The D Major Scale Fifth And Final Pattern

Study Of The D Major Scale

When applying what we already know about the major scale formula to the key of D, the resulting scale contains 2 sharps. Study the graphic organizer below, at this point in the course this diagram should look familiar and easy.


The D major scale formula makes its own unique demand for two sharps, C# and F#. To play the D major scale we would, of course, begin and end the scale on the D root note -all notes in the scale are separated by the distance of a whole step except for the third and the fourth (Mi-Fa) and the 7th and 8th (Ti-Do) which are separated by the distance of a 1/2 Step. As you practice, say or sing the solfege name (Do-Re-Mi) of each note as you play it. Use the interactive diagram to visualize the scale as you play it on your guitar and keyboard.

Open Position D Major Scale

Illustrated below are the complete notes of traditional open string D major scale, the scale contains open strings and is considered to be in the open position even though there no notes in the first fret. A good many rock, folk and traditional songs as the key is considered a favorite. The open strings make the playing easy, smooth and comfortable, giving the nimble and efficient first finger a lot of notes to play. Practice, play and memorize the traditional open string D major scale with your first finger stationed on the 2nd fret. Practice and play the example below exactly as recorded.


Practice both of these scale exercises over and over, first learn one complete octave of the D major scale as shown above and get that down solidly. Next, learn to play in key across all strings in the open position –extending your range of the scale across all six strings. Once again, saying or singing the solfege syllables as you progress through the scale will make it easier to hear the scale. This is good ear training. For the exercise to follow, the musical growth is learning to hear scale tones and scale fragments in relation to the root note.


D Major Scale Meoldic Study: Whiskey Before Breakfast

The melodic study in this lesson reinforces a point central to most systems of music education: studying, learning, analyzing and performing traditional and ‘roots’ music. The fiddle tune, Whiskey Before Breakfast, is a standard songs among guitar pickers the world over. Of course the transcription and study notes can be found in the print and save section at the very end of this lesson.

D Major Scale: Transposition Study

As previously done with keys we have studied so far (C, G, E and A), I have taken the open position D major scale and transposed the notes up one octave -migrating from the open position to the 12th position. In the key of D major there are 3 ways to look at the “octave up” pattern, and all 3 contain stretches and slides. In this course, we are using the 3rd option below in our system of neck organization. This pattern has its lowest pitched root on string 6 and fits in nicely with our way of root 6 thinking, with what we know best.


The open notes of the D scale have all been transposed up one octave to fret 12. Notes appearing below the 12 fret certainly do belong there -if not there, then where else? Even if it is a leap of faith, think of the fingering pattern below as the best and most logical choice for transposing that open string D major scale up one octave. In the diagram below, the fingering indications appear as large white numerals. The pattern is considered to be in position 11, therefore the first finger is responsible for all notes on frets 10 and 11. This feeling of stretching back the first finger one fret lower may seem a little difficult to get used to but the stretch is exactly that, a stretch and not a shift. Think of your first finger as being grounded in the 11 fret. Of course, use these fingering indications as you master the scale exercise below – practicing and playing in perfect unison with the recording.


D Major Scale Transposition Study: The D Type

The fingering pattern just above, is called the D Type of major scale fingering pattern in this course. You will find this pattern to be highly useful and has the potential to be the home of many interesting constructs and ideas. Use the trainer below to practice transposing the D Type of major scale fingering pattern to various keys.

Acrobat PrinterPrint And Save

This lesson introduces the key of D major in the open position and a traditional melodic study, Whiskey Before Breakfast. For transposing, there are options but this lesson focuses on its most logical, octave up, industry standard transposition Open the print and save study notes.


“My first experience with the guitar was taking lessons from Karl Aranjo as a high school student. His lessons were more than just a collection of tips and riffs: they were a method. As I look through, I get to take a trip back through those lessons and am reminded about I loved about them. His strong focus on the fundamentals quickly draws a connection between general music theory and the particulars of how that theory can be applied to the guitar, even allowing us as guitarists to use our instrument as an abacus-like tool to enhance our musical insight. In high school, Karl’s lessons got me up to speed to jam with my friends and in the school band almost immediately. In the almost 20 years since I left high school and had my last lesson with Karl, the things he taught me have continued to serve me well; I’ve played almost continuously in a variety of styles (jazz, rock, funk, folk), both as a hobby and as a part-time professional (currently playing with San Francisco’s Smash-Up Derby). If I hadn’t grown up in the same town as where Karl taught, I might have missed out on a lifetime of fun playing the guitar. With, wherever you are, you can benefit from the same quality instruction that I had!

-Grahm Ruby

“Mr. Karl Aranjo is one great teacher to work with. When working with him, he is very flexible, and will teach you all the basics and fundamentals you will need while learning how to play the guitar. From learning basic chords to crazy licks and solo’s. You will become an expert in no time and looking like a professional guitar player. In my experience, I learned to master chord progressions much easier and understand it in a better perspective. In my music career/hobby, it has given me nothing but success to play in a band as a front man/rhythm guitarist, compose my own type of music, and as well as songs that I really wanted to learn how to play on the guitar. Learning through Karl Aranjo was a great experience and has helped me understand the guitar a lot easier, I would not have wanted this learning experience any other way.”

-Julius Isaac

“I had the pleasure of being a guitar student of Karl’s for several years. Karl advanced my playing ability a great deal very quickly by giving me a perfect combination of guitar technique, theory and assigning songs that motivated me to continue learning. I highly recommend Karl for all level of guitar players no matter if you are a beginner or advanced.”

-Tom Hunt

”Karl Aranjo is a great and experienced teacher with an extensive knowledge of guitar playing and theory. His thorough online course, covers the whole spectrum from the first time beginner to advanced.”

Blake Aaron- Internationally Known Recording Artist

”Karl helped me dive into the blues when I was first starting out, and learning how to improvise opened up many doors for me on guitar. He has a vast knowledge ranging many musical styles, and i would recommend him to anyone trying to learn the instrument!”

Eric Cannata Young The Giant