Pro Major Scales: 5 Positions For Each Key

This section of the web site has one and only one objective: memorizing and learning to play a C major scale in the 5 industry standard positions detailed on your copy of THE ULTIMATE GUITAR POSTER. This is not a lesson in improvising or lead guitar playing it is training, mental programming if you will, in increasing your ability to glide across and up and down the neck in the key of C.

If you think about it, we always admire guitarists who are able to cover a wide range of low notes to high notes in their playing and this type of skill must first be developed by rote memorization and visualization. I have developed an interactive animation for you below and have made several play along tracks in the key of C for you to test out your new knowledge.

Again, there are new ground breaking musical concepts here, just a fast and efficient way to do the necessary work of a playing like a professional guitarist.

Five Position Thinking: Visualization Exercise

Our first animation is not meant for playing it is meant for visualization and thinking.  You may want to watch the animation several times from start to finish. Then try stopping it after each of the chord changes.  The purpose of this animation is for you to get use to seeing the 5 scale shapes and the chords found within them in rapid succession, thereby increasing your ability to think of these shapes quickly.

The positions will change in 5 second intervals, this is necessary intellectual ability which is at the core of advanced soloing. These animations will help you acquire this skill in a fraction of the time associated with traditional book practicing!

This first shapes (scale and chord) are called a C types because they are common first position chords and scales.  It is always a good idea to think of the chord and scale as being related to and tied to each other.

This next chord and scale combination are called  A types, because if these shapes were in the first position, they would be in the key of  A.  Here of course everything is in the key of C. Following the keys of C and A are the keys of G, E and D. These 5 keys spell out the word CAGED.

This type of playing and thinking is called the CAGED system. I have written about extensively in my two best selling instructional books, Guitar Chord Guru and Guitar Scale Guru.

 

Five Position Thinking: Play Along Exercise

Of course, most guitarists will want to have a great time hitting play and jamming out in the key of C, so try that first. Remember, this is an interactive play along animation and powerful improvisation exercise. Try following these suggestions to get the most out of the exercise:

1.) Play the scale ascending and descending, in order, as a stream of even eight notes or quarter notes, remember to keep the notes in order.

2.) Play the notes in the Chords, ascending, then the notes in the scale descending.

3.) Play the notes in the Chords, descending, then the notes in the scale ascending.

Play the notes in the scale, in scale order, and see where it takes your ear, eventually making compositions, licks and melodies that are all your own. This exercise is designed to illustrate something called The Law Of Melody. This law states that in melodic use, notes have a tenancy, a desire if you will, to move to the next step (either up or down) in the scale.

Experiment with playing the scale notes out of order, employing leaps and skips. Also try string skipping and inventing your own patterns. I have some great scale exercises in my best selling book, A Blueprint For Hot Guitar and ever more are available in the Super Scales section of my on line guitar school, GUITARU.COM.

 

Jam Tracks In The Key Of C

Rhythm & Blues Style

This is a jam track in the key of C based on the rock classic Stand by Me. Make sure you are observing the Law Of Melody in your solos but also use skips leaps and shapes of chords.

During the breaks, or bars of stop time your challenge is to maintain a steady and solid rhythm in your soloing.

Jazz Style

Every jazz musician had better know When The Saints Go Marching In. Make sure you can play the melody by ear. A C major scale will work for almost the entire tune but you may want to change scale or chord shapes to handle the F Minor chord in measure 12.

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