Here we will learn how to build major scales.
Remember, a half step ( H ) is the distance between two adjacent keys on a piano keyboard, and it is the smallest musical interval in music.
A whole step ( W ) is the distance equal to two half steps.
Use the following major scale formula to build the major scales:
W – W – H – W – W – W – H
H = half step
W = whole step
Example: C Major Scale
Let’s begin with the root note C on the piano keyboard.
A whole step above C is D.
A whole step above D is E.
A half step above E is F.
A whole step above F is G.
A whole step above G is A.
A whole step above A is B.
A half step above B is C.
C – D – E – F – G – A – B – C are the notes of the C Major Scale.
Click here for a list of all Major Scales.
Degrees of the scale
There are seven different notes in each scale. Scale degree refers to the position of each scale note. Each scale note has a scale degree name. For example, C is the first scale degree of C major scale. The name of the first scale degree note is the Tonic. Second note is called the Supertonic. Third note is the Mediant. Fourth note is the Subdominant. Fifth note is the Dominant. Sixth note is the Submediant, Seventh note is called Leading tone (for major scales) and Subtonic (for minor scales).