• You Too Can Harmonize The Major Scale Like A PRO!!!

    in Experienced players,General Music,Gospel music,Jazz music,Piano,Theory

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    If you’re interested in learning how to harmonize the major scale like a pro, you are on the right page.

    The role of the keyboard player in a band situation is to harmonize or accompany melodies and one of the litmus tests for a keyboardists ability to harmonize is the harmonization of the major scale.

    Although we are going to he learning advanced approaches to the harmonization of the major scale, we’ll start out by refreshing our minds on the basic harmonization of the major scale using primary triads.

    Basic Harmonization Of The Major Scale Using Primary Triads

    There are three major triads in the major key and they are collectively known as primary triads.

    In the key of C major:

    …the following major triads are primary triads:

    The C major triad:

    The F major triad:

    The G major triad:

    …and they can be used to harmonize the major scale.

    “Here’s How Every Tone Of The Major Scale Can Be Harmonized…”

    Attention: We’ll be using the C major scale as a reference.

    C:

    …can be harmonized using the [first inversion of the] C major triad:

    D:

    …can be harmonized using the [root position of the] G major triad:

    E:

    …can be harmonized using the [second inversion of the] C major triad:

    F:

    …can be harmonized using the [first inversion of the] F major triad:

    G:

    …can be harmonized using the [root position of the] C major triad:

    A:

    …can be harmonized using the [second inversion of the] F major triad:

    B:

    …can be harmonized using the [second inversion of the] G major triad:

    C:

    …can be harmonized using the [first inversion of the] C major triad:

    “Check It Out…”

    C:

    D:

    E:

    F:

    G:

    A:

    B:

    C:

    Alright, now that we’ve refreshed our minds on the basic harmonization of the major scale, let’s proceed to some advanced approaches that will make you sound like a pro instantly.

    Submission: There are other basic ways to harmonize the major scale and I acknowledge them. The harmonization used here is not in anyway inferior or superior.

    Advanced Approaches To The Harmonization Of The Major Scale

    Let’s go ahead and learn advanced approaches to the harmonization of the major scale.

    Approach #1 – Parallel Harmony

    In the concept of parallel harmony, a particular chord is moved up and down in fixed intervals. In this case, the Bb major ninth chord:

    …is used.

    “Let’s Harmonize The Descending Form Of The C Major Scale…”

    C:

    …can be harmonized using the Bb major ninth chord:

    B:

    …can be harmonized using the A major ninth chord:

    A:

    …can be harmonized using the G major ninth chord:

    G:

    …can be harmonized using the F major ninth chord:

    F:

    …can be harmonized using the Eb major ninth chord:

    E:

    …can be harmonized using the D major ninth chord:

    D:

    …can be harmonized using the C major ninth chord:

    C:

    …can be harmonized using the Bb major ninth chord:

    Approach #2 – Block Chords

    The major scale can be harmonized using block chords. One of the distinct features of block chords is that they are in octave position. Consequently, the melody note is the lowest and highest sounding note in the chord.

    “Here’s A Harmonization Of The C Major Scale [Descending Form] Using Block Chords…”

    C:

    …can be harmonized using the C major sixth chord:

    B:

    …can be harmonized using the C diminished [major seventh] chord:

    A:

    …can be harmonized using the A diminished seventh chord:

    G:

    …can be harmonized using the Ab major seventh [#5] chord:

    F:

    …can be harmonized using the G half-diminished seventh chord:

    E:

    …can be harmonized using the F# half-diminished seventh chord:

    D:

    …can be harmonized using the D diminished seventh chord:

    C:

    …can be harmonized using the C major sixth chord:

    Final Words

    The harmonization of the descending major scale can be used as a fancy ending to songs. However, this depends on a handful of factors like tempo, rhythm, music genre, and a lot more.

    I recommend that you practice these advanced approaches in other keys after mastering them in the key of C major.

    Don’t forget that questions, suggestions, and comments are welcome.

    All the best!

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.




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    { 3 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Ogungbe Felix

    Are they only use for major only? Please reply.

    Reply

    2 Carolyn

    Very good. I wished you had a video showing how to do this. It would definitely help a lot to seeing it done. Thanks for sharing. God bless you for all your effort and knowledge you share. Again thank you. God bless

    Reply

    3 Dennis Joyner

    Nice lesson, thanks and God Bless.

    Reply

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