Fretboard Framework

Unleash the guitar fretboard and improvise with scales all over the guitar neck!

View the full lesson at Fretboard Framework | JustinGuitar

I’m fairly comfortable with the G major scale now, I’m able to do solos, improvise and shift between patterns 1, 2, 3 on any of the 6 strings. I’m trying to move on to the C major scale and I’m finding it quite difficult. I think the problem is that up to now, I’ve learned only patterns 1-3. If you look for those patterns for key of C, pattern 1 starts on fret 8 of the low E string, pattern 2 is on fret 10 of the D string, so those 2 are very close together. Pattern 3 is way on the left of the fretboard, starting on fret 3 of the A string and includes some open strings. That leaves a whole area in the middle of the fretboard that is not covered. I can find my way and fill in the gaps with the music theory I’ve learned so far, but it’s slow going because they’re just not part of what I’ve been practicing a lot at this point - patterns 1-3.

Any tips, or am I doing something wrong? Thanks!

Some patterns work better than others on different parts
of the neck
For root notes on the A string the A shape and C shape patterns
are the ones. I think the A shape is pattern 4 and C shape is
pattern 3
For the key of C start with the A shape bar chord at the 3rd fret.
I think that’s pattern 4. I don’t use pattern numbers I learnt the
CAGED system using chord shapes. So you may want to check
if I’m useing the correct numbers.

Are you playing on an acoustic or electric? If an electric you can
start pattern 3 on the 15th fret.

Thanks, I suspected that learning the next few patterns (I think there’s a 4 and 5 coming later in the lessons) might fill in the gaps of the fretboard in my mind. With the G major scale, the patterns 1-3 neatly cover most of the fretboard. But with C major, it seems like the patterns would relegate you to the left most (3rd fret like you said), or rightmost (fret 10 for pattern 2, or pattern 3 at fret 15 like you suggested). Does that mean you would stay in those areas when soloing and avoid the middle area of the neck?

I’ve heard of the CAGED system, seems to be a lot of mentions of it. I think it’s time I look into it.

I believe it would be easier if you look at A minor pentatonic which is pretty much same as C major pentatonic, just missing few notes off C major scale and you get nice spread across the fretboard.

Practical Music Theory is your friend here :slight_smile:

Hi @rodney The key thing to remember is that the five different patterns all connect together and that includes ascending the neck and descending the neck.
Going up, pattern 1 —> pattern 2 —> pattern 3 etc.
Going down pattern 1 —> pattern 5 —> pattern 4 etc.
To connect what you do already know in C major and jump the ‘gap’ downwards you will need patterns 4 and 5.
Cheers, Richard

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Thanks for all the input everyone!

@adi_mrok rodney is doing the Major Scale Maesto course.
It’s all about the learning the Major Scale and the 5 patterns
of the CAGED system and chord tones.
The minor pentatonic scale doesn’t have all the chord tone and
it’s also a bad habit to thing that major and relitive minor scales
are the same just because the have the same notes.
You will never understand modes thinking the way because
all the modes have the same notes as the parent/major scale.

Only if you are talking about modes in series, not in parallel :wink: however I won’t confuse OP anymore and as Richard recommends it’s better off to stick to major scale patterns.

Is the backng track for this lesson–where Justin does the one string solos in Fretboard Framework–available somewhere? Where do I find these backing tracks?

It was asomething he created on a looper at the time using chords from the key of G, so no there is not the same backing track available.

Working my way through the Major Scale course. I’m at this point and I wonder how long I should stay on this before moving on.

I’m able to play the scales in the 3 positions at 160 bpm. I can do it in thirds at around 100 to 120 bpm.

Thoughts? Should I stick here for a while longer or move on?

Is it 160 bpm with 2 notes per bar or less/more? Assuming it’s two I think you are pretty much there, all up to you really if you want to keep improving your speed or not, with 4 notes per bar at 80 bpm I think you are better off learning songs and solos, at least from my own experience. Or by playing on your own to backing tracks, there is no value in knowing all the scales if you can’t use them properly :wink:

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No. I’m not at 2 notes per bar at 160. Just 1. So maybe I set a goal to get to 2? I think the next section gets into the next two patterns (4 and 5). Maybe I move on to that but keep practicing to improve speed…

I think in the old course Justin mentioned something that 60 bpm with 4 notes per bar should be the goal, his top speed I think was 130 bpm 4 notes a bar. But don’t sweat over it too much, do it as part of your warmup and speed will come :wink: all the best

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Enrique, I’d just amplify @adi_mrok’s point about being able to use the scales to improvise, learn solos, and make music. Learning the patterns and being able to play faster is the means to an end, rather than the goal itself. Offering advice without more musical context could be misleading. For example, depending on how you practice, you may get more mileage working on drills that develop movement between pattern 1 & 2 rather than trying to increase speed on patterns 1, 2, & 3 … hard to say based on what you shared when posting the question.

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Hey mate. I’d reiterate @adi_mrok and @DavidP emphasis on utilising the scale musically. You’re playing it in 3rds at reasonable click so thats good. You can attack in other ways like playing it in 5ths, one finger solos, string skipping, making up melodies, playing over backing tracks, and as @DavidP said, importantly, linking up the 3 positions across the fretboard. You can try linking them up while playing in 3rds, 5ths etc which I have found both challenging and beneficial.

Cheers, Shane


@sclay @davidp Thanks for the feedback. I see your points and will keep that in mind. I’ve had 5 minutes each of the single string solo, motif development, and free improvising in my routine and will keep that going for a bit longer. Now that I think about it, I don’t feel that I’ve fully gained all that I can from those exercises and the variants as @sclay has noted. Thanks again!