The E Major Scale is a great scale to be familiar with on the guitar. The lowest note on the guitar (6th string open) is E, so in many ways it feels like the default key.
There are 4 sharps in the E Major Scale:
F# – G# – C# – D#
The notes in the key of E are as follows:
E – F# – G# – A – B – C# – D#
If you are interested in learning about modes and guitar scales, it should be pointed out that the E major scale is effectively the same scale as the E ionian scale. For the purpose of the series of lessons on guitar modes, we are going to treat E ionian and E major as an identical scale.
Positions On The Guitar
Of course, we want to be able to play the E major scale in all positions on the fretboard. Firstly, the open position is played like this:
Now to look at the 5 different postions along the fretboard.
The first one is in the 4th position (the lowest fret is fret 4)
The next one is in the 5th position (the lowest fret is fret 5)
The next one is in the 8th position (the lowest fret is fret 8)
The next one is in the 11th position (the lowest fret is fret 11)
The last one is in the 12th position (the lowest fret is fret 12)
There you have all the positions along the fretboard for the E Major Scale.
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 E Major: