Major Scales • 3 Tones Per String

These patterns take a bit more extension and shifting than the basic 7 we looked at here.

7 major guitar scales, 3 tones per stringIt is common to also learn the Major scale patterns with 3 tones on each string. Some of the patterns in this lesson are already 3 tones per string [the 5/2 - add the 7 on string 1, the 5/1, & the 6/1]. The others had 2 tones on one of the strings.

To get 3 per string, for 3 of the patterns, we moved the lowest two tones on strings 2 and 1 to the highest 2 tones on strings 3 and 2 [5/4, 6/4, 4/1]. For the 6/2, we just had to move the lowest tone on string 1 to the highest tone on string 2. For all 4, we then added another highest scale tone on string 1.

We've named them by their mode names based on the lowest tone. Example: since 5/4's lowest tone is the 3, the scale is Phrygian.

This is a common naming scheme, but keep in mind that every one of the patterns is all 7 modes [and ultimately all just C Major].

We've also left the numbering the same and the C as the red tone, just to keep the map as similar as possible to the first map on this page. We could totally renumber all of the tones and show different roots [the lowest tone, then octaves] based on the names, but we can glean the relationships from the existing numbering.

3 tone per string are commonly used for training directional picking [down-up-down, down-up down ascending; up-down-up, up-down-up descending, with the highest tone left out - 2 tones on string one, down-up, for the turnaround].

These patterns follow the same cycle and the relational spacing for every key center, with different heels/positions.