Moveable Scale Shapes
Break down the following simple scale shapes string by string. For any of theses scales, don't just play them in C; move them around and practice changing keys. Knowing a scale only in C helps you only if your song is in C! Try applying different scales to songs you can play right away.
Major Scale Root on the Sixth String
FIGURE 6-5 shows a simple one-octave major scale with the root on the second finger on the low E string. It's called one octave because the scale goes up only until it hits the root of C and then turns around and goes down again.
Try playing all of your scale examples in E, A, D, and G Major. These are very typical guitar keys to play in. The better you know these keys, the more prepared you will be for anything you want to create.
Major Scale Root on the Fifth String
Talk about convenient: The shape you just learned for the sixth string is the same shape when you start on the fifth string! FIGURE 6-6 shows the C-Major scale with the root on the fifth string.
While the finger pattern is the same between the sixth string and the fifth string, you still have to know where C is on both strings to place it correctly. Again, memorizing the note names on the low strings will make this much easier.
Major Scale Root on the Fourth String
When you start on the fourth string, the shape changes. FIGURE 6-7 shows the new scale shape on the fourth string.
Major Scale Root on the Third String
This is the last string that you place scales on. While it's possible to place a scale on a higher string—for example, the second or first—the amount of shifting required would make the scale awkward and clumsy. FIGURE 6-8 shows the C-Major scale on the third string.
This scale starts with the first finger, unlike the previous scales that all began with the second finger. This scale shape is very comfortable to play; the shape falls into your hand well.