Please click on the images above to download pdfs

 

After practicing the "Two and Three Notes on a String" Scale Patterns for some time over the CAGED Chord Shapes along the fretboard, I began to notice that my fingers were performing repeating actions on adjacent strings. There are 5 actions that my fingers performed when playing across the strings, then the actions would start to repeat on the remaining string. But it's a little tricky crossing the G and B strings and realizing where the repeating actions begin and end depending on which strings the root notes are on.

 

On the Ultimate Guitar website, I read an article that was against the CAGED concept. I didn't agree with the author's opposition, but he mentioned something that caught my interest. He said that there's really only One Pattern for playing Scales on the guitar, but he didn't explain it even though several of the forum members requested an explanation. It occurred to me that it could have something to do with the repeating finger actions, since that sequence is always the same, as if it's One Pattern.

 

So I put together the document shown above called How Scale / Mode Patterns Repeat Across Guitar Strings. The illustrations show the "Two and Three Notes on a String" and the "Three Notes on a String" Scale / Mode Patterns, but similar illustrations could be made for other expanded Patterns such as the "Whole Step" and "Four Notes Per String" Patterns.

 

The repeating Patterns can be seen in the Fretboard Positions Diagram shown above. Starting with the C Position where the red root notes of the Major Scale are on the B and A strings, the colored circles on the low E string match the "yellow-green-blue circles" string on the "Two and Three Notes on a String Fingering Pattern" illustration. The colored circles on the A string and the D string match the "purple-brown-red circles" string and the "orange-yellow-green circles" string on the illustration. The G and B strings match the "blue-purple circles" string and the "brown-red-orange circles" string on the illustration. As mentioned in the illustration document, the one-fret shift shown on the "Two and Three Notes on a String Fingering Pattern" between the "blue-purple circles" string and the "brown-red-orange circles" string is eliminated when the G and B strings fall on them, due to the difference between the actual standard tuning of a major 3rd between the G and B strings and the perfect 4th interval shown in the illustration. The elimination of the shift between the G and B strings is shown in the C Position Diagram. Moving on to the high E string, it matches the next string above the "brown-red-orange circles" string in the illustration, found by going to the bottom of the illustration and repeating, which is a "yellow-green-blue circles" string. That completes all six strings for the "Two and Three Notes on a String Fingering Pattern" for the C Position.

 

Switching now to the illustration for the repeating "Three Notes on a String Fingering Pattern", the colored circles on the low E string in the C Position match the "yellow-green-blue circles" string on the illustration. The colored circles on the A string and the D string match the "purple-brown-red circles" string and the "orange-yellow-green circles" string on the illustration. The colored circles and square on the G string match the "blue-purple circles brown square" string on the illustration. The colored circles and square shown on the B string match the "red-orange circles yellow square" string on the illustration, and the Pattern needs to be shifted up by one fret to compensate for the difference between the actual standard tuning of a major 3rd in between the G and B strings and the perfect 4th interval shown in the illustration. This shift is shown in the C Position Diagram. Then on the high E string, its colored circles and square match the "green-blue circles purple square" string on the illustration. This completes all six strings for the "Three Notes on a String Fingering Pattern" for the C Position.

 

The other four Positions can be compared to the repeating Patterns in the same manner as the C Position. There are five well-known arrangements of the "Two and Three Notes on a String Fingering Pattern" and seven well-known arrangements of the "Three Notes on a String Fingering Pattern" across the guitar's strings. These are all shown in the five Positions of the Fretboard Positions Diagram.

 

The best thing about all of this is:  playing from one string to the next, the Scale and Mode fingerings stay consistent. The only blip is crossing the interval between the G and B strings.

Comments

June 22, 2017 @02:21 am
I read about this on your post on the Ultimate Guitar forum and want to thank you for allowing the download. The author of the article you responded to was the second one tonight I had seen making critical statements about the caged system and it comes out to be that he was promoting that another system( Tom Hess Music ). Thanks again Marc for sharing what you have figured out.
Frank Scott

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