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Jesus Joshua 24:15 Home  »  Forum Home  »  Music Discussions  »  Guitar Discussions  »  Lesson #14: 'C' Major Scale



Guitar Weenie

740 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2005 :  21:03:34 Show Profile
C Major Scale

I will begin a series of key related scale patterns. I will be going through the "Circle of Fifths". The Circle of Fifths is
a tool that relates the keys to one another. If you work through the major scale you have these degrees: R, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, R. Notice that you have the "5" or "fifth." If you begin the 'C' major scale, it will go as follows: R, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, R.


Notice that the 'Fifth' is 'G'. In the Circle of Fifths, the next key is G Major. Another interesting occurrance happens. The
key of 'C' has no sharps (#) or flats (b) in it. The key of 'G' has ONE sharp (F#). The key of 'G' Major goes; G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G.
The Fifth of 'G' is 'D'. 'D' Major is the next key in the circle, and it has TWO sharps (C# and F#). And so on through the circle
until it cycles back to 'C'. Since there are twelve keys Major keys (and twelve minor keys, more on this later), and there are
twelve months to a year, I think that practicing a different Major scale each month is an excellent and easy goal to accomplish.

Since the keys cycle through the 'Circle of Fifths', starting on 'C' (which has no sharps or flats) I will begin our study of Major scales with 'C' Major.


   Scale degree   R  M2 M3 4  5  M6 M7 R
   Note name      C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C

Now, I will give you some fretboard examples of how this scale lays out. I will be starting all examples on the Root, or 'C' note,
but that is only for study purposes. When playing real music, you DO NOT always have to start with the root of the scale. You can
begin on any note in the scale, as long as it fits the chord that you are playing with it. We will get into scale/chord relationships
at a later time, so don't frustrate yourself with that point now. Let's dig into an example.

Ex.2a Root on the 6th string, 3 note per string.

         C  D  E  F G A  B  C D  E F  G  A  B  C  D  E  F  E  D  C  B  A  G  F  E  D  C B A  G  F E  D  C
         R  2  3  4 5 6  7  R 2  3 4  5  6  7  R  2  3  4  3  2  R  7  6  5  4  3  2  R 7 6  5  4 3  2  R

Ex.2b Root on the 5th string, 3 notes per string.

         C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C B A G F E D C B A G F E D C
         R 2 3 4 5 6 7 R 2 3 4 5 6 7 R 7 6 5 4 3 2 R 7 6 5 4 3 2 R

Ex.2c Root on 6th string, single 'box' position.

         C  D E F  G A B  C D E  F G  A B C B  A G  F E D  C B A  G F E  D C
         R  2 3 4  5 6 7  R 2 3  4 5  6 7 R 7  6 5  4 3 2  R 7 6  5 4 3  2 R

Ex.2d Root on the 5th string, using open strings.Loops through two hand positions.

         C D E F G A B C B A G F E D C B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C B A G F E D C B A G F E D C
         R 2 3 4 5 6 7 R 7 6 5 4 3 2 R 7 R 2 3 4 5 6 7 R 2 3 4 5 6 7 R 7 6 5 4 3 2 R 7 6 5 4 3 2 R

You can practice these fingerings in any way you choose. I recommend that you use an alternate picking standard (up, down, up, down)
but you can also slur (hammer, pull) your notes as well. The idea is to get your fingers familiar with these patterns, so that you
can begin to develope a "sixth sense" with your fingers and brain. You can use any particular finger position you choose, but scale
practice should develope an efficient and economical hand movement. No sense doing more work than you have to.

In future columns, we will look at other fingering positions for this and other scale patterns. Until then, practice these for 5
minutes each. If you practice 5 minutes alternate picking each pattern, and then 5 minutes slurring each pattern, you will have
practiced for 40 minutes! I guarantee, in a month, you will become faster and more fluid, and sound better.Try it.

"C'mon Dave, Gimme a break!"

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