View Full Version : How do you switch between scale patterns?

05-14-2004, 03:19 AM
Say I'm in the key of C and I'm playing over a typical I III V chord progression. If I want to go from pattern one (whatever pattern you might use) to pattern three (again, whatever pattern you use), how do I go about making the change? How do I know which note to end pattern one on and which note to begin the pattern three on?

05-14-2004, 05:51 AM
It doesn't really matter, as long as all the notes are in the same scale. Some people slide up/down with their index or pinky, others jump straight to the new position, and most use many combinations. It's something you should practice as many ways as you can think of!

Did you really mean to say a I IV V progression? C-F-G in the key of C. The iii chord is E minor, which is denoted by lower case letters (iii instead of III).

05-14-2004, 12:47 PM
Maybe it's just me but I don't tend to play in a given 3nps pattern, or box diagram, I just tend to play across the full fret board, picking and choosing through parts of scale patterns, naturally all the same scale and key. Is this bad practice, it just tends to open up things a bit more to me. I havent really made a start on resolution to chords yet so maybe I'll be more forced into patterns when I do that, but when I look at the fret board I normally tend to see an entire major scale with the entire pentatonic overlaid, not patterns.

05-14-2004, 01:35 PM
it will be easier (to me) to speak about Cmaj-A7 progression, for example

let's say... 3rd position. playin C-major scale - let's say 8 notes in 2 seconds - and switchin to A-mixolidyan

so we have



experiment :)

05-14-2004, 02:35 PM
Hey Metalliska,
I love your approach !
I'm trying, very hard to break out of the pattern thing. Strangely enough, I'm using chord shapes/tones to help with that.............


05-17-2004, 09:49 AM
Hey Metalliska,
I love your approach !
I'm trying, very hard to break out of the pattern thing. Strangely enough, I'm using chord shapes/tones to help with that.............

Yeah, i tend to throw in quite a bit of chords and apr to spice things up a bit it's just another way of looking at it I guess.

05-17-2004, 11:46 PM
I think it's important to remember that your solos are mini compositions so anyway you do is good. Scale patterns are a good way to begin a rythmic or melodic statement but the melody that emerges is what's important. To break out of the pattern thing you need to learn the major scales in all twelve keys up and down the neck as well as major minor aug and dim triads in all twelve keys up and down. It' sounds like a lot of work but it's the fastest way to learning the neck cold. A lot of people can shred in certain places on the neck and in certain keys and they've worked they're *** off to be able to do it. I just think it's better to have the basics down and by pass memorizing endless riffs.

Caffeinated Cat
06-01-2004, 07:40 PM
If you're talking about those "box" patterns, those are just memorization aids. Personally, I think it's really bad the way those patterns are always taught, as if they have some relation to the scale. They're just arbitrary chunks of the scale broken apart so that you can memorize one of them, then the next, etc.

Once you've learned those patterns, look at the scale over the whole fingerboard. There are octaves of the scale that repeat themselves wherever you go on the fretboard. That's what's important - knowing where you are in an octave of the scale, not those patterns.

To get from one part of the neck to another, there are a lot of ways. You can play a lick in one place, then just up and move to another place. Or you can play a long ascending or descending lick to move you around. Or just play a melody up or down a single string, leading you to a new part of the neck. Or do a dramatic slide up or down. Or end a lick one note short, then slide up twelve frets and finish it an octave higher. And anything else you can think of. Once you get really familiar with the scale, those things will all just come naturally, based on what you want to hear.

06-01-2004, 10:17 PM
Exactly! Caffeined cat has got it right..
Patterns are not made for only playing in that pattern, its just a tool of learning- a lot of people incorporate patterns too much in their playing. Just learn the notes in the scales and the fretboard throughly and you'll all get along just fine.. (can't say i have myself- :p )

06-01-2004, 10:48 PM
Melodies don't come in "boxes". ;)

06-02-2004, 01:25 AM
How about using your ear to decide what to do and where to go next?

06-02-2004, 01:28 AM
Maybe you should be 'hearing' what you are about to play instead of see the fingering patterns?

Bongo Boy
06-02-2004, 03:19 AM
James and both CC's (Caffienated Cat and Chim Chim): you guys have just helped me out more than you can imagine.

I HAVE been 'learning' blues scale patterns as my Step One, and now am practicing moving between these patterns as I improvise--as Step Two. Fortunately, I think you may have all just saved me from spending my time getting good at doing this. I can now 'see' a new approach.

Hearing vs seeing. Thanks James--you are the Succinct Curmudgeon.

NP: Muddy Waters ca 1940

06-02-2004, 10:33 AM
I like to save those Succint little pearls of wisdom that make me go "aha" and collect them into a scrapbook so I have a larger collection of really succint ideas that I can turn to and flip through for direction.It's just another one of those little things that can make a huge difference.Every little angle you can attack this thing from helps in the long run...especially if they're these piercing little things that are actually understandable and easily digested. :cool:

Bongo Boy
06-02-2004, 08:25 PM
I'm now so flippin' inspired I may even start singing. :o

06-14-2004, 07:32 AM
you could try using pedal tones for changes.