Construction of the Major Scale on a Single String
A free video tutorial from Erich Andreas
#1 Guitar Lessons! 40+Years, 100,000s of Students,
4.6 instructor rating • 17 courses • 330,872 students
Understanding how to construct a major scales across a single guitar string is extremely beneficial for all future theory lessons that you will be studying throughout the course. Make sure you master this technique before moving on. The attached blank fretboard paper should be used to practice this technique.
Learn more from the full courseComplete Guitar Lessons System - Beginner to Advanced
All-in-one Guitar Course, Fingerstyle Guitar, Blues Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar & Fingerpicking Guitarra
40:07:22 of on-demand video • Updated May 2021
- New to Guitar? This Will be the Only Course You Will Ever Need to Take
- Have You Playing the Guitar in the Shortest Amount of Time While Having the Most Fun
- Most Logical Step-by-step Method to Play Songs and Master Chords, Scales and Guitar Theory
- Exercises That Will Sharpen Your Chord Transitioning, Strumming, Fretting, Picking, and Fingerpicking
English [Auto] OK, today we're going to be looking at the major scale and specifically we're going to be looking at constructing this major scale on one string. Now, why is that? Who plays the major scale on one string? Well, we do today because understanding this in a linear fashion, linear being across one string as opposed to going across all the strings or several of the strings, for instance, we could play the scale like this or we could play it across like this, you know, make sense. So we could play the scale across the strings where we could play it across one string or on one string. So that's what I'm calling linear. Now, the reason that No. One, we're doing the major scale and number two, we're doing it in this way, are here the reasons why No. One, the major scale we understand the construction of the major scale. We basically understand ninety nine point nine percent of how all other music theory. Falls into place. OK, if you don't have the construction of the major scale down, you're really going to have difficulty with understanding and chord embellishments, with understanding how modes work. The minor scale, the blues scale, like you're not going to quite understand the musical theory behind it, you know, in the musical theory is important because when we're speaking with other musicians, we're trying to come up with a specific sound. If you don't understand the the whys about it, then it can be very difficult to come up with what it is that you're trying to what you're hearing in your head type of thing. OK, so number one, the major scale is literally the basis of ninety nine point nine percent of all the music out there, classical, rock, thrash, jazz, blues, country, you name the genre. Chances are the major scale is going to have much to do with it. And that has to do with a little bit of science, a little bit of balance of what that scale does, like naturally how it resonates. And we could have a whole series of videos on that. So I can't even go down that that alley right now. But basically, to let you know, the major scale is king of the world, of the musical world. Even songs that are in minor keys and all the jazz modes are all going to be based off of the major scale. And when we compare any scale, we're always going to compare it to the major scale. So that shows you that that's the benchmark. OK, so now we know why it is that we're learning the major scale and you know how important it is right now. Let's talk about it on this one string. So know that this is really important. OK, now the reason that we're learning it across one string is I really want you to understand the construction of it because we know the sound right. And that sounds right. And we can say that we could sing it and it sounds right. This might not sound right. I mean, doesn't sound terrible, but it doesn't sound like. Sounds like we're going up the stairs and coming down the stairs and everything sounds great, right? OK, so this is why that is is this construction is so important. OK, now. The distance between one threat and the next is a half step, right, and the distance between one fret and two threats is a whole step. So we're going to be using W as a whole step and H is a half step in this example. So the construction of the major scale and I want you to use the V attachments that are related to this video to help out with this, that the construction of the major scale is a whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step, literally. That's it. W w h w w w h could be your first your first musical tattoo. All right. Just remember that indelibly get that into your brain or get a tattoo or something. It's important that you always know this construction forwards, at least forwards backwards is nice too. OK, now we're going to take that and we're going to start at any note and whatever note you start at, that's the name of that major scale. So, for instance, we're going to be starting on gee, we know this is a G because we know that the lowest or thickest string is a low E, right. And we know using our trick for knowing the notes on the fretboard, we got e e didn't have a sharps, we got f F has a sharp so we get F sharp and then G boom. So there's our G. So now if we play this form Holst upholster past the whole whole whole half from this we will be playing the major scale. And this is true for any note that we start on. So what's cool about this is walking away from this video, you will know all 12 keys of the major scale. Pretty cool. All right, here we go. So. We play our first notes. What I want you to do is I want you to play the third fret of the lowest string right now. You can do this with your first finger. Any finger, the fingering doesn't matter right now. OK, just we're going to focus just on the theory part of this, OK, to use whatever finger you want. So here we are. Third fret, the lowest string. We hit our first note. Now, this is a really important aspect that you need to remember when you're doing this. Don't say whole step or half step until you're moving. Don't say it when you're on the note. Don't say it when you land. Say it when you're moving. Because if you don't do that, you'll see later on or you'll probably run into this. If you don't if you don't really take what I'm saying to heart, you're going to run into some problems in your scales. Going to sound weird because you're because you're saying Hallstatt Hallstatt Half-Step. Well, that wouldn't be right, because you'd say pulse, that pulse that Half-Step. Now, you're messed up already because there's two whole steps in the beginning. So if we play the note and then we move while we say it, Hallstatt, then we're good. This is our first. No, we don't want to say whole step there. That's just a note. So now we say whole step because we're moving, because we're moving in an interval of a whole step. Makes sense. Cool. I think he got it. Let's move. So there's our first note. So we're going to say a whole step. Whole step. Hashtag. Holstead. Step, whole step. Half-Step, now that you listen to that, you probably said, hey, that sounds great. That sounds right. OK, now that's because it just works out that that is the major scale. OK, now we're going to do this again, and I want you to do it with me. OK, now I'm going to say it ahead of time, but we're going to play the note. We're going to move up one step. So do with me. Move up. Whole step. Move up. Another whole step. Move up a half step. Move up a whole step. Move up a whole step. Move up a whole step. Move up a half, step back, and I did a little bit ahead of time there, so you knew where we were going. But ultimately, what you want to do here is you want to read through the diatonic Harmonie PDF there that specifically for understanding the major scale. And then what I want you to do is I want you to use the blank fretboard template that I've also included for this. And I want you to write these in, because it's as important for you to be able to just see this on paper, be able to figure it out as it is for you to be able to figure this out on the guitar. OK, this is a trick that musicians have used for years, is looking at things from different angles. And what it does is it indelibly writes this into your brain. So really a cool trick to understand things is to look at it from these different angles and truly understand it. I had a buddy who went to classical school. So did I as a as a classical major. But he he did the whole four years. I did three years and then changed my major to music business because I wanted to come to Nashville and learn more about that sort of thing. But this buddy of mine was deep into classical studies. And one of the things that he learned from his instructor is he said that one of the exercises was to literally at night when you're laying in bed, as you're falling asleep, is to see those musical notes in your head of whatever piece you are working on and to commit or to be able to, you know, imagine your fingers on the fretboard doing the specific movements. And that alone was a whole nother way to practice. And it truly, truly works. OK. OK, so with that being said, that's what you're going to do, is you're going to go through the motions here. Let's try this again. Now, when you're doing this, don't mind what the note is, OK? What I mean by that is we don't for the for this purpose here, we don't care that this is a DJ or this is an A and this is A, B and C, OK, don't worry about that right now. There's reasons later on where you may want to think about that too. But for right now, it's more important that you're thinking about the interval only focus and, you know, breaking things down, slowing things down. These are all tricks to learning specific things. And if you don't do it, it's the breadth is too wide for you to understand and you'll get frustrated most often. So it's good to be focused and understand what we're trying to do here and here. We're just trying to understand the construction and let our ear get attenuated to this sound. If you do this, I promise you you're going to go a lot quicker than trying to leapfrog it and go around it. All right. So let's try this with the Open A so we want to know what the first note is that we that we know, hey, this is an AI scale. So the song is in the key of a we play this form over the top of it. It's going to sound like it matches if your guitar is in tune. OK, so here we go. We're hitting the opening, but again, we're just using the interval names, whole steps and half steps as opposed to naming the note. Don't get distracted and do that. OK, so here we go. Here's our opening. So we're going to go a whole step up from that, that's two threats of one to Hallstatt. Half step, whole step, whole step. Whole step by step. Now notice that the first note in the last note are like bookends if you're playing the scale from octave to octave, and this is a way that most musicians will play their scales to practice it from one octave to the back down, even if you don't if you just practice of eight notes, that's marked right in German and many other languages. Act one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. That's why it's called an octave or an octopus has eight arms. I wanted four, five, six, seven, eight arms or seven I'm sorry, eight arms are eight notes. That's why they call it OK. And that's why it's called an octave. Hey, the light just went on, right? OK, so we get or so we got a whole that holds that house that holds that post happens that half step. And that's why that sounds great. And we did this in the key of it now again and you know that you start on. We wanted to start on the E here and do the same bit. We can do this. And Anthony. Now, the homework and the takeaway from this is use the blank. Fretboard templates, and to write these out, and I want you to do this with at least six of them. OK. And you the note that you start on should be the note that you end on. OK, check your work, go back, write it down and then write it in between holes that holes that pass that that sort of thing just to check your work. You really only have to do this a few times for your ear and your brain to truly get this. But if you don't go through this routine, you're not going to get it and it's not going to be indelibly built into your brain. That's what you want to do because you want to play music. You don't have to be thinking about all this stuff. So what you do is you get it out of the way so that you can play. And this is what all the pros do. They get stuff out of the way to where they're not continually fighting, not knowing something. OK, so you want to write those down and then I want you to practice six of them. They could be six separate ones. Didn't matter. Some of them can be starting on in the open string. Some of them could be starting up the fretboard. Doesn't matter. But I do want you to practice this. And for those folks that want to go that extra distance, try to do it backwards as well. And this is a little bit more of a challenge. But let your ear guide you and you can do it with a small portion and then you know something like this. If you were doing G, you could go. Or. That's a great exercise as well. This way, it's getting your ear attenuated to going up and down the scale and it gets that visual interval like relationship just set into your brain. All right, my friends, you know what to do. Go do it before moving on to the next video and then let's keep going.