Major Guitar Scales Lesson: Eb Major Scale Positions

Guitar scales lessonWe’re on a journey to learn all major guitar scale positions in all twelve keys on the guitar fretboard. Seem impossible? It’s not really that hard if you start at the beginning with your C major scale positions and go from there.

Again, we’re not running a sprint here, but rather, a marathon. If you dedicate yourself each week and practice hard, you can tackle one lesson per week. So far we’ve covered:

This week we’re going to look at the Eb major scale. Let’s do this.

The Anatomy of an Eb 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 an Eb major scale has three flats–-an Eb, Ab, and Bb.

Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C, D, Eb

In other words, from Eb to F, we have a whole step, from F to G, we have a whole step, from G to Ab, we have a half step, from Ab to Bb, we have a whole step, from Bb to C, we have a whole step, from C to D, we have a whole step, and from D to Eb, we have a half step.

Eb major scale

If we know all five scale positions for Bb major (which has a Bb and an Eb), all we have to do is lower the “A” notes by a half step to “Ab.” This gives us that third flat found in an Eb major scale.

Guitar Scale Positions #1: Eb Major Scale

The 1st position of an Eb major scale starts on the F note of the 1st fret of the low E string and roughly spans the 1st to 4th fret.

Eb Major Guitar Scale First Position

Guitar Scale Positions #2: Eb Major Scale

The 2nd position starts on the G note of the 3rd fret of the low E string and roughly spans the 3rd to 6th fret.

Eb Major Guitar Scale Second Position

Guitar Scale Positions #3: Eb Major Scale

The 3rd position starts on the Bb note of the 6th fret of the low E string and roughly spans the 5th to 9th fret.

Eb Major Guitar Scale Third Position

Guitar Scale Positions #4: Eb Major Scale

The 4th position starts on the C note of the 8th fret of the low E string and roughly spans the 7th to 11th fret.

Eb Major Guitar Scale Fourth Position

Guitar Scale Positions #5: Eb Major Scale

The 5th position starts on the D note of the 10th fret of the low E string and roughly spans the 10th to 13th fret.

Eb Major Guitar Scale Fifth Position

As you can see, all the positions have some overlap with one another.

Eb Major Guitar Scale

Click to enlarge

Your Assignment

Your goal in the next week is to learn all five scale positions of Eb major. Again, if you’ve been following along with and have learned your Bb major guitar scales, then this shouldn’t be too terrible since you’re only changing one note.

Remember not to just learn the patterns, but rather, learn the individual note names. By now, you should be able to start really seeing different notes across the fretboard and being able to identify them.

Further Application & Resources

Continue to practice ascending and descending in different keys. For example, you might choose to ascend a Eb major scale and then descend in D major in the 4th scale position. Then, you might ascend again in G major and descend in Bb major. This really forces you to learn the individual notes if you are finding you are getting stuck in the patterns.

At the end of the day, we don’t learn guitar scales because it’s fun, but rather, because it unlocks some opportunities for soloing and improvising your own melodies. Consider using some backing tracks for guitar to start experimenting with writing your own solos and lead lines.

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.

Questions & Comments

How’s this whole process of learning the fretboard going for you? Are you starting to feel more comfortable with it? Are you confused? Post your thoughts, questions, and comments below.

About Brett McQueen

Brett McQueen is a musician, songwriter, and the founder and editor of Guitar Friendly and Ukulele Tricks. Learn more about him here and follow him on Twitter at @GuitarFriendly.