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Welcome to the second lesson on Guitar scale Sequences. In this lesson you will learn the Diatonic thirds sequence, a sequence found in some form from Steve Vai to the chart toppers’ vocal melodies. This example is shown in the key of C major and uses the A shaped Ionian pattern, so be aware that you can transpose it to other keys by simply shifting it up the fretboard. If you wish to learn all about guitar scales then please see Be The Guitarist, easy to understand diagrams and full explanations.

Remember to take this sequence and use it with other scales, the fingering will be different but if you break it down into what this sequence really means then it becomes easier. This sequence is created by playing up the scale, but off each note you miss the next note of the scale and play the next one up. So you are playing scale degree 1 to 3, 2 to 4, 3 to 5, 4 to 6 and so on. Now that you know this you can take this formula and apply it to any scale such as Lydian or Phrygian.

Some players like to play the sequence shown below up the neck starting from the first two notes shown in the TAB below and building thirds up the A and D string. Once you have learnt the example below and recognise the sound, it may be worth trying it up the A and D string (first 4 notes shown below are the same as the ‘up the A and D string’ idea so use those shapes)

Diatonic thirds

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