Sequence: In 3rds (Major P1)

Learning the "In 3rds" scale pattern is a super important step in improvising with scales.

What Is A 3rd

In a Major Scale, play a note, miss a note and play the next one and you'll have a played "a 3rd". There are two types you'll encounter in a major scale, a Major 3rd and a Minor 3rd. You may have encountered there intervals in Practical Music Theory or Ear Training.

Why They're Related To Chords

Chords are built up in 3rds and so if you land on a good scale note, then going up (or down)  a 3rd means you are likely to land on another good note for that chord! Melodies are often built in 3rds as well, and so training your hands (and musical mind) to hear and play 3rds is a melodic and tasty way to practice scales.

A Major Chord (formula 1 3 5) is a Major 3rd followed by a Minor 3rd.

A Minor Chord

How To Learn It

I always favoured the "play a note, miss a note, play a note, back to the one you missed" approach - simple and most people get it right away.

But you can also number the scale tones and then use a maths number sequence shown below. This can be useful because you can make all kinds of cool numerical sequences and apply them to scales for creative adventures!

Number Sequence for "In 3rds": 1-3, 2-4, 3-5, 4-6, 5-7, 6-8 etc.


Registered users can download a TAB PDF or a GPX (Guitar Pro) file to accompany the lesson. The Guitar Pro file can be edited and played back at different speeds which can be super useful for making your own scale practice routine!

Hope you dig it - lessons on applying this to Patterns 2-5 of the Major Scale follow!

Melodic Sequences For Scales