Construction Of Major, Minor And Pentatonic Scales

author: Lord Of Chaos date: 03/30/2009 category: scales
rating: 9.3 / votes: 28 
The basis of this lesson is the construction of major scales. The first note is the one which gives it's name to the scale (C major scale is constructed starting from C) and from this one it's goes like this: full step, full step, half step, full step, full step, full step, half step I will write "F" for full and "H" for half step. So from the "X" first note yo have this: X > F > F > H > F > F > F > H > X (one octave higher) And this looks like this on a tab for the C major scale (stars at 6th string 8th fret, but transpose at any position you want for another scale like 5th fret for A major etc), two octaves in one position:
E|--------------------------------7-8-
B|---------------------------8-10-----
G|--------------------7-9-10----------
D|-------------7-9-10-----------------
A|------7-8-10------------------------
E|-8-10-------------------------------
So now we got the construction of the major scales. The pentatonic major scale is the same but without the 4th and 7th degre which gives us for the C pentatonic major scale:
E|-------------------------8-
B|--------------------8-10---
G|----------------7-9--------
D|-----------7-10------------
A|------7-10-----------------
E|-8-10----------------------
Back to the major scale we will now build the minor scales: there are three kinds (I discovered them using Guitar Pro, I first thought there was only one): The melodic minor s cale, the harmonic minor scale and the (natural) minor scale. So first you take the major scale and flatten the 3rd degre to get the melodic minor scale.
E|--------------------------------7-8-
B|---------------------------8-10-----
G|--------------------7-8-10----------
D|-------------7-9-10-----------------
A|------6-8-10------------------------
E|-8-10-------------------------------
Then from this one you also flatten the 6th dege to get the harmonic minor scale.
E|-------------------------------7-8-
B|---------------------------8-9-----
G|--------------------7-8-10---------
D|-------------6-9-10----------------
A|------6-8-10-----------------------
E|-8-10------------------------------
Then you flatten the 7th degre to get the minor scale (also called natural, common or whatever).
E|-------------------------------6-8-
B|---------------------------8-9-----
G|--------------------7-8-10---------
D|-------------6-8-10----------------
A|------6-8-10-----------------------
E|-8-10------------------------------
Finally this is how y get the pentatonic minor scale: Fom the pentatonic major scale you sharpen the 2nd, 3rd and 6th degre, which gives us:
E|--------------------------8-
B|---------------------8-11---
G|----------------8-10--------
D|-----------8-10-------------
A|------8-10------------------
E|-8-11-----------------------
So that was it, I just give yo a little summary of the whole lesson to make it easier for you to remember it all!
1) Major scales : X(1st) > F(2nd) > F(3rd) > H(4th) > F(5th) 
                  > F(6th) > F(7th) > H(1st, 1 octave higher)
2) Pentatonic Major : without 4th and 7th
3) Melodic Minor : Major with 3rd flattened
4) Harmonic Minor : Melodic Minor with 6th flattened
5) Minor scale : Harmonic Minor with 7th flattened 
6) Pentatonic Minor : Pentatonic Major with 2nd, 3rd, 5th sharpened
So now that was it, I hope you understood and enjoyed this lesson and that it will help you to remember these scales easier and faster. If you may not understand anything don't hesitate and contact me.
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