The Major Scale

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Fig. 1: The Major Scale

The major scale contains 7 notes and is the basic building block of all western music. The tab below shows the major scale beginning on C (3rd fret of the A string). Beginning with C makes the scale the C major scale which notes are as follows: C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Then it can start all over again beginning with the next C (called an octave- which is the 1st fret on the B string in the tab below).

Fig. 2: Extended Major Scale

The 7 notes of the major scale repeat over and over. This tab shows all the notes from the major scale when playing in the open C position.

Fig. 3: Pentatonic Major

The major pentatonic scale may be thought of as a an incomplete major scale. Pentatonic scales lack the most dissonant intervals- it omits the 4th and 7th scale steps.  It has a unique character and is widely used because of ease, but things start falling apart when we start talking about theory or chord variations.

Fig. 4

This table will help you learn the scale steps for C major.

C D E F G A B
1 2 3 4 5 6 7