Major Scales

major scales - minor scales

chromatic scales - blues scale - pentatonic scale

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Major Scales: These scales have a series of 8 consecutive notes. For all scales (and anything musical), remember:

the musical alphabet has only 7 letters:


That's it - after letter G, we go back to A.

The MAJOR SCALE has a unique, familiar sound:

Do - Re - Mi - Fa - Sol - La - Ti - Do

Your ear tells you immediately if a wrong note is played or sung. This unique sound is so recognizable because of the location of the WHOLE STEPS and HALF STEPS.

Here's an example of the C scale. For this scale, we start on C:

C major Scale

We start on C, go consecutively: C, D, E, F, G, A, B - then C again.

Now, here's an example of the C scale that shows where the WHOLE STEPS and HALF STEPS occur.

C scale whole-half steps

Major Scales all follow the same pattern: Whole - Whole - Half - Whole - Whole - Whole - Half or:

W - W - H - W - W - W - H

So, if you start on the note G, you get:

G scale whole-half steps

It doesn't matter what note you start on - if you follow the musical alphabet consecutively (A-B-C-D-E-F-G),and follow the pattern

W - W - H - W - W - W - H

you will have a major scale (Your ear will tell you if something is wrong.)

Next you'll see how to make these scales on different notes. Just follow the whole step - half step pattern,the musical alphabet and ...

Major Scales With Sharps

Below are the more common scales with sharps.

They are:

  • G major
  • D major
  • A major
  • E major
  • B major
  • F# major
  • C# major

They all follow the same W-W-H-W-W-W-H pattern, and follow the musical alphabet.

sharp scales

Following the W-W-H-W-W-W-H pattern, and following musical alphabet works every time, regardless of the starting note. For example, let's take B major:

  • W-W = B-C# and C#-D#
  • H = D#-E
  • W-W-W = E-F#, F#-G# and G#-A#
  • H = A#-B

We've been looking at scales that have SHARPS. Now let's take a look at some...

Major Scales With Flats

Following the same W-W-H-W-W-W-H pattern, and the musical alphabet, we have:

  • F major
  • Bb major
  • Eb major
  • Ab major
  • Db major
  • Gb major
  • Cb major
flat scales

Major Scales
alfred scales

The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences: Includes All the Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic, Melodic) & Chromatic Scales - Plus Additional Instructions on Music Fundamentals

This review is from: The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences: Includes All the Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic, Melodic) & Chromatic Scales - Plus Additional Instructions on Music Fundamentals (Paperback)

Must have for any budding pianist, August 28, 2008 Review By Dat Hong.

"Alfred's Books have always been some of the best learning materials available. This book is no different. The book has all the scales every student should master as well as some informative information regarding music fundamentals.

The book is of high quality with bright big text and is very easy on the eyes. They used quality paper and ink for this book. The paper stock is thick and sturdy so it can stand up to some abuse.

The one thing I wish was included was a spiral binding. Once you get into these types of books, it becomes difficult to lay flat on the piano desk without the pages closing. Minor gripe, you can take it to Fedex office to get it binded for around $6 if it becomes too bothersome to you.

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NOTE: When a song (or any music) is built mostly on the notes of any particular scale, there is usually a KEY SIGNATURE at the beginning. It cleans things up and keeps the music uncluttered.

Click here for more about KEY SIGNATURES!

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