Understanding The Major Scale

Guitar Theory, Ear Training, & Reading

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In this beginner guitar lesson, we're going to go over the theory behind the major scale. Music theory can be an intimidating subject for newer guitar players, but in this lesson we will break it down into bite-sized pieces and take it nice and slow.

You may need to review some of the basic fundamentals of music theory to get the most out of this lesson. You'll need a good understanding of the natural musical alphabet, half-steps & whole steps, sharps & flats, and the BC & EF rule.

The Major Scale Formula

The major scale formula is just a series of whole-steps and half-steps. It may sound confusing, but the major scale follows this simple pattern:

Major Scale Formula

Pro Tip: Whole-steps are often represented by the letter W. Half-steps are represented by the letter H.

Key Of G Major

We'll apply this pattern to a key. In this case, the key of G major. We'll start off on a G note.

Key Of G Major

Pro Tip: There is a sharp or flat between every note in the natural musical alphabet except for B & C and E & F.

Key Of D Major

To help you wrap your head around these concepts we'll try applying the major scale formula to another key. For the key of D major, you'll start on a D note.

Key Of D Major