The Major Scale Chart: Part 1 [All Areas / Any Style / Theory]

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The Major Scale Chart: Part 1

This lesson is a branch from Area 4 from the Playbook for Beginners and Beyond main lesson. Visit the main lesson to see my philosophy on the five different areas of learning to play.

I know, I know. It's everywhere and all been done before. It seems like we instructors just seem to pound in this idea of the major scale. Well, we should!

But here is the idea presented maybe in a different way. I wanted to create a chart that was simple to read and understand what the basics of music are without getting too wordy with theory language. Read each line of the chart from left to right.

I almost wasn't sure how I was going to rate this lesson. Yes, it is material for beginning players. But if you're an intermediate or advanced player and you don't understand this, don't be so proud that you don't back up and take a serious look at this stuff and miss this trip. This will advance you're playing like nothing has before.

This is a study of the basics of music and what flows together. It starts at the very beginning, Do, Re, Mi, etc. Then to add to your musicianship it's uber important to understand the intervals involved with the major scale. Why? Well for one, all other scales are derived from this. It's not just that the other scales are derived from this, it's that when musicians talk about other scales, the language they speak is how these other scales are modified from the the major scale.

Here in Part 1 we're going to concentrate only on the meat of the information in this chart. What's the chart basically all about?

Do Re Mi


Play the note scale

Play the chord scale

See and hear the connection

Sing or hum as you play

Read all of the chart, but at this point only see what we're concentrating on in this lesson. We'll dive into the other areas of the chart in Parts 2, 3 and 4.


The chart may be too small to read here, so I've attached a .pdf below.

Do Re Mi

It all starts at the beginning with the note names and their intervals. The most important aspect of all of this is that you understand the intervals between the notes. The interval names (Tone and Semi-tone) could also be called a full- and a half-step. Notice on the chart that under the interval names there is a reference as to what that means on the fretboard. So a Tone becomes 2 Frets and a Semi-tone is 1 Fret.

In a picture:


At this point, if you're an absolute beginner or a beginner then stay right here and get this. Play the major scale as shown on this fretboard while you're singing Do Re Mi. Notice the intervals.

For beginners and intermediates, play the major scale in the key of C in the first, or open, position. Do the same: notice the intervals and sing or hum Do Re Mi to yourself.


For all level of players, after playing the C major scale, play the C major 'chord scale' (C, Dm, Em, F, etc.)

Do Re Mi


Play the note scale

Play the chord scale

See and hear the connection

Sing or hum as you play

The m7b5 Chord

There are two basic shapes to play this on the neck:

........x2323x... and ...xx4555


The easiest way to find them is this: look for the E and A strings for anchors. When you've found the 7th degree scale note (B, in the key of C for example) that is where the chord form begins on the A string (the x2323x form). For the xx4555 form, find the 7th degree scale note (F#, in the key of G for example) on the E string. Then play that same note one octave higher on the D string. This is where the formation begins.

Move on and play the D major note scale and then the D major 'chord scale' when you feel ready.

Ready to move on to The Major Scale Chart: Part II? We're going to expand on the knowledge we learned in this lesson. We take the knowledge of the musical and alphabetical rules and continue with the other information in the chart. Thanks for staying with me so far.


The Major Scale Chart.pdf

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