Learning the major scale revised

Late last term, I wrote of making a serious attempt at learning the E major scale. The approach I took was to remember (visually) where all the notes of that particular scale were on the fretboard.

This approach, I’ve come to realise, is all wrong.

Instead of trying to learn the E major scale, I should have (and now do) focus on learning the major scale as a whole. The reason is blindingly apparent; because regardless of key, it will all look the same.

If I take the E major scale and move all its notes back one fret, there is major scale in D#. Likewise, if we move everything up one fret, we arrive at the major scale in F.

Focusing on what the major scale looks like as a whole is like learning the steps to every variation of the major scale simultaneously as opposed to just one at a time.

Here are some diagrams that may come in handy.


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