For those of you just tuning in, we’re on a journey right now towards mastering the fretboard. Each part builds on the other, so if you want to get started, start here with learning your C major guitar scales.
This week we’re going to look at D major. You ready?
The Anatomy of a D Major Scale
If you went through and constructed major scales for all twelve keys based on the half step, whole step pattern, then you’ll know that a D major scale has two sharps–an F# and a C#.
D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D
In other words, from D to E, we have a whole step, from E to F#, we have a whole step, from F# to G, we have a half step, from G to A, we have a whole step, from A to B, we have a whole step, from B to C#, we have a whole step, and from C# to D, we have a half step.
Again, if we know all five scale positions for G major, all we have to do is raise all the “C” notes up a half step to “C#” notes.
Guitar Scale Positions #1: D Major Scale
The 1st position of a D major scale starts on the open low E string and roughly spans the 1st to 4th fret.
Guitar Scale Positions #2: D Major Scale
The 2nd position starts on the F# note of the 2nd fret of the low E string and roughly spans the 2nd to 5th fret.
Guitar Scale Positions #3: D Major Scale
The 3rd position starts on the A note of the 5th fret of the low E string and roughly spans the 4th to 8th fret.
Guitar Scale Positions #4: D Major Scale
The 4th position starts on the B note of the 7th fret of the low E string and roughly spans the 6th to 10th fret.
Guitar Scale Positions #5: D Major Scale
The 5th position starts on the D note of the 10th fret of the low E string and roughly spans the 9th to 12th fret.
As you can see, all the positions have some overlap with one another.
Further Application & Resources
Is it getting easier at all? Are you starting to see the notes on the fretboard better? How’s it going? Share your comments below.
In all your effort, you want to avoid just learning these patterns. Don’t just copy the pictures above and learn those patterns. Learn the individual notes and say them aloud as you play them. If you’re having a hard time doing that, slow down, back up. Learn some theory on major scales as well.
Another good exercise that I’ve mentioned is to choose a scale position and practice ascending in one key and then descending in another. For example, you might ascend in D major but then descend the scale in F major.
All of this takes focus and a little bit of discipline, don’t just read this and do nothing about it. You can do it!
As always, if you’ve been enjoying this course, you might want to take a deeper look into Craig Bassett’s guitar scale course. His method systematically takes you through the process of gaining a complete mastery over the guitar fretboard.