Six Essential Scales for `Ukulele

Six essential scale that can get through a wide variety of traditional and contemporary music.

Published: 02 Jan 2005 Updated: 24 May 2024Visits: 1411Code: UL04

INSTRUMENTS: Scales Main: Ukulele Others: Ukulele
Subjects: Beginner • Intermediate • Scales • Quickstart • Advanced • Jazz • Core • Modes

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Six Essential Scales for `Ukulele


These are six essential scales for ANY instrument, not just the ukulele.

The six essential scales are: Blues, Major Pentatonic, Mixolydian, Dorian, Aeolian, and Ionian. From the six essential scales, you can get through a wide variety of traditional and contemporary music.

Most music starts with a scale. The melody, chords, licks and riffs all can be related back to a particular scale or scales.

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The Six Essential Scale are: Blues, Major Pentatonic, Mixolydian, Dorian, Aeolian, and Ionian. From the Six Essential Scale, you can get through a wide variety of traditional and contemporary music.

Most music starts with a scale. The melody, chords, licks, and riffs come from somewhere and can be related back to a particular scale or scales.

The order of learning depends on the styles and genres of music you are interested in, learning or performing. You can't go wrong, regardless of the type of music that you want to perform, to start with the Blues and Major Pentatonic scales.

Open Position scale shapes and MIDI examples are below of each of the
Six Essential Scales.

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Six Essential Scales for `Ukulele…

Here are the Six Essential Scales, in open position, the Key of C . Check out this video The Seven Scale Modes, Open Position Examples to see the Ionian, Dorian, Mixolydian, and Aeolian scales played on ukulele in open position.

NOTE: Play each MIDI example to compare the sounds and inherent characteristic of each scale/mode.

UL04_six_scales

Open Position Scale Shapes (roots): C Tuning: C, G Tuning: G, D Tuning: D

Baritone Note: For using this lesson, Six Essential Scales for `Ukulele with G Tuning: D G B E. The scale shapes will work and will produce the scale based on the root being G. All the notes will be based of the G Make Scale: G A B C D E F# G'. An example for the notes of the G Blues scale are: G Bb C C#/Db D F G'

The Six Essential Scales

Below are the scale notes and names with a C root, their Standard Music Notation , and the intervals. All scale intervals are based on the Major scale intervals (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8) for comparison.

C Blues (Minor Pentatonic) C Eb F G Bb C`

Use the audio to compare the sounds of the individual scales.

C Pentatonic (Major) C D E F G A B C`

Use the audio to compare the sounds of the individual scales.

C Dorian (Minor) C D Eb F G A Bb C`

Use the audio to compare the sounds of the individual scales.

C Mixolydian C D E F G A Bb C`

Use the audio to compare the sounds of the individual scales.

C Aeolian (Natural Minor) C D Eb F G Ab Bb C`

Use the audio to compare the sounds of the individual scales.

C Ionian (Major) C D E F G A B C`

Use the audio to compare the sounds of the individual scales.

What IS a Scale?

A scale is simply a collection of pitches or notes, not really a "this is a Jazz scale", "this is a Blues" or "this is a Rock scale". It's how a scale is used that really matters, not its name.

Most music starts with a scale. The melody, chords, licks, and riffs all can be related back to a particular scale or scales.

The Six Essential Scales ( in no particulate order ):

Essential Reference Scales

There are two scales that can be the memorized and other essential scales referenced from these two. These two scales are the Ionian/Major and Aeolian/Natural Minor scales. The Major and Natural Minor scales are traditional scales and common scales in all forms of contemporary music.

This lesson explores the Major and Natural Minor scales and their derivations.

QuickStart Scale and Arpeggio Fingerings for Ukulele

This lesson uses the same page format as the QuickStart Scale & Arpeggio Fingering series of books.

QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele 3 volumes.
C, G, and D tuning. (QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele )

The QuickStart Scale Fingerings Vol 1 covers the Blues, Pentatonic, Dorian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Ionian scales.

Each scale is also available as an individual book.

Download the PDF file for the latest, complete, and most up-to-date version. As well as additional information not presented on-line.

End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

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