The information I am about to share with you has been a huge revelation for me, and I can only thank one person for it, Barrett Tagliarino.
First: The Video.
Second: The Post.
I learn’t this from using two of Barrett’s book’s in unison the Guitar Fretboard Workbook and the Rhythmic Lead Guitar workbook. I can only sing the praises of these two book’s. If your a serious student of the Guitar then you owe it to your self to own them.
While I was doing my regular practice routine last week, using the techniques that Barrett teachers in his books I realized I could easily, yes I said EASILY, build a scale anywhere, any time on the guitars fretboard.
It all has to do with knowing the root note patterns (CAGED), counting out the scale degrees, how the major scale is formulated and the fret distance between Tones and semi-tones when moving up and down individual strings and from string to string. Sound’s like a lot of stuff to remember doesn’t it, but wait till you see how easy building scales is once you do.
It’s one thing to memorize the five different scale patterns up and down the fretboard, but how do you easily join them together at any time? How do you play any part of any one of the five scale patterns anywhere on the fretboard. You learn and understand the formula, that’s how.
The formula for the Major scale is plastered all over the web, Geez even I wrote a post and made a video about it, but finding information about applying that formula across all of the six strings anywhere on the fretboard seems to be either completely overlooked or some kind of coveted secret that only a few elite guitar masters are talking about.
Barrett briefly touches on part of the magic pill in this post on his blog,,, Major-Scale Fingering Patterns, it’s referring to going from one string to the next in one of his comments…
“we must ascend to string 3, three frets down the neck”.
Basically his saying that when ascending from string to string a whole Tone it’s a three fret distance. No big deal right, I mean you just have to look at any scale pattern to figure that out, well you might think it’s no big deal, but for me it was a critical part of understanding the guitars fretboard in relation to Tones an semi-tones.
But here’s a tip that Barrett doesn’t cover in the blog post but does in his Guitar Fretboard Workbook, when changing from the third to the second string, because of the tuning change you drop a fret, so instead of a three fret distance for a Tone it’s only a two fret distance apart.
Well, whats the distance between frets when moving between strings one semitone I hear you asking, Get the Guitar Fretboard Workbook or figure it out, I can’t give away everything in his books can I.
Anyways, the real breakthrough came when I was practicing the exercise on page 13 of the Rhythmic Lead Guitar workbook, which was playing the pattern 2 C major scale and naming out loud the scale degrees. It was when I became familiar with the scale degrees that everything just clicked.
I saw that every time I played notes 3 and 4 as well as 7 and 1 together, they were a fret apart, or next to each other depending on the way you look at it.
This basically allowed me to find the right note easily and without confusion, as long as I was counting the scale degrees in the correct order, and remembered the fret distance I had to travel when playing the scale on one string or across all of the strings, I could go anywhere on the fretboard I wanted.
To see an example of how to play the Major scale that covers the entire fretboard make sure you check out the video at the beginning of this post.