In the 1st position, you will play the G Major Scale on a single string, on the 6th string (E), in a linear fashion. This position starts on the 3rd fret of the 6th string (E) and ends on the 15th fret of the same string. Here are the fretboard diagrams and tab!
As the 2nd position, you can play the G Major Scale with open string notes (or also known as the open position) starting on the 3rd fret of 6th string (E), which is the standard position for playing this scale.
Here is a fantastic lesson by Banjo Ben Clark who teaches this position in detail and also explains how to stretch it up an octave higher. The video also gives you some neat tips on how to build speed using this position and scales in general. So please do watch it!
As the 3rd position, you can play this scale as a box shape starting on the 3rd fret of the 6th string (E) and ending on the 3rd fret of the 1st string (e).
In this position, you will play the G Major Scale in a diagonal shape. In this position, the scale starts in the 3rd fret of the 6th string itself, but progresses in a diagonal manner and ends on the 12 fret of the 3rd string (G).
When you play this scale shape, you will need to do 3 slides – while going up and coming down the scale. The slides from one note to the other are marked with black lines on the fret diagram and as a backslash on the Tab.
While going up you will slide from G to A, D to E and A to B and while coming down the scale you will do the reverse that is, B to A, E to D and A to G.
The last position that you will learn in this lesson is on a higher octave, i.e. on the 9th fret position, which starts on the 9th fret of the 5th string (A) and ends on the 15 fret of the 1st string (e). You will need to do one slide in this position also i.e. from the note D to E on the 1st string while going up the scale and from E to D while coming down.
Internalizing these positions will help you break out of the rut of box-shapes and attain fretboard freedom! You will no longer be stuck in one position of the guitar while playing a solo, and enables you to explore various octaves and positions spread across the entire length of the fretboard.
- Play these positions in ascending and descending manner and also play the notes in random order. Mess around with the scale and listen which combinations sound good for your ears. Use your ears, which is very important as a musician!
- Practice with a metronome. This will help you develop timing and rhythm!
- Start off slowly, the speed will follow automatically. Don’t push yourself hard to attain speed, it will only make your playing sloppy.
- Come up with a consistent practice schedule, which will make you practice at least every day rather than slogging yourself away for hours together on a weekend. Consistency and regularity are the keys to attaining mastery over any instrument, the guitar is no different.