Beginner Primer Guitar course
Introduction to Major scale

One string major scale exercises

In this lesson we are going to learn how to play a major scale on one string across the fretboard as scales are the building blocks that chords, melodies and songs are made of.

Contents of the lesson Major scale construction Open string scale Exercises
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Scale construction

To form a major scale on a single string, we use the Whole-Half step formula “W-W-H-W-W-W-H”,where “W”=Whole step (2 frets) and “H”=Half step (1 fret). So going two frets up a string is a whole step and going one fret is a half step. Following is the interval/fret structure of a major scale on one string, once learned can be applied to any string.

Open string scales

Since you will soon be learning open chords, why not learn open string scales as well.These are scales that go up and down the fretboard and include the note of the open string itself.

How to practice
One great way to practice this scale is to play an open “E” between every note.This helps to reinforce the “E” as the root or tonic note of the scale.
Note - Use a metronome. A metronome is a device to help you time your note changes
Correctly. You can change the tempo and gradually speed up as you get more confident.


We will now move to another string and you will have a brand new major scale whose root is the open note itself. For example if you play this pattern on the “G” string, you will have an G major scale.
Exercise 1

Now that we have played the open string scale on the 1st and 3rd string, let's explore the other open string scales as well. Remember the starting/open note will be the new major scale itself. Lets go !
Exercise 2
Exercise 3

Exercise 4

Now you have successfully played all the open string major scales on the guitar. Lets try a three note grouping exercise using the G major scale we learned on the 3rd string.

Exercise 5


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