When you learn your first scales you usually start with two-octave scales, because they span all six strings of the guitar. You play from the Low E-string all the way up to the high e-string.
That’s great! It’s important you learn the two-octave scales inside out, but one-octave scales have their own effective purpose that will serve your playing in a different and complementary way.
Why You Want to Learn One Octave Scales
One of the reasons you want to learn one-octave scales is because of their simplicity. By using only one octave it’s easier to see the shape and structure of the scale, the notes within the scale, and the intervals. The scale is more user-friendly, easier to play, memorize and apply around the fretboard.
There’s another great benefit to learning one-octave scales. Once you got them under your fingers it’s only a matter of connecting the dots to lay out two octave and three-octave scales, since they are made up of one-octave scales.
Note: This post is part of a small series where you will learn one-octave major scale shapes across the entire guitar neck that will help you understand and own the major scale landscape.
Starting from the Root Note on the Low E-string
Today we’re learning three major scale shape/patterns with the first (root) note starting on the Low E-string (6th string).
Tip: For this lesson learn and memorize the notes on the low E-string so you know and recognize the key of the scale when you want to move the scale up or down the fretboard.
Major Scale Fingering
For the major scale examples and tablature below I’ve notated the left hand fingering (for right handed players). The numbers next to the notes on the note staff right above the tablature indicates the left hand fingers:
1 = index
2 = middle finger
3 = ring finger
4 = pinky
The numbers in the yellow neck diagrams also indicate the fingers. The neck diagrams also clearly show what the shape or pattern looks like. Learn to visualize and memorize the shape of each pattern.Continue Reading