03scales

03scales

Review: Theory Of The Chromatic Scale

Remember, the master scale in the world of music is the chromatic scale. Think of the chromatic scale as playing every single black and white key, in order, on a keyboard. In one octave of the chromatic scale there are 12 notes. The notes of the chromatic scale are seperated from each other by an interval of one half step. In the example below you would start on G and play each and every note until you arrived at the next “G” you have played the G chromatic scale.

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Any scale derives its sound, and is defined by the distance between the note in the scale, this is called its scale formula. The formula for the chromatic scale could be expressed as:

1/2 – 1/2 – 1/2 – 1/2 – 1/2 – 1/2 – 1/2 – 1/2 – 1/2 – 1/2 – 1/2

The spelling for the chromatic scale, beginning and ending on “A” for purposes of instruction, looks like this:

A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A

If any of the music theory in this course is the slightest bit confusing, please refer to and work through my music theory course.

Theory Of The G Major Scale


Like all major scales, the G major scale is defined by the distances between the individual notes which make up the scales. Of course, you noticed the addition of F# (not F natural) as the 7th degree of the scale. The demand for the F# is created by the formula for the major scale which states there must be a half step between the 7th and 8th degrees of the scale.The scale solfege syllables (Do – Re – Mi), spelling and formula for the G major scale are illustrated below:

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To play a major scale in the key of G major we would, of course, begin and end the scale on the “G” root note. All notes in the scale are seperated by the distance of a Whole Step except for the 3rd and 4th, Mi-Fa (B-C) and the 7th and 8th, Ti-Do (F#-G) which are seperated by the distance of a 1/2 Step. Use the animations at right and above to play the G major scale on your guitar and keyboard.

The major scale formula is clearly visible and easily understood by playing scale the open “G” string and sliding up the string with one finger, going higher and higher in pitch. While you’re doing this you’re saying, playing and listening for the correct and expected sound of “Do – Re – Mi”.

Open Position G Major Scales

Just as the C major scale was learned as a comnmon knowledge, open position fingering pattern spanning all six strings the G major scale also has a classic, well known, industry standard fingering pattern associated with it.Unlike the C scale pattern in the open position, also called position one, this scale pattern covers a musical range of two complete octaves. When properly played the familiar ‘tune’ of the scale: “Do – Re – Mi – Fa – Sol -La – Ti – Do” will be heard twice.

I suggest you study each one of the two octaves that make up the pattern individually, below is a graphic for visualization purposes, to the right there is an interactive trainer to drive it all home.SCX3a

The second octave of the scale is illustrated below. Charts, diagrams and graphic organizers are critical to the learning process. At right, there is an interactive trainer to drive it all home.SCX3b

Two Octave G Major Scale: Open Position

To the right you see the all time, classic, common knowledge G major scale pattern illustrated in the open position, also called the first position or position one. Use this diagram to familiarize yourself with the pattern and then to memorize the pattern. If you can, say,sing or think of the “Do – Re – Mi” names of the notes as you play them. In the world of teaching, organizing and understanding the guitar, this scale pattern is called the G Type.
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G Major Scale Training Exercise

Below you see a training exercise that is meant to be played along with, in perfect unison, by you with your guitar. As with the C major scale exercise, this one is designed to teach you how to hear the notes in the scale pattern in relationship to the root note of the scale, in this case “G”. Before attempting to duplicate the exercise, listen to the excerpt once or twice, then try playing it slowly and perfectly all by yourself before your play along practice.

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G Major Melodic Study

Below you see a tyraining exercise that is m
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Advanced Printed Study

Click on this link to open a full length transcrirtion arranged for finger style guitar or for guitar duet.

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