Here are a few ideas that have helped me to learn and remember the main fingering patterns (colored circles) that are shown in the Fretboard Positions Diagram:

  • As mentioned in the chapter on Major Scale Modes, the Ionian Mode starts on the root note of the Major Scale and is played the same as the Major Scale. The Aeolian Mode starts on the 6th degree of the Major Scale and is played the same as the Natural Minor Scale. The Ionian Mode (or Major Scale) and the Aeolian Mode (or Natural Minor Scale) will typically be the modes that you will play in the most. This being the case, memorize where the red root notes and the purple 6th degree notes are found in each Position before memorizing the others.
  • The main fingering patterns each have at least one string that has both the blue 5th degree note and the purple 6th degree note exclusively on the string. This occurs in the C Position on the G string, in the A Position on the E strings, in the G Position on the D string, in the E Position on the B string, and in the D Position on the A string. 
  • Every place that the red root note occurs in one of the main fingering patterns, the brown 7th degree note will also be on the same string, located one fret lower. Similarly, the yellow 3rd degree note and the green 4th degree note are always next to each other on a string. In addition, when the brown 7th degree note and red root note are on a string, the yellow 3rd degree note and the green 4th degree note will be on the same frets on the next higher string, except when the 7th degree and root notes are on the G string, then the 3rd and 4th degree notes will be one fret higher on the B string.

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