Tutorials

Beginner Major Scales

Pegwill

Member
Messages
56
Hi
Having just ordered an alto, something I always wished I could play and have now finally taken the plunge. I thought I'd do a bit of research while waiting for it to be delivered. One of the important things I think I have managed to pick up is the use of scales. I have done some research on the net and through this forum but seem to be unable to find out what are the 12 major scales. I downloaded two or three documents titled major scales, one only has 9 the other has 15. so I'm confused. Could somebody please confirm that the 12 major scales are as follows:

C,G,D,A
E, B, F#,C#
F, Bb,Eb,Ab

I'm sure there is a more elegant way of listing them, you know like Every, Good, Boy etc but I didn't come across that either.
Many thanks
Regards
Bill
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,004
Location
Just north of Munich
Going the way you're going, there are many starting points for scales, and the scales can be major, minor, and quite a number of other different ones (known as modes) based on the same note sequences, but with different starting points. To compound things there are blues scales, pentatonic scales based on 5 notes and more. There's a lot of good info on Pete's reference pages, also on wikipedia and www.dolmetsch.com and other web sites.

The starting points follow the notes on the piano keyboard:

A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#

However the sharp representations shown above are alternately named flats for the note above them:

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

Some names are more frequently used than others in scale names - Bb, not A# for instance.

Do a web search for circle of fifths (or circle of fourths, which is more useful for much of our needs), and it shows the sequence of the keys and why that sequence is applied.

When the sax arrives, concentrate on the simpler scales at work up. C is a good starting point, as it doesn't use any sharps or flats. Then progress to the one sharp key, G and the one flat key, F.
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Bill, go on first to Petes site where you will find tons of info, some you may understand some you will not but also check out Jazzwise's site, they have some free downloads on the left hand scroll bar down the bottom, there is tons of info there. Also they are really great guys and you can buy loads of stuff as well to help your playing.
I would suggest though get a teacher cos really one of the problems if you learn on your own is that you don't really know what it is that you need to learn if that makes sense. Hope this helps. Phil
 

Phil Edwards

Senior Member
Messages
1,335
Location
East Sussex
Do a web search for circle of fifths (or circle of fourths, which is more useful for much of our needs), and it shows the sequence of the keys and why that sequence is applied.

When the sax arrives, concentrate on the simpler scales at work up. C is a good starting point, as it doesn't use any sharps or flats. Then progress to the one sharp key, G and the one flat key, F.
Cycle of 5ths in Jazz

A good starting point.

regards, Phil
 
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Pegwill

Member
Messages
56
Hi Guys
Many thanks for all your suggestions. I'll do some more investigations.

Regards

Bill
 
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