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Intro to the Major Scale


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The Major Scale

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The Major Scale is the foundation for nearly all of what we know as Western Harmony. It's construction allows us to understand how nearly all rock music goes together, and our understanding of it's workings is an essential part of everyone's musical education. The construction of the major scale follows the same formula every time. Starting from your root note (the key you are playing in), you move up the following pattern:
1    2    3    4    5    6     7
  W - W - H - W - W - W - H

C - D - E  - F  - G - A  - B  - C
G - A - B  - C  - D - E  - F# - G
D - E - F# - G  - A - B  - C# - D
A - B - C# - D  - E - F# - G# - A
F - G - A  - Bb - C - D  - E  - F
W = Whole Step (2 frets on the guitar)
H = Half Step (1 fret on the guitar)
- always ascending up the guitar in pitch

Notice the numbering system above the WHOLE STEPS AND HALF STEPS. This numbering system is referenced throughout all of our lessons and is important aspect of communicating the notes in the scale. Focusing on it's use in a rock guitar context, we are going to look at a few different ways to play this scale. We are than going to take each of these different approaches and play them in the styles of some rock guitarists that you already know. Our understanding of how to play this scale in these different ways sets a strong foundation for us to expand on this never ending concept. Make sure before practicing any of these examples that you refresh your knowledge of the notes on the guitar neck, as this is crucial to moving through this chapter effectively.

It is also important to note that the examples used in this lesson are not as broken down in explanation; as the focus is more on the scales themselves. The examples are more of a bonus to test your ability and demonstration. Feel free to try all of these when you feel you have a good grasp on the material.