12. Scale Tones And Open Strings

There are an endless number of possibilities when it comes to open strings and scale tones. I will illustrate just a few examples. Although the tonal range for these is greater on electric guitar, it is pretty wide open for the acoustic also. For this discussion I am confining the examples to scale passages and chords created with fretted and open string notes, rather than chords played up the neck, such as

E major:

Any open chord can be moved up the neck in this fashion, creating a different chord with each movement. Again, here I am focusing on single notes with open strings.

Probably the most common example is any fretted note against its unison on an adjacent string:

Obviously you can continue across more strings to produce any desired effect:

 By crossing strings you can produce any number of interesting chords, which take on new meaning as you play other open strings with them. This is due to the relatively long sustain of the open strings:

As you move higher up the neck, different type sounds are produced, distinctive in that the intervals can be quite large:

 Again, there is literally a world of variations within these elements, and I encourage every player to explore them fully.

©2012 Jim Greenfield