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  • Writer's pictureTom Glasson

Grade 1:10 - Scales of G, D and F Major

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:

  1. We know it will start and end on G.

  2. 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

G Major Scale

The scale of G Major

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 scale of D Major.

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).

The scale of F Major.

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!

A Free Gift for you...

Download the Grade 1 Music Theory Workbook - An Introduction to Music Theory for free. The workbook is a written course which teaches you the entire content of Grade 1 music theory from start to finish, it is the full written version of our video course. It contains activities, with answers, to test your knowledge and give you chance to practice what you are learning.

There are 19 sections, covering every topic as well as reference sheets and materials which will come in handy as you study.

Click here to check it out.

Introduction to Music Theory Workbook

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