Today we're going to learn how to play the G major scale in several ways.
The G major key is one of the most common tonalities in guitar music, so it's important to master its related major scale.
Below on this page you'll also find an interactive freboard with some cool scale patterns.
All the major scales share the same formula, with is:
- 2 whole-steps
- 1 half-step
- 3 whole-steps
- 1 half-step
If we play the G major scale starting from the G open string, and apply it to the formula shown above, we get the notes of this scale:
As we can see, the notes in the G major scale are:
G A B C D E F# G
We have only one sharp note, F#, which makes sense because we need a half-step between the last two notes (F# to G).
Let's check the formula:
- G to A (Whole step)
- A to B (Whole step)
- B to C (Half step)
- C to D (Whole step)
- D to E (Whole step)
- E to F# (Whole step)
- F# to G (Half step)
Also, the G major key is the nearest key to the C major key in the Circle Of Fifths.
Remember that, while traversing clockwise the Circle Of Fifths, a sharp is added for each key we encounter.
G Major Scale Guitar Patterns
Use the interactive tool below to see how to play this scale across the whole fretboard:
The D9 chord can be played on different fretboard zones, use the tool below to learn how to:
G Major Scale - Root on the 6th String Pattern - 4-frets-box
This shape is the most common way to play the G major scale, it has the root on the E low string and it's 4 frets wide, so it's quite comfortable to play if you use one finger per fret.
G Major Scale - Root on the 6th String Pattern - 3 nps
This pattern is a classic 3 notes per string shape. It requires a little bit of stretch so be sure to warm up correctly before practicing this shape.
G Major Scale - Root on the 5th String Pattern - 4-frets-box
Another four frets box, this time with root on the A string.
G Major Scale - Open Strings Pattern
This shape is great on acoustic guitar because it uses a lot of open strings, so it has a big and bright sound.
G Major Scale - Diagonal Repeated Octaves
If you connect two octaves by moving up on the fretboard, you get an interesting diagonal pattern that will bring new and fresh ideas.
How To Build Chords On The G Major Scale
By stacking the notes of this scale in thirds, we get the following chords:
- G Major (I): G - B - D
- A Minor (ii): A - C - E
- B Minor (iii): B - D - F#
- C Major (IV): C - E - G
- D Major (V): D - F# - A
- E Minor (vi): E - G - B
- F# Diminished (vii°): F# - A - C
So a widespread progression such as the rock I-IV-V, is G (I), C (IV) and D (V) in the key of G.
There are some scales related to the G major scales that are useful to know:
- E minor scale: this scale is the relative minor of the G major scale, it has the same notes but it starts from E: E F# G A B C D E
- G Major Pentatonic: This scale omits the 4th and 7th degrees of the G major scale. The notes are G, A, B, D, and E. It's commonly used in rock and blues music.
- G Mixolydian Mode: The mixolydian mode is similar to the major scale but has a flattened 7th degree. In G Mixolydian, the notes are G, A, B, C, D, E, and F.
- G Major Blues Scale: This scale is derived from the G major pentatonic scale and adds a bluesy flavor by including the "blue" note, F. The notes are G, A, Bb, B, D, and E.
That's all for today, for a complete ebook on guitar scales, check my Scales Over Chords | Learn How To Play The Right Scales Over Any Chord