Major Scale/3 Nps Strategy And Implementation Question(s), Best way to play the major scale in any key using 3NPS
Nov 12 2017, 01:11 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 16
Joined: 14-September 15
From: USA

Dear Fellow GMC’ers,

First a quick and heartfelt thank you to Kris, Gab, and Darius. Huge inspirations and the time all instructors have taken with me and I’m sure anyone reading this is beyond words…

I had a nice back and forth with Kris who felt it was best I posted my question in the THEORY section. Would love to hear from everyone on this who has been in the same boat as me:

The “concept” of scales I finally understand well along with the major scale versus modes after all these years of avoiding it like the plague. The issue I am running into is learning the practical application of the major scale. I’ve gotten my pentatonic down and I am comfortable with the 5 box shapes and HOW to connect them. I can “see them” on the fret board and connect those dots. For whatever reason the major scale seems to be a mess. Some teachers profess the CAGED, some 3NPS, etc. I personally like the 3NPS for the uniformity and fluidity of it although the overlapping of notes seems redundant.

SO how do you approach connecting the dots for the major scale? Do you just grit your teeth and memorize Ionian, Dorian, etc. as patterns similar to 1-5 for the pentatonic boxes? Attached is the C major scale my buddy wrote for me to learn (he graduated Berklee, smart guy and great guitarist) starting on the A string. He did this so I could grasp the tonality of the patterns before applying them to all the strings. While he is right, if I played that same shape starting on the 8th Fret of the low E it wouldn’t work. I’d have to shift everything from the G string down. It’s doable but see the discrepancy here?

We want to unlock the fret board with the major scale because it covers so much/modes, but my fear is if I get stuck mentally using just the E string as the starting point I’m losing out big time… I don’t want the low E to be my only reference. If you say C Ionian I should be able to instantly play it 3rd fret on the A, 8th on low E, 10th on D, etc. Shouldn’t make a difference. But if I only have one pattern shape in mind I’m screwed! I’ve heard of instructors discuss learning the root note in any position but not much beyond that phrase (haven’t seen the practical side of that yet).

With all this being said, any tips and tricks as to how you got the major scale down and in turn the modes, please let me know.

Peace and love to all- Kirk Hamster

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