SCALES


What are scales?

A scale is a series of single notes played in a row. "Scales" act as a guide, or, a rulebook for which notes we can and can not play during each song.


ex: CDEFGABC


*notice how we started and ended on the same note. This is called a diatonic scale.


why are they important

Each song is written in a specific "key", or, scale. Knowing what scale the song is in allows us to have a better understanding of what notes and chords will be used during the song. If a song is in the key of G major, we can not play F, and instead need to play F sharp (F#) each time we see an F. If the song was in the key of F, we would need to play a B flat (Bb) each time we saw a B.


What is a sharp or flat?

# or sha(r)p means right.

b or f(l)at means left.

But how do we learn our scales?

We use a system called "the circle of 5ths". It starts with no sharps in the first scale, one in the second, two in the third, three in the 4th, 5 in the 6th, 6 in the 7th. Then, we begin counting down in flats. Db has 5 flats, Ab has 4 flats, Eb has 3 flats, Bb has 2 flats, and F has one flat. Here's a look at it...



Scales through the “circle of 5ths":


C D E F G A B C -

(starts with no sharps or flats in the key of C. Go up 5 notes now to G and you will be in the key with 1 sharp/#. The note you sharp is the second to last note of the scale


G A B C D E F# G -

(G has one sharp, which is the second to last note of the scale. now GO up 5 notes in this scale to find the next scale. This takes us to D. D will have 2 sharps)


D E F# G A B C# D -

(keep the sharp from the previous scale -f#- and then sharp the second to last note of the scale again -c#-. This is your D scale. Now go up 5 notes to "A" and Continue the rules)


A B C# D E F# G# A

(keep the sharp from the previous scales and then sharp the second to last note of this scale again)


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

(keep the sharp the previous scales and then sharp the second to last note of the scale again)


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

(keep the sharp the previous scales and then sharp the second to last note of the scale again)


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

(keep the sharp the previous scales and then sharp the second to last note of the scale again. This is the last "Sharp" scale. It has 6 sharps. Now when we go up 5 notes in the F# Scale, we will be in the key with 5 flats)


Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db

(D FLAT HAS 5 FLATS IN IT. IF WE COUNT UP 5 NOTES IN THE SCALE, WE WILL BE in tHE KEY WITH 4 FLATS WHICH IS A flat. To figure out which flat to take away, we just take away the flat from the fourth note of the previous scale.


Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab

(A FLAT has 4 flats in it and we took away the G flat that was in D flat.


Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb

(E FLAT has 3 flats in it and we took away the D flat from the previous scale


Bb C D Eb F G A Bb

(B FLAT has 2 flats in it and we took away the A flat, or the flat from the fourth note of the previous scale.


F G A Bb C D E F

(F FLAT has one flat in it and we took away the 4th note of the previous scale. This takes us back to C



HOW IS THIS HELPFUL?

Using the circle of 5ths, we can look at the key signature of a piece of music and identify which scale the song is in. If we see one sharp next to the treble clef, we should know that the song is in the key of G. If we see two flats, we should know that the song is in the key of B flat. Knowing which key the song is in should tell us which notes sharps or flats we will need to play during the song.

Further, we can see the different "scale tone degrees" to each scale. In the key of C, C is the first scale tone degree. D is the second scale tone Degree. E is the third, and so forth. Knowing this is Beneficial because we are able to identify the chords that exist within the scale. These are known as scale tone cycles.


See Chords for more info on scale tone cycles!




Featured Posts
Posts Are Coming Soon
Stay tuned...
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square