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Darren Frate’s Altered Tunings: Major and Minor Scales

The last few months we have been working on chord voicings in the C-G-D-A altered tuning. In our continuing look at that tuning it’s time to work on some scales. This month we are going to learn the major and minor scales. Like with standard tuning it’s important to be as familiar with all the possible positions that you can use to play these scales. By being able to start the scale at different places on the neck we can avoid limiting our ability to play freely all across the neck.


First up is a C major scale. For purposes of simplicity I’m going to use tab as opposed to standard notation. You see that in this tuning the major scale becomes a symmetrical scale in nature.





Next up is a C minor scale.





Again practice these all around the neck and find all the different starting points for these scales. Until next time… See Ya.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jonathan

    May 5, 2011 at 8:17 am


    The alternate tuning you’re experimenting with is cello tuning – unless you’re using the C as the high string and the A as the lowest sounding string…

    What string length are you working with? 32″, 33”, or 34″? I am guessing that spanning a minor third from first finger to fourth finger isn’t an issue for you?

    As a cellist/bassist/bass guitarist, I could point you to some really neat and challenging etudes for cello that would stretch your chops with that tuning quite a bit. Let me know if you’re interested.

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