C Major Scale Positions On The Fretboard

The C Major scale contains no sharps or flats. Because of this, it is often seen as an ‘easy’ scale to work with and is used extensively in examples for the sake of simplicity.

The notes in a C Major scale are:
C – D – E – F – G – A – B

If you are interested in learning about modes and guitar scales, it should be pointed out that the C major scale is effectively the same scale as the C ionian scale. For the purpose of the series of lessons on guitar modes, we are going to treat C ionian and C major as an identical scale.

If you are unsure of what a major scale or ionian mode is, please read the post, what is a major scale?

Positions On The Guitar:

The C Major scale in the open position looks like this:

C Major Scale Open Position Frets

C Major Scale Open Position Notes

Here are the movable shapes.

The first one is in the 1st position (the lowest fret is fret 1)

C Major Scale 1st Position Frets

C Major Scale 1st Position Notes

The next one is in the 4th position (the lowest fret is fret 4)

C Major Scale 4th Position Frets

C Major Scale 4th Position Notes

The next one is in the 7th position (the lowest fret is fret 7)

C Major Scale 7th Position Frets

C Major Scale 7th Position Notes

The next one is in the 8th position (the lowest fret is fret 8)

C Major Scale 8th Position Frets

C Major Scale 8th Position Notes

The next one is in the 12th position (the lowest fret is fret 12)

C Major Scale 12th Position Frets

C Major Scale 12th Position Notes

And there you have it. The 5 movable major scale shapes for the key of C. As I mentioned earlier, because of the extensive use of C Major, it’s a good one to get very familiar with!

For more information on major scales check out the post a complete guide to major scales on the guitar.

Also check out the post, guitar modes explained.

Here are the 7 modes in the key of C Major:


 

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