#1
I don't have much knowledge of scales. I want to learn the major scale but I don't know where to start. I tried googling it but I got more confused. I heard there are seven types of major scales (Ionian, Dorian, Phyrigian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian). Please tell me where I can find all the 7 shapes/patterns and the theory behind it.
#3
Those seven "types" are actually modes, not scales at all. Let's not get into modes here, as they are not simple to describe, so check this out: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1042392. To answer your question though, the major scale is one of many scales (major, minor, pentatonic major, pentatonic minor, to name a few basic ones). It is, for all intents and purposes, the same as the ionian mode. In terms of intervals between the notes of the scale ascending (W=whole step, or 2 frets, and H=half step, or one fret), the major scale goes like so: WWHWWWH. So, the E major scale played on just the sixth string will look a bit like this:
e-------------------
B-------------------
G-------------------
D-------------------
A-------------------
E-0-2-4-5-7-9-11-12-
---W-W-H-W-W-W--H---

But, of course, you can play the scale in many different positions and patterns, which I won't go over because it would take forever.

Edit: Oh, and this thread should be in the Musician Talk forum.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Jul 26, 2009,
#4
Quote by Rock Musician
I don't have much knowledge of scales. I want to learn the major scale but I don't know where to start. I tried googling it but I got more confused. I heard there are seven types of major scales (Ionian, Dorian, Phyrigian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian). Please tell me where I can find all the 7 shapes/patterns and the theory behind it.


There are NOT 7 types of major scales. The names you listed are modes. FORGET ABOUT MODES UNTIL YOU ARE A MUCH MORE EXPERIENCED GUITAR PLAYER.

Now, the major scale (like all other scales) is a pattern of notes. There is a formula to it so you can build it off of any note you choose. The formula is this (W=whole step, H=half step): WWHWWWH. What does this mean? Well, it is telling you how many steps are in between each note of the scale. e.g., a Whole step between the first and second scale degress, a Whole step between the second and third scale degrees, a Half step between the third and fourth, etc. Examples:

Starting from C, the scale would be C -(whole step)- D -(whole step)- E -(half step)- F -(whole step)- G -(whole step)- A -(whole step)- B -(half step)- C.

Starting from G, the scale would be G -(whole step)- D -(whole step)- B -(half step)- C -(whole step)- D -(whole step)- E -(whole step)- F# -(hAalf step)- G.

Now, some things you may/may not already know about the guitar that you need to understand this: One fret is one half step, and two frets are a whole step. Knowing this, you can now construct a major scale on your guitar! If you don't know the names of the notes on the guitar, I highly suggest you start to memorize them. I don't have a diagram handy, but Google should be able to help you, there are hundreds of them on the internet. Just google 'guitar fretboard diagram' or something, you'll get results.

More detail on notes and the major scale: You'll notice from the second example I gave, that the 7th note has a symbol next to it. This symbol is called a sharp. A sharp (#) raises the pitch of a note by one half step, and a flat (b) lowers the pitch of a note by one half step. You'll notice that there are whole steps between all the natural (meaning no sharps or flats) notes of the musical alphabet except for E - F and B - C. This is something you need to remember when you're constructing scales. (This isn't to say there aren't notes called E#, Fb, B#, or Cb. They are enharmonic equivalents, meaning they sound the same as another note, but are written differently. Be aware of this, but you can pretty much ignore it at this point).

Now, remember: When constructing the major scales, they must be diatonic. This means the scale must use every note name (A , B, C, D, E, F, G). So, if you're constructing a scale off the note Cb, the scale would be: Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb, and NOT Cb Eb E F# G# A#. See how the second scale used the note E twice? This is incorrect. Also remember that major scales with flats will never have sharps, and scales with sharps will never have flats.

Does this help?