Tag Archives: music theory

chord theory 3: the 12 major scales

This article assumes you have a reasonable understanding of  the terms interval, semi-tone, tone and the twelve notes of the chromatic scale.  If you are not sure about any of these pre-requisites, have a look at chord theory 1: 12 notes

In chord theory 2: the C major scale, I state that the defining feature of the major scale is that it is eight notes long, with the following interval pattern.

tone tone semi-tone tone tone tone semi-tone

If we draw a large table of all of the notes, we can apply this scale pattern, and derive the major scale for each of the twelve notes in the chromatic scale.  This is a good exercise, and at the end of the article, there is a plain version of this table for you to print and fill in.

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

In the next article, I will take look at the CMajor chord, played on the guitar, and see how it relates to C major scale, to see if we can derive a rule for what makes a major chord.

exercise

Unformatted table of notes – fill in the major scale for the note on the leftmost column

tone tone semi-tone tone tone tone semi-tone
Root A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
A A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
Bb A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
B A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
C A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
C# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
D A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
D# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
E A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
F A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
F# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
G A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A
A A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A