Introduction to 3-notes-per-string scale sequences

The following scale shape is the Aeolian mode, otherwise known as the natural minor, the full minor, the minor scale and so on. I firmly believe that the 3-note-per-string scale shapes are the only modal scale shapes needed. Box shapes are unnecessary and cumbersome to work with, especially when trying to gain speed or eloquently sequence scales.

Sequencing the scale

Sequencing the minor scale is no different to sequencing the minor pentatonic scale. The pattern of notes simply follows the sequence chosen. Here are two somewhat challenging yet useful sequences:


This is the name I personally gave this sequence. Other than that I suppose one could call it the “Up 4, back 1 sequence”.




This is a very common sequence. Otherwise known as "diatonic thirds". Once you’ve become familiar with it, you’ll start noticing it everywhere in music. It’s difficult to articulate as the notes are “skipped”. Skipped sequences are typically harder to play than so called “linear” ones, so don’t aim for speed with such sequences straight away.

The “skipped 3rds” sequence goes like this: Skip up a 3rd, back down 1.



Sequence mixing

This next example showcases how sequences can be mixed together within a scale to create interesting musical passages.

In A minor (Aeolian):

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