understanding major and minor scales pdf

Understanding Major And Minor Scales Pdf

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While major scales have their place in the joyful, the bright, and the hopeful, minor keys are the mastermind behind the music that tears at your heartstrings. Best of all, minor keys do not limit you to songs that are exclusively sad and wistful; you can just as easily evoke feelings of mystery, dread, tension, and even hope and optimism. Believe it or not, countless pop songs are written in minor keys!

Music Fundamentals

Click on the video to view. Now that we know that a major scale is made up of a particular pattern of intervals between the notes W W h W W W h , let's test the formula by building a major scale on the note A, starting with the open A … In order to understand how this was constructed, we need to look at each note: F G A Bb C D E F. Notice that there is a note called Bb or B flat. This is called the root note. Using the major scale formula, we can build a major scale on any note. The reason why it is called Bb, is because the distance between the notes A and B steps 3 and 4 is a whole step. Using this formula, say we wanted to figure out the C major scale.

In Western music , the adjectives major and minor may describe a chord , scale , or key. As such, a composition , movement , section , or phrase may be referred to by its key, including whether that key is major or minor. Some intervals may be referred to as major and minor. A major interval is one semitone larger than a minor interval. The words perfect , diminished , and augmented are also used to describe the quality of an interval. Only the intervals of a second, third, sixth, and seventh and the compound intervals based on them may be major or minor or, rarely, diminished or augmented.

Relative Major and Minor Scales

The major and minor scales are an essential step in learning jazz piano. They provide a pool of notes for you to choose from when improvising and set the foundations for further modal scale study. The 12 major scales provide the foundation for further scales study. Learn these scales thoroughly so that you can play them by memory. There are 3 types of minor scale: natural minor, melodic minor and harmonic minor. Each scale has a different use and application in jazz piano.

Piano scales are an important part of developing your playing skills and understanding the building blocks of music. They help enormously to understand key signatures. If you have ever wondered why pianists play them, how they work and what the benefits are then you are in the right place. With a simple formula you will learn to play major, minor and blues scales. A scale is a collection of related notes moving in a stepwise sequence, like a ladder.


School of Music. MAJOR AND MINOR SCALES. HALF AND WHOLE STEPS: half​-step - two keys (and therefore notes/pitches) that are adjacent on the piano.


Major and minor

Now for the best part. You can print off each guide totally free! You can also click here to browse the complete list of guides at the bottom of this post. This guide will help you keep them straight.

Understanding piano scales: major, minor and blues scales

A minor scale's third note is always a half-step lower than the third note of the major scale. These three types of minor scales should be thought of like flavors of ice cream; ice cream is still ice cream regardless of whether it is chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, etc. Instead, these are useful categories primarily for instrumental performers—learning to play the different types of minor scales on instruments allows performers to become familiar with the minor patterns most commonly used in Western classical music. Minor scales are named for their first note, which is also their last note—just like major scales. Be sure to include any accidentals that apply to this note in its name.

Each major key uses a different set of notes its major scale. In each major scale, however, the notes are arranged in the same major scale pattern and build the same types of chords that have the same relationships with each other. See Beginning Harmonic Analysis for more on this. So music that is in, for example, C major, will not sound significantly different from music that is in, say, D major. But music that is in D minor will have a different quality, because the notes in the minor scale follow a different pattern and so have different relationships with each other. Music in minor keys has a different sound and emotional feel, and develops differently harmonically.

Every major scale has a relative minor scale , and every minor scale a relative major. For example, the C major scale and the A minor scale are relative scales. They have the same exact group of notes only their root note is different. Don't let different fingerings for the same set of notes confuse you. There are lots of ways to play the same group of notes across the fretboard.


The major scale is a specific pattern of small steps (called half steps) and larger It is important to understand that major and minor scales always use all the.


Scale Degree Names

Below is a guitar scales chart for the major scales and another for the minor scales. The root notes are highlighted in blue with a square box. They cover the whole fretboard up to the 24th fret. The scales to learn first depend on firstly on what style of music you play. I play a lot of rock and metal music, which is often in minor keys, so I learned some minor scales first. If you play other styles you may want to learn major first. You get two for the price of one!

The Ultimate Guide to Minor Keys

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Minor Scales, Scale Degrees, and Key Signatures

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