Hi guys. I am trying to learn where all the scale degrees are on the neck to the point where its usable during improvisation. I can work out where for instance a minor 7th is from the root. But I am looking to know where all the scale degrees are within the context of modes. I could work out the scale degrees for individual positions but obvestley this isnt going to translate across the fretboard.
To make it clearer I mean that if I were playing over a Dm7 chord and I wanted to land on the 7th...I would have no problem in and around the Dorian mode where the chord is derived from. However if I was further up the neck in say the Aeolian shape I would get lost. Is there away to get good at knowing where all the scale degrees are up the neck? Or is it simply too much to ask. The only other way I can think of would be to learn the scale degrees in all 12 keys and memorise them on the fretboard which is a bit much.
The reason I am so inrested is I am trying to get into alot more jazz playing and I hear lessons with players like Pat Metheny talking about how they like to land on this upper extension or that. Same with players like Coltrane who liked to land on 9ths, 11ths and 13ths of chords etc.

Sorr if this is a bit hard to understand.
you could just learn better what the notes on the neck are?
and combine that with knowing what notes the scales have and you would have no trouble.

SO instead of mindlessly playing what your fingers remember,
you can learn to know where you are playing, what notes there are there, and then find the notes that you should use.
I think in the long run that is the best way.
Quote by Carmel
I can't believe you are whoring yourself out like that.

Think of it this way. You want to be able to play any interval, on any string, starting from any note, starting on any string. It takes a longggggggggggggg time. In fact, I don't think I've worked out all of the possible combinations yet.
I know all the notes on the fretboard cold. But I dont remember the note names of every possible chord. But if someone says ok the next chord is an F#susb9 I know the formula so I can target the 7th or something without first having memorized the notes of the chord.
thanks branny..never ever thought about doing that. I can see how much that would benefit me.
Quote by branny1982
This appears to be the problem with learning scale 'positions'.

Learn the scales in ALL positions, this way you will be able to follow the dorian scale all the way up the fretboard.

It is very difficult!

+1 learning the patterns would help. You can visualize the scale degrees within each pattern.
shred is gaudy music
If you were trying to get more into jazz I would suggest actually learning chord inversions in all the positions that way when you are soloing you are really able to outline the chords as opposed to just playing the scale. If you learn the chords you will easily be able to find your 3rds and 7ths all over the neck. Which are ideal for jazz since they give the quality of the chord.

When I say chord inversions I mean the maj7, dom7 min7, and min7b5, inversions.
Originally posted by arrrgg
When my grandpa comes over to visit, after his shower, he walks around naked to dry off
Actually, it isn't all that hard to do this at all. You just need some persistence and

The first thing you should do is organize the fretboard in some manner. Generally,
this involves learning either the CAGED, or the 3 note per string, positions and patterns.
I've found the latter helps make memorization MUCH easier.

The next major step, and this one's critical, is learning where the 1 3 5 degrees are. Cold.
These are your most critical degrees and your basic arpeggio triad. Walk them around
all over the neck. Play only arpeggio notes against a progression. Fill your life playing
arpeggios in all ways.

When you've gotten that to a comfortable level -- all over the neck -- add the next most
important degree: the 7th. You are basically just extending your arpeggio triads into
arpeggio 7ths.

You now know 4 out of the 7 degrees. The 2, 4, and 6 should be more easily locatable
in relation to the ones you know. Do scale studies to improve your ability to locate

I began the project: http://artists.ultimate-guitar.com/scaleome_proj/ to show how
to practice scales in a number of ways. In the future there's more to come, but one of
the things it will help with is knowing scale degrees. Again, it requires very little
thinking. Persistence and repetition of this kind of practice will help make scale degrees
second nature.
Learning the arpeggios that go over (and use the same notes as) the scale patterns has helped me tremendously. Triads in all inversions and string sets won't hurt either.

I prefer the 7 Berklee patterns over CAGED, since it doesn't leave holes between the scale patterns. That is, you can slide up or down one note and keep going in an adjacent pattern without ending up "between the patterns". But starting with CAGED is just fine. I probably started that way, and it's not much work to then learn the 7 Berklee patterns, if you should want to do so.

And yeah, it does take a while to get everything down. Totally worth it though.

The Berklee ones are somewhat between the 3 NPS and CAGED patterns, I suppose. There's 7 of them and they do match up to the 3 NPS ones well. Only difference is they stay in position, and avoid the shift in the 3 NPS. Usually 2 notes on the B string, in a similar way to the CAGED patterns.

I look on them as 3 NPS patterns, but staying in position, without the shift around the B string necessary due to sticking to strict 3 NPS. But they overlap so heavily that they go very well together. And like the 3 NPS, you can shift up or down by one note and end up in an adjacent pattern. To me, they promote fretboard mobility.

For reference, for anyone interested in them, they are:

 Pos #1        Pos #2        Pos #3      Pos #4        Pos #5        Pos #6        Pos #7
|1| |2| |3|   |2| |3|4| |   |3|4| |5|   |4| |5| |6|   |5| |6| |7|   |6| |7|1| |   |7|1| |2|
|-| |6| |7|   |6| |7|1| |   |7|1| |2|   |-| |2| |3|   |-| |3|4| |   |3|4| |5| |   | |5| |6|
| |3|4| |5|   |4| |5| |-|   |5| |6| |   | |6| |7|1|   | |7|1| |2|   |1| |2| |-|   |2| |3|4|
| |7|1| |2|   |1| |2| |3|   |2| |3|4|   | |3|4| |5|   |4| |5| |6|   |5| |6| |7|   |6| |7|1|
|4| |5| |6|   |5| |6| |7|   |6| |7|1|   | |7|1| |2|   |1| |2| |3|   |2| |3|4| |   |3|4| |5|
|1| |2| |3|   |2| |3|4| |   |3|4| |5|   |4| |5| |6|   |5| |6| |7|   |6| |7|1| |   |7|1| |2|
Last edited by Grep at Nov 7, 2008,
Ah, I see. Yeah that's different.

There's one thing about the 3 NPS that really allowed my playing and knowledge to
take off is just 1 simple thing: regularity. At first you don't realize just how powerful
this is until the fingering gets to be natural. But, I don't think I'd be exaggerating at all
be saying I wouldn't know even 1/10th of the stuff I know now, nor have been able
to transcend finger positions altogether without it.