3 Shape Fretboard

3-Shape Fretboard is for intermediate to advanced guitarists interested in learning how to work out guitar scales & arpeggios for themselves. Creating scales & arpeggios yourself can give a better understanding, while knowing the logic behind them can make them more meaningful and easier to learn.

3 Shape Fretboard Sample Pages - click to enlarge >>

Contents >>

3 Major Scale Shapes

All other scales and arpeggios are defined in comparison to the major scale. This is reflected in practical terms by categorising the major scale into 3 different fundamental shapes, which can be used as templates.

How to Make Scales

Once understood, the 3 fundamental major scales for guitar can be altered to make other scales according to whichever other scale you are making. Arpeggios too.

The CAGED Guitar System

The CAGED System

The 3 shape system can be used to explain the logic behind the CAGED system, breaking it down into single octave components. For example; 5 CAGED major scale shapes each containing between 15 to 18 notes, can be seen as just 2 shapes of only 7 notes that are joined end to end.

600+ Fretboard Diagrams

Fretboard diagrams are shade coded with Black, Grey and White to distinguish between the 3 shapes and other scales that derive from them.

Modes for Guitar

Modes can be learnt directly on the fretboard by being compared to the fundamental major scale shapes in order to identify the differences, and therefore the unique structure of each mode.

Scales & Arpeggios

Major, minor, pentatonics, Harmonic minor, Phrygian Dominant, Melodic minor and many more (for a full idea view the contents page above). All presented in terms of the 3 Shape system.

Chord Harmony

The basic reasoning behind how chords are arranged in music is explained for major and minor keys, after which, musical examples of chord sequences are given. Also see the CAGED system applied to chords, and how basic major and minor chords are formed from within scales.

Questions & Answers
Every scale and arpeggio type has a question to test yourself. Find the root note, apply the scale shape then check the answer written in guitar tablature at the back of 3 Shape Fretboard. The answers also include fretting finger guide numbers written underneath the tabs.

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