Scales: The G Major Scale Harmonized

The block below consists of chords moving up the fretboard. The first chord has a blue line through it to highlight its pattern. The second is in red, the third in blue and so on. These are the chords that are the result of harmonizing the G Major scale. The theory behind this is covered in theory lesson 7.

The chords names are as follows.

GMaj7 Am7 Bm7 CMaj7 D7 Em7 F#min7b5 GMaj7
( Please not that the F#min7b5 chord is also known as the F# half diminished chord )

Notice that I have not strummed these as chords but played them from the highest string (E) to the lowest string in the chord (D). This is called an arpeggio. In this case, a backwards arpeggio.

Click on the diagram for an MP3 audio example.

Click here if you’re not sure how to read the scale blocks.

This lesson is actually packed with possibilities. Just learning the chord shapes is good but applying them and incorporating them into your soloing takes some work on your part. I often pepper my solos with these types of arpeggios.

Here are some practice ideas. They are aimed at getting you more familiar with these shapes as well as getting your ear to hear some things you may have heard many other players doing in their playing. It is also a great technique exercise.

1) Play the first chord from the D to the E string (lowest to highest note). Now play the next chord from E to the D string (highest to lowest note). The next from the D to the E string (lowest to highest note) and so on.

2) Play just the notes on the B and E string and strum them as little chords. You can play melodies with these little 2 note chords.

3) Play the notes as I did but play this pattern.

1st chord .. 2nd chord .. 3rd chord
2nd chord .. 3rd chord .. 4th chord
3rd chord .. 4th chord .. 5th chord
4th chord .. 5th chord .. 6th chord
5th chord .. 6th chord ..  7th chord
6th chord .. 7th chord .. 8th chord

4) Play just the top part of the chords on the G B & E strings.

5) Play just the bottom part of the chords on the D G & B strings.

6) Play the notes just on the G & E strings.

7) Play just the notes on the D & B strings.

8) Play just the notes on the G & B strings.

9) Play just the notes on the D & E strings.

Remember that this pattern can be played anywhere on the neck. In the case of this one, if you were to start the same shape (pattern) one fret higher (3rd fret) you would be harmonizing the Ab Major scale. One fret lower and you are harmonizing the Gb Major scale.

Like all lessons on this site,  the more you work the patterns and the more you allow yourself to be creative with them, the more you will get from each one.

© Synaptic Systems Inc., 2001

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