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  • Major Scales in Detail






    Understanding the Major Scale is Essential learning for all Guitarists. It begins on a root note (the key note) and extends through 7 notes that relate strongly harmonically to the root note before resolving itself on another root note an Octave (8th note) higher. The distances between each note in the scale are called intervals and it is these that define it's sound so significantly. Try playing this scale on the guitar with the help of the lesson video and see how it sounds:

  • The Sound of the Major Scale

    Understanding the Major Scale is Essential learning for all Guitarists. It begins on a root note (the key note) and extends through 7 notes that relate strongly harmonically to the root note before resolving itself on another root note an Octave (8th note) higher. The distances between each note in the scale are called intervals and it is these that define its sound so significantly. Try playing this scale on the guitar with the help of the lesson video and see how it sounds:.

    C Major Scale Photo      


  • Structure of the Major Scale

    As I said before the intervals between the notes are what give the major scale its distinctive sound. It is important to learn the intervals between the notes so that you can work out a Major scale in any position on your instrument. In order to visualise this clearly i recommend that you try playing a scale up one string on the guitar so that you can see the intervals.

    C Major Scale Photo    

    All of the intervals in a major scale are two notes apart (Tone) except in two places, between notes 3 and 4 and between notes 7 and 8 where the notes are next to each other (semi tones). For a more detailed explanation of this have a look at:

  • 2 Octave Major Scale

    The Major Scale can also be played in two octaves and this is an extremely useful scale to learn. Many technical exercises that lead on to improvising refer back to the two octave major scale so it is a must know scale! Here it is below also in the key of C:

    C Major Scale Photo   


    Once you have learned the major scale in C it is then easy to move it around into other keys. The other major scale videos on this site are in the key of G to demonstrate this and are well worth looking at if you need help opening up the fretboard and playing in different positions. You will find that one of the benefits of the guitar is that it is very easy to change keys as the shapes of all the scales and chords remains the same!