The Chromatic Scale

The only scale contains ALL 12 notes in one octave.

Published: Feb 1, 2013 Updated: Nov 26, 2018 Visits: 1

music ANY Subjects: beginnerscalestheory

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ML09

The only scale in music with ALL twelve notes of one octave. Not much use for improvisation or solos – but a great scale for learning the notes of the next, figuring out scales, chords and more...

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


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The Chromatic Scale


Music uses the first seven letters of the alphabet to name the notes and chords used in music. The letters are: A B C D E F G. 
The Chromatic scale is all 12 pitches or notes of music within one octave. An octave is the distance from one letter to next same letter in a scale or chord. A to A’ within the below scale is one octave.


One of the easiest instruments to visualize these seven letters and the notes they correspond to is the piano. The natural notes A B C D E F G are the white keys of the piano.

Piano-One-Octave

The Chromatic Scale with Natural Note Names, Sharp, and Flat note name The next key, white or black to the right is higher and sharp. The previous key, white or black to the left is lower and flat.

Piano-One-Octave-Chromatic

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Whole Steps and Half Steps Explained

The distance between any two notes can be defined by steps - half steps, whole steps, semi-tones, whole tones. From this series of steps you can get the names of the notes of ANY of the fifteen major scales.

The Major Scale

Not called the learning scale for a reason. The major scale is a great scale for learning how music and chords work. It’s a core scale from which a majority of your core, essential scales can be derived. There are 15 major scales.

What is the different between a Scale and a Mode?

The term scale and mode are used interchangeably, and in a strict theory sense, there is a big difference between a scale and a mode or modal scale. They are NOT the same, even if they are the same notes. A scale and mode can contain the same notes.

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