View Full Version : The Major Scale on One String

04-10-2014, 01:55 AM
Hey Folks!

This is something I've been using for a little while now. I think it helps the student to grasp a very basic understanding of the Major scale. There isn't exactly a TON of explanations on the sheet, and that is due to how I generally present information to folks. I prefer to get basic concepts on paper, and then use pencil to further explain things, so that I can easily customize the lesson to each student.

After we've worked out the C Major scale on one string, I have them do it on all six strings. I help the student find the other C notes on the guitar by working their way up from the open string. By the time they've finished this, assuming they've practiced diligently, they'll have a pretty good understanding of how to play the C Major scale, become familiar with the WWHWWWH pattern, and know where the natural notes on the guitar are. One thing that really helps is to have them say/sing the notes out loud. I usually tell students that if they don't say/sing it, it doesn't count!

I'm sure all of you already use something like this, or have some other killer method, for introducing the Major scale to your students. I encourage you to share it in this thread! It would be cool to have one thread full of ideas for first time Major scale lessons.


Dale Morgan
04-10-2014, 07:20 AM
Yeah, the major scale is better to get going on SOON, isn't it? It seems that way too much emphasis is put on
minor pentatonic, (it's easy, etc.), but I think it confuses a lot of students, and then they start hearing about
the MODES. Oh No! :D

04-10-2014, 11:15 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean! I generally give them the pentatonic minor early, but only as a tool for learning technique. I don't explain anything about any scales until they understand the Major scale well. It is just an easy way to improvise with jam tracks while getting down some solid picking and fingerboard technique.

I used to rush scales/modes when I first started teaching. I was so eager to shove knowledge down their throats that I didn't realize that I was doing them no favors! Now my scale approach is much slower, but waaaaay easier to comprehend.

Live and learn :). Now they are having a lot more fun learning about music.