Finger Workout: Major Scale in Groups of 4

Finger Workout: Major Scale in Groups of 4

Are you ready for a thrilling adventure? In this lesson, we will be sequencing A major scale in groups of four notes in altogether three ways. Tons of incredible guitar players such as Paul Gilbert and Al Di Meola use these ideas in their playing. If you dream of becoming a lead guitarist, in hope of creating ear-catching melodic lines or licks, this lesson is especially designed for you.

Sequence 1 (do-do-do-do-re-re-re-re…)

Sequence 1

A proper warm-up can do you a lot better. Let’s start with something easy and simple. In this exercise, you will be repeating each of the notes of the A major scale four times. Make sure you use alternate picking.

Sequence 2 (do-re-mi-fa-re-mi-fa-sol…)

Sequence 1

For sequence 2, you start on the lowest note of A major scale on the 5th fret of the 6th string with your middle finger and a downstroke. Next, you move on to the second lowest note of the scale on the 7th fret of the 6th string with your ring finger and an upstroke. You will then be playing the third and fourth lowest note using alternate picking.

Then, get back to the second lowest note and play another group of four notes. Repeat this pattern until you reach the top note in the scale. Then move downwards from the peak.

Tip: Major Scale Pattern 4

There are basically five patterns of the major scale (or referred to as major scale box shapes) on the fretboard. And this exercise belongs to pattern 4, which has its tonic note of the scale (solfege “Do” or letter name “A”) on its 6th string. Normally you play the tonic with your middle finger.

Major Scale Pattern 4

Sequence 3 (sol-la-ti-do-re-mi-fa-sol…)

Sequence 1

In this sequence, you start on the fifth note of A major scale (Sol or “E”) and go straight up to Ti (or “G#”). After that, you move downwards. Remember to use alternate picking all the way through.

Tips: Major Scale Pattern 2

Strictly speaking, this exercise should not be considered as pattern 2, though they are the same in terms of the upper section (refer to the orange box at below):

Pattern 2 & A Major Scale

Can you tell me where on the fretboard we can find a complete pattern 2 of A major scale (Hint: look at the yellow box)? Exactly! Your answer is in between the 11th and 15th fret, right?

Hurray! You have now gone through the three sequences. Keep it up and try the following variations:

(1) Don’t limit yourself to A major scale. Apply what you have learnt to other scales that you already know!

(2) Speed up! The soundtracks are in the speed of 60 bpm (only). Play faster!

(3) You are more likely to be playing the scale in a staccato (shortened) approach. Try it another way—make the notes more connected. Hammering on and pulling off will make the style more legato.

Last but not least, do not overuse the sequences in your solos. Or you may sound like you are just practicing (A snigger)!

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