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A little trick to help you remember those major scale patterns


Chris Wiggin
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So I've learnt all seven major patterns with Jonathon.

And I know where to start each pattern on the finger-board.

And even If I forget the patterns, so long as I know the first two strings I can use the 'big repeating pattern' to work out the rest.

Easy, yeah?

But what if you're struggling to remember the first line of each pattern?

Well, there is also a repeating pattern there as well. 

You'll know that the 'big repeating pattern' consists of big finger stretches, middle finger stretches and ring finger stretches.

So follow through this with me:

First position starts with a Big stretch - so that's a B

Second position starts with a Ring stretch so that's a R

Third position starts with a Middle stretch so that's an M

and Fourth position starts with a Big stretch again so that's a B

So far we have B - R  - M - B and then it repeats over again, so 5th position is B, sixth position is R and seventh position is M.

After that of course its 1st position again so that's back to B

So it just repeats over and over B R M B, B R M B.......

Now all you have to do is think of a memory trick to remember B R M B

The one I use is Blue Ridge Mountain Blues but you can use anything you think of. 

That's probably a lot to take in right now but once you've got your head around that  you can actually apply the same theory to the second string starting positions as well. The only difference there is that it shifts to start with two B's. So this time it's  B  B R M,  B R M. The way I remember that is 1st string starts with 1 B, 2nd string starts with 2 B's

Anyway, I hope II haven't confused the hell out of everyone and I don't mean to highjack Jonathon's teaching but I just thought I'd share a trick that works for me

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/16/2021 at 5:49 PM, Chris Wiggin said:

So I've learnt all seven major patterns with Jonathon.

And I know where to start each pattern on the finger-board.

And even If I forget the patterns, so long as I know the first two strings I can use the 'big repeating pattern' to work out the rest.

Easy, yeah?

But what if you're struggling to remember the first line of each pattern?

Well, there is also a repeating pattern there as well. 

You'll know that the 'big repeating pattern' consists of big finger stretches, middle finger stretches and ring finger stretches.

So follow through this with me:

First position starts with a Big stretch - so that's a B

Second position starts with a Ring stretch so that's a R

Third position starts with a Middle stretch so that's an M

and Fourth position starts with a Big stretch again so that's a B

So far we have B - R  - M - B and then it repeats over again, so 5th position is B, sixth position is R and seventh position is M.

After that of course its 1st position again so that's back to B

So it just repeats over and over B R M B, B R M B.......

Now all you have to do is think of a memory trick to remember B R M B

The one I use is Blue Ridge Mountain Blues but you can use anything you think of. 

That's probably a lot to take in right now but once you've got your head around that  you can actually apply the same theory to the second string starting positions as well. The only difference there is that it shifts to start with two B's. So this time it's  B  B R M,  B R M. The way I remember that is 1st string starts with 1 B, 2nd string starts with 2 B's

Anyway, I hope II haven't confused the hell out of everyone and I don't mean to highjack Jonathon's teaching but I just thought I'd share a trick that works for me

They should sticky this post.  Very well done Chris Wiggin!

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2nd string in the major scale starts on the 4th note, right.  So it would be the last B of the BRMB.  The next pattern on the 2nd string starts on the 5th note of the major scale, so that pattern would be Big stretch (this is the 2 B's back to back in BRMB,BRM, etc.  

Edited by Craigt61
typo
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  • 2 weeks later...

That's so funny because I just wrote down what each pattern begin and end with and I noticed another pattern.

B = Big Stretch Configuration (Specified if starting on 1st, 2nd or 3rd)
R = Ring Finger Configuration (1st or 2nd)
M = Middle Finger Configuration (1st or 2nd)

Each position begins with one unique config and ends in one unique config. And the ending config for one pattern is how the next one begins:

  1. Starts 2B, Ends 2R
  2. Starts 2R, Ends 2M
  3. Starts 2M, Ends 3B
  4. Starts 3B, Ends 1B
  5. Starts 1B, Ends 1R
  6. Starts 1R, Ends 1M
  7. Starts 1M, Ends 2B
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  • 4 weeks later...

I find acronyms very helpful.  The one I use for modes is I Don't Play Loud Music After Lunch. 

Ozzlo I like your idea for the cheat sheet but I'm not sure I understand it.  I get the "Ends On" but not the "Starts On" (except for Pattern 1).

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