Cyberfret.com Online Guitar Lessons
     

Home > Guitar Soloing

Move Laterally on the Guitar Neck Using Two String Scale Sequence Shapes
Guest teacher series
Paul Kleff
PaulKleffMusic.com

FREE Christmas Songbook for Guitar - Download Now!


How to Move Laterally on the
Guitar Neck Using
Two String Scale Sequence Shapes

By Paul Kleff
www.paulkleffmusic.com
www.westmichiganguitarlessons.com

A recurring question with beginner to intermediate guitar players involves finding effective ways to move from one part of the guitar neck to another while soloing or improvising.  After learning the "box shapes" for scales like the pentatonic, major or minor scales, one can feel limited to only the area of the neck where that scale position box was learned.  Phrasing can become stale and boring sounding, with little variation in the notes available to the musician.

There are several good approaches to breaking out of the box.  The key to using these approaches is finding ways to move from one part of the guitar neck to the next that allow the following to happen:

  • Shifting positions in a way that sounds musical and gives the musician a way to create interesting musical phrases, and
  • Using a system to tie together box positions in a way that the guitar player doesn't get "lost" on the guitar neck during the transition along the neck.

One effective method for moving along the guitar neck involves creating phrasing sequences on two strings.  We can use any scale pattern that we happen to be using for our solo, and find a way to connect scale patterns an octave (12 frets) apart on the neck in a musical way that both sounds good and even looks cool as your left hand moves along the neck.

For this example, we will use the A natural minor (Aeolian mode) scale.  Here is the first position A natural minor three note per string scale pattern located at the fifth fret and then an octave higher at the 17th fret:

A minor at the 5th fret:                                               
A minor scale - 5th fret

A minor at the 17th fret:
A minor scale - 17th fret
Now, lets look at a two string pattern that will allow us to shift from using the A minor scale at the 5th fret position to the A minor scale at the 17th fret position.  All the notes we will use are directly from the A natural minor (Aeolian) scale: A B C D E F G.  The pattern will use the first two strings (high E and B) in this example:

Example 3

If we break this phrase down into its component parts, we see that it is simply groups of six notes played on the top two strings moving up the neck one position at a time.  It gives us a musical way to move up the neck from the 5th fret position to the 17th fret position in the A minor scale.

This type of pattern sequence can also be created using the 4th and 3rd strings:

Example 4
This is just one example using one type of scale.  The principle can be applied to any scale in any key.  You can also use different types of sequences of notes to move through the positions—it is not necessary to just play them in straight ascending groups.

These types of phrases can also be used in reverse to descend down the fretboard from a higher position to a lower position.  Here is the pattern using the top two strings, played descending:

Example 5
Use these ideas to come up with your own two string patterns that move laterally along the neck.  When coming up with patterns for various scales, it can be helpful to draw out a guitar neck on a piece of paper and write the letter names of the notes on the strings that belong to that scale.  This will help you more easily visualize the scales and positions on the guitar neck before you sit down to play them.

Receive a FREE ebook with more lessons designed to help you become a better guitar player.  Go to www.paulkleffmusic.com/ebook to download now!



FREE Christmas Songbook for Guitar - Download Now!








Guitar Courses

Rhythm Guitar Mastery
How to strum guitar like a pro, master rhythms, and build your vocabulary of essential chords

17 Essential Strum Patterns
Learn 17 Strums, 8 Bonus Songs + Chord Book

60s Rock Strumming Songs
Learn how to play 18 classic 60s rock tunes

70s Rock Strumming Songs
Learn how to play 20 classic 70s rock tunes

80s Rock Strumming Songs
Learn how to play 20 classic 80s rock tunes

90s Rock Strumming Songs
Learn how to play 20 classic 90s rock tunes

Modern Country Strumming Songs
Learn how to play 16 modern country songs

Guitar Lick Factory
A system for creating rock & blues guitar licks