"A" Shape" "G" Shape "E" Shape "D" Shape "C Shape"
Here are the corresponding major scale patterns.
"A" Pattern "G" Pattern "E" Pattern "D" Pattern "C" Pattern
Now we will use the same "shapes" and "patterns" to visualize playing in the key of A major. I put these in quotes because it is very important to keep in mind that these are named after their open chord counterparts, but they do not refer to any specific chord or scale. They are only patterns and shapes. There are no new patterns or shapes to learn on this page, there is only a new relationship to the open notes. The pattern now starts at the open A chord. Whatever key you are playing in, that is going to be the shape of it's corresponding open chord.
C = "C" shape open position, "A" 3rd position, "G" 5th position, "E" 8th position, "D" 10th position A = "A" shape open position, "G" 2nd position, "E" 5th position, "D" 7th position, "C" 9th position G = "G" shape open position, "E" 3rd position, "D" 5th position, "C" 7th position, "A" 10th position E = "E" shape open position, "D" 2nd position, "C" 4th position, "A" 7th position, "G" 9th position D = "D" shape open position, "C" 2nd position, "A" 5th position, "G" 7th position, "E" 10th position
If you haven't already guessed, I'm trying to give you lots of oppertunities to look at these relationships. I'm doing this because that's what it takes to acquire a good method for visualizing the fretboard. It's like trying to learn to speak Spanish as a second language as an adult. It's going to be hard to think in Spanish, but you can learn to translate the meanings into English very quickly. Then you can speak Spanish, and if you're good enough, you could certainly fool some people into assuming you could think in Spanish. Well, you can't think in terms of a guitar fretboard, but you can think in terms of melodies. Then you can translate these melodies into the muscle reactions required to create them on a guitar. The faster and better you are at translating, the more you will appear to be able to think in terms of improvising on the guitar.