C MAJOR SCALE version 1 (*)

Now it’s time to learn our first scale. The C major scale.

The major scale is the foundation of all western music. You could think of the major scale as an arrangement of notes that sound ‘friendly’ (consonant) with each other. The notes that fall outside the scale could be heard as ‘unfriendly’ (dissonant) notes. If we learn and improvise on this scale, the music we play will sound ‘right’ so to speak immediately. Notice all the notes or intervals are numbered 1 to 7. We do this, so we can communicate with other musicians very quickly. For example, if you said to a piano player “this intro is a 1345 in C”, that player will know you mean “play the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th note in the C major scale”.

You can move the major scale pattern wherever you like on the bass and change the key of the music you’re playing. If you start your major scale on an F note, you’re now playing in the key of F major.  The first scale we learn runs laterally along the bass on one string. We learn this one first, so we can see all keys are really work the same. They just start on different notes.

The next one we will learn runs across multiple strings. This one is easier to play, but the pattern is now difficult to visualize. We get around this by learning the scale well, playing it up and down until it becomes second nature.