The B Major scale contains 5 sharps.
The notes in B Major are:
B – C# – D# – E – F# – G# – A#
If you are interested in learning about modes and guitar scales, it should be pointed out that the B major scale is effectively the same scale as the A ionian scale. For the purpose of the series of lessons on guitar modes, we are going to treat B ionian and B major as an identical scale.
Positions On The Guitar:
Firstly, we will look at playing the scale in the open position:
Here are the movable shapes.
The first one is in the 3rd position (the lowest fret is fret 3)
The next one is in the 6th position (the lowest fret is fret 6)
The next one is in the 7th position (the lowest fret is fret 7)
The next one is in the 11th position (the lowest fret is fret 11).
The next one is in the 12th position (the lowest fret is fret 12).
This scale is played quite high up on the neck (reaching the 16th fret). The reason why this shape is played so high in the key of B is to avoid playing open notes. If we started the scale on the second fret, we would not be able to play two of the notes without playing them openly, therefor effectively making the shape unmovable.
I’ve included an extra shape in this key. It is a variation on the above shape (12th position). Because the 12th position shape is so high, it is good to have a variation on the same shape that can be played down the octave (starting on the 2nd fret).
As well as that, it provides a good example of how shapes can vary, depending on the preferences of each player.
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 B Major: