A Simple Trick to Memorize The Major Scale | Steve Stine | GuitarZoom.com

hi Steve Stein from guitar zoom here first of all I want to thank everybody for the responses and the discussions that you've had on the first video of my my guitar theory where we discussed the chromatic elements and half steps and how all that stuff worked and then applying it to the guitar now remember you know over the last 25 years am i teaching this stuff what I have found is the most important thing for you as a learning guitar player is to take things in order and take small bites you know as you're learning stuff don't try and tackle everything all at once because then you wind up not really being able to use any of it and please always remember that that is the goal with anything that we learn but certainly music theory is no different we want to learn the concept okay which is what I call white board theory and if you look you'll see I've got a white board sitting right here but that the trick is is to take all of that white board Theory and actually start learning to apply it to the fret board so you can use it it's not just textbook but it's real life it's tangible you can use it in your playing that's the most important thing so thank you for all the discussions that we've had and let's just keep going here so the next step here is to take that chromatic element that we were discussing all of that stuff and we're going to start simplifying that into a functional scale which is the major scale the doora me fossa lot IDO scale that scale is the one that really generates all the real cool functional theory that we think of chords and intervals and arpeggios and court progressions and all those kind of things come from this major scale this doremi facility dose scale now if you look at my whiteboard here you'll see I've got written here diatonic which means seven pitches when we were dealing with the chromatic scale we had 12 notes what we did was we took seven of those twelve notes and we pulled him out of there and we created a diatonic diatonic meaning seven tonic meaning root diatonic so it's seven notes from the root one two three four five six seven now we can put these in any particular order you know we could with a or we could start with B or we could start with C the reason I'm starting with C right now is to make things simpler to explain because the key of C doremi fossil at Edo in music is the only major scale that has no sharps and no flats so you'll notice I have a C and a D and an E and an F I don't have two F's you know like an F and an f-sharp or something like that for learning how to do this in theory the easiest way to do this is you just every scale that you create in terms of major scales major diatonic scales is going to have one of each one of these notes you're not going to have a G and a G flat and G sharp all in the same key it wouldn't happen okay so what we do is we just pull down those primary notes and then we put them in order okay now I'm doing it from C just because again it's going to be easier for us to see so let's take a look at this so what we want to look at in this scale is we want to look at the intervals or the distances remember in the chromatic scale everything was a half-step well now that we've just pulled out these primary notes you'll notice we have larger intervals the distance from C to D is a whole step the distance from D to e is a whole step the distance from E to F is a half step it's a naturally occurring half-step that's where again on the piano there was no black key in between those two white Keys F and G is a whole step G – a is a whole step A to B is a whole step and then B to C again becomes a half step this setup here of whole steps and half steps is the template in which you're going to use for all other major scales if you're in the key of G or the key of D or the key of A or the key of E or the key of F sharp they're all going to have their half steps and whole steps in the same places okay now one of the questions I get a lot is well what about minor scales or what about modes and the truth is when you really learn how to understand this major scale minor scales and modes are a breeze they're very easy because those are just derivatives of this major scale they're just conversions of this scale into something else that's all it is when I was growing up and I was first learning about theory I didn't understand that so I thought like minor scales were our own thing and major skills were their own thing and modes were their own thing and I was like I have like six hundred and fifty three scales I'm supposed to memorize I'm never going to be able to do this and it wasn't until later that somebody explained to me no they're all the same thing they all come from the same place and that's my goal for you with this music theory course is to explain all of that to make it easier for you so in looking at this then a lot of people will go okay so it's whole step whole step half step whole step whole step whole step half step which is exactly right that's totally true but the little shortcut I want to give you is I want you just to think of it this way I want you to think half steps between three and four and seven and eight or seven and one however you want to look at it remember C is C is C is C octaves when we're talking about music theory we're not worried about octaves we're just worried about notes okay so this C in this see there's no difference so C is a C as a C as the C okay so what we want to do is we want to understand the half steps are between three and four and seven and eight or seven and one okay so this scale is again our catalyst it's the one scale that has no sharps no flats it's pure it's perfect so the situation arises for you where you have to be in a different key for instance let's say you were going to be in the key of G all right so the key of G what we would do is we would just take and write down G and I'm just going to go and order again a b c d e f and g okay there's my notes now in order for this to sound like dora Mufasa la Tito it's got a mirror the key of C it's got to function the same way that the key of C does so it's half steps have to be between three and four and seven and eight it has to be if they're any different it will no longer sound like dual Ramaphosa lot ido so in the key of G if we look at this our eyes are gravitating right to the half-step so let's look at those first B to C looks okay but here we have F to G that's actually a whole step and we don't want that we want to have step now the easiest thing to do is just to start trying to fix that but that's actually start from the left and work our way all the way over to the right and that's going to help us as we continue to learn some of these other keys because as we keep moving away from the key of C we're going to wind up with more and more sharps in our key or more and more flats and our key more accidentals more problems with that with that scale and let's look at key of G first and then we'll keep going so in the key of G if we look at it from left to right we've got G to a which is a whole step which is what we want a to B which is a whole step which is what we want B to C which is a half step which is what we want course C to D as a whole great D D as a whole that's great here's our problem e to F now e to F is only a half step we want a whole step in that spot but we only have a half step so we have to expand this distance this interval and there's really only two choices that we've got either we've got to push the e back or we've got to push the F forward now logically if I take the E and push it back I'm going to have a problem because if I press E backwards make e into E flat it's going to fix that interval but it's going to screw up this interval which is going to screw up all of the intervals in front of it so we can't do that we got to work left to right okay so what we want to actually do of course then is we want to make F into F sharp now e to F sharp is the whole step that we want and F sharp to G is the half step you fix one side you fix the other side that's the way it works so the key of G has one sharp you might have learned that if you've ever learned how to play piano or something like that but now you know why the key of G has one sharp the key of G has an F sharp and now you can memorize that the key of G in fact has an F sharp right now it's set up so it's door Amy fossil at E dome now I'm going to keep going but I want to show you this on my guitar so let's take the key of C for instance and I'm going to show you how to play this if you've never played a scale before and if you have just follow along I'm going to take the C here I'm going to go up to the 8th fret of the 6th string and I'm going to play see with my first finger I'm going to play D with my middle finger at the tenth fret I'm going to play E with my pinky at the twelfth fret so there's C D E and then the next string I'm going to play 8 10 12 again so I have c d e f g k and then i'm going to go to the 4th string but i'm gonna go to the 9th fret that's B and then I'm gonna go to my middle finger on the 10th fret that's C so I have C D F G a G C okay so now we're kind of moving back to the original ideas that guitar players have where we're memorizing a shape on the guitar the difference is I want you to be visualizing these notes and not only those notes put the intervals C to D as a whole step you use a whole step need to F is a half step and it's kind of hard to see when I move from the sixth string to the fifth string but if I look at it as this need to F right there I can see that half-step right there C so that's our half step so we have one two three four there's a half step five six and then seven and then eight there's your house now the point I'm doing here is is because we're gonna take that scale that we just played and we're going to move that down to G at the third fret of the sixth string now you might have done this before you might not but if you've done it before you already know that you can move that scale around that scale shape that that I'm playing right now but now you know why because it has to mirror the same thing as the key of C so my notes now are G a B C there's my half-step d EP f-sharp G and if you've been working on the chromatic elements from the first video you can already see those notes on your guitar that's the beautiful thing about this is it all overlaps it's not just book theory although that is that is important the fundamental aspect of it the whiteboard theory if you will but then you got to take that sucker and you got to move it to your guitar you're gonna start making it make sense okay so the point I'm trying to make here is you can see how because the half steps and whole steps configuration is the same when I go to plate on my guitar the shape is the same okay it looks exactly the same I can be in any key doesn't make any difference the shape is going to be the same so let's keep going for a minute here I want to show you a couple more here put this together so now we're going to do the key of let's just do the key of D for instance so I'm going to put d e f g a b c and d okay then i'm going to put my half steps in you know it's funny because when i was in in i think was my sophomore year my professor my college professor he goes don't ever forget to put those half steps in put those arrows in because you're going to make so many mistakes if you don't put them in and ever since then I have always put these arrows between three and four and seven and eight ever since that that that class when he told me to do that so it makes it easy to see how my eyes gravitate to it I can see there's a problem here because this should be a half step and it's a whole step and this right here should be a half step and it's a whole step so I got all kinds of problems but again in just instead of just jumping to conclusions I want to start at the beginning and work my way across so D to E is a whole step like we want e to F is only a half step so we're going to raise that up now we got a whole step which fixes this side that's a half step G day is a whole a to B is a whole B to C is only a half but if we bump that up we got our whole step to our half step the key of D has 2 sharps and that's why okay now trying to bore you let's keep going okay and if you got a piece of paper or and a pen so you should grab that and start writing this down learn how do this I used to have my students do all of the keys like this so let's do the key of a we'll bump this up a little bit okay we got our half steps we're going to put those in grab my colorful red marker here and again we can see by looking at those half steps we got issues this isn't right and that's not right so let's fix it let's start from left to right a 2b is that correct and the answer is yes it's a whole step just like we want just like everybody else has B to C is that a whole step in the answer is no so we need to make the B to C C sharp now B to C sharp so whole step C sharp to D is the half step that we're looking for D to e is that a whole step and the answer is yes e to F is that a whole step like all the other ones in the answer is no so we have to change it to F sharp F sharp to G is that a whole step like we want and the answer is no so we got to fix that to F sharp to G sharp is a whole step and then G sharp to a then is the half step that we want so you can see as we keep going you wind up with more and more sharps you wind up with more problems that need to be fixed now before I let you go well next time the next video what we're going to do is we're going to start learning about triads and how triads work what I'd like you to do right now is I'd like you to focus on two things try these out in various keys try the key of F and the key of a and the key of G and the key of C and the key of D the key of E whatever write and study those see the similarities begin to understand the communication between all of these different scales and how they're all really the same thing we're just readjusting the problems to make it all mirror the key of C so the last one I want to give you just so you can see how this works we're going to do the key of F so f g a b c d e and f it's kind of hard to write at an angle like that okay now we throw in our little arrow there we go beautiful now at first glance this is wrong this is right a to be is wrong e to F is right first glance we throw a sharp on the F that's the first glance that everybody does but let's actually look further into this and work left to right like we're supposed to be doing so F to G is a whole step it's fine G to a is a whole step it's fine there's nothing wrong with it a to B is a whole step and we need it to be a half step do you see what the problem is okay the problem is that you can't change a to a sharp to fix this problem because if you move a sharp a to a sharp G to a is wrong then you can't do that the only thing you can do is in this case you have to bump the B backwards F to G was fine we can't change it G to a was fine we can't change it a to b was wrong so we make that B flat which in turn then makes B flat to C a whole step like we want C to D a whole step to eat a whole step B to F a half step so in the first video we were discussing the chromatic scale and the fact that you get sharps and then again a question I always get is why do you call them sharps one mean what about flats and we learned that a sharp and a flat like a sharp and B flat or actually the same note they're just called an anharmonic you have two different names for the same note or same pitch but I did mention to you that as you keep learning your theory you're going to start realizing why you get two different names and this is why okay this might further explain to you too why if you were a piano player or a clarinet player or something like that how you would refer to it as b-flat whereas a guitar player a lot of times because we don't know our theory we just call everything sharp we just say a sharp and then other musicians might look and go why you calling it a sharp it's because in their usual theory language you don't really come across a sharp but you do come across B flat a lot as you can see right here in the key of F okay we can't call this a sharp we can't have a and a sharp even though in theory it does make sense but it doesn't make sense on paper we have to call it B flat so the f gets one flat which is B flat ok so I hope that helps you a little bit remember the key here is as watch this video as you as much as you need to to absorb this concept this is really really important for you to learn if you really want to start tackling how things work on the fret board and I strongly encourage you to do so because it's so enlightening to be able to freely understand what's actually happening on your fret board as opposed to just always relying on shapes that don't really make any sort of sense and again don't get me wrong we all do it I started there too that's exactly what I did learn how to play scales and chords and really didn't understand how anything worked but it always just seemed like my playing especially my soloing especially my songwriting was lacking things because I really didn't understand how things actually tether together so that's the whole point of theory ok so in the next video we're going to start building chords from this but please understand what you've got built right here will work for all your keys and of course in the theory course we go through all of that stuff so take care and I'll see you soon oh and remember please if you have questions or comments or you want to discuss something head over to the Facebook guitar zum community page and sign up and join that join the group I'm on there too and you know it's a positive fun just a real great place to discuss music and have fun and and you know share videos and and you know jamming and all that kind of stuff it's not about intimidation it's not about all those kinds it's certainly not about negativity it's about just sharing and enjoying music that's what it is so meet us over there and if you have any questions we're gonna we're going to take a look at those in the next video so

29 thoughts on “A Simple Trick to Memorize The Major Scale | Steve Stine | GuitarZoom.com”

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  2. Thank you so much for this video. You explained everything in such an awesome way. I've been trying to grasp these concepts for months but you managed to explain everything in less than 20 minutes.

  3. Steve – so glad you are teaching – you are a GREAT instructor. I have been playing many years , mainly rhythm because I have learned many chords and have picked up a lot by ear . Now that I want to learn to solo it is a must that I learn scales and music theory. I , at this point in my playing ability, cannot advance to become a better player UNLESS I learn music theory – you break it down in a very clear manner. You are my go to instructor – you , no doubt , are very talented and inspiring me to know that – if I keep practicing what you show / teach – I will only get better myself.
    Many , many thanks – YOU ROCK 😊😊👍👍✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️✌️

  4. Been at it for 40 plus years Steve, but learning so much from your lessons! Great lessons with a lot of insight. My playing is improving dramatically due to you.
    Many thanks..🎶🎵🎸

  5. Thank you very much for this. I've wondered about this very subject for years. My gratitude for sharing your knowledge and understanding.

  6. there are 12 notes rite.
    and for maj scale u need to find 1 + 7. rite.?
    so let's assume that the position of the first note = 0
    there after I count and jump according to the formula of Maj scale. which is
    0 2 2 1 2 2 2 1
    as a result I can play any maj scale on guitar and piano witout knowing it's notes. this is what I've learned so far .
    and it helps me immensely.
    hope it helps u guys as well.

  7. I always thought the determining factor for whether a note was sharp or flat depended on in which direction you were playing, i.e., sharps were in an ascending scales and flats were in a descending scale. Thanks Steve, every little piece of information is important! I am now one step closer to undertanding "theory." (What a long and arduous road).

  8. Stumbled across Your videos and you were awesome at what you do keep up the good work and plan for 40 years and I learned some stuff just from watching your videos

  9. Thank you for your videos, they are helpful. I am having trouble getting my head around some things regarding the Major scale. First some background information. I have a pretty good handle on the five patterns of the minor pentatonic scale. In your video you mention scales like the minor pentatonic scale and others are all derivatives of the Major scale. Here is what I don't get. Why the patterns for minor pentatonic patterns and the Major scale are so wildly different than each other. They don't even look similar that I can see. What the heck am I missing? Thanks!

  10. This is excellent teaching for a beginner or anyone not aware of the pattern, really excellent. I know how to make scales backwards and forwards so this idea is not for me. But I do have a problem: every time you move to a new fret to begin your scale the relative range of the scale changes, so should I not be concerned about this as a beginner and by playing and practicing over a few years it all will iron out? I mean if I play a C Major scale starting on Fret #8 I would like to play an G Major scale from the same position, but it becomes a different pattern. So should I be concerned, or just play the one pattern for six months every day along with other things of course, then try G Major scale from the same position as the C Major scale but of course modifying the pattern. Also, what if that is not a popular position? What are the most important positions on guitar? How to remember all major scales from any "one" position? I'm overwhelmed here thinking too hard. I'm gonna learn the C Major from the 8th Fret as you did and do as you with all the scales, then try modifying each to suit a neighboring scale. I guess this is the answer. If not, please write me. Thanks for a very good lesson. ciao.

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