Scales - What are they?
Scales are basically a set of notes that follow on from each other. There are twelve notes in music. The seven main notes, which are named A to G (A,B,C,D,E,F,G) and the intermediate notes which are named after the main notes but with either a sharp (#) or flat (b) sign after them. Before we start there are a couple of important concepts to understand.
Sharp and Flats
Whether a note is sharp or flat depends on the scale it’s related to. All sharp notes are also flat. I can hear your brain whirring already, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. For the moment all you need to remember is that D# is the same note as Eb and that there are two notes that are generally considered not to have sharps which are B and E. There are also two notes that don’t have a flat, C and F (I say generally considered because in pure theory you can have a C flat but most people don’t use it as such, they just say B because it’s easier).
Scale patterns are, in short, mechanisms for you to work out the notes of a scale when you don’t actually know what they are.
Whilst there are many, I’m going to deal with the two main ones which are used for the majority of western music. The major scale pattern and the natural minor scale pattern. Much of what follows, certainly the section on scale spellings, is derived from the major scale. This means if you know the major scale pattern and then the scale spelling (see next section) of a particular scale, you can work out the notes in that scale completely from scratch.
So, onto the scales themselves. Let’s keep it easy and start with C Major. What a major scale is and why we’re starting on C will become evident as we go along.
Below is a video lesson outlining the RGT Preliminary grade scale requirements for the electric guitar syllabus.
Online Lessons - Home
Scales - what are they?
Natural Minor Scale
Major 7th Chords
Minor 7th Chords
Dominant 7th Chords
Minor 7th Flat 5 Chords