Learning To Connect Two Guitar Scale Forms – Part 2

The last post (Learning To Connect Two Guitar Scale Forms – Part 1), formed the basis for connecting two forms by learning two forms. The process of learning to connect these two scale forms is very logical. To begin, a thorough understanding of the preceding information about the forms themselves is
imperative. The ability to play through and see clearly each form on the guitar is the first step in making the connections possible.

Let’s Connect Those Scale Forms

The process begins by connecting the 6/4 form to the 6/2 form on string 6. The 6/2 scale form is then played ascending and descending and, upon the return, passes back to the 6/4 scale on string 6. The next step is to begin the 6/4 scale form again and continue in the scale on string 5 and then shift to the 6/2 scale form. The 6/2 scale form is then played ascending and descending and returns to 6/4 scale form on string 5. This continues as each shift is assimilated on every string.

As the learning of the shifts improves, it is a good idea to say the notes as when learning the scale forms without shifting. This will further embed the names of the notes on the guitar and the key that you are playing. It should be obvious that this will only enhance the understanding of improvisation as chord changes are presented to solo over.

Connecting 6/4 and 6/2 Guitar Scale Forms On String 6

 

The connection on string 6 uses left hand finger 4 to change position. It is important to not let the finger slide on the string making a noise. This technique is useful for a specific effect. However, the goal in these scales is to create an unperceived shift to the next scale form on the guitar. Left hand finger choice can be changed, but the goal of any finger choice should be to create a smooth legato transition from one form to another. In the above, and each of the following, the shifting point is indicated by a bracket above the notes and left hand fingering in the scale.

Connecting 6/4 and 6/2 Guitar Scale Forms On String 5

 

Changing on string 5 uses the same logic as changing on string 6. Notice that the bracket is over the change on string 5 instead of 6 in the above example. This process continues through each of the strings. Practice should continue until assimilated. Then, practice with rhythmic variation should begin. The downloadable version of this lesson includes a series of rhythmic variations following the scale shifts. All the scale shifts are included as well. When the key of A major is sufficiently assimilated, then the work on each of the twelve keys should begin. The patterns will not change, but the positioning of the root of the scale and the notes themselves will change. Learning to say the notes when changing to learn a new key cannot be overstated.

Conclusion

Learning to connect scale forms is vital to a clear understanding of the guitar. It helps in improvisation, harmonization, and general theory. It may take time, but the final results will leave deepen the understanding of how move freely throughout the instrument without any hesitation.


I encourage you to help support this education work by purchasing a downloadable pdf of this entire lesson (Part 1 & 2). It includes:

  • All the information in Part 1 & 2 plus,
  • The string changes on all strings,
  • 9 different applicable rhythm variations

Just click the button below to visit the shop. Thank you for your support and keep learning!

Learning To Connect Two Guitar Scale Forms – Part 1

Learning the guitar usually begins with learning a few chords and then possibly taking on some notes. It then progresses to songs that are familiar in both chord and note form. Inevitably the time comes to focus on the guitar scale forms. This is usually when improvisation is discussed as well. The
problem eventually appears in the student’s playing that they are confined to one particular scale form during their solos. Or, they transition to a new form but without clarity of the musical line. This is where learning to connect the forms comes into play.

By connecting the forms smoothly from any point ascending or descending, the single note solo line has continuity and fluidity. A musical thought can be expressed without having to reorient one’s self to the position on the guitar in a way that cause the line to miss its intended direction.

Two Guitar Scale Forms

In this post, we will be offering up two of the usual scale forms to study. Once these scale forms are memorized, Part 2 of this post will develop a method to move between the scale forms regardless of the position in the scale at any given moment. Don’t rush the learning of the form. It sometimes takes a while to really get the form into your memory and play it fluidly. There will be a few ways to perfect this given after the forms are presented.

6/4 A Major Scale Form

 

In the above guitar scale form, you will notice the name 6/4 A Major Scale. This indicates that the scale begins on the sixth string and the root (the note A) is played by left hand finger 4 at the beginning of the scale. In this scale you will also see the abbreviation, F.S. This stands for “Finger Stretch.” Finger 4 of the left hand must stretch a whole step (two frets) to attain the next note. The hand should not move from the initial position during the stretch.

6/2 A Major Scale Form

 

As indicated above, this scale has the name 6/2 A Major Scale. Following the same pattern from the 6/4, this indicates that the scale begins on the sixth string and the root (the note A) is played by left hand finger 2 at the beginning of the scale.

General Guidelines For Learn Guitar Scale Forms

It is important to know the actual notes that you are playing on the instrument. Too many students only learn the visual patterns without regard to the notes themselves. This sets up poor understanding of theory and proves to be a stumbling block when it comes to higher levels of improvisation. The notes of this scale beginning at the root (the first note of the scale) are A, B, C#, D, E, F#, and G#. They move in this order ascending the scale and the reverse order when descending the scale.

The best way to practice this understanding is to say the notes while you play through the scale. Then, pick a specific note at random and find it as quickly as possible in the scale form. Note cards can help with this by putting each note on a card and picking one after shuffling them. This helps keep things moving in random rather than in a pattern when learning the notes.

After getting comfortable with each scale, set your metronome to play quarter notes (i.e. one click per note). Then play eighth notes (one click but playing two notes). After there is a certain amount of security in playing eighth notes, then it is time to begin variation in rhythmic patterns. This variation causes the form to become more deeply imbedded in the memory. There are many other scientific reasons for this but that is not the subject of this material at present. Below are two examples of two ways to practice the 6/4 A major scale with varied rhythms.

Rhythmic Variation No. 1 For 6/4 Scale Form

 

Rhythmic Variation No. 2 For 6/4 Scale Form

 

It is a good idea whenever working on scales to get used to using a metronome. The metronome is the only objective tool guitarists have to measure progress. Many of the metronomes for mobile devices have preset rhythms that match the ones given in the above exercises.

Conclusion

It is crucially important to be able to see these scale forms clearly next to each other. They should be played in the position indicated but also in as many keys as possible to further the understanding of the fretboard. The time it takes to learn these fluidly will depend on the current level of the student. After the scales are fluid attention should be turned to learning how to connect the two guitar scale forms. This will be discussed in Learning To Connect Two Guitar Scale Forms – Part 2 of this series.