Major Scale Shape 5

Next up in this Major Scale pattern series is shape 5. This shape is easier to remember, for me, than shape 4. The finger configuration for this shape, transcribed at the end of the post, is as follows –

1st, 2nd & 4th fingers for Low E String

1st, 2nd & 4th fingers for A & D strings

1st, 2nd & 4th fingers for G & B strings

1st, 3rd & 4th fingers for High E String

Major Scale Shape 5

G Major is, again, the chosen key. Looking at the notes – G, A, B, C, D, E & F# we can see that shape 5 will start from a D root note. Re-organising those notes from that root note gives – D, E, F#, G, A, B & C.

The intervals which result are –

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

A Major sounding scale with a minor 7th interval. This pool of intervals, when heard is known by the modal name of Mixolydian.

The Mixolydian Scale Shape On the Fret-Board

In keeping with the series, I have recorded & transcribed shape 5 (in tab & standard notation form) as a repetitive exercise followed by its complimentary, improvisational counterpart. As mentioned in the earlier posts, repetition and improvisation are complimentary exercises. If the improvisation department is left wanting, practice becomes boring & repetitive and if the memorization department is neglected then improvisation can become frustrating & limiting.

Each of the scale shapes in this series of posts has pro & cons in terms of technical difficulties but as we will see in the future, the upside of each can be combined and their strengths played to – playing a lick across 2 or 3 shapes for instance and taking any technical issues out of the equation

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 –

This mode is perhaps more ‘useable’ than the previous two modes. It can be incorporated into many different styles/genres. The ambiguity of Mixolydians sound (it has neither an obviously happy or sad feel to it) makes it a great choice for songwriters wanting a malleable, versatile harmonic bed for their melody.

Here’s the transcription of my performance –

Download (PDF, 57KB)

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