Let's take a look at what we
call the open scale. These are the notes down on the first three frets of the guitar and we are also
using the open strings. So for those of you that aren't aware of the name of the strings on the guitar,
let's take a quick look at them.
So, starting off with my low
string here, my E string ... followed by A string ... open D ... open G ...
open B ... and finally, open E again ...The high E is two octaves above the low
E ... A ...
D ... G ... B ... E
Or, going the other way,
E ... B ... G ...
D ... A ... E
Ok, so starting off with our
low E string, we then put our first finger on the first fret and we will play that note ... and,
alphabetically, after E we have F ... We're going to leave the second note out on the
second fret, that being an F# We're only actually playing notes of the C scale. So, we're playing
open E ... F ... third finger, third fret ... playing a G.
It's important that I use the
corresponding finger with the fret. ... open ... one ... three, rather than using, say, ... open ... one ...
and then my second finger. Means that I have to do a little bit of a shift with my hand. I want to keep my
hand still and just basically use the correct fingers ... open ... one ... three, E,
F and G.
Now going onto my A string ...
open A, second finger second fret for B ... third finger third fret for C. E,
F, G, A, B, C
Now my D string ...
open, second finger second fret for E ... third finger third fret for F. D,
E, F ...
Dropping down to my
G string ... open G, second finger second fret ... A.
It just so happens that my
next note being an open string is B, so they are the only two I play on that G string:
G ... and A ...
Open B ... first
finger, first fret for C ... third finger third fret for D ...
Open E, my top
string ... F ... and G ...
Now, even though I'm
basically playing a C scale, I'm starting on my low E ... and I'm finishing on my top
So, I'll just play through
the scale slowly for you.
Open E ... F ...
A B C
D E F
Open B C D
E F G
Or, if you want to be a little clever:
G F E
D C B
F E D
C B A
G F E
All I'm using to pick these notes
is my thumb nail. You can use a plectrum. Not a bad idea if you are using a plectrum to practice using alternate
picking, which is down-up, down-up, so one note down, second one up, third one down, that's another way to work on
it, but for now. I'm just really going to play down stroke using my thumb nail...
Now, a good thing to do is just
to pick out a note in the scale and see if you can figure out what the note is. For example, if I put my
third finger here on the third fret of the B string ... I know I've got two notes on that particular
string. I've got a note on my first fret and a note on the third fret which is the one I'm playing. If I
want to work out what this note is on the third fret, I know my string is B, and I just
follow my alphabet: C, D. B, C, D ...
One more for you, third
fret of the D string. Again, I know I've got two notes on that string; a note on the second fret,
and one on the third fret that I'm looking for. Play my open D string ... the two notes are
alphabetically E and F. So, therefore, ... I need an F note, there it is ...
Ok, practicing scales is
probably not the most exciting thing you can do on the guitar but very, very helpful in getting to
know the names of the notes on our fret board. We will travel further up the neck, but it's probably
a very good idea for you to make a start in what we call the open position, which is the scale that
we just played.
So, have fun practicing
it or as much fun as you can possibly have and I'll catch you next time.