Major Scales – Music’s Most Fundamental Tidbits

major scalesIn the world of guitar playing music, the major scales is usually the foundation of any songs. So why is this scale so important? The answer is simple.

All other bass guitar scales and chords can be traced back to or derived from the major scales. Even though the major scale is the most critical scale to learn in music, it is also the easiest one to understand and pick up. The major scale forms the basis of all Western music.

First off, you need to learn the difference between the two primary types of scales; the major scale, and the minor scale. The major scale is a powerful, upbeat and uplifting sounding scale. The minor scale is sad, frail and delicate sounding.

A Major Scale is Built of the Following Formula

Whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step

This formula refers to the amount of whole steps (note to note) and half steps (note to accidental note) in every major key. Using this formula, let’s create the first four basic major keys; A, B, C, and D.

First, let’s start with A. Starting at A, according to the pattern, we need to move a whole step, which brings us to B (A#, B). Next, we need to move a further whole step. This brings us to the note C# (C, C#). This is because the note B is the only note besides E which does not contain an accidental.

Next up, we need to move a half step from C#, which brings us to D (D). A whole step will now bring us to E (D#, E) and then another whole step will bring us to F# (F, F#). A third whole step will bring us to G# (G, G#) and finally a half step will bring us home to A.

Let’s Apply the Same Formula to the Keys B, C, and D.

B Major: B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#
B, C# (C, C#), D# (D, D#), E (E), F# (F, F#), G# (G, G#), A# (A, A#)

C Major: C, D, E, F, G, A, B
C, D (C#, D), E (D#, E), F (F), G (F#, G), A (G#, A), B (B)

D Major: D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#
D, E (D#, E) F# (F, F#), G (G), A (G#, A), B (A#, B), C# (C, C#)

To sum up this lesson, it is MANDATORY to understand the theory behind what a scale consists of in order to learn them. Get yourself familiar with playing in different keys on the bass guitar and practice the scales often. It does wonders to your understanding of the fretboard as well. : )



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