Scales: Exercises 123 234 345

This exercise is aimed at improving your technique and offering you extended scale phrasings. The basic idea in this exercise is to play the first 3 notes in the scale, then, starting at the second note in the scale play 3 more, then, starting from the 3rd note in the scale play 3 more etc.

If the scale was numbers, the pattern would be:

123 234 345 456 567 678 789 etc

Remember that these exercises can be played anywhere on the neck using any scale.

The examples below use the A Minor Pentatonic scale ( 3rd position ) and the G Major scale ( 1st position ).

When practicing any exercise, always start off slowly. Play precisely and cleanly remembering to double pick ( pick .. down, up, down, up, down etc.). Speed will come but you will see much better results if you work on precision first.

Click on the tableture for an MP3 audio example.

A Minor Pentatonic scale ( 3rd position ) example

G Major scale ( 1st position ) example

(If the tab image is not rendering nicely on your browser, right mouse click on it and choose the save image option. Save it to your desktop and open it there. It will display just fine and you can print it for reference.)

As further exercise, try the following pattern on these (or any) scales.

1234 2345 3456 4567 5678 etc.

© Synaptic Systems Inc., 2000


  1. Good info, its just what I was searching for.


  2. Your post Scales: Exercises 123 234 345 | Synaptic Studios was very interesting when I found it over google on Wednesday by my search for guitar note. I have your blog now in my bookmarks and I visit your blog again, soon. Take care.

  3. Wow, first off, this is a tremendous endurance workout for your fingers and wrist! Secondly, it serves as a nice lesson in Scale note recognition! What I mean by that is: It forces you to remember the Scale pattern/position by constant repetition, however, it sounds cool as well. Thats what most exercise LAcK! I have just spent like over 10 minutes just going over the G maj scale pattern (1st post) and that was not as easy as it looked or sounded. I will get much use out of this lesson …. Thank You!

  4. Hi Jason,

    Thanks again for writing! I am so glad that this lesson is of help to you :-)

    Keep pickin!

Speak Your Mind


Site by Synaptic Systems Inc. - Using the STUDIOPRESS Genesis Framework under WordPress