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Major Scales…The Mother of Music Scales

Discover all the major scales. These scales are all interconnected and each scale is made from two other scales. They are also the mother scale for many other scales.

However were not going to get into the other scales that come from this scale on this page.

These scales are all identical except for the pitch. In other words every one of these scales are built using the same intervals.

Because they are made from each other you will see the same notes and chords in a few scales.

The Major Scale Layout

All of these major scales come from our music alphabet of 12 notes and like I said up above.

Each scale is two halves of two other scales.

Every scale has the same interval layout just in a different pitch.

The numbers above represent the distance or interval between each note, this is also the number of frets apart.

The C Scale Construction

The first four notes of this scale came from the key of F. The last four notes of the C scale come from the key of G.

Tetra Chords – Major Scales

I learned about Tetra-chords from my old Mel Bay lesson books and they helped me understand how all the keys work together.

Tetra-chords are four note sections that make up the major scale. Each scale has two of these which come from two different scales.

The first one comes from the last tetra-chord of the key listed and the
second one comes from the first tetrachord of the scale listed.

If you follow this list from top to bottom you have the circle of 4ths. This is good to know because many common chord change are 4ths apart.

If you follow the list from the bottom up you have the circle of 5ths another good thing to know for chord changes.

The last column is for the tetra-chord image below this list.

Key

1st Tetrachord

Key

2nd Tetrachord

Key

Add sections

F

F G A B♭

B♭

C D E F

C

12 & 1

B♭

B♭ C D E♭

E♭

F G A B♭

F

11 & 12

E♭

E♭ F G A♭

A♭

B♭ C D E♭

B♭

10 & 11

A♭

A♭ B♭ C D♭

D♭

E♭ F G A♭

E♭

9 & 10

D♭

D♭ E♭ F G♭

G♭

A♭ B♭ C D♭

A♭

8 & 9

C♯

C♯ D♯ E♯ F♯

F♯

G♯ A♯ B♯ C♯

G♯

8 & 9

G♭

G♭ A♭ B♭ C♭

C♭

D♭ E♭ F G♭

D♭

7 & 8

F♯

F♯ G♯ A♯ B

B

C♯ D♯ E♯ F♯

C♯

7 & 8

B

B C♯ D♯ E

E

F♯ G♯ A♯ B

F♯

6 & 7

E

E F♯ G♯ A

A

B C♯ D♯ E

B

5 & 6

A

A B C♯ D

D

E F♯ G♯ A

E

4 & 5

This image might help you visualize the tetrachord idea.

If you follow the segments to the right or clockwise you have the circle of 4ths if you go the opposite way you have the circle of 5ths. These are both good to know for chord changes.

Major Scale Numbering System

All major scales have numbers that go with the notes for easy identification. You will find out later that this way of referring to numbers makes it possible to refer to all scales and chords no matter what key you are in.

Usually this is used to refer to the chords but it is also our way of building our chords from scales. When referring to chords the numbers are usually written in Roman numerals, upper case for major chords and lower case for minor chords.

This way you can play the chords in any key

I write these Roman Numerals in on sheet music chords to make it easier to play in other keys.

For example if you have a Dm7 chord in the key of C I write ii7 next to it. The lower case is for minor and the upper case is for major.

If you wanted to play the song in G you would play an Am7 chord. Am is the two chord in G.

The Twelve Major Scales

C Major

The first will be the C scale because this is the easiest key with no sharps or flats.

The C Scale

F Major

This scale is a 4th away from C and it has one flat in it.

The F Scale

B Flat Major

This scale is a 4th away from F and it has two flats in it.

The B Flat Scale

E Flat Major

This scale is a 4th away from B flat and it has three flats in it.

The E Flat Scale

A Flat Major

This scale is a 4th away from E flat and it has four flats in it.

The A Flat Scale

D Flat Major

This scale is a 4th away from A flat and it has five flats in it.

The D Flat Scale

G Flat Major

This scale is a 4th away from D flat and it has six flats in it.

The G Flat Scale

F Sharp Major

This scale is equal to G flat but written in F#, it has six sharps in it.

The F Sharp Scale

B Major

This scale is a 4th away from F Sharp and it has five sharps in it.

The B Scale

E Major

This scale is a 4th away from B and it has four sharps in it.

The E Scale

A Major

This scale is a 4th away from E and it has three sharps in it.

The A Scale

D Major

This scale is a 4th away from A and it has two sharps in it.

The D Scale

G Major

This scale is a 4th away from D and it has one sharp in it.

The G Scale