Third Lines: One Note Per String

Thirds sound great. They are musical. They are the building blocks for the basic chords. Here they are. The 7 one note per string diatonic third lines. Learn them inside out. You will thank me later.

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Ultimate Guitar
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For practical purposes these lines presented here are in key of C, but learn these shapes in every key. T for the Tonic C 2 for D 3 for E 4 for F 5 for G 6 for A M7 for B Any 3 notes on consecutive strings form a chord with lowest note as the root. The fourth note adds the seventh. Sweep pick them. Study this away from your guitar. Make a print out of a Major Scale on the neck of a guitar using scale degrees preferably. Then take a highlight marker and draw the lines. If you do it right, no notes will be left out and no lines will cross. Now cut out the neck. Bring the ends together, match them up and make a continuous loop of the lines. Study it and memorize how it all fits together. Each line has all the notes of a mode, (insinuated by the low E string note scale degree) except the 6th of the mode. Find the sixth and hammer on and pull of it on the high E when you sweep. Have fun. This is my first online lesson submission. I have a CAGED position third lines lesson as well, let me know if you are interested.
O  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17

E|-4-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B|---|---|-2-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G|---|---|---|-M7|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D|---|---|---|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
A|---|---|---|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-T-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

O  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17

E|---|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B|---|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G|---|---|---|---|-T-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D|---|---|---|---|---|---|-6-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
A|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-4-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-2-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

O  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17

E|---|---|---|---|-6-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B|---|---|---|---|---|-4-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G|---|---|---|---|---|---|-2-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-M7|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
A|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|---|---|---|

O  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17

E|---|---|---|---|---|---|-7-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-T-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
A|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-6-|---|---|---|---|---|
E|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-4-|---|---|---|---|

O  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17

E|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-T-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-6-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-4-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-2-|---|---|---|---|---|
A|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-M7|---|---|---|
E|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-5-|---|---|

O  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17

E|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-2-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-M7|---|---|---|---|---|
G|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|---|
D|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|---|
A|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-T-|---|---|
E|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-6-|

O  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17

3|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|---|---|---|
B|-T-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-T-|---|---|---|---|
G|---|-6-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-6-|---|---|---|
D|---|---|-4-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-4-|---|---|
A|---|---|---|---|-2-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-2-|
E|---|---|---|---|---|---|-M7|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|--|-M7|

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15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    mity88
    Uh,it seems like a cool concept,but u need to explain it clearer buddy...
    MotMandre
    If you know music theory as a guitarist, you should be able to look at this and get it. If you don't, let me add a couple tips so you can get. Each of the 7 neck diagrams above shows one of seven possible third lines with one note per string for a basic scale. If you don't know what a third is, there are other lessons here that will teach you. For you to just get something out of this lesson, take one of the diagrams and just play around with only those notes. They are arranged in thirds or every other note from a scale. Start by playing the notes shown on strings 6,5 and 4. You can play them any way you want, as a chord or individual notes. Then try strings, (5,4 and 3) then(4,3 and 2) then (3,2 and 1) Once you are comfortable with those grouping add one more string and do (6,5,4,3) - (5,4,3,2) - and (4,3,2,1). Groupings of 3 form the basic chords of the key, which is shown as T the tonic, in this example the Key of C. The shapes are movable to any key. The lowest note you play is the root name of a chord you are playing. The notes are arranged in thirds from one string to the next. In the Key of C (C,D,E,F,G,A,B) they are arranged like this (C,E,G,B,D,F,A,C,E.. etc.) So if you start with ... C as your low note the next two notes will be E and G. C,E,G spells C chord. D,F,A = Dm E,G,B = Em F,A,C = F G,B,D = G A,C,E = Am B,D,F = Bdim When you add the forth note, you get. Cmaj7 Fmaj7 G7 Amin7 Bm7b5 or B half diminished. If you add a 5th string you are adding a (2) above a 7th which is a 9th. In the case of the the Em7 and Bm7b5 it is a b9, which if you know your modes, you should already realize. Anybody that can play a couple major scales should be able to have some fun just noodling with these note groupings, they sound pleasant by design. Hope this helps a bit.
    MotMandre
    One more point here to help you memorize these if you already know your triad shapes and modes. The triad that is on strings 6,5,4 is a 7th down from the triad that is on strings 3,2,1. In name they are a 2nd apart. So if the 6 string note is a C, the 3 string note will be a B. Here is a list of the triad combinations. 654 321 C - Bdim Dm - C Em - Dm F - Em G - F Am - G Bdim- Am Hmmm Dm7 and Em7 disappeared when I posted the 4 note names above. Cmaj7 Fmaj7 Bm7b5
    rtcx86
    Ha! This is slick. I have a similar set of ideas that organizes the closed position triad using the E, C, and A shapes. But turning it into a continuous sweep picking exercise might be just what I need to get this into muscle memory. Awesome.
    MotMandre
    Sweet, RT. That would have looked better. I posted a pic of the one I made on my profile. It would be nice to be able to post pics here. It really opens up possibilities when you add notes from adjacent lines.
    guitarcello
    Hi, Mr Mot, Very interesting your lesson, I am a big fan of scales degrees, like explained here, because we can learn all the scale and chords shapes much more easy and can use it all over the fretboard. Congratulations, man.
    MotMandre
    Fastlanestoner... Elaboration, I could do a book on it. Not sure what you needed elaborated on though. Must every lesson start with explaining scale degrees, chord tones and how they work? My advice to anyone who doesn't get it is find an easier lesson and come back to this when you understand scale degrees and chord formulas. Players who know just basic scale and chord theory get this when I show them the neck charts and say "Look third lines." No explanation needed.
    science_man_88
    I see a partial use for this but this seems a complicated way to show what I see in it's value
    science_man_88
    by the way motmandre I know about thirds and such from the piano outside making a chord only take 3 strings i see almost nothing to gain from this and if you know basics on chords from another instrument then how does finding a chord by lesson help I don't know the use of the "caged" position elaborate
    MotMandre
    Science- You are on to me, these are not guitar scale lessons, they are the key to the code I use to send secret messages to Osama Bin Laden.
    relihan54
    I dont care what anyone says, this lesson has been the most helpful to me of anything i have seen on UG or with any guitar teacher. Another lesson that i think goes well with this one is chord building 101 (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/c... g_101.html). Its long and wordy but if u use the chart in the middle and the neck diagrams here its easy to build chords and move around. This is something my guitar teacher has been trying to get me to see and its starting to come together because of this! THANK YOU