The first and most important scale we learn is the Major scale. Almost all the music you hear (from Ed Sheeran, to traditional Irish music) is created with the major scale. The major scale has a happy sound when played. Learn the scale below and then improvise to the track.
Play the C major scale over this track. First try to play a random note to every second click, but then when you’re more confident try a note per click.
THE MINOR SCALE
The next most important scale we learn is the minor scale. Any song you hear with a sad mood is likely created with the minor scale. Learn the scale below and then improvise to the track by playing the notes randomly.
Play the A minor scale over this track. First try to play a random note to every second click, but then when you’re more confident try a note per click.
HARMONIC MINOR SCALE
There is a variation of the minor scale called the harmonic minor scale. This is the minor scale that’s used in classical music, but you will see it appear now and then in pop music too. Sometimes you will see both minor scales in the same song.
Play the A harmonic minor scale over this track. First try to play a random note to every second click, but then when you’re more confident try a note per click.
CHORDS & SONGS
You can build chords out of any scale by starting with one note, and adding every second note after that. This is called stacking 3rds. To build simple triads, we stack 3 of these notes together. Click on the link below to see how easy it is to play all 7 chords in the key of C major or A minor.
Minor scales can also be built into chords. Notice how the chords in the key of A minor are the same in C major, but follow a different order? This is because A minor is the relative minor of C major. See if you can write a sad song with these chords. Try them with the rhythms below.
Here are some rhythm patterns that are used in hundreds of songs. Each one gives a different feel. Learn one at a time and then add them to the songs below. You can also make up your own songs by using the rhythms, and random chords in C major.
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