Playing in Second Position

In all of the lessons up to here you have been playing in first position. This means that your first finger has started on the first fret, and you have used one finger for each fret above that, except for when playing some chords.

When you play in second position, you just shift your left hand up one fret.

Let's try an A major scale in second position. Start with your first finger on the second fret of the third string.

A major - second position

The second note, B, is the same note as the open second string. Also the fifth note, E, is the same as the open E string.

We have also introduced a couple of new notes, C# on the second string and G# on the first string. Have you spotted the similarity between this scale and the G major we played in a previous lesson. It's exactly the same pattern, but your first finger has taken over the role of the nut when you play open strings.

Now try shifting this pattern up one more fret, still keeping the same fingering. You still have a major scale, but now in Bb. This is one of the great things about the guitar. Once you know a pattern in one key, it can be as easy as changing the position to get another key. Try the A major scale pattern above in different positions on the neck to get the idea.

The following exercises uses the A major scale in second position.

Exercise 1 - A major with triplets

A major - second position triplets

Exercise 2 - A major pattern

A major - second position pattern