Scale sequencing is a great way to develop strong technical skills on guitar. Granted, you may not find them to be very musical, but the physical improvements you gain make the time spent learning this type of playing well worth the effort. These benefits include better—
- left and right hand synchronization
- pick coordination
- scale development
- sense of timing
A sequence is a repeatable note pattern. For this lesson, I’ve opted to use an A minor pentatonic since most guitarists learn this scale at one time or another. The following is a common pattern played in thirds, hence the use of triplets.
What do I mean by “played in thirds”? For every three notes you play, you go back one and start over again playing up another three notes. For example, the first three notes that are played in the exercise below are A, C, and D. You would then go back one note to C and play C, D, and E (keep in mind an A minor pentatonic does not contain a B note, hence the reason I did not mention it). This pattern is played continuously until you end up on the high C note of the scale.
If you’re new to guitar, be patient and take your time with this exercise. You’ll find that once you get the basic pattern under your fingertips, moving up and down the scale will be easy. In the next lesson, I’m going to introduce playing in fourths using major scales. Until then, have fun!