Major Scale Patterns


Music is full of patterns. If you're a beginner to the piano, here is the pattern or recipe, if you will, used to create Major Scales. Remember this saying and you're on your way to playing Major Scales:

"A half step is from KEY TO KEY with NO keys in between,
A whole step always SKIPS a key with one key in between"

First, you have the white keys:

C major
D major
E major
F major
G major
A major
B major

Then you have the black keys called "sharps" or "flats":

C Sharp or D flat
D Sharp or E flat
F Sharp or G flat
G Sharp or A flat
A Sharp or B flat

Whole steps and half steps describe distance in music. That is, the distance in notes from one key to another.
So, a "whole" step always skips a key. A "half" step never skips a key.

1 Whole Step = 2 keys
1 Half Step = 1 key

C to D = 1 whole step
C to E = 2 whole steps

* The Major Scale pattern is as follow:

w - w - h - w - w - w - h


Whole Step = "w" and Half Step = "h"

* In major scales, each note is played separately.

In C major:

1. The starting note is C
2. One whole step up is D (w)
3. Another whole step up is E (w)
4. One half step up is F (h)
5. One whole step up is G (w)
6. Another whole step up is A (w)
7. Another whole step up is B (w)
8. One half step up is C (h)

More Examples:

D major:

1) Starting note = D
2) 1 whole step up = E
3) 1 whole step up = F#
4) 1 half step up = G
5) 1 whole step up = A
6) 1 whole step up = B
7) 1 whole step up = C#
8) 1 half step up = D

E major:

1) Starting note = E
2) 1 whole step up = F#
3) 1 whole step up = G#
4) 1 half step up = A
5) 1 whole step up = B
6) 1 whole step up = C#
7) 1 whole step up = D#
8) 1 half step up = E

F major:

1) Starting note = F
2) 1 whole step up = G
3) 1 whole step up = A
4) 1 half step up = Bb
5) 1 whole step up = C
6) 1 whole step up = D
7) 1 whole step up = E
8) 1 half step up = F

G major:

1) Starting note = G
2) 1 whole step up = A
3) 1 whole step up = B
4) 1 half step up = C
5) 1 whole step up = D
6) 1 whole step up = E
7) 1 whole step up = F#
8) 1 half step up = G

A major:

1) Starting note = A
2) 1 whole step up = B
3) 1 whole step up = C#
4) 1 half step up = D
5) 1 whole step up = E
6) 1 whole step up = F#
7) 1 whole step up = G#
8) 1 half step up = A

There are 12 major scales; one for every major key on the piano. Now you can use the above formula, pattern or recipe for playing major scales!


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