Connect the Neck...

Do you ever feel like you're getting bogged down when learning your scales by a lack of awareness for certain areas of the neck that exist "in between" the scale layouts that you know well, and those areas of the neck that you don't know as well?

We could simply call those areas of the neck that you're still learning, "Gray Zones." These "Gray Areas," are going to generally be locations found "in between" the scale patterns that initially become well known to you as you learn your neck better. In other words, the issue to overcome as you learn your neck, would be to start clarifying any playing area on the neck that you feel is a "Gray Area."

Even if it's only using a few notes at first, you need to start filling in those gray zones with around 4-5 scale tones. After some time and practice, you'll have a much better awareness for notes on the neck in your weak playing areas. In this lesson, I'm going to cover ways for "connecting the heck, outta the guitar neck."


Let's begin with a general understanding that many students of guitar start from. Most guitar players who have started learning their scales on the neck form a working knowledge of at least two guitar scales that they tend to start from.

To keep things simple, we'll go with two patterns that would generally be found as the most common among guitarists, the 6th and 5th string root minor pentatonic shapes...

Minor Pentatonic - 5th String Root... 

Minor Pentatonic - 6th String Root... 

These scale patterns make up two of the most popular scale shapes known to practicing guitar students. This is especially true for students who are just beginning their study of scale shapes on the guitar neck.

However, the problem that tends to occur, (after a few common shapes are developed), is that there are gray areas on the neck that form in between the popular shapes. The solution to this "dead zone" problem lies in the introduction to and the development of small "scale pieces" that can help the player connect the gray zones that end up existing in between those more popular scale shapes.

Once you have formed a basic awareness for how to begin introducing a few small groups of scale tone layouts and you comprehend how those smaller scale layouts can be used (as a way for connecting one pattern that you already know, over to another scale pattern you know), the next step is putting the new knowledge into action, by composing a few licks and runs to help with bridging the gap between the shapes.

This approach will help you to start clearing up the gray areas that exist between the full patterns that you know on the neck, and areas that are still under development.

Let's learn a couple of connecting licks that I've come up with in the key of "D Minor." These licks should help you with getting started for using this connecting procedure...

Lick #1). Ascending lick connecting several neck regions

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Lick #2). Descending lick connecting the neck patterns

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As we're learning our guitar fingerboard, a lot of us simply do not practice scales enough when we're first exposed to the study of them. I know I was guilty of it as a teenager, and I've read articles by famous players like; Steve Vai, Larry Carlton, Al DiMeola and Neal Schon, as well as, many others, who've all said the same thing.

In the early days of studying guitar, there probably isn't a single guitarist out there who hasen't said to themselves, "I should have practiced my scale more than I did."

Eventually, all the famous pros did their scale practice, and so did I, and so will you... but for the guitar players who are still working on all of this information, the method that I've described in this lesson, will go a long way to helping you learn scales faster along with being able to apply scales on the neck with more success.

Of course there's a lot you'll need to work on if you want to have tons of control with doing Guitar Solos, (and my Guitar Soloing Course can certainly help you with that), but in the meantime, develop small segments of adjoining pattern scales, using 4-5 notes, and what you'll find is that the neck will start coming together a heck of a lot faster!

Well, I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below... if you enjoyed this video on YouTube, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more through my YouTube channel.

Thanks again and we'll catch up again, on the next episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."



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