By: Dr. Matt Warnock
If you’ve already spent time learning the major scale before digging into this series, then today’s fingering is probably old hat. But, that doesn’t mean it’s worth revisiting if you already know it, or learning if you haven’t checked it out. It’s a classic fingering, but one that is essential for any guitarist, of any style, to have under their fingers.
The fingering is an “in position” two octave major scale (in this case in the key of A major), something we haven’t seen yet. All of our three, two-octave scales that we’ve seen so far have included a shift, including Day 7’s three-note per string scale. Though many players don’t like to stay in one position, to avoid being locked into patterns, or “boxes” as they’re called, knowing scales within the span of four frets is a must have component for any guitarist. As long as it’s not the only approach you take to learning major scales.
Take a key, let’s say G, and play each of the three different fingerings starting on the 3rd fret of the 6th string. Notice how the scales all sound the same notewise, but the timbre and texture of each scale is slightly different because of the strings and shifts being used.
This is one of the main reasons we learn multiple fingerings for the same scale, so that we can play the same notes but produce different sonic effects with those scales.
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.