The Major Scale

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Chris, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. Chris

    Chris metalguitarist.org Forum MVP

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    The Major scale, which is sometimes referred to as the Ionian mode; is a popular scale used in music to create a happy, positive feeling in songs. It is used in creating major chords. A scale is a series 8 notes which begin and end on an octave. What separates major scales from other scales is how the notes are separated from each other. The major scale follows this pattern: . W-W-H-W-W-W-H The notes on your guitar are separated this way:

    A (1) B (1/2) C (1) D (1) E (1/2) F (1) G (1) A

    A "1" indicates a whole step, the "1/2" indicates the notes are separated by a half step. W stands for whole steps, H for half steps.

    The A major scale contains the following notes: A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G#,A. Lets get started with an A major scale starting on the 5th fret of the top E string. (an A note).

    Code:
    E ||-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-| 
    B ||-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-| 
    G ||---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---| 
    D ||---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|-X-|-X-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-| 
    A ||---|-B-|-C-|---|-X-|---|-X-|-F-|-X-|-G-|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-| 
    E ||-F-|---|-G-|---|-X-|---|-X-|-C-|-X-|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-| 
    Tab:

    Code:
    E||--------------------|--------------------|--------------------|------------------7----|--9----10----||
    B||--------------------|--------------------|--------------------|--7----9----10---------|-------------||
    G||--------------------|--------------------|-------6----7----9--|-----------------------|-------------||
    D||--------------------|------------6----7--|--9-----------------|-----------------------|-------------||
    A||-----------------5--|--7----9------------|--------------------|-----------------------|-------------||
    E||--5----7----9-------|--------------------|--------------------|
    Here is a map of where the A major scale can be played on the fretboard.

    Code:
    X ||-F-|-X-|-G-|-X-|-A-|---|-X-|-C-|-X-|-X-|---|-X-|-F-|-X-|-G-| 
    X ||-C-|-X-|-X-|---|-X-|-F-|-X-|-G-|-X-|-A-|---|-X-|-C-|-X-|-X-| 
    G ||-X-|-A-|---|-X-|-C-|-X-|-X-|---|-X-|-F-|-X-|-G-|-X-|-A-|---| 
    X ||---|-X-|-F-|-X-|-G-|-X-|-A-|---|-X-|-C-|-X-|-X-|---|-X-|-F-| 
    A ||---|-X-|-C-|-X-|-X-|---|-X-|-F-|-X-|-G-|-X-|-A-|---|-X-|-C-| 
    X ||-F-|-X-|-G-|-X-|-A-|---|-X-|-C-|-X-|-X-|---|-X-|-F-|-X-|-G-|
    Now an A major scale does not need to start on an A, yet A can still be the root. For example, here is an A major scale beginning on F#, but A is the root.

    Code:
     
    E ||-F-|-X-|-G-|-X-|-X-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-| 
    B ||-C-|-X-|-X-|---|-X-|-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-| 
    G ||-X-|-X-|---|-X-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---| 
    D ||---|-X-|-F-|-X-|-G-|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-| 
    A ||---|-X-|-C-|-X-|-X-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-| 
    E ||-F-|-X-|-G-|-X-|-X-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-| 
    Tab:

    Code:
    E||---------------------|---------------------|-------------------|------------2----4----|--5----||
    B||---------------------|---------------------|-----------------2-|--3----5--------------|-------||
    G||---------------------|---------------------|--1----2----4------|----------------------|-------||
    D||---------------------|------------2----4---|-------------------|----------------------|-------||
    A||-----------------2---|--4----5-------------|-------------------|----------------------|-------||
    E||--2----4----5--------|---------------------|-------------------|----------------------|-------||
    You can solo in this pattern when a rhythm player is playing in the key of A, or a chord progression starting in A.
     

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