The F Major scale is an important scale on the guitar. It contains one flat (Bb), making it a relatively easy scale to understand and use, for the purposes of musical theory. The first fret of the 6th string is an F note, which also makes F scales on the guitar quite popular.
The notes in an F Major scale are as follows
F – G – A – Bb – C – D – E
If you are interested in learning about modes and guitar scales, it should be pointed out that the F Major scale is effectively the same scale as the F ionian scale. For the purpose of the series of lessons on guitar modes, we are going to treat F ionian and F Major as an identical scale.
If you are unsure of what a Major scale or ionian mode is, click on the link to the lessons.
Let’s look at the 5 CAGED positions for the F Major scale, as well as the open position.
F Major Scale In The Open Position
Let’s look at the F Major scale in the open position (notes and tabs).
F Major Scale CAGED Positions
Here are the 5 CAGED positions for the F Major scale on the guitar (notes and tabs).
F Major Scale in the 1st Position (lowest fret is 1)
F Major Scale in the 5th Position (lowest fret is 5)
F Major Scale in the 6th Position (lowest fret is 6)
F Major Scale in the 9th Position (lowest fret is 9)
F Major Scale in the 12th Position (lowest fret is 12)
So there you have all the positions on the guitar fretboard for playing the F Major scale.
How to Use the F Major Scale
For the purpose of improvising, the F Major scale can be used over the F Major chord, the F Major 7 chord, as well as other chords within the key of F Major.
Chords in the Key of F Major
The key of F Major contains the following chords (triads and 7th chords):
- F Major/F Major 7
- G minor/G minor 7
- A minor/A minor 7
- Bb Major/Bb Major 7
- C Major/C dominant 7
- D minor/D minor 7
- E diminished/E half diminished
Modes Of The F Major Scale
There are 7 modes in the key of F. We can produce these modes by playing the notes of the F Major scale, while starting on different notes of the scale. For example, to play the G dorian mode, we start on the note G and then play the notes of the F Major scale. To play the D Aeolian mode, we start on D and play through the notes of the F Major scale.
Here are the 7 modes in the key of F Major: