Major Tetrachords

author: GNR_Duff_rules date: 09/05/2006 category: guitar scales and modes

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First I must explain to beginners how to read my diagrams: read them left to right, bottom to top. Every horizontal line is a string (bottom being E and the top G) and every Vertical lihne is a fretbar. As many already know a major scale follows the pattern:
W-W-H-W-W-W-H

W - whole steps (two frets)
H - half steps (one fret)
Looking closly you see there are two parts bridged by a whole step (W-W-H)W(W-W-H). These parts are called tetrachords. Now using common sense you can see that any two tetrachords can make up a one-octave scale (if bridged by a whole step). There are three easy ways to play tetrachords using patterns and certain fingers. You don't have to use the fingers I suggest but they are what I found easiest. Here are the patterns (2412), (1334) and (4134). NOTE: these are not tablature! The numbers indicate the finger to use, 1 being the index, 2 the middle, 3 the ring, and 4 being the pinky!
(2412)
|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|
|-1-|-2-|---|---|
|---|-2-|---|-4-|

(1334)
|---|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|---|
|-1-|---|-3-|---|-3-|-4-|

(4134)
|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|
|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|
|---|---|---|-4-|
Now those are just the tetrachords you must put the together to get a scale! Do this by skipping a whole step after the last note, then starting over again:
(1334)
|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|-1-|---|-3-|---|-3-|-4-|
|-1-|---|-3-|---|-3-|-4-|---|---|

(2412)
|---|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|-1-|-2-|---|---|
|-1-|-2-|---|-2-|---|-4-|
|---|-2-|---|-4-|---|---|

(4134)
|---|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|
|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|---|-4-|
|---|---|---|-4-|---|---|
Notice that the second added part is just moved up one string and over two frets!
See:
|---|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|-1*|---|-3*|-4*|
|(1)|---|(3)|(4)|---|-4*|
|---|---|---|(4)|---|---|
Now you can have one-octave scales you can use on any fret. For example starting any of thes on the 8-fret of the E string allows you to play the C-major scale. Now it's harder to make multi-octave scales because you must make some small adjustments an requires understanding of root notes but I'll get to in another lesson. Also look in case I make something like this for minor scales. I hope you understand major scales more now. I know this might be a bit confusing but to understand use a little common sense.
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