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Common Scales for the 7-String Guitar

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:QuickLanguages:

A lack of available resources for the 7-string guitarist led me to create these scale diagrams. Below are some common scale types laid out on 7-string fretboard diagrams.


Major Scale (Ionian) -
Intervals 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

This is the scale for chords of the type 'Major' or 'Maj7'. Blue intervals denote chord tones.


Natural Minor (Aeolian) -
Intervals 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

This is the scale for chords of the type 'Minor' or 'm7'. Blue intervals denote chord tones.


Melodic Minor (Jazz Minor) -
Intervals 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7

This is the scale for chords of the type 'Minor' or 'mMaj7'. Blue intervals denote chord tones.


Exploring Further

The above examples only give us some of the common scales types. For those of you who are familiar with modes, working these out from the given Major Scale diagram should be relatively straight forward. The same applies with the Melodic Minor Modes

Since the 'B' (2nd) string is duplicated two octaves down on the open 7th string, we can play the same patterns on each of these strings, just like we can and do on both 'E' strings. Explore these scales further by working out their 3 note per string counterparts.

There is a pattern to all scales on the guitar. We will be covering these and scale memorisation techniques in another lesson.

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