Music Scales Theory

Major & Minor Scales

We will look at the definition of a music scale, different types of scales, and the characteristics that set them apart. This is a Landing Page which gives a brief overview of Topics for discussion. Please follow the links for comprehensive information relating to each topic...

C Major Scale
C Major Scale

A music scale is a series of notes placed in alphabetical order. They are the basis of all types of music and melody. The most commonly used scales in music are the major and minor scales. Knowledge of scales gives you the basis for understanding chords and also come in very handy in the art of improvisation.

With a good understanding of music scales comes a better understanding of your instrument of choice, including vocals. By playing scales, you are training your ear to recognize the difference between different types of scales, e.g., the difference in sound of a major scale as opposed to a minor scale, or the difference between a melodic minor and harmonic minor scale.

By learning scales you begin to master your instrument. This is especially helpful for guitarists. You will be able to play scales in a variety of positions on the fretboard. You will also get to know the notes on all the different strings which will improve the speed and accuracy of your playing style.

Music Scales

Music Scales

We discuss the following:

  • what is a music scale?
  • diatonic and chromatic scales?
  • major scales?
  • minor scales - natural or relative minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor scales
  • what is a tonic?
  • how is a key signature formed?
  • how to work out a major key from a key signature?
  • rules for music scales?
  • technical names of scale degrees - the technical names for each note in a music scale?... more

Major Scales

We discuss the following:
  • what is a major scale?
  • video - major scale using tones and semitones
  • Music Chart: a list of all the major scales, their sharps and flats and also the order of sharps and flats...free download
  • the meaning of enharmonic?
  • video - calculating a major scale using the circle of fifths... more

Minor Scales

We discuss the following:
  • what is a minor scale?
  • the most common minor scales
  • how do the minor scales differ from each other?
  • video - minor scales
  • video - harmonic minor scales
  • video - melodic minor scales
  • Music Charts: major scales and their relative minor scales...free download
  • video - creating a circle of fifths
  • video - using a circle of fifths for minor keys... more
P.S.

It is very important to develop a good understanding of Music Scales if you are serious about your music. There are some awesome talents out there that play instruments without any knowledge of music theory. They have an amazing ear and instinctively know what notes to play because of the sounds they make.

However, for the many musicians that don't fall into this category, it can be extremely beneficial to know your music scales. You may fight it for years, but once you take action and learn them, you'll wonder why you hadn't done it sooner.

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