Major Scale Shape 2

Major Scale Shape 2Next up in this Major Scale pattern series is Pattern 2. This shape does not quite have the nice and easy to remember symmetry that pattern 1 has. It also presents a slight technical problem, in that the low E string has its 3rd note in the pattern a semi-tone lower than the next string up. This problem can be tackled with 2 options. Going back to shape 1, we can play this with the same fingers on each pair of strings – 1st, 2nd & 4th fingers for E & A strings, 1st, 2nd & 4th fingers for D & G strings & 1st, 3rd & 4th fingers for B & E strings. This is both easy to remember and easy on the eye due to its symmetry.

The problem, as described, with shape 2 (as you will see in the transcription below) is that the player has to make up their mind as to which finger configuration they use and stick with that. That’s not to say that one cannot change their mind if the chosen option proves uncomfortable, but it is precisely the indecision that causes the problem.

More is lost through indecision than wrong decision and this is no less true with scale/finger configuration memorization

Major Scale Shape 2

The chosen key of G major will serve us well again for this scale shape. Looking again at the notes of G MajorG, A, B, C, D, E & F# we can see that shape 2 will start from an A root note. Reorganising those notes from that root note gives – A, B, C, D, E, F# & G.

The intervals which result, subject to the correct laying of the harmonic bed are –

Root Note, Major 2nd, Minor 3rd, Perfect 4th, Perfect 5th, Major 6th & Minor 7th

This pool of intervals, when heard is known by the modal name of Dorian.

The Dorian Scale Shape On the Fret-Board

As before, I have recorded & transcribed shape 2 (in tab & standard notation form) as a few repetitions (a very important phase of the memorization process) and then as a brief improvisation. Repetition and improvisation are complimentary exercises as ‘one hand washes the other’ and it is up to the player to organise their time to fit both in. However, if pushed, and I only had time for one, improvisation would be my preferred option.

 This shape may seem difficult to memorize/improvise with at first but each shape of the major scale offers up its own pros & cons which need thorough investigation

Here’s the audio of me playing, first of all, a few repetitions of the shape and secondly some improvised licks & passages to try –

Here’s an extended backing track to practice the shape, my ideas and some improvisations/licks of your own –

The chord progression is –

Am11          |Cadd11/Dadd11

This establishes the desired root note of A.

Here’s the transcription of my performance –

Download (PDF, 55KB)

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