over the entire length of the fretboard by playing and creating music that covers the length of the fretboard, not by drilling patterns. Sure you can grind some exercises or scale runs until you can churn them out at speed, but the reality is that ain't music and nobody's ever going to want to listen to it.

Speed for speed's sake is a dead rubber, make sure you've actually got something to say before worrying about how fast you say it. - if you're going to be covering that amount of distance on the fretboard then you have to make it something interesting.
Actually called Mark!

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.

steven seagull said it best playing all over the fretboard looks cool (and it is) but playing all over the fretboard comes from studying in every position. Its a lot of hard work and drilling one run from low E to high E will not help you understand.