Open C major scale lesson

In this lesson we will learn the open C major scale pattern, otherwise known as reading position one however, the focus in this lesson will be familiarizing yourself with the physical pattern, we will tackle the reading practice in another lesson.


Open C major scale pattern

This pattern is actually major scale pattern one, except played in open position, if want to know how it sounds then check out the audio sample below this chart. When practicing a pattern for the first time, it is a good idea to first visualize the pattern or shape in your mind, going up and down the scale etc before you try to physically attempt it. So take a good look at the pattern and close your eyes, now visualize the pattern going up and down using the correct fingering. Now, begin to play this scale starting with your third finger, third fret, fifth string (tonic) and as always, use alternate picking (up and down picking). Make sure you don't try to play too fast too soon, only play as fast as you can without making any mistakes, otherwise your are practicing the mistake, not the scale. Once your comfortable with this scale pattern, move onto the next part of this lesson.

Open C major scale pattern

Open C major scale

Open C Major scale sequence of four

Now it's time to delve into some scale sequences, which are just patterns within patterns, let me explain. We have our first pattern which is the open c major scale, now instead of playing that scale from tonic to tonic, let's try something different. Begin by playing the first four notes of the scale starting on the fifth string tonic (use alternate picking), now go back and play from the second note another four tones up the scale, now go back again and play from the third note another four tones up the scale, can you see the pattern of fours emerging? We continue this pattern of fours as far as we can and then, we reverse the whole thing and play it backwards, don't worry it's not as hard as it sounds, just follow the notation/tablature in the chart below and if you get stuck, you can always hear the sequence by playing the audio sample below the chart.

Open C major scale pattern - sequence of four

Open C major scale sequence of four


Remember to always play as fast as you can without any mistakes, otherwise you are practicing the mistake, not the pattern. You may want to include the open C major sequence as part of your warm-up routine and/or alternate picking exercises too.

Cheers & keep pickin!

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About Richie

Started playing guitar at the age of 13 with initial influences mainly AC/DC, followed by Van Halen and then right into Joe Satriani & Steve Vai. Traveled to Los Angeles at the age of 18 to study music at the Guitar Institute of Technology and graduated a year later. Made many good friends and colleagues with whom I am still in contact today. I spent my twenties teaching guitar at my own private teaching practice "Musicians Workshop" in Melbourne, Australia. In 2001 I started a musical accessories company "Pure Tone" which I ran with family for the next 5 years. The business is still running today with another owner. In 2006 I studied at T.A.F.E Multimedia Dev. & Design which gave me the skills to develop the Ricmedia Guitar website which took 12 months to design and develop. In 2013 I completely revamped the website to run on WordPress to make my life easier so I can concentrate on providing the best content in the best way I can, without spending too much time on the back-end.

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