Author Topic: Major (M) and Minor (m) scale formulas  (Read 5965 times)

Offline SadisticKeith

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Major (M) and Minor (m) scale formulas
« on: November 03, 2011, 12:07:55 PM »
You can build a Major or minor scale using these simple formulas:

Major:

Whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step.

Minor:
Whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step.

Using these formulas and the C Major scale as an example we would get the following note sequence:

1 2 3 4  5 6 7 8
C D E F G A B C

From C to D is a WHOLE STEP, from D to E is another WHOLE STEP, from E to F is a HALF STEP, from F to G is another WHOLE STEP, from G to A is another WHOLE STEP, from A to B is a WHOLE STEP and finally from B to C is a HALF STEP. That is how you would build the C Major scale.

Now using C again we will construct the C Minor Scale:

1 2  3  4 5  6   7  8
C D Eb F G Ab Bb C

Notice the differences in both scales. The C Major scale is all natural, no sharps(#) or flats(b) (but this is not always the case with major scales). C to D (WHOLE STEP), D to Eb (HALF STEP), Eb to F (WHOLE STEP), F to G (WHOLE STEP), G to Ab (HALF STEP), Ab to Bb (WHOLE STEP), and Bb to C (WHOLE STEP). However a quick look at both scales will reveal another way to create a minor scale without using the formula above is to take any major scale and to turn it into a minor scale flat (or drop the note down one half step or fret) the 3rd, 6th and 7th scale degrees.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 10:20:16 PM by SadisticKeith »


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Offline SadisticKeith

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Re: Major (M) and Minor (m) scale formulas
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 03:25:46 PM »
For those getting into modes the C Minor scale above can also be used as C Aeolian. The C Major scale can also be used as the key of A minor (or A Aeolian if you play it against the key of C Major). Your ROOT note determines what mode you are in. That is why if you are playing in A minor you can play the C Major scale (because it contains the SAME EXACT notes as A minor because A is the sixth scale degree of C Major. Which is also known as the "Relative minor" and it will sound minor (depending on what chord you playing over will determine what note choices you make) and playing it over the C Major chord will make it C Ionian, Playing it over an A minor chord will make it A Aeolian.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 02:46:01 PM by SadisticKeith »
This my BOOMSTICK!

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