This is an important scale pattern for improvising and playing melodies to jazz standards.
Many melodies use the major scale in some way shape or form as a foundation.
While melodies will likely have notes that don’t fit this pattern exactly, it can serve as a template to keep yourself organized when you play.
This is a movable scale pattern with the root on the 6th string, meaning that you can change the key of the scale by moving it up or down the neck.
The scale can be used as a foundation for learning melodies and improvising in major keys.
Once you get used to the finger pattern, your next step is to keep track of the scale tones (also called intervals). Say or sing the scale tones out loud as you play the scale to get used to them.
In order to be able to use this scale in your playing, all you have to do is learn the notes up and down the 6th string.
Try playing this scale pattern around the cycle of 4ths to help you learn the notes on the 6th string.
Cycle of 4ths:
C - F - Bb - Eb - Ab - Db - Gb - B - E - A - D - G
For each note in the cycle, find the appropriate starting note on the 6th string, and start your scale pattern there.
And if you really want to be able to use this scale pattern in your playing, try this:
I find this approach to be useful for helping you get a new scale shape under your fingers in a way that you can actually use it to improvise in jazz.
The different sounds you get when you start on different scale tones line up with the different modes that are generated by the major scale.
This exercise is a good starting point to help you get used to the sound of each mode without being overly analytical, or thinking too hard about what it is called.
Keep playing with this, and let me know how it goes! Contact me if you have any questions, or to set up an online jazz guitar lesson.
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