The "E" Scale Shape
Points to Remember:
• The "E" shape is probably the one most guitarists learn first, since it relates to the most common barre chord, the full-grip rock 'n' roll chord. Indeed, it's the shape I learned first.
• The root of the major scale starts with your 2nd finger on the low E string, but remember that the complete shape also includes the note just before it, which you play with your 1st finger.
• 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!