• This Approach To The Formation Of The Major Scale Is CRAZY!!!

    in Beginners,Experienced players,General Music,Piano,Scales,Theory

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    In this lesson, I’ll show you an entirely different approach to the formation of the major scale.

    The major scale is simply a collection of all the notes in a particular key. ​​​But! This is NOT a random collection of notes — No! The notes are in alphabetical order and this makes it very easy and predictable.

    After every A (or some kind of A [Ab or A#]) you’re most definitely going to have a B ​​(or some kind of B [Bb or B#]) followed by a C (or some kind of C [Cb or C#]), and it’s a continues succession in that order and you can expect a D (or some kind of D) after that C.

    This is what makes music easy; “as easy as ABC” just as they say​​ and everyone who can count alphabet letters can play scales and once you have this mindset, you’ll be able to surmount anything that was confusing you before now.

    Let’s Count The ABCs

    The C major scale is the easiest major scale to learn in music and if you start and end on C or play all the white notes on the piano from C to C:

    …you’ll have the C major scale:

    Did I miss any alphabet? No! I didn’t. I know my ABCs and I stayed true to it and that’s how I got the C major scale and if I want to form every other major scale, I have to just learn each of them.

    All I need to do is to write out all the alphabets of music, and then do some little changes to some of the notes and I’ll have the major scale.

    Again, write out all the alphabets of music:

    C D E F G A B C

    D E F G A B C D

    E F G A B C D E

    F G A B C D E F

    G A B C D E F G

    A B C D E F G A

    B C D E F G A B

    …and then make a few changes on some of the notes and you’ll have the major scale.

    “Let’s Form The G Major Scale…”

    Now, if you’re wondering why we’re jumping to the G major scale after the C major scale, well, that’s because we’re relying on the music circle:

    …which has all the notes represented according to key relationships.

    I know you can see C at the 12 o’clock position. So, after 12 o’clock, we’re going in chronological order (music always has this order and NOTHING IS RANDOM) and in the clockwise direction to the 1 o’clock position.

    So, what do you have at 1 o’clock? That’s G:

    Take all the music alphabets:

    G A B C D E F G

    …and then make just one little change by raising the F:

    …by a half-step to F#:

    …and you’ll have the G major scale:

    How did we get the G major scale again? We took all the alphabets (G A B C D E F G):

    …and we made just a little change (on the F by raising it to F#) and we got the G major scale:

    If we go to the 2 o’clock position on the clock:

    …we have D:

    …so, let’s form the D major scale.

    “Let’s Form The D Major Scale…”

    Once again, we’ll take all the music alphabets from D to D:

    D E F G A B C D

    …and then we make the very little changes and we have the D major scale.

    Attention: Keep in mind that at the 1 o’clock position on the circle (which is G), we made just one change. Now that we’re at two o’clock, we’re making two changes and you can predict that we’re make three changes at the 3 o’clock position and 4 changes at the 4 o’clock position, etc. Music is just very organized and predictable.

    So, what changes are we making on the D to D template:

    D E F G A B C D

    …we’re raising the F and the C:



    …and they’ll have to become F# and C#:



    …and if you replace F (with F#) and C (with C#) on that D to D template:

    D E F G A B C D

    …you’ll have the D major scale:

    D E F# G A B C# D

    “Now, Here Are The Other Major Scales…”

    I can as well take you through from the 3 o’clock to the 11 o’clock until we’re back to the 12 o’clock position but I don’t want to overwhelm you. So, I’m just going to give you the major scales.

    “The A Major Scale…”

    From the music clock:

    A is at the 3 o’clock position, so, we’re making three changes to the basic template:

    A B C D E F G A

    …and that’s on C, F, and G and when you do that, you’ll have the A major scale:

    A B C# D E F# G# A

    Please, check it out (the A major scale):

    “The E Major Scale…”

    You have E at the 4 o’clock position:

    so, we’re making four changes to the basic template:

    E F G A B C D E

    …and that’s on F, G, C, and D. When you do that, you’ll have the E major scale:

    E F# G# A B C# D# E

    Check it out (the E major scale):

    That’s how it works.

    Final Words

    Using the concept I just shared with you in today’s lesson, I really do hope that you’ll be able to see the major scale in a different light and also approach its formation differently.

    I want to thank my mentor and role-model, Jermaine Griggs, for the special opportunity to share this concept with you and I do hope to see you in the next lesson.

    Until then.

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    Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. Inspired by his role model (Jermaine Griggs) who has become his mentor, what he started off as teaching musicians in his Aba-Nigeria neighborhood in April 2005 eventually morphed into an international career that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world. Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA.

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