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Old 02-14-2001, 02:40 PM
mapletrees mapletrees is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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Smile Basic Music Theory - Chapter 3 (with quiz)


Major Scales

Our whole musical system is pretty much derived from the major scale....so here we go. Ask if you've got questions.

We can build a major scale from any one of the 12 notes, so we end up having 12 different possible major scales. To make a major scale, there's a simple formula to follow:

Pick a starting note (we call it the root, or the tonic) and THEN make the following series of whole and half steps:

W W H W W W H

Take note of the fact that all 12 of the major scales will be constructed by the same formula so they're all going to have the same characteristic sound. They'll just sound lower or higher than one another depending on the starting note.


We'll start with the C Major Scale:

Find the note C on your guitar (say 5th string, 3rd fret)

Now make the steps WWHWWWH right up the 5th string.

As far as the frets go you should have:

Start on 3rd fret, whole step to 5th fret, whole step to 7th fret, half step to 8th fret, whole to 10th fret, whole to 12th fret, whole to 14th fret, and finally a half step to the 15th fret which hopefully puts us on the note C again.

The notes we got (confirm) are:

C D E F G A B C

Let's do it beginning on the note F (say, 6th string, first fret). Again, make the steps
WWHWWWH right up the string.

As far as the frets go:

Start on first fret, whole to 3rd fret, whole to 5th fret, half to 6th fret, whole to 8th fret, whole to 10th fret, whole to 12th fret, and finally a half step to the 13th fret.

The notes we got are:

F G A Bb C D E F

You'll see why we sometimes use flats as opposed to sharps soon enough.


Short quiz....

Try to make a G major scale and a D major scale on your own! (use sharps, not flats)

I've got to go to work...

[This message has been edited by mapletrees (edited 02-14-2001).]

[This message has been edited by mapletrees (edited 02-14-2001).]
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