How to Transpose the Major Scale on the Guitar
If you’re ready to move past the G major scale on the guitar, playing major scales in other keys is as simple as starting the patterns in a new position. Here are all the patterns you use in G moved up two frets to the key of A. As a result, all the 1s are now A notes.
You can continue to connect and play the five patterns until you either run out of fretboard or can’t reach any higher.
Practice playing these patterns over any piece of music, song, or track that draws its chords from the A major scale. Don’t forget you can use songs in Fs minor, too. After all, the 6th degree, Fs, is the relative minor to A. Here are the A major chords you have to choose from:
If you need specific song ideas, consider one of these:
Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
Jack and Diane by John Mellencamp
Stand by Me by Ben E. King
Stir It Up by Bob Marley
What’s Up? by 4 Non Blondes
You can continue to transpose by moving up from the key of A. For example, you can position the patterns so that 1 is As, B, C, Cs, and so on.
Here is one more sample key, C. Here, all the 1s are C notes. Notice that in this key, you start high enough on the neck that you can come back and fill in the area between the open strings and the 5th fret.
You can see a demonstration on how to transpose in Transposing Major Scale Patterns to C.
Practice these patterns over music that draws its chords from the C major scale (see the following list). Feel free to include songs in A minor, too, because the 6th degree, A, is the relative minor to C.
Some songs based on these chords include the following:
All the Small Things by Blink 182
D’yer Mak’er by Led Zeppelin
Fool in the Rain by Led Zeppelin
La Bamba by Los Lobos
Lean on Me by Bill Withers
Let It Be by The Beatles
Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan
Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers
Songs in A minor include
Maria, Maria by Santana
Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
You can continue to transpose the major scale to other keys in the same way.