In the post about learning just 3 patterns to be able to play any scale anywhere on the guitar, we saw how the 50 First dates way of playing scales is not close to the reality of music patterns.

That post used the Major scale patterns as an example. This time, let us see how by using the major scale as a reference, we can find out the 3 patterns for any scale, just by comparing the scale to the major scale. The natural minor scale (Raga Natabhairavi notes) is taken as an example here. (Different kinds of minor scales)

One of the earlier videos already talked about converting the C major scale to C Mayamalavagowla, the basic Raga used in Carnatic Music Lessons.

See this post for a few notes about the usefulness of knowing scales.
See the video below to start understanding how to change the major scale pattern to play other scales.

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How to find the only 3 patterns to play any scale: e.g. the Natural Minor scale

See below to use the patterns explained in the video.

The major scale patterns: Review

The below pattern can be used to play the major scale starting from anywhere on the 6th string. Remember which string the pattern associates to, while learning each of them.

6th string root major scale pattern

R, M2 etc are Root, major 2nd, major 3rd and so forth… the intervals.

5th string root major scale pattern

Want to play major scales starting on the 5th string? The same pattern used for the 6th string, when started on the 5th string, gives us the solution.

4th string root major scale pattern

Start the same pattern from the 4th string, adjust for the second string and you have the way to play the major scale starting from anywhere on the 4th string.

S R2 etc are the swaras… equivalent to Root, Major 2nd etc. More on them at the Indian Raga – Western notation post.

Of course you can rearrange the notes and get other patterns too. Here is an example where the 3rd (G3) and the 6th (D2) notes have been shifted to the strings just below them.

3rd string root major scale pattern

Similar to the 4th string pattern, on the 3rd string too, shifts can give us new patterns. For example:

How to get the Natural minor scale patterns?

The difference in notes between the Major and Natural minor scales

Know the difference. Which notes need to be changed. Change it in any of the patterns and  you have the new pattern.

Below are the C major scale and Natural minor scale notes

The number superscripts are the note position within the scale. C being the root, has a superscript of 1, F being the 4th note has that number as the superscript etc…

C major scale: C1 D2 E3 F4 G5 A6 B7 C

C natural minor scale: C1 D2 Eb3 F4 G5 Ab6 Bb7 C

See the notes that have been flattened?

The E A and B notes are flattened in the Natural minor scale.

E is the 3rd note, A and B the 6th and 7th notes respectively.

That’s it.

Now you know which notes have to be changed or flattened from any known Major scale pattern, to get the equivalent Natural minor scale pattern.

Let us use them on the Major scale patterns that we know.

For example, the 6th string root pattern is shown. The 3rd 6th adn 7th notes have to be flattened, as indicated by arrows with the b sign.

Extend the ‘flattening’ to the 4th string too. The two octaves are shown below.

The Flats needed for the 5th and 3rd strings are as shown below

As simple as that: the natural minor scale patterns

For your convenience, the final patterns are given below.

Now you can use the changed patterns to play the scale anywhere on the fretboard, any octave or pitch. We will look at other example scales too, to be thorough with the process and for scale mastery.