Master the major scales in 8 steps!

Using the CAGED system as our foundation, we can build five Major Pentatonic shapes.

Instead of calling these position 1-5, we call them by their CAGED name. This is the starting point to mastering the major modes.

The self eliminating practice routine takes care of this in 8 steps. All you have to do is put the time in.

Make it a daily routine and you will get there, just don’t forget to play songs as well, without actual musical examples, these scales are simply patterns without any real meaning.


Major Pentatonic – Step 1

This is where it all starts, you must learn how to play the Major Pentatonic in all five shapes.

But lets not name these shapes 1-5, let’s call them by their CAGED name and lets practice them not just in A as the videos show.

Go to Major Pentatonic – Step 1.


Connect Major Pentatonic shapes – Step 2

When you can play all five shapes individually, all over the neck, the next step is to connect them.

The videos show you this in A, to complete this step, you must continue through all remaining 11 starting points.

Go to Connect Major Pentatonic shapes – Step 2.


Ionian – Step 3

To master the Ionian (major scale) shapes we must practice all five CAGED shapes by adding two missing intervals to the Major Pentatonic.

Following this we must connect the shapes as well as play them using the cycle of 4th.

Go to Ionian – Step 3.


Connect Ionian shapes – Step 4

When you can play all five shapes individually, all over the neck, the next step is to connect them.

The videos show you this in A, to complete this step, you must continue through all remaining 11 starting points.

Go to Connect Ionian shapes – Step 4.


Lydian – Step 5

Just like with Ionian, we can master Lydian by adding two missing notes to the Major Pentatonic.

This is easy as one of them is the same as for Ionian!

Go to Lydian – Step 5.


Connect Lydian shapes – Step 6

When you can play all five shapes individually, all over the neck, the next step is to connect them.

The videos show you this in A, to complete this step, you must continue through all remaining 11 starting points.

Go to Connect Lydian shapes – Step 6.

Mixolydian – Step 7

Just like with Ionian and Lydian, we can master Mixoydian by adding two missing notes to the Major Pentatonic.

The videos show you this in A, to complete this step, you must continue through all remaining 11 starting points. Since you know the drill now, let’s also connect the shapes.

Go to Mixolydian – Step 7.


Major modes master exercises – Step 8

Using our Major Pentatonic CAGED shapes, we can add the missing intervals to build all three major modes.

Do this in five CAGED shapes and all keys and you will have mastered the major modes. Simple, it just takes daily practice.

Go to Major modes master exercises – Step 8.

Dan Lundholm

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