Monday, December 7, 2009

CAGED System part IV: The Major Scale (level:beginner - intermediate)

    Welcome to the 4th installment of the CAGED series.  Last time we learned the pentatonic forms and how they relate to the chord forms.  Now all we need to do is find out how the major scale is formed from the pentatonic scales.
    The major scale has 7 notes and the pentatonic scale has 5, as you learned earlier.  The five notes in the pentatonic scale are actually taken from the major scale so all we need to do is figure out what notes to add to the pentatonic scale to make it a major scale.

    Before we do this, let's have a look at the major scale.  For our purposes, we will name the notes of the major scale the numbers 1 - 7 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).  What makes a scale a major scale is the amount of space between the notes.  Below is a diagram I made to help you to see this.

    The top row represents the chromatic scale and the bottom row represents the major scale.  The amount of space between each note of the major scale is determined by how many chromatic scale notes there are between them.

    All notes of the major scale have one chromatic note between them except between 3 and 4, and 7 and 1.  There are no chromatic notes between the major scale notes 3 and 4, and 7 and 1.  They are right next to each other.

    Now lets take a look at the pentatonic scale.  The pentatonic scale is made up of five notes of the major scale.  Specifically, the pentatonic scale is notes 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the major scale.  All we have to do to make the pentatonic scale a major scale, then, is to add notes 4 and 7.


    The Major scale forms are named using the same process as the pentatonic and chord forms.  Hopefully by now you have a better grasp of the chromatic scale and can start naming some of the chord forms without counting the frets.  The more you practice naming the chord forms, the quicker you will be able to name them and eventually you will just know where the notes are without having to figure it out.  

    There you have it.  That concludes this series on the CAGED series.  I have thus far covered the basics of the system.  I may cover some lessons in the future on implementing the CAGED system in practical playing situations, but until then...



1 comment:

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