#1
I've come up with some cool licks using C major that spans from the 1st and 2nd position on the fretboard. It seems a good foundation to build upon.

How could I progress this?
Can I switch to a different scale and key to progress it?

Is this how you create solo's?

If not can someone please explain how?
#2
Hi Elplater,

what exactly do you mean with 1st and 2nd position on the fretboard? Are you referring to the Ionian and Dorian shapes? If you don't know what I'm talking about just let me know where you put your fingers.

What many guitar players do is combining different licks, motifs and sequences to improvise and play solos. As for progression, they use different licks and shapes, so I'd say learning shapes is essential for solos and improvisation although you don't need to know all of them. As long as the key of a song does not change, you would stick to that key in most cases, but use different shapes to move along the fretboard.

Once you know a few shapes and licks, another way to spice up the sound of your solos is by mixing in notes that normally would not appear in a certain key, such as (chromatic) passing notes for example. This however depends whether you want to produce more consonant or dissonant sequences. For a practical example, you can check out this blog post, where you can see how to add additional notes to the minor pentatonic scale to produce a more dirty sound for blues rock for example.
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#3
fl.lettner

Hi.

Thanks for getting back to me.

What I mean by 1st and 2nd position is.....
C major scale 1st position spans from the open strings to fret 3. 2nd position c maj spans from fret 3
to 6.

Are these shapes based on certain scales?

I've noticed when playing a single scale my hand forms a shape to play the correct notes. Is that what a shape is?
#4
Quote by Elplater
fl.lettner

Hi.

Thanks for getting back to me.

What I mean by 1st and 2nd position is.....
C major scale 1st position spans from the open strings to fret 3. 2nd position c maj spans from fret 3
to 6.

Are these shapes based on certain scales?

I've noticed when playing a single scale my hand forms a shape to play the correct notes. Is that what a shape is?


The shapes aren't based on anything other than the C major scale itself and where its notes appear on the guitar fretboard.
Actually called Mark!

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#5
Hi Elplater,
you're welcome.

The shapes I am talking about are part of a single scale. So for example, for each key signature, there are 7 possible shapes you can use. The difference between the shapes is basically that they start from a different root. That's why they are also called modes. Here's a list of the 7 different shapes in C Major:
http://www.fretello.com/files/major_scale_shapes.pdf

Each outlined finger positions is a root note, in this case a C. If you look at the Ionian shape, it's also called the first mode of the major scale because it start's at the root (i.e. C), the dorian shape is also called the second mode of the major scale because it starts on the second note of, in this scale C Major, which is a D. Phrygian is called the third mode and so on.

If you want to use the 7 shapes in A major for example, you can just shift everything down by 3 frets so that the ionian shape lies at the position of the A. I know this sounds complex in the beginning but I hope that this was still helpful?
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The Smarter Way to Practice Guitar
www.fretello.com
#6
Quote by fl.lettner
Hi Elplater,
you're welcome.

The shapes I am talking about are part of a single scale. So for example, for each key signature, there are 7 possible shapes you can use. The difference between the shapes is basically that they start from a different root. That's why they are also called modes. Here's a list of the 7 different shapes in C Major:
http://www.fretello.com/files/major_scale_shapes.pdf

Each outlined finger positions is a root note, in this case a C. If you look at the Ionian shape, it's also called the first mode of the major scale because it start's at the root (i.e. C), the dorian shape is also called the second mode of the major scale because it starts on the second note of, in this scale C Major, which is a D. Phrygian is called the third mode and so on.

If you want to use the 7 shapes in A major for example, you can just shift everything down by 3 frets so that the ionian shape lies at the position of the A. I know this sounds complex in the beginning but I hope that this was still helpful?


Dude, that's literally nothing to do with modes. Modes are all about sound, they have absolutely nothing to do with shapes, positions or "what note you start on".

Modes are variations on the major scale which sound different due to the having a different pattern of intervals, they also don't mesh particularly well with conventional diatonic harmony as most western music tends toward resolving to either a major or minor tonic chord.
Actually called Mark!

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#7
Hi steven seagull,

you are absolutely right. It's kinda difficult to put it into words. In literature shapes are associated to modes for simplicity (naming) reasons. The names are used ambiguously. The phrygian shape is just the shape that starts from the third note of its parent scale, in C major for example the phrygian shape starts on the third position, which is E. But you are right, that does not have anything to do with the phrygian musical mode. To be correct, if you play the phrygian shape starting from E over a C major chord, it will still sound major (or ionian). But playing the same shape over a E minor chord will produce a phrygian sound.

Thing is you can use all of the 7 shapes for any mode, it just depends on where to place them on the fretboard.

Still, there are plenty of examples of bands using modes in western music. Of course some modes are used more frequently such as dorian or mixolydian, e.g. by the beatles, daft punk, guns'n'roses, ...
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Last edited by fl.lettner at Jan 25, 2017,
#8
Elplater Hi ... the guitar tuning dictates how you locate intervals anywhere on the neck, and hence the many options for how you locate scales, chords.

As you start learning, typically you become familiar with locating the intervals (that make up a scale or chord) in a small region of the neck, maybe 4 -5 frets wide.

The locations that get singled out at which these intervals are made can be visualised (you can imagine that pattern with your eyes shut).

That pattern is a "shape", and your fingers move to fret the positions in this shape.

Apart from shapes that have open strings in them, every shape is movable along the neck ...

So long as the shape in maintained, this maintains the exact same intervals ... all that happens is these intervals are built from a different starting point.

If a shape does have an open string, imagine that as being fret 0.

So, in C major (around frets 0 to 3), C exists at the 3rd fret, 5th string, The A is at fret 0 on that same string, and the shape covers from fret 0 to usually the 3rd fret.

If you slide this whole shape up 2 frets say, then what was at fret 0 is now at fret 2, and what was at fret 3 is now at fret 5, and so on.

Doing this still gives you a major scale, but now rooted off the 5th fret on the 5th string ... now you have D major scale (so long as you exactly maintained the shape as you slid it ... if any pitch in the shape doesn't move the same amount, you've made a new shape, a new sound flavour.

By maintaining a shape as you slide it, the result has the same "sound flavour", just higher or lower overall in pitch. This holds for chords also.

Eventually you'll learn that music is all about relationships between notes (the distances between pitches in a shape), rather than the absolute pitches involved.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jan 25, 2017,
#9
Rite. I need to learn these shapes and play around then hopefully this will all make a bit more sense.

Thanks guys.