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The Major Guitar Scale or Ionian Guitar Mode

The major guitar scale is the most basic scale of them all. In modal terms, the major scale is the same as the Ionian mode.

Here is the tab for the A Major guitar scale:

E|---------------------------------------4--5|

B|----------------------------------5--7-----|

G|--------------------------4--6--7----------|

D|-----------------4--6--7-------------------|

A|-------4--5--7-----------------------------|

E|-5---7-------------------------------------|

The notes of the A major guitar scale are A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, and then the scale repeats at the A again.

This is the basic pattern for a major scale (or Ionian Mode). When you play the notes, you can hear the "major" sound.

The two notes on the B string using the above pattern can be awkward when playing up and down the scale so I prefer the following alternate fingering using 3 notes per string.

E|---------------------------------------------7-9-10|

B|-----------------------------------7-9-10----------|

G|--------------------------6-7-9--------------------|

D|-----------------6-7-9-----------------------------|

A|---------5-7-9-------------------------------------|

E|-5-7-9---------------------------------------------|

This extends the scale up the fretboard a bit, but it's much easier when using alternate picking to use 3 notes per string.

 

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