Unlocking the Neck: part 5

Let’s wrap this series up this week! We will be doing the lesson on the A and low E string today. These strings can be used in the scale to do some cool three note per string runs up and down the neck. I like to think of being able to know the whole scale up and down the neck so you can move around the neck effortlessly once it is learned.

Part 5 of  Unlocking the Neck will help to get you on your way to shreddin like a pro!

So lets get right to it!

A – 0 2 3 5 7 8 10 12 14 15 17 19 20
E – 0 1 3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15 17 19 20

As we have done in all of the lessons, I want you to do the following and practice sequences ascending up and then down the neck as follows, FOUR TIMES EACH. And please, use alternate picking! These posts have stressed repetition to gain confidence and knowledge on the neck, today’s lesson is no different.

Let’s start with the A string.

A —- 0 2 3 (4 times)
2 3 5 (4 times)
3 5 7 (4 times)
5 7 8 (4 times)
7 8 10 (4 times)
8 10 12 (4 times)
10 12 14 (4 times)
12 14 15 (4 times)
14 15 17 (4 times)
15 17 19 (4 times)
17 19 20 (4 times)

Now you descend the neck

20 19 17 (4 times)
19 17 15 (4 times)
17 15 14 (4 times)
15 14 12 (4times)
14 12 10 (4 times)
12 10 8 (4 times)
10 8 7 (4 times)
8 7 5 (4 times)
7 5 3 (4 times)
5 3 2 (4 times)
3 2 0 (4 times)

Next is the E string

E —- 0 1 3 (4 times)
1 3 5 (4 times)
3 5 7 (4 times)
5 7 8 (4 times)
7 8 10 (4 times)
8 10 12 (4 times)
10 12 13 (4 times)
12 13 15 (4 times)
13 15 17 (4 times)
15 17 19 (4 times)
17 19 20 (4 times)

Now you descend the neck

20 19 17 (4 times)
19 17 15 (4 times)
17 15 13 (4 times)
15 13 12 (4times)
13 12 10 (4 times)
12 10 8 (4 times)
10 8 7 (4 times)
8 7 5 (4 times)
7 5 3 (4 times)
5 3 1 (4 times)
3 1 0 (4 times)

So now we have the whole guitar mapped out as follows

E– 0 1 3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15 17 19 20
B– 0 1 3 5 6 8 10 12 13 15 17 18 20
G– 0 2 4 5 7 9 10 12 14 16 17 19 21
D –0 2 3 5 7 9 10 12 14 15 17 19 21
A – 0 2 3 5 7 8 10 12 14 15 17 19 20
E – 0 1 3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15 17 19 20

Time to learn how to blaze around the neck

Here is a basic A B C pattern up the neck in 3 octaves.

Practice this one ascending and descending

E 10 12 13
B 10 12 13
G 7 9 10
D 7 9 10
A 5 7 8
E – 5 7 8

Another cool take on the same pattern

E 13 12 10
B 13 12 10
G 10 9 7
D 10 9 7
A 8 7 5
E – 8 7 5

Here is a classic C major scale run using 3 notes per string

E – 10 12 13
B – 10 12 13
G – 9 10 12
D – 9 10 12
A – 8 10 12
E – 8 10 12

As you can see, adding these 3 note per string runs into your playing adds a few cool new tricks into your guitar playing vocabulary. I would recommend doing the following to best learn the notes on each string: practice the sequences up and down on each string, ascend on the low E, descend on the A, ascend on the D, descend on the G, ascend on the B and descend on the high E. After that, repeat and repeat and repeat!

Practice makes perfect, and learning this material is crucial. For the next step, I would experiment. See what kind of cool material you can come up with and I encourage you to send me some ideas back as I am always looking for next crazy licks!

Thanks for reading.

Brian Marshak is a staff writer at SMG. Brian is also a guitar player and composer in Hollywood, CA. He began playing guitar at the age of six and is mainly self taught from guitar magazines, jamming with other players and learning songs from tapes and cd’s. Brian studied at the Berklee School of Music for awhile on scholarship but left school early to move to Hollywood to work as a professional musician. Since 2006 he has done session work, live showcases, and touring for various bands. Email: BrianMarshak@sharemyguitar.com

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  • Simon

    nice site mate, just found your shred lessons and find these very helpful. looking forward to more cool guitar instruction and will be checking back. Cheers

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