Major Scale

First of all, What is a scale? It is a group of 7 notes that sound good together (usually followed by the octave of the root note). To Find the notes you must look at the interval pattern (shown below), and you must understand whole and half steps.

To form a scale pick a scale you want to learn. I'll pick the C Major Scale for example purposes. Now all you do is start with C and follow the interval pattern. Example: C whole step to D another whole step to E half step to F (Note: there are no sharps or flats between E and F -- the same applies between B and C) then we take a whole step to G then another whole step to A then another whole step to B and finally a half step to C (the octave note). So we get these notes:
C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

Description: This scale is used as base scale from which other modes and scales come from.
Quality: Happy or Upbeat quality
Musical Styles: Rock, Country, Jazz, Fusion
Chords: Major, Major Sevenths, Major Ninths, Elevenths
Intervals: (W - Whole Step, H - Half Step)
Root -2-3-4-5-6-7-Octave
W-W-H-W-W-W-H

The Major Scale is the most important scale of all. All modes are derived from this scale. Modes are altered scales. In other words, you make some notes sharp or flat. Each mode like the major scale has a quality. The major scale's quality is happy and upbeat. These qualities are more prevalent when you integrate the chords which are shown above into your playing. In the chart below you will see that I have marked off patterns. There are 5 patterns. Let me show you an example of the scale in tab (below the patterns).

Full Pattern: E Major Scale

Full Pattern: E Major Scale

E Major Scale - Single Octave Pattern from Pattern 1

E Major Scale Pattern 1

E Major Scale Pattern 2

These patterns are moveable up and down the fretboard. Notice that you determine what scale it is by what note the Root note lies on. I'll show you a couple of examples in tab below.

G Major Scale Pattern 1

B Major Scale Pattern 3

Now for my last example I will show you how to combine patterns. The first example (below) shows the scale on one string (Notice that I go through all 5 patterns). The second example shows you the scale on several different patterns. The thing to remember is that instead of moving to the next string when you reach the end of the pattern. You can play the next note on the string. Then you have the option to continue the pattern or go on to the next pattern.

E Major Scale, Single Octave, Sixth String

E Major Scale, Single Octave, 4th and 3rd Strings

Now you're probably wondering why you're learning 5 patterns instead of one. One reason is so that you can change to a different scale when playing without making a big jump on the fretboard. This way if you know all the patterns and you know the notes of the fretboard, You will always have the scale you want within reach.

With these patterns you can change to several different modes and keep the same patterns!! You'll see how in the next lesson!!

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