Music Scales: Subsets of the Alphabet

Music scales are a set of notes that we choose to use for a particular song. These notes are chosen because they sound good together. Different cultures have different scales that they use more. The most common to most of us is the major scale.

To form a scale, we proceed through the alphabet choosing notes that go together to achieve a particular sounding set. Most of the time we do this by putting together 'whole steps' and 'half steps'.

To read more on this, let's start with major scales.

Major Scales

In this lesson we cover how to put together scales by starting with the simplest one, the major scale. A major scale is put together using whole steps and half steps in a particular regular pattern.

Minor Scales

Minor scales are different than major scales in the fact that there is no one "right" minor scale. Minor refers to the fact that the 3rd degree (or 3rd note in the scale) is a half step lower than it is in the major scale. The other members of this scale can change to get different effects while still maintaining a "minor" sound.

Pentatonic Scales

In this lesson we'll cover the infamous pentatonic scales. Pentatonic is a word that comes from the Greek 'penta' meaning five and 'tonic' referring to tone. Quite literally, a pentatonic scale is one that is made of only five notes. There are two main forms of pentatonics: minor and major.

3 Best Ways to Learn and Practice Scales

In this lesson (with video) we'll talk about the 3 Best Ways to Learn scales and the best way to practice them so that they'll stick with you long term. Those are: Play It, Say It, and Do Both. Each has their own benefit and advantage, but all three are great for helping you master any scale or key you need.

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Hope this helps! Practice hard and let me know if you have any questions!

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