Major Scale Box Pattern
E|---7---|--R(8)-|-------|---2---| 1st string
E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---| 6th string
On your fretboard - place the R on the tonic note of the scale you want and let the box put the correct notes under your fingers. For example; C major scale. Place the R on the 6th string 8th fret and two octaves of the C major scale await you within the box. Want the G major scale; Place the R at the 6th string 3rd fret and play the major scale - scale degree numbers, i.e. R-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and this time the notes for the G major scale await you. Want the C natural minor scale? OK again go to the 6th string 8th fret then use the major scale box pattern, but, this time flat the 3, 6 & 7 and you have the notes of the C natural minor scale. Learn one pattern, the major scale box, and then change a few notes for whatever you want to play. Want the Mixolydian mode. Use the major scale box and flat the 7. Lydian, use the major scale box and sharp the 4. Want two octaves just go up to the upper strings. Want to go into the 3rd octave, go up the first string. No you are not running up and down your fretboard and looking cool, but, you have control of two octaves of anything you want within a four fret area.
This may be a paradigm shift for you, but, once I tried it I never went back to the ole 5 patterns up the neck. Give it a shot. I printed a transparency copy of the pattern and then moved it over a chart, like above, before the light bulb came on. After that it all became clear.
Scales - Let the major scale box pattern be your go to pattern.
- Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7 Place the R and then play the scale degrees and the box will put the correct notes under your fingers - every time.
- Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 leave out the 4 & 7
- Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale with a flat 3, 6 & 7
- Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Natural minor scale with out the 2 & 6
- Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor pentatonic with the blue note (b5) added
- Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor scale with a natural 7
- Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.
- Ionian same as the Major Scale. R-2-3-4-5-6-7-8
- Lydian same as the major scale, but, with a #4. R-2-3-#4-5-6-7-8.
- Mixolydian same as the major scale, but, with a b7. R-2-3-4-5-6-b7-8
- Aeolian same as the Natural Minor scale. Or the major scale with a flatted 3, 6 & 7. R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7-8.
- Dorian use the Natural Minor scale and sharp the b6 back to a natural 6. R-2-b3-4-5-6-b7-8.
- Phrygian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2. R-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7-8.
- Locrian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2 and the 5. R-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7-8.