Natural Minor Melodic Patterns For Lead Guitar: Lesson 1

Welcome to third lesson that I’ve created on melodic patterns. In this lesson we’re going to move beyond the minor pentatonic scale, and start looking at how to play the natural minor scale using melodic patterns.

Because what we’re about to look at is more technically advanced than the previous lessons, it’s important that you have worked on the minor pentatonic melodic patterns before starting with this lesson. If you haven’t, then please do that before you start this lesson.

OK. I’ll assume you’ve done all the preparation for this lesson. So let’s get started by taking a look at this scale fingering…

The Scale Fingering

In this lesson we’re going to be using the first three-note-per-string fingering of the D Natural Minor scale…

D Natural Minor Scale Table

D Natural Minor Fingering 1

Please take some time now to play this scale fingering a number of times to memorise it. I should warn you in advance that this fingering uses some quite big stretches on a few strings. So if you’re new to these sorts of stretches, be sure you’re careful not to overdo it. (I don’t want any injuries on my conscience!). It’s also probably a good idea to look at this lesson that I created on developing a stretch between fingers 1 and 2.

Once you can play through the fingering, then the next thing to do is to memorise the notes of it. Understanding what notes you’re playing will definitely help make you a better musician, and it will also make it easier for you to understand the melodic patterns that you learn.

Now that you’ve done all the groundwork, let’s take a look at the melodic pattern…

Natural Minor Melodic Pattern Exercise 1:

Natural Minor Melodic Pattern 1

Please take some time now to play through this exercise. If you’ve worked through the previous lessons on melodic patterns, then you should be able to guess what I’m going to call this pattern. :-)

Analysing The Melodic Pattern

Let’s now analyse the melodic pattern. Usually the best way to do this is to write the note names above the TAB like this…

Natural Minor Melodic Pattern 1 Analysed

This is a pattern that I call descending fours. Like the ascending threes and descending threes from earlier lessons, this is a really useful melodic pattern for lead guitar. In my opinion, it’s an essential one to learn and master. I used to practice descending fours constantly when I was younger, and I found that it really helped my technique. So be sure to work hard at it!

Oh yeah, before I forget. The very last note of the exercise isn’t part of the melodic pattern. But I really like the sound of ending the exercise on this note, so that’s why it’s there. If you don’t like the sound of it, then just leave it out. (Or choose another ending note).

Practising The Melodic Pattern

Here’s the exercise with the fingering and picking motions that I like to use written on the TAB. You’ll notice that my preference is to alternate pick the whole thing starting with a downstroke. But if you prefer to play the exercise using economy picking, or legato technique, then you are very welcome to do so. I’m not trying to turn you into a clone of me. :-)

Melodic Pattern 1: Fingering and Picking Added

A Few Last Words

Oh well, that’s about it for this lesson. Work hard at the melodic pattern. And don’t forget that once you’ve mastered the exercise, try applying the descending fours pattern to other scale fingerings that you know.

Have fun!

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