E Major Study

The E Major Scale is spelled with these notes only:E – F# – G# – A – B – C#- D – E

In the visualization exercise to the left, each of these scale tones is labeled. The exercise entails playing small bits of interesting melodic material using only scale tones and centering your activities on any “E” ROOT NOTE. Again, allowing the hand stay and play in position increases your comfort level, pitch accuracy, and ability to find and play the notes you hear. However, a player must develop many personal strategies for playing shifts between scale patterns that are comfortable, smooth and full of musical potential.

When you play along with the visualization and improvisation exercise to the left, work with the fretted root notes (String 6, fret 12 and String 5, fret VII) and create shor and interesting bits of melodic material using the “E” ROOT NOTES and a small number of other scale tones found in whatever position you happen to be playing in. Its important that you also start to include leaps, skips, chordal passages and creative scale patterns in your improvisations and avoid merely reciting scales, in order, every time you play a solo.
When learning the Five Position CAGED System it’s helpful to approach the patterns from a purely physical standpoint by developing a feel for starting scales with a certain finger number. In our version of the Five Position System, scales are always started with finger 1, finger 2 or finger 4. Learn the sound and feeling of doing the finger motions, moving through the scales as being anchored to and centered around the ROOT NOTE and starting finger.

E Type Fingering Pattern…..

scx1202Here the E Major Scale has a Root note on string six and is fingered strictly in the first position. In this key, the Five Position System can become confusing as the scale pattern containing the open E root note is the same as the pattern we’ve labeled the D TYPE. It should be easy for you to get by any

confusion because this course is largely a study of shifting scale patterns up and down the neck, changing their root notes. When playing a fretted E note on string six our version of the Five Position CAGED System changes the common open position fingering to a comfortable moveable one we’ve labeled the E TYPE. The play along ear training exercises below are a little different from past lessons, so to playing in unison, to match the scale passages, will involve a little extra listening.

  • Root On String 6,
  • Begin With Finger 2.

D Type Fingering Pattern…..

scx1204The D TYPE of an E major scale is considered to be in the 13th position. The pattern covers an expanse of 5 frets, all the notes on fret 12 are out of the 4 fret size of the 11th position and are all played with a first finger stretch.

  • Root On String 6,
  • Begin With A Stretch Of Finger 1.

C Type Fingering Pattern…..

The ever popular Open String C Scale transposes up the neck neatly and unchanged as the C TYPE pattern. The is a favorite among guitar players as its among the first scales taught to a guitar student.

  • Root On String 5,
  • Begin With Finger 4.

AType Fingering Pattern…..

scx1208The A TYPE of pattern is always thought of in relation to two critical facts:

  • Root On String 5,
  • Begin With Finger 2.

G Type Fingering Pattern…..

The G TYPE is a favorite of guitarists from all genres, a powerful and useful form. IN THIS COURSE, its two points of categorization are:

  • Root On String 6,
  • Begin With Finger 4.

Visualization Training, 5 Position System: E Major Scale

The animated play along track at right is what I think of as the “guitar players way” of learning scale patterns: through jamming and experimentation.

Start out by simply running the E major scale patterns in time. Introduce lots or rhythms, rests and repeats.

Practicing suggestions for use with the animation:

As you play and practice try to create interesting melodic material.

Play off of the chord shapes also -finding chord tones or pieces of certain chords within the scale patterns is always a good idea, enabling you to create better music.

Look for simple, repetitious melodies over the music using A majors scale ideas.

Remember to practice your scale runs and ideas with a strong sense of rhythm.

Here we’ve focused our Five CAGED Position System in the key of E, As you learn and internalize the Five CAGED Position System in the key of E, remember our four cornerstones of thought:

  • Visualizing The Fingering Patterns.
  • Playing The Scales And Scale Passages As Play Along Ear Training Exercises.
  • Knowing The Root Notes Of The Scale Located On Strings Six And Five.
  • The Finger Used To Begin The Pattern.

Playing and improvising in any of the 12 keys of music ideally involves shifting freely between any one of the 5 scale patterns, to any other one of the 5 scale patterns (e.g. Lowest directly to highest or highest directly to lowest)as the music dictates.


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