C-A-G-E-D Part Vi

Here are all the 5 Shapes presented as minor Shapes

Here are all the 5 shapes presented as Minor Shape Patterns. As I mentioned earlier this is the easiest way to remember the shapes and the position of the Root Notes. This is important because it allows us to then use our system to find the position for the Major Shape Pattern. Simply go back 3 frets from any of the Root Notes in the Patterns and you will find the VI note. When you have found the VI note simply re-position the same pattern to start from the VI note. Obviously the Root of the major scale shape (Key Note) will be the note you play in the pattern after the VI Note. If unsure go back to part V to familiarize yourself with this concept.


I have started from the G Shape because its the simplest to learn and its also the pattern we have used most up to now. Remember take the first letter of each pattern and it spells C-A-G-E-D starting from C pattern. However you don’t need to start from any letter. Just choose the Key Note (Root Note)  you wish to play in . For example C for C major or C minor. D for D major or minor. Eb for Eb major or Eb minor then locate this as your Root Note.


So there we are then I told you there were only 5 shapes that you needed to know. To make 10 all we have to do is move these shapes down the fretboard 3 frets towards the Nut at the top of the fretboard from any root note and then relocate the same shape starting on that note.  Basically you are now starting the same pattern on the VI degree of the scale. The Root note will not have changed position but there are different notes in the scale you are now playing. You have taken a Minor Scale Pattern and made it into a Major Shape Pattern.  Then you now have both the major scale and the minor shape patterns for any given key note (Root Note). For example you now have a  C major and C minor scale at your disposal with this method. Playing C minor and C major against  C major or C dominant 7th chords is perfectly acceptable in Blues and Rock music. This method also works well against other Chords in a C major chord progression.

You will now be aware that to play in both a minor scale and a major scale from the same Key Note (ie; Root Note) means shifting the same pattern up and down the fretboard. Some players do this, for example Angus Young and Eric Clapton have been known to use this strategy from time to time. However there is a another strategy that involves combining 2 different patterns at a time to achieve the same effect. This can be a simpler way of achieving the same thing (ie; playing notes from both a minor scale and a major scale) and requiring less movement along the fretboard. Players such as BB King, Eric Clapton and Angus Young were among many blues and rock guitarists to use these strategies. I will be discussing this in the next part.

For sake of completeness here is an overview of all the patterns Minor and Major.


So from the above diagrams you should notice that the Scale is either Major or Minor depending on which note you start on. Try starting the patterns on the left from the indicated Root notes and play the pattern to the next Root note or as far as you can go at this stage. The pattern should have a minor sound. Conversely playing  the pattern with a highlighted VI note in it (those on the right hand side) and now do the same play from one Root note to the next and you will hear a Major sounding pattern of notes/scale from the same Root note. You will notice that you are playing from the same starting point (Root Note– the note which determines the Key of the respective Scale). REMEMBER that to locate the Major Patterns from the minor shape patterns (these are the patterns on the left hand side) move your starting note back 3 frets from the Root note in the Minor Shapes and these will be the VI note now repeat the same pattern  as your minor pattern. You will now be playing in your Major Shape pattern in a Major Scale using the same Root Note. It is always best to learn the  5 Patterns from the Root notes and know where in the minor patterns the Root Notes are then you can easily relocate the patterns by making the 3 fret adjustment from these Root notes to relocate the pattern to make the Major Pattern. As you get more used to using the patterns they will all follow on in a logical manner anyway without having to do these mental adjustments.

Copyright 2016 belongs to Steve White and Fretboard Travellers .UK. All rights reserved.

Back to Part V

Please Login to Comment.


Comments Protected by WP-SpamShield Spam Blocker