In this lesson I will teach you how to play the C major scale on guitar in the open position.
Scales are great to learn since they help you to understand how melodies are built up and give you the tools to compose your own melodies, as well as enhance your chord playing.
In the musical scale there are 12 notes in total (7 natural notes and 5 sharps/flats). Every major scale (there is a major scale for all 12 notes) takes a unique combination of 7 of these 12 notes which gives you the notes that are available in that particular key.
C Major contains only natural notes. This means that it doesn’t contain any sharps or flats (it would consist of only the white notes on a piano). Starting from C you will play C, D, E, F, G, A and B before finishing on C, an octave above your starting point.
<strong>Click here to download a pdf with the music, tablature and a diagram of the C Major scale: <a href=”http://alexdansonmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/C-Major-Scale-handout.pdf”>C Major Scale handout</a></strong>
For the sake of good technique, you should begin with your third finger (ring finger) for the first C which is on the third fret of the A string. Following that, anytime you see a third fret, you should use your third finger, anytime there is a second fret, you should use your second finger and anytime there is a first fret, you should use your first finger. If you follow this fingering technique, you will not need to move your hand position but merely change the finger you use. Not only is this good practice and good technique but it will also make life easier for you and result in a smoother sounding scale.
Below is a sound recording of the C major scale in the open position played 3 times at progressively slower speeds:
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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning this scale and will find it useful in your playing, if you’d like to learn more about major scales, sign up to my mailing list above to receive a free e-book on the subject.