• Major Scales Workshop #1

    in Scales

    Well, let’s get to work!


    Piano Lessons Workshop #1: Major Scales (i)

    In music, there is a pattern for everything! I’m going to teach you the pattern used to create major scales.

    First, let’s start with the basics. There are 12 major scales; one for every major key on the piano

    You have the white keys:

    C major
    D major
    E major
    F major
    G major
    A major
    B major

    … and then you have the black keys (called “sharps” or “flats”):

    C Sharp or D flat
    D Sharp or E flat
    F Sharp or G flat
    G Sharp or A flat
    A Sharp or B flat

    Today, we will learn how to form the following major scales:

    (1) C Major Scale
    (2) D Major Scale
    (3) E Major Scale
    (4) F Major Scale
    (5) G Major Scale
    (6) A Major Scale

    In order to form major scales, you have to understand the concept of “whole steps and half steps.” I have a free piano lesson on “whole and half step intervals” at: http://www.hearandplay.com/p2abc3xkpt.html

    … but for the sake of this e-mail lesson, I will recap:

    Whole steps and half steps describe distance in music. That is, the distance in notes from one key to another.

    Whole Step

    A “whole” step always skips a key…

    Half Step

    A “half” step never skips a key…

    Remember this poem:

    “A half step is from KEY TO KEY with NO keys in between,
    A whole step always SKIPS a key with one key in between”


    “D” is 1 whole step higher than “C”

    Why? Because if you start at C and “skip” a key, you’ll arrive at “D”. What key are you skipping? Let’s see:

    C — (skip C#) — D

    However, “C#” is 1 half step higher than “C”

    Why? Because you are NOT skipping any keys to go from “C” to “C#.”

    So essentially:

    1 Whole Step = 2 keys
    1 Half Step = 1 key

    More examples:

    C to D = 1 whole step
    C to E = 2 whole steps

    … and so on.

    (Whole Step = “w” *** Half Step = “h”)

    The Major Scale pattern is as follow:

    w – w – h – w – w – w – h

    Just remember: “Why Won’t He Wear White When Hot” (I made it up… based on a true statement said to me by my wife!)

    This means:

    1. From the starting note, the second note will be 1 (w)hole step higher.

    2. From the second note, the third note will be another whole step higher.

    3. From the third note, the fourth note will be a (h)alf step higher.

    4. From the fourth note, the fifth note will be a whole step higher.

    5. From the fifth tone, the sixth note will be a whole step higher.

    6. From the sixth tone, the seventh tone will also be a whole step higher.

    7. From the seventh tone, the last tone will be only a half step higher.

    In C major:

    1. The starting note is “C”
    2. 1 whole step up is “D” (w)
    3. Another whole step up is “E” (w)
    4. 1 half step up is “F” (h)
    5. 1 whole step up is “G” (w)
    6. Another whole step up is “A” (w)
    7. Another whole step up is “B” (w)
    8. 1 half step up is “C” (h)


    Repeat these 8 steps with the following major scales. The answers are listed below:

    2) D major
    3) E major
    4) F major
    5) G major
    6) A major


    D major:

    1) Starting note = ______
    2) 1 whole step up = ______
    3) 1 whole step up = ______
    4) 1 half step up = _____
    5) 1 whole step up = ______
    6) 1 whole step up = ______
    7) 1 whole step up = ______
    8) 1 half step up = ______

    E major:

    1) Starting note = ______
    2) 1 whole step up = ______
    3) 1 whole step up = ______
    4) 1 half step up = _____
    5) 1 whole step up = ______
    6) 1 whole step up = ______
    7) 1 whole step up = ______
    8) 1 half step up = ______

    F major:

    1) Starting note = ______
    2) 1 whole step up = ______
    3) 1 whole step up = ______
    4) 1 half step up = _____
    5) 1 whole step up = ______
    6) 1 whole step up = ______
    7) 1 whole step up = ______
    8) 1 half step up = ______

    G major:

    1) Starting note = ______
    2) 1 whole step up = ______
    3) 1 whole step up = ______
    4) 1 half step up = _____
    5) 1 whole step up = ______
    6) 1 whole step up = ______
    7) 1 whole step up = ______
    8) 1 half step up = ______

    A major:

    1) Starting note = ______
    2) 1 whole step up = ______
    3) 1 whole step up = ______
    4) 1 half step up = _____
    5) 1 whole step up = ______
    6) 1 whole step up = ______
    7) 1 whole step up = ______
    8) 1 half step up = ______


    Note: Remember, in major scales, each note is played separately. Only in chords are more than 2 notes played at the same time.

    Scales = play each note separately
    Chords = play all notes together

    Here are the answers:

    D major

    D – E – F# – G – A – B – C# – D

    E major

    E – F# – G# – A – B – C# – D# – E

    F major

    F – G – A – Bb – C – D – E – F

    G major

    G – A – B – C – D – E – F# – G

    A major

    A – B – C# – D – E – F# – G# – A


    If you thought this little lesson was informative, imagine what you will learn in my 300-pg piano course? For more information, visit:


    … or call 1-877-856-4187

    Thank you for your time!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!


    { 63 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 kate

    .,this site is so informative.,.this is very useful for those who are inspiring to be a good musicians


    2 ortencia

    Love all this info!! Thank You from my whole heart !! Tomorrow I’m making my order.


    3 Jermaine

    @kate @ortencia: thanks so much! you guys are awesome! there’s so much to learn at this site so make sure to be back regularly!



    4 Michael Hart

    Dear Mr J. Griggs

    I would like to order but would like to be very sure of my exact order: I would like to know whether could I get a package of Gospelkeys101, 202 and the 300 page.

    As soon as we hear from you we would like to order.

    We are communicating to you via the internet cafe, well our small town is a rural one. Otherwise I assure you we are very much delighted and like your products, music etc

    Best regards

    Michael Hart


    5 Jermaine

    @Michael: Hi and thanks for your comment. The closest package we have to that online is http://www.hearandplay.com/tripleorder (but it has GK101, 202, and 300). To get something custom not found on the website, please give us a call at 1-877-856-4187 or use skype to call us at “hearandplay” skype




    Dear Mr. Griggs,

    Thanks so much for your free info. I have been learning to play piano back and forth. To tell you honestly, I am tired of learning with a piano teacher because I know it will take me years so I tried to learn by myself reading notes by myself. I also planned to get a degree in Music to fulfill my desire to be in the Music circle and to be professional but I’m already going 59. I dread going to college with young ones and afraid of being asked to join recitals. Ha,ha,ha. Now I would like to try your techniques and I am very eager to learn and play the piano even at social gatherings or to entertain myself. Ha,ha again. I would like to order soonest. Thanks again and more power to your endeavours.


    7 Jermaine

    @Lourdes: Thanks for taking the time to write! I totally feel where you’re coming from. Stick with it though. It will pay off. You’ve got tons of information here and if you stick with the order in which I lay out stuff at http://www.hearandplay.com/main/lesson-plan-overview you’ll be fine!

    All the best,


    8 Sherin

    Dear Mr. J Griggs
    The site was very much informative.. It explains in a very simple manner how to learn the scales..
    Thank you very much… May God bless you…


    9 bruce

    just ordered one of your christmas lessons and I think it will be fun for me and the children of the church. musicians are expensive so I think we can grow some
    of our own.Thanks for the inspiration and demonstration. Be blessed some more.


    10 Pauline

    Is there a way to print out the lessons so I can take them to the piano?


    11 Bryan

    Still going well. I can’t believe that learning music could be so enjoyable and your tutorials so informative.


    12 Mary

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    13 Bryan

    Hi Jermaine

    Thanks for your email. I have worked through the above lesson and I am a little confused on one point that is in the F major scale 1 whole step up from A I make out to be A sharp but your answer sheet states it is B flat. How is it Bflat?


    14 Sandy

    Hi I find this lesson very useful, I have been playing piano (reading music only) for a number of years, I want to learn the chords so I can enjoy the piano more. I am from the old school of getting my knukles cracked with a ruler if I hit a wrong note, so I am very timid when I do hit a wrong note. I think your course could be helpful. I am in the process of getting a princess grand piano and I want to really learn to play well . thank you Sandy


    15 Joshua

    Bryan: You are correct from a note perspective in thinking that the note is an A#, but it is also a Bb from a purely note perspective. A sharp is one half-step up, and a flat is one half-step down, so one note can be both a sharp and a flat at different times. The key you are in determines which it is. You can either memorize each scale or a handy trick is that each letter (A, Bb, C#…ect) must be used only once. So you can say that because your last note was an A, the next one must be a Bb, not an A#.
    PS It is a half-step from A to Bb.


    16 Cassandra

    You explain it so easily! Thank you! =D


    17 blessing

    i need a tutor note/book for personal tutorial. get me a copy either by post to DEEPER LIFE BIBLE CHURCH, HEADQUATERS,IBTC, LAGOS. NAME:BLESSING CLARKSON. OR Send downloadable materials via my mail. i appreciate u. Thanks.


    18 Athena

    Thanks for this tutorial! It’s very useful…. keep it up


    19 Teresa

    already im finding this website useful.
    that pattern (wwhwwwh)realy helps to figure out scales.


    20 yosef Berhane

    First of all i wanna bless you by the name of the mighty lord ,to speak truely i gain a basic knowledge by this short lesson.
    The Living God bless you richly!


    21 Rebecca

    Thanks for this wonderful website.


    22 chickyysk

    wow! when I found this site, I explored it and found that this site is interesting!! Thanks to Mr. Jermaine Griggs!! Hope that you would be success always..JBU always!! ^-^


    23 CA

    this web site is amazing.
    Thanks for it.
    my greetings


    24 southern vagabond

    I want to begin with the first set of material;

    “Secrets To Playing Piano By Ear” 300pg Course With Bonus Ear Training Software’.

    I live in Africa and I do not have a credit card. Can I pay by wiring the money? i.e. SWIFT TRANSFER. Its the easiest for me, secure and fast. Please give me the bank details so I do my first payment. If I manage to get this first package successfully, I challenge myself [you can do a follow up on me] to buy all your stuff until am so good. I want to learn your skill.

    Second, once the material gets to my country, am I paying tax on it? Would you know?

    God bless



    25 Kenisha

    hey this is great. Before I read this I really didn’t understand the whole step and half step process, and the little quiz was a genius idea because it showed me that I understood it when I actually knew what i was doing. Again thank you.


    26 Anonamous

    i like ur really teaching me piano thankyou thank you


    27 Sierra Womack

    Thank you so much!!!! i’m learning so much in minutes! This is so helpful!


    28 KAFWILA

    I really apreciate this website. can’t really afford the costs for the piano course books or a tutor. thanks alot Mr. Griggs.


    29 martin

    i just want to thank you for this website


    30 Jamaal Sabree



    31 hedrian

    oh! its so Great, at mabuhay ka so very thankful for this website and Free lesson, GOD speed for you!


    32 Evert

    Great! Thanks


    33 chibyk

    the lesson was great. u guys are doing a great job on this site thanks and God bless


    34 jamesmusic

    i love this site. Becouse with this site my music knwoledge will inprove.


    35 Delroy

    Thank you very much this is so informative and I know that this will help in a special way.


    36 Christopher Dresbach

    Thank you very much for this program! Once I get past the free courses and my finances are a little better, I plan on ordering at least the first course. The price is right! I just need a little more work than I now have! I’m sure the Lord will provide.


    37 Margaret

    Hi Jermaine!
    Thank you so much for explaining the concept of “whole steps” and “half step” in such a very informative and skillful manner. I now have a better understanding of the pattern of scales; the explanation has been very helpful to me and I know it would be useful to me as I advance in my(theory and practical examinations).

    Thanks again! I look forward with optimism to the following exercises.


    38 Todd69

    Where is the “b”? It starts on C and ends on A?


    39 manu

    Sir, i get crazy when i read your lessons. I think i’m gonna be a musician soon. Thank you very much.


    40 Jack

    I have a question since the pattern is like foro D major it would go D E F# then its a whole step after that so wouldnt it be G# after that then i no im wrong can you tell me why


    41 Marphil

    Hi,i never thought a site like this exists. Recently I stopped playing the piano when I found that my self-practice lessons improve my playing skill no more..
    I’ve been playing the piano in our church using chords but i want to learn more.. with your kind help.
    Thank you, and God Bless You..


    42 Ransford

    well well there we go
    i will make it


    43 Jude Nelson

    Your site is very useful but, only people who use it will know the benefit. you guys are geniuses in the way you write the lessons. I have tried to study from music books and started to take lessons with great pianists, but your methodes are 1000 times beyound theirs. In one lesson for about less then ten minutes I have learned stuff about scales that would take me months to understand.

    You guys use techniques that are really incredible easy to understand, to remember and to instruct the learner in a magic way that I can only describe as Genius. You guys are gifted, may God continnue to bless you richly for opening your knowledge to those that need it the most like people like my self. Keep it up like this.


    44 Roseni

    Goodeve, its been my deepest desire to play piano since childhood, but only this moment i had a chance as i reached my 24th, to pay for my own toil. it’s my first day on this website, and i wish i could learn more to become a good musician. It’s really my aim to play in the churches that’s why i chose the gospel. And i commit to study piano everyday so i can learn fast..hehe..Thank you so much for this website and for the advices..more power..Godbless..


    45 KYALO

    i think i am seen a future in music industry

    i greatly nthank the producer of this materials.May God bless all


    46 ethina

    i’ll try


    47 shirlene

    This website is so cool. I an taking music at my school and it is easier to learn on this website.
    Thanks Jermaine


    48 franky

    Men this is just da real thing ive been looking out for God bless you nigga jermaine


    49 desiree

    I am truly blessed by this site ! thank you explaining this i finially understand it !

    I play at beginners level but i love gospel music and worship and i want to learn more but i cant seem to capture it til now . the terms i didnt understand either.

    but Thank you and GOD bless you brother Jermaine…keep being blessed


    50 Rollykorg

    Tanks 2 u jermaine 4 ur grt lessions.


    51 Rollykorg

    I’m grtful jermaine,u hve added alot meaning 2 my play.


    52 ajAY

    thanks for the support.
    why music needs the pattern.
    how can we use major scale in music .
    how to implement this in the music


    53 bygrace

    Sir,you inspire me and i thank GOD for meeting you and i really enjoyed my lesson on the major scale


    54 ppi

    Hey! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My site covers a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!


    55 Hair Transplants in Toronto

    Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of Wordpress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.


    56 Sin

    Hello, the core workout looks like this:Leg pressCompound rowChest pressAb mahncieBack extnI might vary other aspects of the session but this baseline set up doesn’t change very much. The diet was an uncomplicated, calorie controlled set up. Nothing fancy or crank, 2000 descending to 1500 calories daily with a bias towards nutrient dense foods.


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    59 kathleennichols

    hi Jermaine
    im still with you im studing my cards thank you for making them so available as a beginner its hard work but im dedicating myself and I do want to buy your 300 pg book for now its so early im excited about the course and im sticking with it.

    p.s. glad I found you on line

    Kathleen Nichols


    60 princewill

    i want to know something about chords and the types of chords


    61 Archie Hemlepp

    Really nice pattern and wonderful content , very little else we need : D.


    62 vigrx fake

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before
    but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!


    63 sally

    I dnt wont to miss any chapter. Rid on teacher


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