the e & b major scales

By now you should be a pro at assembling major scales. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to go back and review lessons Four, Nine, and Twelve. Otherwise, let’s put our formidable base of knowledge to work, and put together the E and B Major Scales.

A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#

The next step is to follow the formula Root-W-W-H-W-W-W-H beginning from the letter E. The result will be E F# G# A B C# D# E. Then follow the same procedure starting from B and you’ll get B C# D# E F# G# A# B.

Here are the fingerings for the E Major and B Major Scales. No surprises with the fingerings, except that in the B Scale we've opted to play the last note, B, on the fourth fret of the third string instead of the open second. This gives you a moveable scale, just like the moveable chords we learned back in Lesson Fifteen. In other words, if you begin at the third fret (C) and play this fingering you get a different fingering for the C Major Scale than the one we learned in Lesson Four. You may be wondering what the point is of learning all of these fingerings if you can use one fingering to play any scale you want. The answer to that is that it's ultimately very limiting to have to jump all over the neck to get to a different key. The result is playing that sounds very "boxed-in". If you stay on the path I'm putting you on you'll eventually be able to play in any key, in any one position, or in one key anywhere on the neck. We’re developing a solid visual memory of how the guitar is laid out.

E & B Major Scales

By now you may be noticing that the scales are getting tangled up with one another in your brain. This always happens. I recommend switching the order around. In other words, don't start from C every day. Mix it up. It goes back to a concept I talked about under "How do I Practice" back in Lesson One. The key is to locate, isolate, and annihilate whatever it is that's giving you trouble. If you're confusing the E and the A scales (very common) just go back and forth between those two scales for awhile, and pay close attention to their differences. When you've got them together, try putting the others back in the mix. I realize that getting all of the fingerings I’m throwing at you together will take time, but it will pay off big time in terms of building your technique and increasing your musical IQ.