Here are 5 major and 5 minor scale patterns. Knowing all of these scales will allow you to play any major or minor scale in any region of the fretboard. This is advantageous because you can shift between scales, moving up and down the fretboard which can give you more options when soloing, and add a better flow to your playing. It is also nice to know the different patterns when you are creating licks because you will find that it is naturally easier to play different runs or combinations of notes depending on which scale pattern you are using.
Fortunately, although there are 5 patterns for both the major and minor you will only have to memorize a total of 5 scale patterns. This is because each major scale has a relative minor scale which uses the same notes. Therefore, by adjusting your root note each of these scales patterns can be played as either a major or minor scale.
Below are the 5 scale patterns. Note that for each pattern the major roots are green and the minor roots are circled in red.
- Patterns with major roots on the 6th / low-E string:
- Patterns with major roots on the 5th / A string
- Pattern with major root on the 4th / D string
- In order to find your roots you will have to know the notes on the fretboard
- When learning these scale patterns don’t just learn them individually, but also try to look at how they relate to each other. This will allow you to shift between the different scales and play solos using the entire fretboard. This will open up many new options in your soloing.
- Like when you learn any scale, you should learn these scales well enough so that you can mix up the notes and use them to create new ideas in your playing. The idea here is that you want to actually be able to use the scales and not just be able to play them up and down.
- Scales are also great exercise tools. Play them up and down, in sequences, etc. using a metronome to practice timing, technique, and to build speed.