Lesson 6 – How to Learn More Scales

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  1. Reply here with questions and comments.

    Take it to the next level: have you tried playing these scales with jumping 4th or 5th intervals?

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  • Richard Lepinsky Apr 20, 2021

    Thanks for the info on the Low G. It is what I use.

  • anna.baluyot Apr 25, 2021

    Brad – I’m trying to figure out a pattern in the way the M6 and m6 are used in the scales. For instance for the Key of C on the A & E strings it is: M,M,m,M,M,m,m,M and for the Key of D on the A & E strings it is: m,M,M,m,M,M,m,m.

    Is there a pattern that I am not seeing? Or is this a concept that needs to be learned by rote? Thanks!

    • Brad Bordessa (Admin) Apr 25, 2021

      Aha! There is a pattern. Take away the last 6th in your M/m lines above. This is the same as the first 6th and makes the pattern harder to see.

      All you need to do is offset the pattern. So from the open A & E-string in C you get:


      From the lowest double-stop on the A & E-strings in D you get:


      Put them together with an offset to line the shapes up (it can be helpful to go around the scale again to really see the similarities – here I’ve just added the scales twice):

      C: --M-M-m-M-M-m-m|M-M-m-M-M-m-m
      D: m-M-M-m-M-M-m|m-M-M-m-M-M-m

      FWIW, this leans a bit towards over-thinking it. But it’s definitely useful to see the patterns around certain shapes. For instance, you can know that when you play the root of the scale as the melody in a minor 6th shape, the next two shapes will always be major 6ths.

      • anna.baluyot May 6, 2021

        Got it!!! Thanks for laying it all out, Brad. It definitely helped me see it. Awesome!

        • anna.baluyot May 7, 2021

          Oh, oh…also…..since it is a major scale the pattern between the notes is: whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole half!!!! Right??? Hopped on the time machine back to our lessons many years ago!

          • Brad Bordessa (Admin) May 7, 2021

            That’s true for the distance between the notes on each string. But I can’t find that pattern in the actual 6th shapes as they land on the fretboard. I’ve looked for this pattern before since it seems like it would make sense, but it doesn’t work this way.

          • anna.baluyot May 7, 2021


  • Dave Hughes Apr 27, 2021

    I don’t have a great understanding of music theory but am I correct in thinking, your c scale is C, Dm, Em, F, G7, Am, Bdim rather than CDEFGAB, which I first thought.

    • Brad Bordessa (Admin) Apr 28, 2021

      The chords come into play in a later lesson (looks like you found it already). But yes, that first scale example I play basically fits around those chords you mention.