First, we will check out the linear position, where you will learn to play the F Major scale on a single string, which is the 4th string D. There is a greater advantage of doing this, which will help you easily understand the intervals of a Major Scale – much clearly.
For your reference, the scale intervals for a Major Scale is W-W-H-W-W-W-H (where “W” is the Whole Step and “H” is Half Step)
You will understand these intervals much clearly if you look at the following fretboard diagram. The starting note of the scale or the root note (that is F) is marked in RED.
In the F Major Scale, there is only one accidental note, which is B Flat (denoted as Bb), which means the B note is lowered a Half Step to build the scale.
Now let’s check out the open position, which also starts on the 3rd fret of D string as you saw in the 1st position. The reason why this position is called open is that this position contains 2 open string notes, G and E. Open position simply means that you need not press any fret to produce the desired note sound. This position can be also referred to as the original position where you can play the F Major Scale.
This is an easy to play shape of this scale. This position utilizes 3 strings – D, G, and B which starts on the 3rd fret of the D String and ends on the 6th fret of the B string.
This position starts off on the 3rd fret of the 4th string D, but soon traverses across the fretboard in a box-like shape, and takes a diagonal course towards the higher frets of the 4th and 3rd strings and ends on its 10th fret of the 3rd String G.
This position starts on the 8th fret of the 5th string A and spreads across two octaves. The first octave starts naturally on the 8th fret of the 5th string A, which is the root note F and ends on the root note on the 10th fret of the 3rd string G. The 2nd octave naturally starts on the 10th fret of the 3rd string G and ends on the 13th fret of the 1st string e.
Note: The root notes are marked on all the fretboard diagrams in RED.
By the way, I came across this wonderful video lesson while searching for a video for this lesson on the YouTube, which explains the first octave of this position, but it gives a fair idea to play all the positions explained in this lesson.
Take a look,
This is a perfect box-shaped version of this scale which starts on the 13th fret of the 6th string E. This position also spans over 2 octaves. You will understand it clearly if you take a look at the following fretboard diagram.
Apart from knowing how to play the scale on different positions of the fretboard, practicing these positions regularly will reward you with greater speed, fretboard mastery and dexterity on guitar. This equips you with the incredible skill of playing a scale across the fretboard without being stuck in a box. That’s complete guitar nirvana, to say the least! Practicing the scale on different positions in ascending, descending and random order is the first step towards attaining greater control and fretboard liberty. I hope you found this lesson useful!
In the next part, we will check out the next scale which is the G Major scale on various positions on the fretboard. Till then practice hard and keep rocking!