Saturday, October 29, 2011

Parallel 3rds (Symmetrical Pattern)

This pattern divides the 3rds of the key of C into two zones within the top four strings. One lower zone spanning from the open strings to the 5th fret and another higher zone from the 5th to the 10th fret. Each 3rd in the pattern comprises two notes separated by one string and one fret. This is an easy pattern to remember due to its clear symmetry.

The lower zone runs in a descending order from the Tonic 3rd (C-E on the 2nd and 1st strings, respectively) to the IV (F-A on the 4th and 3rd strings). The upper zone ascends from the Tonic (C-E on the 4th and 3rd strings, respectively) to the V (G-B on the 2nd and 1st strings).

In the diagram below, fingering is shown below the notation as italic numbers. The Roman numerals are the corresponding scale degreesThe green bars are major 3rds / The purple bars are minor 3rds. Notice all the connected notes in the pattern between the 2nd and 3rd strings (B-G) are minor, and the rest are major.

Once you have practiced the pattern as written, try reversing direction, playing the first part as an ascending sequence from IV up to I, and the second part descending from V down to I.

(Fretboard note positions outside the notated pattern (grayed out) are shown in the diagram for reference.)

All contents of this blog are © Mark Newstetter

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