3 Notes Per String Major Scales

This lesson is a complete breakdown of the 7 scale forms created when you arrange a major scale for 3 notes per string. This lesson combined with the "Understanding Keys" lesson can be used to learn the complete guitar neck in all keys.

This is the first lesson dealing with major scales arranged for the 3-notes per string. I believe this method is the best to completely visualize scales in all keys across the neck.

Memorizing these shapes and combining them with the knowledge of Major Keys will provide an incredible resource to open up the guitar neck in ways that you can hardly imagine.

The next couple of lessons in the Advanced Guitar Series will be technical exercises using these 3-notes per string scales shapes, then after we get a good handle of them we will begin to start our visualization lessons.

So be patient and start memorizing these forms. And don't forget to get the PDF of the lesson.

3-Notes Per String Major Scales PDF

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3 Notes Per String Major Scales


  1. larrywjr says:

    Hey Carl, great stuff but I am confusing myself. I’m probably over thinking or being plain dense but …
    Using the pdf as a reference we are starting at 7th fret – Root is B, Shape built from the root makes sense to me but when we do the shape from 2nd tone (C#) the third note is a D and not in the B-Major scale. I know you said not to focus on a particular key but seeing this creates a doubt in me as to my basic understanding.

    • Carl Brown says:

      Hey Larry, this particular lesson doesn’t deal with visualization of keys or anything like that. It is simply trying to keep you in just one area of the fretboard and memorizing how to physically play all seven forms before you start throwing them into keys.

      You will see the major scale visualization exercises which will take care of that.

      Every scale form on this PDF is in fact in a completely different key. Since the scale forms all start on B the keys would be:

      Root Form: B major
      2nd Degree Form: A major
      3rd Degree Form: G major
      4th Degree Form: F# major
      5th Degree Form: E major
      6th Degree Form: D major
      7th Degree Form: C major

      Does this make more sense now?

      • larrywjr says:

        Hi Carl, Thanks for the quick response. It now makes sense. I hadn’t realized that the exercise intentionally switched keys so I got confused.

        Thanks again.

        P.S. The understanding keys – which I studied a while back was probably the clearest and most informative I’ve ever run across. I refer to it often.

  2. Andrew Walker says:

    this is great stuff, i havent seen a lesson on modes so simplified and compartmentalized. ive always understood the concept but havent found a good practice routine until now. thanks again man, keep em comin.

  3. Andrew Walker says:

    petrucci has a good 3 notes per string lesson but i dont remember him making the modes so easy to visualize.

  4. Robert Bowles says:

    I’ve tried several times to reach you through the “My Account”, but I guess it’s not going through.
    I purchased both of the picking DVDs (Alternate, Economy) from this website. However, I cannot get the TAB PDF files for both DVDs to print out. The page states that I have exceeded my download limit. But I have downloaded these files. Can you help me on this?
    Thanks for your great website and all of your work!
    Robert Bowles

    • Carl Brown says:

      Hey Robert, I am really sorry for the trouble you are having. I did receive your emails and have emailed you the PDFs multiple times but I think your ISP is blocking my emails from ever reaching you. Either that or they are sitting in your spam folder.

      Can you check your spam folder and also make sure that carl@guitarlessons365.com is in your email address book so maybe my emails can get through? If your ISP is the one blocking the emails then I it won’t even make it to your spam folder and I will have to figure out another way to get the PDFs to you today.

      Just check your spam folder real quick and let me know if you can find any emails from me in there.

      Thanks! I will get you those PDFs as soon as I can!


  5. Robert Bowles says:

    My previous comment should have said “But I have not downloaded these files.”

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