Tag Archives: scale positions guitar

3 Things You Want To Know In All Keys And Positions

When you play jazz you are improvising over chord progressions that move through different scales. And you need scale positions that you can connect and have an overview off in a way that makes it easy to improvise solos.

In this video, I am going to go over a basic way to practice and test your fretboard knowledge by taking progressions and use them to work on scale positions on the guitar neck. This will help you memorize the right information in the right context for when you want to improvise solos and will help you become freer when you play.

The 3 Levels

I am going to go over the exercises in 3 levels getting more and more difficult, but the exercises are essentially quite basic. This is about knowing essential chord progressions, scales, and arpeggios in a position and being able to improvise with them.

Working on this is not really something that belongs to every day practice for hours and hours, just go check this and find ways to work on this that also involve the repertoire you play.

2 Approaches

When you work on this type of exercise you can do this 2 ways: Staying in one position and going through all keys or choosing one key and going through all positions. Both are useful and you should try what works better for you.

Level 1 – 1 Position, Basic Scale and Chords

The idea is to work on knowing essential material for a position. If you improvise in G major, then the G major scale and the arpeggios for the basic cadence are essential to know. The same goes for the arpeggio from the 3rd of these chords.

For G major we have this scale position:

And the basic cadence is Am7 D7 Gmaj7.

These arpeggios are shown below:

And the arepggios from the 3rds of these chords would be

Am7: Cmaj7, D7: F#ø, Gmaj7 Bm7.

Once you know these arpeggios you should work on being able to make lines with them in this position on a II V I.

Two examples of this, one with the basic arps and one with the arpeggio from the 3rd are shown below:

Level 2 – Altered Dominant

A logical next step would be to alter the dominant, in this case D7.

Let’s first take a new position for G major:

And for the D7alt I am using an Ab7 and a Cø arpeggio.

Both are found in the D7 altered scale and contain the C and the F# really spelling out the D7 sound.

And the arpeggios from the 3rd (with Cø being the arpeggio from the 3rd of Ab7)

Improvising with these arpeggio sets could yield lines like these two:

Level 3 – Making it a complete Turnaround

The next thing to do is to add a secondary dominant for the II chord. This is one of the most common dominants to come across so it makes perfect sense to add this to the exercse.

First a new scale position:

For the E7alt I am doing the same thing as the D7alt which gives us a Bb7 and a Dø arpeggio.

And then the basic arpeggio positions:

The Arpeggio from the 3rd:

Get Your Changes Playing from Turnarounds to Giant Steps.

If you want to check out some more material on how to really nail changes and still play great lines then check out this lesson on using Target notes on Rhythm Changes:

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Scale Positions for Guitar – The 3 most Important Systems

Scale Positions are often a topic for heated discussion and are of course also an important system for understanding the guitar in the context of the music we play. This video goes over 3 systems for scale fingerings I talk about how they are constructed and work. I also discuss some of the things they do well and some things they do less well.

To also explain why I think the way I do about scale positions I also talk about my own learning path when it comes to scale fingering systems. Hopefully this will also give you some insight in why I think the way I do about the different systems.

You can download an overview of the scales here:

7 Positions – Overview

Table of Contents

0:00 Intro and Internet Drama

1:05 Who needs scales anyway?

1:25 My Home Made Blues Scale Position

2:10 Learning Improvisation and 5 Scale Positions

2:38 Needing a System and Finding one

3:40 #1 – 7 Position System

5:30 Conservatory Technique and not learning 3NPS

5:52 Learning to play fast with John Petrucci

6:48 #2 – 3NPS (3 Notes Per String)

8:12 How I know the CAGED SYSTEM

8:40 #3 The CAGED System

9:48 Comparing the systems

10:22 The 7 Position systems and a few issues

10:42 Stretches and Position Shifts

12:10 Hidden Stretches in The CAGED system

13:11 The CAGED Scales and The Basic Chords & Arpeggios

14:02 What System do you use? Did I get something wrong?

14:21 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

You can of course also check out some of my other videos on Scale Positions and Fretboard knowledge:

Major scale – 7 positions – Berklee

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If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Instagram,Twitter Google+ or Facebook to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.