Today, we’ll look at how the ‘Major” scale is constructed. Plus, we’ll start looking at ‘intervals’… what they are and why they are important. (For a more detailed understanding please consult your “Guitar Chord Secrets” pdf.)
How to construct the Major Scale…
The major scale is built by assembling 7 notes (from the 12 available) in a certain way. That way is by using a particular sequence of whole-steps (2 frets distance) and half-steps (one fret distance).
The ‘formula is: whole – whole – half – whole – whole – whole – half. Or, W W 1/2 W W W 1/2.
We also ‘number’ each note in the scale 1-2-34-5-6-78. (8 is the same as the starting (root) note but an octave higher.)
The ‘half-steps’ ALWAYS occur between the 3rd and 4th and 7th and 8th notes for the Major scale construction.
You can look at it like this: 1-2-34-5-6-78 (The dashes represent the fret between whole steps. 34 and 78 close together with no dash shows they are only one fret apart with no in-between note.)
This video shows how.
The major scale provides the first set of patterns to get used to.
I suggest using the backing tracks on the Lesson Download page to practice playing the ‘C’ major scale on one string at a time.
- Practice on one string with one finger playing the scale up and down
- Sing what you’re playing. Hum in tune, sing the note name, or sing the note (interval) number 1-2-34-5-6-78
- Then use two fingers, then 3, then 4.
- Then try incorporating two strings, then three, and so on
I made this ‘C’ Major Playalong video a few years ago but it demonstrates the general idea… (excuse the crappy sound).
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