Showing 4 of 4 sample page(s).
Download a Printable PDF file • Each PDF file is a formatted high resolution file that prints out great.
You will need Adobe Reader or a PDF viewing application to view your PDF file.
The Major Scale or Ionian scale is a diatonic scale, made up of seven distinct notes, plus an eighth which duplicates the first one octave higher. In solfege these notes correspond to the syllables “Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti/Si, (Do)”, the “Do” in the parenthesis at the end being the octave of the root.
The simplest major scale to write or play on the piano is C major, the only major scale that does not require sharps or flats. The C major scale uses only the white keys on the piano keyboard.
Additional Content Available for Site Members Only
This lesson is a Premium / Gold Member lesson and part of the LearningUkulele.com Site Membership and Study with Curt - On-line and Private Lesson Program. To view additional content for this lesson you'll need to either Sign In or register for a site membership or upgrade your membership level from your user profile.
A major scale can be seen as two identical tetrachords separated by a whole tone, or whole step. A tetrachord is a series of three intervals filling in the interval of a perfect fourth separated by a whole tone, or whole step. Or a set of steps Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Whole, Half. Each tetrachord consists of two whole steps followed by a half step. Western scales do not skip any line or space on the staff, and they do not repeat any note with a different accidental. This has the effect of forcing the key signature to feature just sharps or just flats.
Any major scale can be figured out using this step sequence.
Or as the number of steps between each note of the scale:
2 2 1 2 2 2 1
C Major is: C W D W E H F W G W A W B H C’
The C Major Scale
C D E F G A B C' - The white keys of a piano.
Each note of a major scale can be numbered relative to its distance or number of steps from the tonic or One, the first note of the scale.
These numbers are also referred to as scale degrees. D is the second, E the third, F the fourth, G the fifth, A the sixth, B the seventh and finally, C again at the octave.
They also have the familiar solfège names used to teach pitch and sight singing - basically vocal training.
- Si or Ti
C Major Scale Uses
Ear Training - Using familiar songs you can train your ear to recognize common intervals.
Using a fixed Do and ascending intervals here are some common songs you can use.
- Do to Do - C to C, Perfect Unison [ Happy Birthday to You ]
This one should be easy as the note does not change. If you really have a hard time hearing this one you might consider a different hobby or career.
- Do, Re - C to D, Major Second [ Frère Jacques)
- Do, Mi - C to E, Major Third [ Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, Kumbaya, Do-Re-Mi (first and third notes) ]
- Do, Fa - C to F, Perfect Fourth [ Here Comes the Bride, Amazing Grace, Smells Like Teen Spirit, The Look of Love ]
- Do, Sol - C to G, Perfect Fifth [ Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, My Favorite Things, Georgie Girl, Scarborough Fair, Theme from Star Wars ]
- Do, La - C to A, Major Sixth [ My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean, NBC Theme Song, Take the 'A' Train ]
- Do, Si - C to B, Major Seventh [ Theme from Fantasy Island ]
- Do to Do - C to C, Perfect Octave [ Over the Rainbow, Hi Ho Hi Ho, The Christmas Song, Let It Snow ]
C Major Scale Chords
The chords for a C major scale are:
Triads: C Dm Em F G Am Bdim. 4-part “jazz” Chords: Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5
The sequence of major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished. Is the same sequence for ALL the major keys. And, by starting the sequence at a different spot is is also the same chords for the scale mode: Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian and Ionian.
You can get a lot out of this sequence.
C Major Scale as Your Reference Scale
From the C major scale you can get the other major scales and their modes, major, relative minor and modes key signatures and the chords of the same.
Just memorize the key signature of the major keys and substitute place the sharp or flats in the circle of notes. Use a chart or the major scale step pattern: W W H W W W H, to figure out the scale.
From the Major scales you can get the Traditional Scales: Natural Minor, Minor, Harmonic Minor, Melodic Minor, Tonic Minor, Diminished and Whole Tone.
Scale Modes: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian
Contemporary Scales: Blues, Minor Pentatonic and Major Pentatonic
Altered Scales: Mixolydian +4, Mixolydian -2-6
Some scales are know by different names. Mixolydian is the Dominant scale. The Mixolydian +4 is the Lydian Dominant. Lots of names for the same scales.
Download the lesson's PDF file for the latest, complete and most up-to-date version of the lesson. As well as additional information not presented on-line.
Members and Active Students need to sign-in
to download the premium lesson PDFs for the complete lesson.
Open Position, C Major Scale on Ukulele - C Tuning [video]
Open position C Major scale for C tuned ukulele.
Key Signatures - C Major
A key signature is a summary of the sharps or flats in a Major or it's relative Natural Minor scale. This series of lessons covers ALL 15 major and relative minor keys with their primary and secondary chords as well as sample common chord progressions.
In musical notation, a key signature is a collection of sharp or flat symbols placed together on the staff. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation, although they can appear in other parts of a score, notably after a double barline.
Although a key signature may be written using any combination of sharp and flat symbols, about a dozen diatonic key signatures are by far the most common, and their use is assumed in much of this article. A piece scored using a single diatonic key signature and no accidentals contains notes of at most seven of the twelve pitch classes, which seven being determined by the particular key signature.
The key of C major-A minor.
Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.
Lessons in the General Music series. The principles of how music works.
An interval is the distance between two notes. An interval has a name and a type. Intervals can be played one note (melodic) or two notes (harmonic) at a time, ascending or descending.
Simple and Compound Intervals are taken from a major scale.
Chromatic Intervals are NOT taken from a major scale. They are derived from the diatonic intervals.
This series is all about understanding intervals.
Six Essential Ukulele Scales
The Six Essential Ukulele Scales series is based on the fingering principles from my series of books in the QuickStart Scale and Arpeggio Fingerings.
The six essential scales are: Blues, Major Pentatonic, Mixolydian, Dorian, Aeolian, and Ionian. These six can get you through a wide variety of traditional and contemporary music.
A scale is simply collection of pitches or notes, not really “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.
Most music starts with a scale. The melody, chords, licks and riffs all can be related back to a particular scale or scales.
No related songs for The Harmonized Major and Minor Scale Charts at this time.
No videos for The Harmonized Major and Minor Scale Charts at this time. Filming a lot of videos for various lessons, songs and books.
FREE Bronze Plan - A limited selection of basic lessons ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup to access associated lessons, books, songs and their related assets.
Forever Premium Gold Plan - The Forever/Gold Premium Plan gives you access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt Sheller as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment due. And from of the que for responding to any questions.
NOTE: Each higher membership level includes ALL the benefits of the lower membership levels.
The Private Lesson Plans include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on on the schedule.
Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books! — Peter Rhee
Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the best — Glen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys
Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too. — Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg
I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent. — fatveg — Portland
Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!
Original Curtie Animation - 1987 for my first web site
32 years ago.
LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!
Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often.