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Yeah, good point - the half-stop close to the nut can be initially difficult. Yup. Keep to the two middle strings and play a D minor (natural) - D E F G A Bb C D
Keep at it until it "sounds right" to your ear..... then you have that 'half step away from the nut" on the Bb on the A string
I initially found that difficult, simply because of my hold. A little bit of practice soon relaxed that "death-grip" in the early days, and it becomes easy... I think the "tight hold" on the neck because you think you're gonna drop the instrument is, or can be, half the battle making it hard to get that "half-step" just above the nut ( well, it was for me )
Once you have that - it becomes easier on all the other strings. All other half-steps (a finger "low" or "high" if that's your preference ) on the neck are a different issue, and just have to be learned ( your ear will tell you )
Same old, same old, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1 for a major scale, and, 2, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2 for a minor. So why did I pick D minor here to talk about ? Because if you can play D minor, you can already play F major ( a key with one flat - namely Bb ) - instead of the scale D E F G A Bb C D, you play the SAME NOTES but start at F.
F maj is F G A Bb C D E F
Wooo - easy - huh ? LOL
I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh -
Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)