Scale Fingerings For Guitar 4 - Shifting Shapes
The Professor
Jul 15 2013, 09:59 AM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
Shifting Scale Shapes

While many of us have worked on various in-position scales in the practice room over the years, we tend to be less familiar with shapes that slide up and down the neck as we work them through our favorite scales and modes.

Shifting scale shapes are a great way to get any scale or mode under your fingers, while covering a large area of the neck at the same time. This can have the added bonus, apart from learning the scale itself, of learning your neck and working on your shifting technique at the same time.

Since that is the toughest part of playing any shifting scale, the actual shift at the top of the first octave, this is where many of us face a technical challenge where there is a gap, or small hiccup, when switching octaves and moving up the neck with this scale.

To help introduce you to this scale, and get over any technical issues that may arise when first tackling it in the practice room, here are two examples of shifting C major scales, with the fretting-hand fingering written out to see how each note is places on the fretboard within these shapes.

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

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As you can see, and hear if you’ve tried out these fingerings, it can be a bit tough to navigate that shift with a smooth and fluid fashion. So, take your time and work on just the shift at first if it’s giving you problems, then go back to working the entire scale once you have smoothed out that part of the fingering.

As is the case with any scale fingering in this series, feel free to apply this shape to any scale or mode that you know or are working on in the practice room to get a fuller picture of how this shape can be useful across a variety of modes and scales.

For those that are just joining us, here are links to the first 3 articles in this series to check out as well.

Scale Fingerings for Guitar 1 - 3 Note Per String
Scale Fingerings for Guitar 2 - CAGED
Scale Fingerings for Guitar 3 - One Octave Shapes

Do you use shifting scales in your practicing or have a question about these shapes? Post any questions or 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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