Scales Beginning With Each Finger

Welcome back! Once you memorize your scales up and down the neck, the next step is to be able to play any scale beginning with each finger and staying in position. Let me show you how.

First, we will work off the 6th string and we will use a B major scale (B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#) in Example 1 and play the scale off each finger staying in position. I've given you a few suggested fingerings you might want to follow for the trickier patterns, like the one starting with your third finger. Most the time when you learn new scales you usually start on the index finger, middle finger or pinky and not the third finger.

Once you master your major scales this way, try doing this with each mode, like the B Phrygian mode (B, C, D, E, F#, G, A) in Example 2. Some modes you'll find a little awkward starting with your third finger, like the Dorian mode and the Aeolian mode. They can be awkward, because of the major 2nd and the minor 3rd intervals together. If you use your imagination you can get some cool shapes.

After you master the 6th string patterns move onto the 5th string, check out Example 3, the D major scale (D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#) off the 5th string. Again, you might want to follow the suggested fingerings or experiment with your own. You will get some interesting patterns practicing this way, and it is one of the best ways to learn your scales on the neck. This will break you out of a rut if you find yourself playing in the same patterns all the time.


I just gave you a few scales to start you off, be sure to take other scales you know and apply this concept to them, and if you have questions feel free to ask.

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Mike Campese is an all-around music performer, session artist and teacher competent in many musical styles, electric and acoustic. He has studied at G.I.T. (Honors Graduate), and with Paul Gilbert, Norman Brown, Stanley Jordan, Scott Henderson and Keith Wyatt.

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His latest CD is entitled "The Fire Within", brand new for 2018.

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