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Master The Fretboard

Darren Hightower (695) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 100
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

This set of patterns is a means to learn the scales in a relative major and minor key anywhere on the neck. The 5 patterns overlap each other, and any pattern can be moved 12 frets to play the same notes one octave higher or lower. When learning the patterns, focus on the major and minor root notes. These will determine what key you are in for that particular pattern. If you shift the individual pattern on the fretboard, then the key will change. The root notes will always be in the same position in the scale pattern so you can move the pattern around to change keys. In example 1, the major root note is C, located at the 3rd fret on the 5th string. The minor root note is A (because A is the relative minor of C) located at the 5th fret on the 6th string. By changing the position you play the pattern, you change the key. So, if you slid this pattern up and started it on the 3rd fret instead of the 1st, you would be in D Major and B Minor. This is also a nice way to learn your relative keys if you haven't already. Another important point to realize is that this pattern is based on the way the fretboard is setup to insure that you will play only the notes in whatever key you choose (based on where you move the pattern on the neck). The scales derived are obviously not guitar specific, they can apply to any instrument, but the pattern is specific to the fretboard of a 6 string guitar in standard tuning. In this example, the notes (not in order of the pattern) are A, B, C, D, E, F, G just like in the C Major and A Minor scales. If you're confused because the first note is actually an F, don't worry because the purpose of the pattern is to only include the notes for the scale(s) within one position, but they don't necessarily start in the order of the scale. If you want to start on the major root note, then you would start on the 5th note of the pattern; if you wanted to start on the minor note, you would begin at the 3rd note of the pattern. The pattern allows you to move around and solo within a position and know that you will remain in key.

Pattern 1