Aug 09 2015
Major Scale Positions
By: Frank Macri
Posted in: Guitar Scales
The major scale is one of the most important scales that a player first learns on guitar, because it’s one of the most commonly referenced in music. The major scale is a series of seven different notes identified by their fixed arrangements of intervals. The eighth note has the same letter name as the first, and is considered an octave higher.
For example, in the key of G:
1=whole step (2 frets)
1/2 =half step (1 fret)
G 1 A 1 B 1/2 C 1 D 1 E 1 F# 1/2 G
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 intervals
Looking at this example we see that the formula for a major scale is:
W=Whole Step H=Half Step
Using this formula, the chart below lists the all major keys.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the major keys, lets learn these notes all over the neck. The major scale is broken down into 5 positions that will cover the entire fretboard. Together these positions will give you all the available major scale notes on the guitar in any key. We will be using the key of G while learning the major scale positions.
G A B C D E F#
Pos. 1 Pos. 2 Pos. 3 Pos. 4 Pos. 5
Position one starts on the root note G (root note highlighted in red)
Position two starts on the 2nd note (2) of the scale “A”
Position three starts on the 3rd note (3) of the scale “B”
Position four starts on the 5th note (5) of the scale “D”
Position five starts on the 6th note (6) of the scale “E”
Important notes when practicing: