By: Dr. Matt Warnock
We’re now moving into the realm of long-form major scales with our first 3-note per string major scale. These particular fingerings, with today’s starting on the 6th string, are often associated with metal and shred guitarists, but I would say that anyone who disses these fingerings on that basis is losing out on a great, and very practical fingering!
Jazz players, such as myself, often overlook this fingering because it’s not very “traditional,” but this scale lies very easily under the fingers and though it is mostly used by metal players, guys like Paul Gilbert (who applies this technique to the blues genre with amazing results) and Matt Palmer (who has revolutionized the classical guitar world with his unique application of these scales) have proven that 3-note per string scales are not just for metal anymore.
The cool thing about these scales is that they lend themselves very well to the application of legato patterns, which is where you play more than one note with only one right-hand attack. Try playing the first note of each string on the way up and then hammering-on to the next two notes on that scales. As well, you can do this on the way down the scale, just pull off the second and third notes on each string after plucking the first.
Try this fingering out, and don’t let anyone tell you that it’s only for shredders, they’re only missing out on a great and very practical major scale fingering!
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Warnock is a jazz educator and performer in Manchester, UK. He owns and operates www.mattwarnockguitar, a free online resource for jazz guitarists and is on the faculty of the Leeds College of Music. You can connect with him on Facebook as well as sign up for his free weekly jazz newsletter, where you’ll get free copies of his ebook “10 Essential ii-V-I Licks” and “5 Essential Jazz Scale Techniques” when you sign up.