Minor Scale in 5 or 7 Positions

As I mentioned earlier, you can learn the entire minor scale pattern across the fret board in either 5 or 7 sections.

In my guides to scales I have chosen to use the Gm as our working example and to learn this in 7 positions instead of 5. The reason being that I find 7 steps easier to learn due to the smaller transitions between each position. The fact that there are also 7 notes in the minor and major scales (not including the octave), means each position is only one scale note higher than the previous one, making life simple.

It is a good idea to familiarise your self with both methods, just to solidify your knowledge and make you aware of other paths musicians commonly use to navigate the minor scale. Below are the 7 positions of the G minor that you are already used to, followed by the 5 different positions used by many others.

If you have spent enough time learning 7 positions, then you should find the 5 position method very simple to grasp.

G Minor Position 1/7

G Minor Scale Position 1

G Minor Position 2/7

G Minor Position 2

G Minor Position 3/7

G Minor Position 3

G Minor Position 4/7

G Minor Position 4

G Minor Position 5/7

G Minor Position 5

G Minor Position 6/7

G Minor Position 6

G Minor Position 7/7

G Minor Position 7


G Minor in 5 Positions

Here we have the same scale divided into 5 sections instead of 7.

G minor 5 Part Scale Position 1/5

G minor 5 Part Scale Position 1

G minor Position 2/5

G minor 5 Part Scale Position 2

G minor Position 3/5

G minor 5 Part Scale Position 3

G minor Position 4/5

G minor 5 Part Scale Position 4

G minor Position 5/5

G minor 5 Part Scale Position 5

It doesn’t make much difference which way you decide to learn the minor scale either using 5 or 7 sections, as long as you eventually go out and do it.

Once you know the whole pattern across the whole fret board you will be able to use it to achieve many great things, including playing in any key and mastering the major, blues and pentatonic scales.

Just take it one pattern at a time, and don’t rush it. Give your self a good week or two on each section and play along with some backing tracks to keep you interested. That way it won’t seem such a massive chore.

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 24.04.09

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