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Three Note Per String Scales

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A lot of guys write me asking about what they can do to speed up their leads

or coordinate their right and left hands so they can play scales faster. My

usual advice, besides the usual 'practice, practice, practice' speech, is to

learn what's known as the '3 note per string' scales.

Basically, most beginner scales you learn involve playing combinations of notes that include 3 notes on one string, 2 notes on the next, 3 or the next, then maybe 2 notes again on the next.

What this leads to is a slowing down of your playing because you're constantly switching strings on an upstroke or downstroke depending on how many notes there are on any particular string. But with 3 note per string scales it's always the same sequence: down, up, down, ... up, down, up ... down, up, down, etc.

Not only that, but for some reason the scales are a heck of a lot easier to

learn than standard scales. Although they are a little tougher to play 'cause there's more stretching involved. There are seven scales, in theory type talk, they're named:








.... and all you have to do is memorize all seven of them to be able to play up

and down the fretboard with ease.

So, in the next seven exercises I'll give you a fretboard pic of what each

scale looks like and a sound file to show you what it sounds like with various

variations to make practicing them a bit more interesting. This particular series were doing is done in G Major. So in other words, play a G Major chord and each one of these scales will play over top of them.

If you change to an A Major, all you have to do is move the series of scales up by two frets because the order and positions stays the same no matter what. Once

you learn these seven scales you can move them up and down the fretboard and cover every key there is.

So, here's the first one: G Ionian (Regular Major)

When you practice it, do it in as varied different ways as you can think of. Go up and down all six strings, go up 4 strings and back down, start at the top and go down 3 strings then go back up, skip strings. Whatever you can think of. In addition, learn the scales in reverse. In other words, instead of starting the scale with a downstroke on your first note, start with an upstroke. Do this both ways until you feel comfortable starting the scale in any position and starting with an up or downstroke.

Lesson Info
Instructor Kevin Taylor
Three Note Per String Scales
Tutorial Lessons