Grade 1:10 - Scales of G, D and F Major
Previous: Lesson 9 - The Major Scale Formula
The previous lesson introduces the concept of major scales, and shows the scale in action with C major.
Now we are moving on to the scales of G, D and F Major.
Let’s start by looking at the G major scale, using the rules we learned from C major:
We know it will start and end on G.
We know there will be a note on every line and space from G to G, every named letter will be included once, in order
So, starting with G - G, A, B, C, D, E and F.
Now we need to work out if the notes are natural, sharp or flat.
Lets check the intervals, starting with G, remembering the pattern:
T, T, S, T, T, T, S
All the notes are natural, except the F#. The reason it is an F# not a Gb is because of the 2nd rule - "Every named letter is included once, in order". There is already a G used, so there cannot also be a Gb, also, there is no F, used yet, and every letter must be included. So it is an F#.
We can use this formula to work out any major scale. Let’s look at D major, there is going to be a D, E, F, G, A, B, C and D.
The notes are, D, E, we don’t have an F, so this is an F#, then G natural, A, B then C#, it can't be Db because there is already a D natural.
You may see a pattern here, firstly, major scales have either flat or sharps, never both. Also, the scales build on each other.
G major - F#
D major - F#, C#
A major - F#, C#, G#
'A major' is not in grade 1, but I've shown it just to show how the pattern continues, every Major sharp key contains an F#, then adds C# and builds in order.
We will learn more about this in grade 2, but you can see how the sharp keys are building on each other.
F major is slightly different, it's the first flat key. Flat keys follow all the same patterns as sharp keys. Starting with F, the notes will be, F, G, A, B, C, D, E and F. Let's use the major scale formula to check the notes (T, T, S, T, T, T, S).
Because there is an A already, the 4th degree is a Bb.
F major is the first flat key, it has one flat, the Bb. Just like the sharp keys, the flats build on each other. But again, we will get into this more in grade 2. These rules are true for every major key and scale.
The scales you will need to be familiar with for grade one are C, G, D and F.
C major - Natural
G major - One sharp
D major - Two sharps
F major - One flat
The scales are used to create the key signatures, we will look at these in Lesson 11.
If you want to practice any of the techniques in these lessons, download the workbook below, it contains questions for each lesson as well as answers so you can check your progress. See you in the next one!
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