# The Crusade. Part 5: Harmonizing The Major Scale

Rockers! Welcome to Part V! Congratulations for hanging in there, and making the decision to educate yourself on matters theoretical.

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Rockers! Welcome to Part V! Congratulations for hanging in there, and making the decision to educate yourself on matters theoretical. In this article, we'll learn how to harmonize a major scale. Wow. I can hear the enthusiasm from here. Seriously, folks, as boring or church-like as this sounds, this is actually very useful, exciting, and above all, applicable theory. We'll be combining our newfound knowledge of intervals and the major scale. Woo Hoo. If you haven't already, go back and read the previous The Crusade installments to make sure you have the proper foundation for understanding the concepts presented in this piece. What will you be able to do once you learn the stuff written here? Build chords from scales, and most importantly, start to understand keys, and what chords go together - and why. If you're struggling with chord progressions, you need to read this article. The Scale We'll be using a C major scale for our examples today. If we picture the diagram below as a disproportionately wide guitar string, we end up with:

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Brilliantly conceived; amazingly executed! This is one of the best articles/series on theory I have ever seen. I was always befuddled by the concept of building the I ii iii etc. chords from a given scale. Finally, thanks to you, sir, a light has been shown and I go eagerly forward to further learn and experiment! I also look forward to future lessons from you. Applause and high marks for you, my good man!
Awesome. Deekpyro is right about the little typo up there regarding the minor chords, but awesome, nonetheless. Finally, a lessen that explained why these chords fit in this key, rather than just telling me that they do, so memorize them. I hate memorizing.
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tahnk you this lesson really helped me understand where to go =)
deadlydunc wrote: here, hear? english much?
Dickhead much? give him a break these lessons are amazingly well written, best theory tutor i've had.
Excellent article! In fact the whole series is awesome. I took a theory class at UNLV here in vegas, and this is helping me apply a lot of the stuff I had already learned to my guitar. One thing though, I cant get enough gain/distortion/drive, and love metal, I would really like to know how to start building progressions in minor so that I can start making minor progressions into arpeggios and turn them into nasty shreddage, how do I go about building progressions in minor?
Excellent stuff. Makes it seem quite simple really (That's good for me ha-ha) Thanks
Your a better teacher than the one i have face to face lessons with Your so good at explaining these things Good job
but scales are never really played on one string, so with what he is saying the chord you make is only on one string?
why is this called "harmonizing" the major scale, isn't it "utilizing" it? or maybe i'm just thinking of another meaning to harmonizing... :S
"We see, by the same logic, if we build a chord starting on D instead of C, we would end up with the following notes: D F A.
Isn't that supposed to be D F# A? Or did he mean that he built the D chord from the scale of C? That's what it looks like to me. But I'm pretty sure the right notes are D F# A if you build the Major chord the same way he did with C in the beginning.
hm, alot of his lessons are stuff i already institively know or have worked out for myself, but yeh for people how don't know how to harmonize a scale, this is a good solid lesson, with a nice east broken down, step by step, expalanation, nice one
ak10 wrote: but scales are never really played on one string, so with what he is saying the chord you make is only on one string?
You can't play a chord on a single string... You can, however construct all of the listed chords using the same string to derive your root notes from. Good exercise: Play the Cmaj scale on the A string, then construct the chords listed from the scale. You'll have to go down a string per note (1st on A string,3rd on D, and 5th on G). Kudos Josh, another good 1.
This series of articles is turning out rather helpful for a self-taught student like me! Thank you very much, Mr. Urban You're a great teacher and anyone can see you really like teaching.
Pure class he is the best now i can make instrumentals without geuss work
Extremely well written and helpful article! You've really helped me to fully understand basic theory! Love your column! *10*
Thanks for the time you put into this artical, another great tool to put into our musical tool boxs.
Genius!!!! Never before have I fully understood why chords are major, minor or diminished depending on the key. This gives me the method behind all the madness. Thanks Josh!
i like the part where the description on the homepage is even spelled wrong. I can "here" the enthusiasm too. hahahaha good one.
I like how you keeps building on all of this. Absolutely perfect beginners guides. I can't wait until you get more in depth. I have a feeling your going to help me out a ton with my theory. Thank you sir
"The chords built off the ii, iii, and iv notes will all be minor chords." I think you mean: The chords built off the ii, iii, and *vi* notes will all be minor chords.
great article, really easy to understand, helped alot
tasty licks wrote: i like the part where the description on the homepage is even spelled wrong. I can "here" the enthusiasm too. hahahaha good one.
Arrgh! I'm dyin'! (And I even proofread these things....)
Back when I was learning this I remembered it by: 1 + 4 = 5 Major Chords 2 X 3 = 6 Minor Chords 7.....(lol) Half-diminished Maybe this will help the beginners. OR not lol.
Good job putting theory out there, Josh. I'm one of those guitarists who feel that not enough musicians are actually basing theory into their practice, rather than play random powerchords with a generic pentatonic solo. I love theory and I love that you're putting it in simpler terms for "Long-Time shredders" and "First-time thinkers"
nice lesson but no homework? oh well its still very useful. didnt take too long for this one to come out either. keep up the good work.
very nice stuff. I really shoudve started on the first one, as this will help tons when i take theory class either this year or next. These are some awesome lessons, and are quite simple i think.
you are a great teacher. thanks for making some sense of the crazy world of theory... again.