Hi, I'm a beginner and I'd like to ask a few questions about scales.
I have learned 5 positions of the A minor Pentatonic scale: (http://www.dolphinstreet.com/guitar_lessons/minor_pentatonic_patterns/).
Why aren't there more positions when there are notes in the scale with frets below 5 and frets above 17? I guess I mean these positions don't cover all the notes of the scale. (http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/guitar_scales.php?qqq=FULL&scch=A&scchnam=Pentatonic+Minor&get2=Get&t=0&choice=1) BTW I have 24 frets on my electric.

Now I want to learn the C Major scale, and I can't find the positions anywhere (I found this: http://www.guitarists.net/scales/index.php but can it really be true, that I should learn all those 12 positions? Even all those 12 positions don't cover the entire fretboard).
So I thought it would be good to know how you construct the positions if you know all the notes of a scale. Is there a technique so I can do this on any scale that I want to learn? Which note do you start at? Etc. I noticed that the first of those 5 positions of the A minor pentatonic scale is an A. So does the first position start at the first root note?

Last edited by matiasfjeldmark at Sep 23, 2008,
man your confusing me because if you go to each note in the scale your get a mode so it should cover every note in the scale. in pentatonic there are 5 modes and in c major there are 7 modes- c ionian(major), d dorian, e phygian, f lydian, g mixolydian, a aeolian(minor), and b locrian
Quote by JJAtwood
man your confusing me because if you go to each note in the scale your get a mode so it should cover every note in the scale. in pentatonic there are 5 modes and in c major there are 7 modes- c ionian(major), d dorian, e phygian, f lydian, g mixolydian, a aeolian(minor), and b locrian
What do modes have to do with this?

5 notes in the pentatonic scale. 5 notes in an octave. The fretboard repeats after 12 notes. 5 patterns can be built of these 5 notes which go down the fretboard. There are 5 patterns.
You only need 5 positions for the pentatonic and 7 for major. The positions repeat over and over. The amount of frets you have makes no difference at all. For example the pentatonic repeats 1,2,3,4,5,1,2,3,4,5,1,2,3,5 etc.

Using your pentatonic example - patterns 4 and 5 would be played below the 5th fret.

I suggest learning the notes of the fretboard.
They only show you up to the 12th fret because from the 12 fret onwards the pattern just repeats.

Before you go any further I recommend learning the notes on the fretboard and reading the Crusade articles in the Columns section to give yourself some basic groundwork for learning scales.
Actually called Mark!

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The pattern does repeat all over the fretboard. Check this out, you can mark root pitches/octaves/intervals etc.. so you can understand how/where it repeats and play along:
Interactive Fretboard
Wow, thank you for all your answers. This really cleared up my mind. So the first position just starts at the first root note, and from then on I can just figure out the rest?

Edit: Also, you people suggesting me to learn the fretboard. You mean I should learn the notes on every fret and so on, right? Btw thanks for all the tips
Quote by matiasfjeldmark
Also, you people suggesting me to learn the fretboard. You mean I should learn the notes on every fret and so on, right? Btw thanks for all the tips
Yes, and it's not nearly as hard as it appears to be.
Yes, and it's not nearly as hard as it appears to be.

This is really awesome - so fast and helpful replies - thanks a lot!

And yeah, it shouldn't be too hard. After all it's just a pattern that repeats.
Quote by matiasfjeldmark
This is really awesome - so fast and helpful replies - thanks a lot!

And yeah, it shouldn't be too hard. After all it's just a pattern that repeats.
What makes it much easier than expected is the fact that, once you know note X, you know that one fret up is X# and a fret below is Xb.

You'll also reach a point where you just know where to place your fingers to get the desired sound (not all the time, of course).
If you wanna know your scales learn the notes of the fretboard first it will be alot easier, and when i say learn the notes i mean you should be able to point at any fret and say straight away without thinking what note it is, i'd recomend printing out these fretboard charts and filling them in with the notes Fretboard printouts
*PROFILE NOT IN USE*
learn the notes on your guitar then learn the notes/intervals of a particular scale/mode then bobs your uncle