Summary of Jan. 25, 2017 teaching segment:
7 letters to name 12 notes:
e.g., ascending from G to G:
G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F# (G)
e.g., descending from G to G:
G, Gb, F, E, Eb, D, Db, C, B, Bb, A, Ab, (G)
Points to remember:
- nothing between B and C
- nothing between E and F
- # (sharp) = 1 half-step higher in pitch (the equivalent of one fret higher on a fretted instrument)
- b (flat) = 1 half-step lower in pitch (the equivalent of one fret lower on a fretted instrument)
Summary of Feb. 1, 2017 teaching segment:
The name for the 12 note scales in the preceding teaching segment is 'the chromatic scale'.
The Major Scale is a subset of the Chromatic Scale, and consists of 7 notes.
The easiest way to remember which notes of the Chromatic Scale make up the Major Scale is by using the C Major Scale as the point of reference relative to the Chromatic Scale, since the C Major Scale is the only Major Scale that contains no sharps or flats:
Chromatic Scale starting on C: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, (C)
C Major Scale: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, (C)
do re mi fa sol la ti (do)
So, the formula for the Major Scale is: whole-step, whole-step, half-step, whole-step, whole-step, whole-step, half-step.
(A whole-step higher is the equivalent of 2 frets higher on a fretted instrument.)
So, applying the same pattern to the Chromatic Scale starting on D:
D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, (D)
we find that the D Major Scale is D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, (D)
for F: F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, (F)
F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, (F)
for G: G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, (G)
G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, (G)
for A: A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, (A)
A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, (A) etc.
In each Major Scale, the notes are to be named in a way that uses all 7 letters of the musical alphabet only once. This determines whether the note between G and A, the note between A and B, the note between C and D, the note between D and E, and the note between F and G are called by their sharp names or by their flat names in the context of a particular Major Scale.