Alternative Minor Scale Positions

In our previous scale guides you have been learning all seven positions of the minor scale right the way up the fret board and should now be pretty fluent in crossing the neck just about anywhere you like.

As I stated earlier in my post on scale runs, you may find the positions I use slightly differ to those shown in other people’s guides i.e some prefer to cover the minor scale in 5 positions instead of 7. But it doesn’t really matter which fingerings or paths you choose to cross the fret board, as those fingering positions are just reference points to work from.

You should generally practice crossing the neck using the minor scale, or major scale, in as many different ways and keys as possible to solidify your knowledge of the entire minor and major patterns.

Here is a quick example of a commonly used alternative fingering for our minor scale position 2.

G minor Scale Position 2

G minor Scale  Position 2

You will often see a variation of this position played like this.

G minor Position 2 Alternative

G minor Alternative Position 2

As you can see, they are both reasonably similar but the second example is a little easier (but less fun !) and doesn’t quite reach as high up the fret board.

If you have been reading my guide to scales, you already know all the positions you need to cross the guitar, but it is up to you to explore different ways to achieve this and to recognise these patterns when you see solo’s or riffs built around them.


Here are a few other alternative scale fingerings you should get used to, simply because they show other paths across the fret board. If you have already learned the 7 minor scale positions in scales sections 1 to 3 then you will find playing these variations come very easily and you won’t have to learn anything new to play them.

Remember : imagine these images as we did previously i.e as blank patterns with no note names, remembering where the orange root notes are. This is so when you feel like transposing them to other keys, you can use the same patterns on different frets, giving you different root notes, resulting in the scale being played in a different key.

G minor Scale Position 5

G minor Scale Position 5

G minor Position 5 Alternative

G minor Scale Alternative Position 5

G minor Scale Position 7

G minor Scale Alternative Position 7

G minor Position 7 Alternative

G minor Scale Alternative Position 7

As long as you can comfortably get from one end of the guitar to the other, leaving no blank areas from which which you are unable to cross, you will be well on your way to mastering the fret board.

Take a look at my page on minor scale positions to compare the two most popular methods of learning the scale across the whole guitar.

Other Posts of Interest

No Nonsense Guide to Scales
Guitar Chords Made Easy
Scale Runs and Exercises
Chromatic Scales and Exercises

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Posted 22.04.09

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