My homework over the summer is to play each and every major and minor scale all throughout the fretboard. So how do I go about doing that? I know that major scales overlap their corresponding minor scales. I also know the box pattern to play any major scale in two octaves, but is there any easy pattern to stay in key throughout the entire fretboard? A friend told me that all you have to do is learn 5 box shapes , and move them up an down the fretboard. Can anyone explain how that works?
Well, first off you should understand any scale isn't a patern or box, it's simply represented and played like that for convenience sake. A scale is really a collection of notes separated by a determined amount of whole and half steps.

Learn the intervals that separate the different notes from the major scale and understand them. If you don't understand that, you won't be able to transport that knowledge to the fretboard exactly.

I found that once I really started understanding the major scale at it's most simple and theoretical level, I was able to start constructing my own patterns shapes and positions on the neck. Then I started hearing them.

You have to search for that, not only recognizing a scale on paper, but saying: D major scale sounds like so. It sounds simple and stupid but playing by ear when you have a solid base of theory is amazingly productive.
Quote by Wizards?
Confusius says, "No motherfucker!

Call me Kyrl, pronounced Curl

DOIN DAT FUNKY DANCE
i have a book with all the scales in cage system and 4 notes per string system so you can play all along the fret board,
you can borrow it haha
really
Quote by confusius
Well, first off you should understand any scale isn't a patern or box, it's simply represented and played like that for convenience sake. A scale is really a collection of notes separated by a determined amount of whole and half steps.

Learn the intervals that separate the different notes from the major scale and understand them. If you don't understand that, you won't be able to transport that knowledge to the fretboard exactly.

I found that once I really started understanding the major scale at it's most simple and theoretical level, I was able to start constructing my own patterns shapes and positions on the neck. Then I started hearing them.

You have to search for that, not only recognizing a scale on paper, but saying: D major scale sounds like so. It sounds simple and stupid but playing by ear when you have a solid base of theory is amazingly productive.

I did that already. I know that the major scale is TTSTTTS. I printed a fretboard with all the notes, and circled the notes of the F- Major Scale. I was just wondering whether there is a convenient standard method of playing the scales throughout the fretboard, so I wouldn't have to find my own patterns.
Quote by killatm
I did that already. I know that the major scale is TTSTTTS. I printed a fretboard with all the notes, and circled the notes of the F- Major Scale. I was just wondering whether there is a convenient standard method of playing the scales throughout the fretboard, so I wouldn't have to find my own patterns.

Trust me, finding your own patterns is the way to go.

The whole idea is to develop your own way of navigating through the scales and having your own perspective of the major scale.
My Music Videos

Guitars:
Breedlove Revival Series OM
Crosby Fingerstyle Model
Voyage-Air VAOM-06
Fender Stratocaster (American)
Fender Nashville Deluxe Tele
I personally prefer using 3 note per string box shapes when I'm practicing my alternate picking. As you move them up the neck, the notes stay the same, it's just that the octaves will change. I'd suggest starting with a G major scale, two octaves, 3nps. Figure out the notes on your own and move it up the neck one scale degree at a time. Anything you learn on your own will be much more beneficial to you later on. Hope this helps.
"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR
Quote by killatm
My homework over the summer is to play each and every major and minor scale all throughout the fretboard.

This would be unproductive and boring
Boring? Possibly.

Unproductive? I think not.
Quote by Wizards?
Confusius says, "No motherfucker!

Call me Kyrl, pronounced Curl

DOIN DAT FUNKY DANCE
I was playing around with that fretboard printout, and I figure out that to stay in key, I have to play the patterns for the different modes (ionian, phrygian etc) for all the notes on the scale.
For Example: To play the F-major scale, I would play:
F Ionian
G Dorian
A Phrygian
A# Lydian
C Mixolydian
D Aeolian (or just D minor)
E Locrian

So all I have to do is memorize all 7 patterns, and then apply them to any key to play the major scale of a certain note all throughout the fretboard.

Is that entirely correct? Would that be the way to introduce myself to scales?
Quote by Free Time
This would be unproductive and boring

What would be more productive then?
Quote by killatm
I was playing around with that fretboard printout, and I figure out that to stay in key, I have to play the patterns for the different modes (ionian, phrygian etc) for all the notes on the scale.
For Example: To play the F-major scale, I would play:
F Ionian
G Dorian
A Phrygian
A# Lydian
C Mixolydian
D Aeolian (or just D minor)
E Locrian

So all I have to do is memorize all 7 patterns, and then apply them to any key to play the major scale of a certain note all throughout the fretboard.

Is that entirely correct? Would that be the way to introduce myself to scales?

ok, by patterns do you mean like

g--------------------5-
d------------5-7-9----
a----5-7-8------------
e-8--------------------

^ 1 pattern

e-7-9-10-12-14-16-17

^ another?

oh and what are modes

For Example: To play the F-major scale, I would play:
F Ionian
G Dorian
A Phrygian
A# Lydian
C Mixolydian
D Aeolian (or just D minor)
E Locrian

whats that?
Last edited by jammy jam jam at Jul 2, 2008,
Quote by killatm
What would be more productive then?
Learning and understanding actual theory rather than memorizing positions on the guitar's neck. Please use the link in my signature to do this, however, ignore the section on the circle of fifths.

For instance, the first of your two latest posts in this thread has many errors. For instance, the scale is Bb Lydian not A#, but more important than that is that you understand that you're not changing modes whenever you shift position on the guitar.

You need to learn the basics about intervals, scale construction, and the major scale before worrying about modes.
Quote by killatm
So all I have to do is memorize all 7 patterns, and then apply them to any key to play the major scale of a certain note all throughout the fretboard
Yes, but you should know that each one of those patterns could be any of the seven modes you listed. Your E locrian pattern could be F ionian, C mixolydian etc.

My point is that you should not call those patterns different modes. Just call them different positions of the major scale. So that locrian shape, call it the 7th position.

Anyways, when you connect those postitions you get the pattern for the major scale (and it's relative minor) all over the fretboard.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
Quote by killatm
My homework over the summer is to play each and every major and minor scale all throughout the fretboard. So how do I go about doing that? I know that major scales overlap their corresponding minor scales. I also know the box pattern to play any major scale in two octaves, but is there any easy pattern to stay in key throughout the entire fretboard? A friend told me that all you have to do is learn 5 box shapes , and move them up an down the fretboard. Can anyone explain how that works?

Your friend is talking about what is known as the CAGED system. It breaks the major scale across the fretboard down into five overlapping "box patterns". Each pattern is based on one of five common chord shapes C A G E and D.

If you're going to learn the fretboard this way try practicing one pattern for 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning and end of every practice session every day for a week then go on to the next pattern the next week.
After this do try side by side patterns a day for a week linking them together in different ways.
Pay attention to your root shapes, chord shapes, and try some interval studies while you're doing it. This should all help it stick. The minor scales will come easier once you have the major scale down cold.

And as said in the post by bangoodcharlotte above. Learning some theory would be something you will want to do over the summer. It won't teach your fingers what to do, that just takes hours of constant practice, but it will help your mind understand musical structure and you will understand music better.

The most beneficial thing you could do though is train your ear. You might want to spend at least 10-20 minutes every practice session just listening to notes and singing them. (Yes out loud). Try playing a note letting it die but keeping the tone in your head then singing it out loud. Be sure to know the note you're playing.
Play harmonic intervals like a Major 3rd then sing the individual notes. Then do three notes and when you have mastered one interval move on to another.

And throw out your tab! Jimi didnt have any tab. Listen to a song and figure it out on your own. A good ear is the most powerful tool in a musicians arsenal. It is more important than technique and theory put together - so put in the effort!

Good luck. And in between all this I hope you enjoy your summer. It's a freezing winter where I am right now!!
Si
Quote by killatm
What would be more productive then?

learn how to play intervals (3rds,4ths, 9ths, etc.), find inversions easily, and train that ear.
The 7 Three note per string patterns are here:

Probably at the stage you're at it's sufficient to understand how these patterns
the 5 CAGED or 7 Three NPS methods will do. Ultimately I believe 3 NPS has a lot

After you memorize the positions you can start learning how to find the scale
degrees in the shapes. That's important so you know how the notes function.
^ yes but what are patterns? they are not the same exact notes?
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Learning and understanding actual theory rather than memorizing positions on the guitar's neck. Please use the link in my signature to do this, however, ignore the section on the circle of fifths.

For instance, the first of your two latest posts in this thread has many errors. For instance, the scale is Bb Lydian not A#, but more important than that is that you understand that you're not changing modes whenever you shift position on the guitar.

You need to learn the basics about intervals, scale construction, and the major scale before worrying about modes.

I have already read that lesson, and have it printed out. I used the last page of the article to figure out how the modes connect to make the scale throughout the fretboard. I understand what intervals are, but steps seem more convenient.

Also, why is Bb Lydian different from A# Lydian. Is it just because of convention, or are they different modes ( I can't see why because A# and Bb are the same thing)
Quote by killatm
Also, why is Bb Lydian different from A# Lydian. Is it just because of convention, or are they different modes ( I can't see why because A# and Bb are the same thing)
It's just the convention. They sound exactly the same.

However, back in the day, A# and Bb were slightly different tones and the difference needed to be noted. That convention has been carried over to the present day.
Plus, I personally find using only one letter of the musical alphabet in each diatonic scale keeps everything neat and tidy. It's a very organized method, and I'm a little OCD when it comes to organization....
"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR
I know, I was just restating the obvious.
"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR