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Watch the The Major Scale online guitar lesson by Robbie Calvo from Guitar Interactives


Why is the major scale so important to us as guitarists and musicians? Well, because our triads, 7th chords and extensions, slash chords, arpeggio’s, modes and major / minor pentatonics are all derived from this 7 note scale...pretty important stuff to know!

First Form Scale Shape: Play a scale shape at 3rd fret. Practice the scale shape over the drum groove track and drum and G bass note track.

Formula: The Major scale in every key is built by adhering to a specific scale formula. That formula is this; whole - whole - half - whole - whole - whole - half. Whole refers to a whole tone, or 2 frets distance on your guitar and Half refers to a half step or one fret on your guitar.

Intervals: The distance in pitch between two tones is called an interval. Here’s a list of the intervals from the tonic (root) to each note of the major scale.

Major 2nd

Major 3rd

Perfect 4th

Perfect 5th

Major 6th

Major 7th

Perfect 8th or Octave.

Harmonizing the Major Scale: Harmonizing the major scale means that we are using the seven notes of the major scale to build chords. These chords we’ll then use to create chord progressions.

We are going to harmonize the major scale in 5 phases so that you can see how adding additional notes or voices to a chord can change it’s quality and function. We are going to start with 2 note chords - Diads.