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The “A” Major Diatonic Scale

Today we’re going to take a look at the “A” major diatonic scale. If you’ve been following along with the lessons, then we’ve already covered a few different scales, including the pentatonic minor scale, and the diatonic minor scale. The major diatonic is an important addition to your collection of scale patterns, because it fills in another section of the fretboard for you.

Try to think of the minor scale and the major scale as just different positions to play the same notes… this may seem strange, but if you look at it, the same notes are present in both scales. The only thing that is changing is the note that you start on, and of course the position on the neck where you’re playing. If you know anything about modes, then you’ll clue in quickly to the fact that the major and minor diatonic

So basically if you’re wanting to solo, you can use either the major scale, or the relative minor – they are both equally valid choices.

Personally I prefer the minor scale, as the guitar is tuned minor and works extremely well in the minor, however you need to know both as you’ll need them to cover the fretboard.

If you’d like to learn more about the various scale patterns found on the guitar, I’d recommend checking out my Guitar Scale Patterns lesson.

Video Problems? Watch the A Major Diatonic Scale on Youtube.


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  1. Hi Jonathan.
    Another great lesson,I missed not having the fretboard diagram that you usually show.Looking forward to next week.
    Thanks Frank.

  2. Hey Jonathan I just recently got you “Unlocking I – IV – V”
    and I really like it I have not had time to go through the entire DVD but what I have watched I like. Thanks for helping so many learn more about the Guitar. I understand the Pentatonic Notes but I have trouble with the Diatonic notes.
    Anyway thanks a lot I will order more from you later.
    Bruce Templeton

  3. The Bricks are Back,–Go Johnny Go.!!!!
    I missed that Background, it`s Realistick…
    Thank You for the clear presise lesson, you`re a Good
    Man Jon–Thank You.!!!!

    Wal of the`RAPIDS“CEDAR`that is………

  4. Pingback: Never try to tune down to a « oldsalisburyplace.com
  5. I am now working on the watch and learn lessions by Jody Worrell and Peter somthing. I took a few months of lessons from Jody in 2088. He is a friend and help me a lot. I’m now working on his book which is giving me leads to many of the best blues songs ever played. I am going thru them slow. Each one i get down, i pick up riffs i can use in other places.Before i found watch and learn, i started using your stuff. Even though i have not ordered anything from you lately, I’m still cheching your stuff almost daily. I am white but i played with rymthem and blues band in the 60’s before i went in the military. How can you help me. I want to learn more theory, and i apprieciatly your free lessons. I will buy but i want to make sure your stull will help me. Dwayne Honea

    1. Hi Dwayne, that’s the way to do it – learn riffs from songs and then add them to the toolbox and use them elsewhere. My Unlocking I IV V and Guitar Scale Patterns lessons really dig into the theory, but from a very practical standpoint. I’d encourage you to check them out, as I do have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Cheers.

  6. Great video. I’m glad you mentioned about that relative minor trick. Helps a lot. I just don’t know the minor scale. Will the pentatonic minor scale work as a relative minor of the major scale?

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