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Watch the Ionian online guitar lesson by Robbie Calvo from Modal Expose

The A major scale from A to A

In this lesson I'll be showing you how to build the first chord in the key of A, the A major triad and the A major 7th chord. You'll learn that chords are built by stacking 3rd intervals. Here's a visual picture of that statement. A B C# D E F# G# A. As you can see the bold letters are a 3rd above the previous bold note. This is how chords are constructed from the major scale. This is called harmonizing the major scale.

Those single notes make up the chord and are also the chord arpeggio. These are the strongest tones to resolve to when improvising using the A major scale over the A major chords because they are in the chord. This is what I refer to as the sweet notes.

We can play the A major 7th arpeggio in position from our scale shape too so let's do that over the backing track. Sounds strong doesn't it.

Lets hear the Scale now over the chords. You'll hear that the scale played A to A over the chord sounds great. That's because we've built the chord from those tones. You can hear that the scale works but you still need to make sure you resolve to the chord tones, A C# E G#.