I've just began learning theory, and I bought the book Guitar Fretboard Workbook by the Musician's Institute to help me out so far. I'm at a part where I'm building major scale patterns, but I'm kind of confused at a certain part. One of the problems is building a G Major "Pattern 4" (Pattern 4 referring to the 4th root shape). Of course, this would be:

E - --------------------------------- 2-3-5
B - -----------------------------3-5-------
G - ---------------------2-4-5------------
D - --------------2-4-5-------------------
A - -------2-3-5--------------------------
E - 2-3-5---------------------------------

However, a few problems later it has G Major in "Pattern 5", where it is:

E - --------------------------------- 5-7-8
B - -----------------------------5-7-8-----
G - ---------------------4-5-7------------
D - --------------4-5-7-------------------
A - -------5-7-----------------------------
E - 5-7-8---------------------------------

My question is, what is the difference between these scales? It is all very confusing.
The only difference is where you start and where you end. You are still playing a G major scale regardless of what note you start on. I really don't know how the book classifies it's 'patterns', but just know that they are always the same notes, just played on different parts of the neck.

Personally, I like to use 3 note per string patterns when using the major scale, but that is just a personal preference. You should learn as many different patterns as you can, and use the ones you are most comfortable with. Just don't forget, all of the patterns will overlap with each other, giving you more choices in playing the same notes.
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scale goes across the neck evrywhere as long as you use the notes G A B C D E F# G in no order you are playing Gmajor

anywhere on the neck it can be played
Hmm, I guess I'm not understanding this well. Does anyone have any links that explain major scales and shows positions for it too? The book isn't helping me that much.
They are two shapes or patterns on the fretboard that outline the Same Scale - G Major.

G Major is made up of the notes G A B C D E F# G

Pattern 4 as you are referring to shows these notes between frets 2 and 5 (one finger per fret). Your root note, the G, is on the third fret of the E strings and the fifth fret of the D string in this pattern. (I fear confusing you further but it helped me to see that this shape is built on the E shape barre chord on the third fret which is of course a G chord.)

Pattern 5 shows all the notes of the same G major scale but between frets 4 and 8. The root notes are on the D string at the fifth fret and the B string at the eighth fret. (It is based on a barred version of the open D chord).

I guess you're up to Chapter 7 and have spent time learning the other six chapters. Basically it presents 5 different patterns which illustrate the G major scale over the entire fretboard.

They are the same scale in different places on the fretboard.

I got this same book some time ago and just dug it out to see what you meant.
Quote by Lazymusician33
Hmm, I guess I'm not understanding this well. Does anyone have any links that explain major scales and shows positions for it too? The book isn't helping me that much.

i don't know if this will help it doesn't show positions just thoery and the key of the major scale in CMAJ

scale are all over the neck so don't think of them as box positions. just the same notes everywhere

ok i'll start but i am only doing major

you start wi the major scale

you make it by counting tones W= whole tone H= half tone

a whole tone is 2 frets

a half tone is 1 fret

the formula to make the major scale is :


we will use C maj for simplicity. the bold is the scale

C Db D Eb E F Gb G Ab A Bb B C

C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C

so the Cmaj scale is CDEFGABC

this is what is know as a diatonic scale. meaning there is 7 notes and each note must be a different letter. there are only 7 different letters but 19 notes in the cromatic scale


intervals represent a note. and define what is hapening to a note within a scale.

the intervals for the major scale are


when speaking in proper terms we would call these the following

C-1-perfect prime
D-2-major second
E-3-major third
F-4-perfect fourth
G-5-perfect fifth
A-6-major sixth
B-7-major seventh
C-8-perfect octave

and octave is the same note played 1 pitch(i think that is the right word) higher

sometime we augement (sharpen, #) or diminish (flatten, b or bb) various notes to make chords or fit the scale to a chord

C = perfect prime or diminshed second
C#/Db =augmented prime or minor second
D = major second or diminished third
D#/Eb = augmented second or minor third
E/Fb = major third or diminished fourth
E#/F = augmented third or perfect fourth
F#/Gb = augmented fourth or diminished fifth
G= perfect fifth or diminished sixth
G#/Ab = augmented fifth or minor sixth
A = major sixth or diminished seventh
A#/Bb = augmented sixth or minor seventh
B/Cb = major seventh or diminished octave
C = perfect octave or diminished ninth

these intervals continue over and over technically

you will notice the perfect intervals 1 4 5 8 are only flattened(b) once to become diminished where as the major intervals 2 3 6 7 are flattened(bb) twice to become diminished

there is a general rule that you do not double augment an interval. it is ok for a note such as F# to becaome aumented or sharpend to F## but we do not want it to be F###

general chords for a mojor progression are

Major(M) always capital when writing
minor(m) always lower case when writing
diminished(dim0) always lower and supposed to be followed by a degrese symbol but my comp can' do that

now for chords

this is how you form the simple triad chords we will be using staying wiht the key of C

Major intervals 1 3 5
minor intervals 1 b3 5
diminished 1 b3 b5

you must remember that when making a chord in the key of Cmajor only a C chord will use the C major scale. if you wanted Dmin for example you would need to forn the chord with the intervals listed above from the Dmaj scale, b3 giving it the minor tonality

to stay in key with Cmaj we must use the same notes as Cmaj in all our chords(for now cause we are just learning)

there is also a formula to stay in key in a major progression it is

Major minor minor Major Major minor diminished

so to stay in key we would use the chords

CMaj Dmin Emin Fmaj GMaj Amin Bdim0

so using these chords resolving back to Cmaj you would use the Cmaj scale

i hope that helps a little cause with your post i am unsure if you understand this information or not
Took me a few reads, but you cleared a lot of things up. It explained a few of my further questions too that I was yet to ask. Thank you for all the information!
no problem glad i could help and thanks for putting up with my grammar lol

there is also a sticky on the main musician talk page with more info to music thoery i think they are putting more into it right now

but i would suggest keeping wiht the major scale untill you know it very well

also if you have the resources i would suggest partaking in the MT jam when we have another one

it's good fun and a good step towards making your improvisation/soloing better just a though
Check out the Crusade articles by Josh Urban in the Columns section too - they're a great starting point for learning theory.
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