Scale Fingerings For Guitar 3 - 1 Octave Shapes
The Professor
Jul 11 2013, 07:29 PM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
One Octave Scale Shapes

In the third installment of our look at the different scale fingering systems, we’ll be looking at one of my personal favorites, one-octave scale shapes.

These scales are compact, easy to play and memorize, usually fit comfortably under your fingers, and will allow you to quickly switch keys over fast-moving chord changes, which can sometimes be tough when using larger, two and three-octave scales.

To catch up on the first two articles in this series, check out:

Three Note Per String Scales for Guitar

CAGED System Scales for Guitar

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

First Finger 1-Octave Scales

The first group of one-octave scales that we’ll look at all begin with your fretting-hand first finger. If you are a fan of three-note per string scales, you’ll recognize these shapes as being a smaller part of those larger, two-octave scales.

Here is how these shapes line up with a C major scale.

Attached Image

Second Finger 1-Octave Scales

The next one-octave scales we’ll look at start with your second finger, except the one on the 3rd-string root which is easier to start with your first finger, but it maintains the 2-3-3 note groups on each string that the rest of these shapes use.

Here is how these shapes look written with a C major scale.

Attached Image

Fourth Finger 1-Octave Scales

You can also start each of these scale shapes with your fourth finger, giving you four more shapes, 6th-5th-4th-3rd-string roots, to work out in the practice room.

Here they are written out with a C major scale.

Attached Image

Though they are small in stature, these 1-octave scales can be a welcomed addition to the soloing vocabulary of any guitarist. They are easy to move around, sit well under the fingers and allow you to quickly and comfortably move along with quick-moving chord changes. Everything you’d want from a scale fingering system.

Do you have a question about this scale fingering lesson? Post your questions and comments in the thread below.

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

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