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> Scale Fingerings For Guitar 1 - 3 Nps
The Professor
post Jul 8 2013, 03:15 PM
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3 Note Per String Scales

To begin our look at applying scale shapes to the guitar, we will look at one of the most commonly used scale fingerings, 3 note per string shapes.

The name pretty much sums up these fingerings, you play three notes on each string on the neck as you go up or down any given scale.

The great thing about these fingerings is that they always have the same amount of notes on each string, allowing you to build up significant speed with this shapes compared to other scale fingering possibilities. Because of this, these scales tend to be favored by shred, metal, fusion and rock players, since they are easy to run patterns through and are built for speed.

One thing to watch for when learning and practicing 3 note per string scales, is that you don’t become too reliant on legato techniques when playing up or down any string set. It’s very easy to pick one note per string, then hammer or pull-off all of the other string sets, as you ascend or descend the scale. But, while this is a very cool sound, it can become old very quickly if you rely on it too much. So check out slurring these scales, but also keep in mind other ways of attacking each note and string set when playing 3 NPS fingerings.

For more information on how to finger these scales, check out the Scale Fingering Guide.

3 NPS Major Scales

To help you get started with these scales, here are two examples of 3 NPS strings, one with a 6th-string root and one with a 5th-string root. Both are major scales, which are usually the type of scale we begin with when exploring these shapes on the fretboard, and so they are a great place to start if you are looking to test the waters with these particular scale shapes.

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3 NPS Harmonic Minor Scales

Though you might want to start with major scales for 3 NPS shapes, you can apply these fingerings to any scale that you know or are working on in the practice room. As an example, here are two versions of Harmonic Minor scales with 3 NPS fingerings for you to check out.

After you have learned these fingerings, try taking 3 NPS shapes to any/all scales that you know and see how they fit under your fingers as you explore these fingerings further in your practice routine.

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Do you use 3 NPS fingerings? What do you think of these scale shapes on the fretboard? Post any comments or questions in the comments thread below.

This post has been edited by The Professor: Jul 16 2013, 02:55 PM

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post Jun 5 2014, 02:44 PM
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Where can I see a simple example of the practical application of this scheme?
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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 5 2014, 11:46 PM
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QUOTE (Romko @ Jun 5 2014, 03:44 PM) *
Where can I see a simple example of the practical application of this scheme?

Here you can check out some lessons utilizing 3 notes per string scales/shapes in a practice kind of way :

These shapes are very useful for playing fast because you are playing the same number of notes per string, so with practice you can get them going at high tempo. Also, these shapes work well with tapping as you can play the 3rd note with your right hand and split the load and diminish stretching left hand would be doing. More practically, they are useful for fast ascending and descending runs over the fretboard. For example check out the video part 2 of this lesson :

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