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Open Scale Positions

When learning a particular scale across the whole neck, in our case the natural or pure minor, is it best to ensure there are no vague or hazy areas left on the fret board that leave you unsure of where to place your fingers in order to play the correct scale notes.

You may have noticed there is one small area in all our 7 Gm scale positions that hasn’t really been covered.

The Gm scale position 1 we learned in the very beginning of this guide misses a couple of notes in the top left corner and all the notes on the open strings, as you can see below.

G minor Scale Position 1

If we move our view over slightly, we can now see all the notes available to us just before position 1, including the ones on the open strings.

G minor Nut Position

Don’t panic, you don’t have to learn a new finger position for this one, you just need to slightly adapt a fingering you have already learned to be used at the nut end.

As you know, the notes on the guitar repeat themselves as you pass fret 12 and this enables the 7 positions we’ve learned to repeat themselves as well. i.e after playing position 7 you then move up the fret board and then play position 1 again and vice versa.

This means that when playing the notes below position 1 on the first fret, we move back down to position 7 which we are normally used to playing much higher up the neck.

You can see here I’ve super imposed the nut usually on fret 0, and placed it on fret 12 in our minor scale position 7

Minor Scale Position 7

G Minor Position 7

Gm Position 7 With Super Imposed Nut

So by looking at position 7 and imagining the nut across fret 12, you can easily work out what notes you should be playing an octave lower on the first couple of frets and open strings.

G minor Nut Position

In short, if you want to know where the scale notes are on the open strings and first few frets, simply transpose what you would be playing on frets 12 to 17 to frets 0 to 5. All you have to remember is any note struck on fret 12, should be played open at the nut.

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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