• "C" Shape

Points to Remember:

• I’ll show how to play each of the 5 scale shapes in the key of D. That’s because I can start with the C shape at the far end of the neck, then work up the neck showing the other shapes (A, G, E, D), all in the key of D major.

• You’re supposed to know the string names by now! ;-) In case you’re not sure: 6th string (lowest sound--closest to your face) is “E,” 5th: “A,” 4th: “D,” 3rd: “G,” 2nd: “B,” 1st (highest sound--closest to the floor): “E” (My silly way to remember: Elephants Always Do Good By Eating.)

• After you learn the basic shape, try to use a metronome or drum track to keep a consistent tempo while you practice it. There are a couple online metronomes in the Links section of this site, and drums tracks can be found in the Backing Tracks section.

• Start slow and concentrate on playing consistently and smoothly (legato, not staccato).

• Try to keep your fingers fairly close to the fingerboard--you’ll get more efficient movement that way.

• When you're ready, move to alternating picking (down-up-down-up). This way it becomes a picking practice, as well.

• Remember to play the shape all up and down the neck: It’s completely movable!


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