Watch the 2 Octave Maj. Mode Workouts online guitar lesson by Fareed Haque from Modal Improv Survival Guide
TWO-OCTAVE MAJOR SCALES
The open ‘e’ strings on the guitar are two octaves apart. Therefore a natural starting point for practicing scales is to learn them in two octave positions, from each note on the low ‘e to the corresponding note on the high ‘e’. This is ideal since it comes not from some 'system' imposed on the guitar, but comes from the guitar's tuning; the integral geometry of the guitar! Lets start in the key of C. Since the lowest note on the guitar in the key of C is an ‘e’ you would begin by playing a two octave scale starting on low ‘e’. So the first Two Octave C scale is from open low ‘e’ to the open high ‘e’, the 3rd mode. Next, play a 2 octave C scale from the Low ‘f’ to the high ‘f’ on the ‘e’ strings, that's the 4th mode. Next a C scale from low ‘g’ to the high ‘g’; Low ‘a’ to the high ‘a’, b to b, c to c, d to d, and lastly e to e again where it starts over again above the 12th fret. You can always go Or higher up the neck if your 32 fret Charvel permits! Either way, you've covered EVERY note on the guitar in the Key of C!
Next move to the key of F. Since the lowest note on the guitar in the key of F is also an ‘e’, your first two octave F scale will start on low ‘e’ and end on open high ‘e’; teh 7th mode. The next two-octave F scale will go from F to F, then G to G, A to A and so on. NOTICE that the only thing that has changed between the keys of C and F is that B’s become Bb’s. This is one of the most important benefits of learning scales this way – you will develop a natural awarenes of the COMMON TONES between keys by focusing on what notes stay the same and which ones change from key to key.
Continue around the Cycle of Fourths, adding flats as you go. From F to Bb you will simply replace E naturals with Eb’s. From the Key of Bb to Eb, A’s become Ab’s, and so on…
MAKE SURE to explore playing these two octave scales with multiple fingerings. Start each scale with each finger of the left hand. You will find that for the most part, three of the fingerings will be pretty easy to play while one of them will feel pretty uncomfortable. Just discard the fingerings you don’t like and practice the ones you do.
Once you have explored MANY fingerings, choose your favorite ones and try to play all seven two-octave scales in one key WITHOUT STOPPING and at TEMPO. Set a reasonable tempo for yourself – maybe eighth notes at quarter note = 96 bpm to start. This will build security and will help get the scale fingerings into your unconscious…which is where they MUST be if they are to be of any use to you.