This guitar lesson will cover sequencing a major scale in groups of six notes. We will be in the key of A major and we will be using a pretty common three note pre string major scale shape. If you do not know this shape don’t worry, we have provided you with a diagram of the shape so you can work on memorizing it. Don’t forget to use alternate picking throughout the entire scale sequence. You will also want to use a metronome to work on getting this clean and steady first and then work on speeding it up a bit.
Start on the 5th fret of the 6th string with your 1st finger and play the first six notes of the scale starting with a down stroke. Your picking hand should be playing “down up down” change strings “up down up”. This is the patter through out the entire scale. Now start on the lowest note of the scale on the 5th string and play the next six notes. Remember to use alternate picking. Continue this pattern all the way up until you get to the 1st string. If there is any confusion, just check out the notation and TAB that we have provided for you. Once you get to the top note in the scale it will be time to work your way back down. Be careful not to practice just going up or down. You should be work on both.
This sequence is great exercise for your picking hand because there are so many notes to pick. Work this sequence out slowly to really hone in on the accuracy of your picking. If you would like to focus on your other hand you can just play the scale legato. This will be much more challenging and a better work out for your left hand. Using legato technique with sequences like this one can really give you a smooth almost violin like sound. Try picking every note of the sequence and then playing it with a more legato feel. See which way suits you best.
Some players that use sequences like this are Al Dimeola, Sean Lane, and Paul Gilbert, to name a few. If you like the way that scale sequences like this one sound, you should go check out some of their recordings.
Scale sequences are a great way to become familiar with your scales and keep your hands in shape. You can use this sequence as a part of your warm up routine and throw it in to your playing occasionally. Do not use it too often though. You really don’t want to sound like you are just practicing when you are supposed to be playing a solo.