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82 Hertz: Minimum movement scale patterns

Minimum movement scale patterns

These are the seven patterns for playing diatonic scales using a minimum of movement. The idea is to keep the movement on the lower frets to a minimum (A diatonic scale is the kind of scale you're most familiar with — one of them can be made from the white keys on the piano.)

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The patterns

Ionian

If the first note on the low E string is considered the root then this would be the "major scale".

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Dorian

Compare this to the 'G form' minor pentatonic. This pattern will be one of your best friends when playing the blues.

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Phrygian

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Lydian

There are two common ways to play this position: one has three notes on the G string and two on the B, and the other is the reverse. Play which ever one works easier for you.

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Mixolydian

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Aeolian

This is the corresponding "natural minor" scale, sometimes called its "relative minor".

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Locrian

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Using the patterns

There are seven patterns because there a seven different notes a scale when the octave is not included. The names of the patterns below match the name of the mode if the first note on the low E string is considered the root of the scale.

Think of these as patterns to memorize. They can all be used in any key; the only thing that changes is their position on the fretboard. For example, to play a C major scale using these patterns, you could play any or all of these:

  • Ionian pattern starting on fret 8
  • Dorian pattern starting on fret 10
  • Phrygian pattern starting on fret 12 (or 0)
  • Lydian pattern starting on fret 1
  • Mixolydian pattern starting on fret 3
  • Locrain pattern starting on fret 5
  • Aeolian pattern starting on fret 7

There is an enormous amount of information about diatonic scales and modes, so there is no point in repeating it here.

The same patterns are shown in both a vertical and a horizontal display because some people have trouble with one form or the other.