Major Scale Semitone Structures NAME Degrees Original Family ==== ======= ======== ====== Aeolian 12b345b6b7 2122122 1122222 Algerian 12b34#45b67 21211131 11111223 Arabian (a) 12b34#4#567 21212121 11112222 Arabian (b) 1234#4#5b7 2211222 1122222 Theta, Asavari 12b345b6b7 2122122 1122222 Balinese 1b2b35b6 12414 11244 Theta, Bilaval 1234567 2212221 1122222 Theta, Bhairav 1b2345b67 1312131* 1111233 Theta, Bhairavi 1b2b345b6b7 1222122 1122222 Byzantine 1b2345b67 1312131* 1111233 Chinese 13#457 42141 11244 Chinese Mongolian 12356 22323 22233 Diminished 12b34#4#567 21212121 11112222 Dorian 12b3456b7 2122212* 1122222 Egyptian 1245b7 23232* 22233 Ethiopian (A raray) 1234567 2212221 1122222 Ethiopian (Geez & Ezel) 12b345b6b7 2122122 1122222 Harmonic Minor 12b345b67 21222131 1112223 Hawiian 12b34567 2122221 1122222 Hindustan 12345b6b7 2212122* 1122222 Hungarian Major 1#23#456b7 3121212 1112223 Hungarian Gypsy 12b3#45b67 2131131 1111233 Hungarian Gypsy Persian 1b2345b67 1312131* 1111233 Hungarian Minor 12b3#45b67 2131131 1111233 Ionian 1234567 2212221 1122222 Japanese (A) 1b245b6 14214 11244 Japanese (B) 1245b6 23214 12234 Japanese (Ichikosucho) 1234#4567 22111221 11112222 Japanese (Taishikicho) 1234#456#67 221112111 111111222 Javaneese 1b2b3456b7 1222212 1122222 Jewish (Adonai Malakh) 1b22b3456b7 11122212 11112222 Jewish (Ahaba Rabba) 1b2345b6b7 1312122 1112223 Jewish (Magen Abot) 1b2#23#4#5#67 12122211 11112222 Theta, Kafi 12b3456b7 2122212* 1122222 Theta, Kalyan 123#4567 2221221 1122222 Theta, Khamaj 123456b7 2212212 1122222 Locrian 1b2b34#4#5b7 1221222 1122222 Lydian 123#4567 2221221 1122222 Major 1234567 2212221 1122222 Theta, Marva 1b23#4567 1321221 1112223 Mela Bhavapriya (44) 1b2245#56 1132113 1111233 Mela Chakravakam (16) 1b23456b7 1312212 1112223 Mela Chalanata (36) 1#2345#67 3112311 1111233 Mela Charukesi (26) 12345b6b7 2212122* 1122222 Mela Chitrambari (66) 123#45#67 2221311 1112223 Mela Dharmavati (59) 12b3#4567 2131221 1112223 Mela Dhatuvardhani (69) 1#23#45b67 3121131 1111233 Mela Dhavalambari (49) 1b23#45#56 1321113 1111233 Mela Dhenuka (9) 1b2b345b67 1222131 1112223 Mela Dhirasankarabharana (29) 1234567 2212221 1122222 Mela Divyamani (48) 1b2b3#45#67 1231311 1111233 Mela Gamanasrama (53) 1b23#4567 1321221 1112223 Mela Ganamurti (3) 1b2245b67 1132131 1111233 Mela Gangeyabhusani (33) 1#2345b67 3112131 1111233 Mela Gaurimanohari (23) 12b34567 2122221 1122222 Mela Gavambodhi (43) 1b2b3#45#56 1231113 1111233 Mela Gayakapriya (13) 1b2345#56 1312113 1111233 Mela Hanumattodi (8) 1b2b345b6b7 1222122 1122222 Mela Harikambhoji (28) 123456b7 2212212 1122222 Mela Hatakambari (18) 1b2345#67 1312311 1111233 Mela Hemavati (58) 12b3#456b7 2131212 1112223 Mela Jalarnavam (38) 1b22#45b6b7 1141122 1111224 Mela Jhalavarali (39) 1b22#456b7 1141131 1111134 Mela Jhankaradhvani (19) 12b345#656 2122113 1112223 Mela Jyotisvarupini (68) 1#23#45b6b7 3121122 1112223 Mela Kamavardhani (51) 1b23#45b67 1321131 1111233 Mela Kanakangi (1) 1b2245#56 1132113 1111233 Mela Kantamani (61) 123#45#56 2221113 1112223 Mela Kharaharapriya (22) 12b3456b7 2122212* 1122222 Mela Kiravani (21) 12b345b67 2122131 1112223 Mela Kokilapriya (11) 1b2b34567 1222221* 1122222 Mela Kosalam (71) 1#23#4567 3121221 1112223 Mela Latangi (63) 123#45b67 2221131 1112223 Mela Manavati (5) 1b224567 1132221 1112223 Mela Mararanjani (25) 12345#56 2212113 1112223 Mela Mayamalavagaula (15) 1b2345#56 1312113 1111233 Mela Mechakalyani (65) 123#4567 2221221 1122222 Mela Naganandini (30) 12345#67 2212311 1112223 Mela Namanarayani (50) 1b23#45b6b7 1321122 1112223 Mela Nasikabhusani (70) 1#23#456b7 3121212 1112223 Mela Natabhairavi (20) 12b345b6b7 2122122 1122222 Mela Natakapriya (10) 1b2b3456b7 1222212 1122222 Mela Navanitam (40) 1b22#456b7 1141212 1111224 Mela Nitimati (60) 12b3#45#67 2131311 1111233 Mela Pavani (41) 1b22#4567 1141221 1111224 Mela Ragavardhani (32) 1#2345b6b7 3112122 1112223 Mela Raghupriya (42) 1b22#45#67 1141311 1111134 Mela Ramapriya (52) 1b23#456b7 1321212 1112223 Mela Rasikapriya (72) 1#23#45#67 3121311 1111233 Mela Ratnangi (2) 1b2245b6b7 1132122 1112223 * = indicates symmetry, i.e. structure is the same used forward or backwards
Thanks go to composer/producer Ivan Bertolla for providing this information. Check out his website where you can see a lot of his published work used in music, film and TV. He runs a music school and production business, based in Melbourne.
You might also be interested in the guitar scales section at GuitarOrb.com. They discuss the 6 most common guitar scales, their use and a bit of the surrounding theory. They also provide a guitar scales chart that provides a nice summary of the info.
These are information compiled from Alt.Guitar newsgroup.
Here we show how the modes from the major scale are split up. There are seven modes based on the major scale. Each mode is comprised of the same notes as the major scale, but it begins and ends on a different root. The following shows the all seven modes that can be made from the C major scale.
1. C-Ionian c-d-e-f-g-a-b-c (C-Major) 2. D-Dorian d-e-f-g-a-b-c-d 3. E-Phrygian e-f-g-a-b-c-d-e 4. F-Lydian f-g-a-b-c-d-e-f 5. G-Mixolydian g-a-b-c-d-e-f-g 6. A-Aeolian a-b-c-d-e-f-g-a 7. B-Locrian b-c-d-e-f-g-a-b
Melodic Minor Scale
The melodic minor scale is very similar to the major scale, and it's also made of seven modes.
1. C-Melodic Minor C-D-Eb-F-G-A-B 2. D-Dorian Flatted 2nd D-Eb-F-G-A-B-C 3. Eb-Lydian Augmented Eb-F-G-A-B-C-D 4. F-Lydian Dominant F-G-A-B-C-D-Eb 5. G-Hindu G-A-B-C-D-Eb-F 6. A-Locrian Natural 2nd A-B-C-D-Eb-F-G 7. B-Super Locrian B-C-D-Eb-F-G-A
There is a way to help remember scales, that I find more useful than memorizing boxes or shapes. This method focuses on the number of half steps between notes in the scale, and can be used to find the scale anywhere on the fretboard.
First, the major scale is made up of a certain number of half steps between notes:
C Major Scale: Position: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th Note: C D E F G A B Half Steps: 2 2 1 2 2 2 1
The 4 types of tetrachords, counted out in numbers of half-steps. The example is shown in in the C Major Scale:
Major tetrachord: 2-2-1 ex: C-D-E-F. or G-A-B-C Minor tetrachord: 2-1-2 ex: A-B-C-D or D-E-F-G Phrygian tetrachord: 1-2-2 ex: E-F-G-A or B-C-D-E Lydian tetrachord: 2-2-2 ex: F-G-A-B
Each mode of the major scale is a combiantion of 2 tetrachords. If both the top and bottom tetrachords are the same type, it's called a symmetrical mode. Ionian, for example, is symmetrical with 2 major tetrachords. You can see how this would work, as there are several positions most of the tetrachords will fit.
5 Note Scales - The Pentatonic
Minor Pentatonic (Key of A)
Notice that this is part of the A Aeolian scale. (A-B-C-D-E-F-G) You just remove the 2nd and 6th.
1 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b7 A C D E G
Major Pentatonic (Key of C)
This is a portion of the C Ionian (C Major)... omitting the 4th and 7th.
1 - 2 - 3 - 5 - 6 C D E G A
C Major Pentatonic and A Minor Pentatonic are modes of each other -- the notes are the same, only shifted to a different root. This scale is based on a series of 5ths. (C->G->D->A->E).
Since the Pentatonic Major is taken from the 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6th notes in the major scale, and if you're playing in a particular mode (scale), there are three pentatonic scales you can play over the root mode. They correspond to the 1st, 4th, and 5th of the Ionian mode.
For example, to play Pentatonic scales over a D Dorian mode, find the equivalent Ionian mode (in this case C). The 1st, 4th, and 5th of C are C, F, and G, so you can play C, F, and G Pentatonic scales over your D Dorian and still sound good.
There is a direct relation between the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales. The pentatonic major is the same fingering as the minor 3 frets lower. Ex: E pentatonic major = C# pentatonic minor. Changing from the E pentatonic major over the I in an E blues progression, to the E minor pentatonic over the IV grabs attention with the b3rd. Over the the V (B) you could play the F# pentatonic minor.
Using the typical I-IV-V blues progression in E, it's possible to use the E major and minor pentatonics over the entire progression. You can also add the 7th to the E chord, and play in the E Mixolydian scale. (This has a D, which is the 7th of E.) When the progression changes to the IV or A, you can again play in A Mixolydian, suggesting the A7, or play in E Dorian which shares the same notes. When you reach the V (B) you can play B mixolydian (same as F# Dorian) or the F# pentatonic, both of which contain a b7th (A).
The Pentatonic Major works very well over the common I-IV and I-V progressions. In each case, only one note must be changed to transistion between the chords. An example is the I-IV change from Bmaj to Emaj. If you raise the D# in the B Pentatonic Major to an E, you get the E Pentatonic Major. Likewise, with the I-V change from Fmaj to Cmaj, dropping the F's in the F Pentatonic Major to E's will give you the C Pentatonic Major.
Kumoi (Key of D)
1 - 2 - b3 - 5 - 6 D E F# A C
A western derivation of a traditional Japanese scale.
1 - b2 - 4 - 5 - b6 D Eb G A Bb
A modern Japanese scale.
1 - b2 - 4 - b5 - b6 D Eb G Ab Bb
6 Note Scales
This follows the same interval as the minor pentatonic, but with an added b5th. The b5th is called a "blue" note.
1 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7 A C D Eb E G
1 - 2 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7 A B D E F# G
1 - b2 - 3 - 4 - b5 - 7 A Bb C D Eb Ab
Whole Tone Scale
Comprised entirely of whole steps. Works well over augmented chords. Shown beginning on F.
1 - 2 - 3 - b5 - #5 - b7 C D E Gb G# Bb
7 Note Scales:
The various scales that have 7 notes are shown here in alphabetical order.
The 6th mode of the major scale. Works best over a minor (because of flatted 3rd). A is the 6th of C, so A aeolian is C major scale, played A to A. Constructed of a minor and a phrygian tetrachord.
1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7 A B C D E F G
Chinese Scale of the Chow Dynasty
This scale was used in 1122 BC. Shown here in the key of F.
1 - 2 - 3 - #4 - 5 - 6 - #7 F G A B C D E
Chinese Scale of the Yuan Dynasty
Shown here in the key of F.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - #7 F G A Bb C D E
The 2nd mode of the major scale. Works best over a minor chord. Formed from 2 minor tetrachords. D dorian is the same as a C major played from D to D. Bluesy sounding due to the b3rd and b7th.
1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7 D E F G A B C
Same as a Dorian, although the 2nd is flatted. I beleive this would be formed by phrygian and minor tetrachords. This is the second mode of the melodic minor scale.
1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7 D Eb F G A B C
1 - b2 - 3 - b5 - #5 - b7 - 7 D Eb F Ab A# Bb B
It's a two minor tetrachords joined together. It's the same as the Melodic Minor, with a flatted 6th. Shown below in the key of G.
1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - 7 G - A - Bb - C - D - Eb - F#
5th mode of the melodic minor scale. Key of C.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7 C - D - E - F - G - Ab - Bb
The first mode of the major scale. C Ionian is the C major scale. Ionian is constructed from 2 major tetrachords. Works best over a major scale. This scale, also called the Heptatonic (means 7-tones) is comprised of a series of fifths.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 C - D - E - F - G - A - B
The 7th mode. B locrian is a C major played from B to B. It's built from phrygian and lydian tetrachords, and plays best over a minor chord.
1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - b5 - b6 - b7 C - Db - Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb
Locrian Natural 2
Locrian with the 2nd left natural rather than flatted. The 6th mode of the melodic minor scale.
1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - b5 - b6 - b7 C - D - Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb
4th mode of the major scale. F Lydian is the same as a C major scale played F to F. This is because C is the 4th of G. Works best over a Major chord, and is formed from lydian and major tetrachords. Key of C.
1 - 2 - 3 - #4 - 5 - 6 - 7 C - D - E - F# - G - A - B
Lydian mode modified with a #5. The 3rd mode of the melodic minor scale. Key of C.
1 - 2 - 3 - #4 - #5 - 6 - 7 C - D - E - F# - G# - A - B
lydian with a b7. It's a combination of a lydian and mixolydian. This is the 4th mode of the melodic minor scale. Considered a "dominant" scale because of the formula for a dominant chord is 1,3,5,b7. Key of C.
1 - 2 - 3 - #4 - 5 - 6 - b7 C - D - E - F# - G - A - Bb
5th mode of the major scale. G Mixolydian is a C major played from G to G. It is built from a major and minor tetrachord, and works best over a major scale. the b7th adds a bluesy feel. Key of C.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7 C - D - E - F - G - A - Bb
Nohkan Flute Scale
A Japanese scale, shown in D. Key of D.
1 - 2 - 4 - b5 - b6 - 6 - 7 D - E - G - Ab - Bb - B - C#
The 3rd mode of the Major scale. Works best over a minor chord. E is the 3rd of C, so E phrygian is the same as a C major scale played from E to E. Phrygian is built from 2 phrygian tetrachords. Key of C
1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7 C - Db - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb
Has an Egyptian or Arabic sound. Used in bridge of Megadeth's "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due". Shown in Key of E. Since E Phrygian is the 3rd mode of C Major, It would normally have no sharps or flats, but the Phrygian Dominant has a G#. Notice the notes for the E dominant 7th chord are in the scale. 1,3,5,b7
1 - b2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7 E F G# A B C D
1 - b2 - b3 - 3 - 4 - b5 - b6 C - Db - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb
7th mode of the melodic minor scale. Key of C
1 - b2 - b3 - b4 - b5 - b6 - b7 C Db Eb E Gb Ab Bb