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17: Major Scale 1-8

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Lesson 17: Major Scale 1-8

This lesson teaches the major scale (all 8 degrees).

Before taking this lesson, you should know the first 5 degrees of the major scale. You can test yourself with Lesson 12: Major 1-5 Games.

Below are the distances between degrees 1-8 of the major scale, adding degrees 6-7-8 to degrees 1-5 which you already know. Note, a major scale only has 7 different pitch names; degree 8 is just a repeat of degree 1, but it's traditional to "finish off" scales this way by returning to the starting note (an octave higher).

1
whole-
step
2
whole-
step
3
half-
step
4
whole-
step
5
whole-
step
6
whole-
step
7
half-
step
8

These new distances are simple: 5-6 and 6-7 are more whole-steps, but 7-8 has to be a half-step in order to end on degree 8 (because degree 8 is the same pitch-name as degree 1).

Now study the following examples. Make sure you understand why these scales contain these exact pitches:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B♭ major scale 1-8: B♭-C-D-E♭-F-G-A-B♭


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B major scale 1-8: B-C♯-D♯-E-F♯-G♯-A♯-B


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
D♭ major scale 1-8: D♭-E♭-F-G♭-A♭-B♭-C-D♭

For reference, here are the pitches in the common major scales:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
A♭B♭C D♭E♭FGA♭
ABC♯ DEF♯G♯A
B♭CD E♭FGAB♭
BC♯D♯ EF♯G♯A♯B
CDE FGABC
D♭E♭F G♭A♭B♭C D♭
DEF♯ GABC♯D
E♭FG A♭B♭CDE♭
EF♯G♯ ABC♯D♯E
FGA B♭CDEF
F♯G♯ A♯BC♯D♯ E♯F♯
G♭A♭ B♭C♭D♭E♭ FG♭
GAB CDEF♯G

Next:
Practice these major scales in Lesson 18: Major Scale Games.

Lessons

1: Introduction
2: Practicing Songwriting
3: Pitch Names
4: Letters Game
5: Sharps & Flats
6: Half-Steps & Whole-Steps
7: Steps Game
8: Scales
9: Major Scale 1-2-3
10: Major 1-2-3 Games
11: Major Scale 1-5
12: Major 1-5 Games
13: Chords: Major Triads
14: Major Triad Games
15: Minor Triads
16: Minor Triad Games
17: Major Scale 1-8
18: Major Scale Games
19: Keys
20: Roman Numeral Chords
21: Scales Above 8
22: Diatonic Triads
23: Using Diatonics
24: Tonic Function
25: Subdominant & Dominant
26: Diatonic Function Analysis
27: Natural Minor Scale
28: Natural Minor Games
29: Minor Key Triads
30: 7th Chords
31: 7ths Games
32: Suspended-4th Chords
33: Time: Beats & Measures
34: Starting a Song: Hook Chords
35: Melody: Chord Tones
36: Treble Staff
37: Treble Staff Game
38: Note Lengths
39: Tied & Dotted Notes
40: Rhythm: Rests
41: Key Signatures
42: Diatonic 7ths
43: Non-Root-Bass Chords
44: Major Pentatonic Scale
45: Embellishing Tones
46: Melody Rhythm: Rolling Stone
47: Pitch & Frequency

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