Today we’re going to take the next step in modal freedom. 3 Octave Harmonic Minor Modes! If you’re visiting this post you’ve most likely got the 3nps Harmonic minor modes under your fingers & under control!
These 3 octave harmonic minor modes cover much more ground in a linear fashion across the neck. You’ll have probably noticed that these versions of the modes switch between 3 and 4 notes per string. Each of these shapes have a repeating 7 note pattern across two strings. Once you know these, they become really easy to play because they repeat in octaves.
Heads Up! – At Strings of Rage™ we show the root note for each mode as opposed to the root for the key. This is to try an encourage you to adopt a truly modal way of thinking and composing modally.
Heads Up! – We’ve intentionally not indicated fretboard position numbers. This is to encourage you to learn how one mode flows into the next. Please don’t assume these are all based off of the root note G.
Anyway, let’s check out some of these extended modal patterns:
Navigating The Neck with 3 Octave Harmonic Minor Modes
There are many ways to visualise your scale shapes and build a modal road map. If you’ve nailed down the 3nps versions then read on because this will be helpful.
Fretboard GPS: Relative 3nps Positions within Extended Shapes
The first six notes are identical to that of the 3nps versions. However when you move to the 7th note on the 2nd string you could consider this part of the 2nd mode of Harmonic Minor. As you progress through these shapes you’ll hopefully make connections to where you are on the neck in relation to the 3nps versions.
Each time you reach the 7th note in any given octave using these shapes, you are essentially borrowing a note from a 3nps shape of the neighbouring mode.
In addition, the three octave Harmonic Minor pattern covers four 3nps modal positions all within one shape! How’s that for covering ground!
We’ve illustrated how this concept works below:
Here’s the full shape for harmonic minor across 3 octaves. Each 3 octave mode will cover multiple 3nps positions.
Here you can see how the first six notes relate to the 3nps Harmonic Minor shape within the wider 3 octave shape.
Still keeping within the 3 Octave Harmonic Minor shape, these nine notes can also be found within the 3nps Locrian #6 mode.
Once more, keeping within the 3 Octave Harmonic Minor shape, these nine notes that take us up to the high E string can also be found within the 3nps Ionian #5 mode.
The last 3 notes of the 3 octave Harmonic Minor scale can be found within the 3nps Dorian #4 mode.
This example demonstrates how the 3 octave Harmonic Minor single position covers four 3nps positions! It’s now over to you to explore these extended shapes and build your on Harmonic Minor navigational system!
Full Shred Ahead!
These shapes are great for creating more advanced shred licks. Specifically these lend themselves to alternate picking because the shapes are so easy to remember. Depending on your song or backing chords, a single position 3 octave shape can quickly become a killer picking lick.
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This download contains both 3 octave and 3nps shapes for reference
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