Training And Visualization For A minor

Playing The Natural Minor Scale in 5 Positions

To play the A minor scale in 5 positions you’ll need to memorize 5 fingering pattens. The “A” Root notes on String 6 & String 5 are the notes we use to organize our thinking in the key . The A on String 4, Fret VII is also of importance. You may find it helpful to think of this “A” note (String 4 Fret VII) as the octave of the “A” note on String 6, Fret V, since this root note is a note most often associated with the Key of A minor. The same thing holds true for the Root 5 A minor scale because the “A” note on String 5, Fret XII is a note identified with the Key Of A minor.
As you play the animation to the left try to as much of the scale as you scale can in each position. Alternatively, try to play interesting and simple melodies using only 3 or 4 notes of the minor scale with each new position of the scale.
Work with the illustrations and ear training exercises below to learn to visualize and memorize scale shapes in the Key Of A minor.

Scale Execises….

These 5 scale shapes are clearly diagrammed below with short playing exercises using various scale passages and sequences. treat these short playing exercisesd as ear training exercises as well as practice in learning scale patterns and how to negotiate them. Its important that you learn to hear each of the 5 playing exercises below as minor.



If any of the 5 scale patterns were to be called the the “A” minor scale fingering pattern, it would be this one, the A min scale pattern in the 5th position. This version of the a minor scale is probably the most well known, and is very easy to use. This level of familiarity is caused by the “A” root note located on sting six, again using note names on string six being to change and find keys is one of the basic princilpes of guitar playing.


Think of the next scale shape, the 7th position A minor scale as an extention of the previous shape, the 5th position A minor scale. This is makes sense because you’ll be spending a lot of time in the previos scale because its the most common and user friendly. By thinking of the 7th position A minor scale as the next logical upper area of the scale, you’ll develop a wider range in your playing.


This fingering pattern covers a range of 5 frets, meaning you run out of fingers when playing this scale in a system of position playing. Obviously, the notes are on the 8th fret are considered out of the 9th position, we’ve labeled these notes with a res letter ‘s’ so you know you have stretch finger one back, one fret out of position to incorperate such a fingering pattern into the system of position playing.


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