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Learning scales as intervals

The exercises below are entirely based on the pitches contained within the C major scale. It progresses through all the available diatonic intervals from thirds right up to octaves.

You will be playing the interval exercises in the following order:

3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths and Octaves

These are all played ‘in position’ too (within a span of approximately 4/5 frets) so you will need to watch your fingerings here to ensure ease of execution with the intervals.

In terms of picking, I’d personally recommend playing these exercises with alternate picking (down/up with the pick) as that way you have a consistent technique to employ with the plectrum and you can just concentrate on playing the notes cleanly. As a further note always remember when using alternate picking to play any exercise twice, the first time beginning with a downstroke and then the second time with an upstroke. This really helps develop your overall accuracy and facility with the pick.

Don’t try and play these exercises for speed initially either, as this is a common mistake a lot of players make when they examine this kind of study for the first time. Your primary focus needs to be on accuracy here, the speed can come later.

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