There is the maximized length pattern called the extended Major scale pattern. And there are 7 of them just like the common form patterns (shorter w.r.t length of fretboard).

I prefer learning the longer ones for these reasons:

  • Since you have 3 notes on each string you can hammer-on play the notes really fast, forgot what that's called...
  • It stretches the fingers more so is more of an exercise
  • It covers more octaves and more places on the fretboard.
  • It's more special, because less people start with these, and under a google search only the short forms seem to pop up.

Which form should I learn first, can I learn just one form and my brain fills in the rest, and why?

Thank you!

Edit found extended patterns here: Guitar Grimoire: Scales & Modes (p. 25)


2 Answers 2


the 3nps patterns (three note per string) are most often used by 'shredders' to play simple step wise patterns at high speeds. If this is your intention, John Petrucci's Rock discipline DVD and Paul Gilberts intense rock DVD's are a good places to start for this type of playing. Be aware that most 3nps licks sound particularly dull at anything but breakneck speeds

If you intend to play any other type of music the CAGED patterns are much more useful and therefore more widely used. The CAGED patterns link directly to chord shapes so each scale degree is more readily identifiable, the importance of knowing how each scale tone relates to the current chord cannot be stressed enough. Once you've learnt the CAGED patterns the 3nps patterns will also be learnt as they are simply the CAGED patterns linked together.


Okay, most people don't realize this but, the major scale and ALL its patterns are actually the same exact scale. The only difference is where there rooted.

All the modes, really are just the same scale moved up or down to a playable position in different keys. Learn one, you know them all... but there is theory behind mods and there positions that's also important to learn.

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