Music made easy (Intervals and scales)

 

Here’s MeYouMusicOnlines music theory guide to help you build scales and formulas, without having to learn endless amounts of shapes and patterns. This information can be used on multiple instruments, but I personally like to use it for keyboard and guitar. If you are learning theory on an instrument such as a bass or guitar, make sure you have a decent understanding of where your notes are on the fret board. You don’t need to be a master as this will help you become more fluent at locating notes.

I’m going to break it down  into 4 sections.

Section 1, I will list out all the notes in your major scale in each key.

Section 2, I will show you how to put a numerical value to each note in the major scale and use this formula to build major, minor and extended chords.

Section  3, I will explain how intervals work.

Section 4, I will list out many scales with their intervals and help you apply the theory to your playing.

If your new and struggle to comprehend everything on Here, don’t worry; this will take some time to learn. Just save our web page and come back to revisit any information you forget.

Now before I get into things, if your a theory beginner, remember that the major scale goes up In the order

T – T – ST – T – T – T – ST  (T – Tone, ST – Semitone) a semi tone is 1 note across (example: a-a#) A tone is 2 semitones (example: a-b). Keep in mind there is no sharp between b and c or e and f.  By learning this you can work out the major scale of any key which you can then develop into a different scale.

Major scales

Starting with your whole time roots:

A – B – C# – D – E – F# – G# – A

B – C# – D# – E – F# – G# – A# – B

C – D – E – F – G – A – B – C

D – E – F# – G – A – B – C# – D

E – F# – G# – A – B – C# – D# – E

F – G – A – A# – C – D – E – F

G – A – B – C – D – E – F# – G

Now starting with your sharp roots:

A# – C – D – D# – F – G – A – A#

C# – D# – F – F# – G# – A# – C – C#

D# – F – G – G# – A# – C – D – D#

F# – G# – A# – B – C# – D# – F – F#

G# – A# – C – C# – D# – F – G – G#

There are 8 notes within each key of the major scale, the 8th being your root note in the next octave up.

Now our next step is to add a numerical value to each note. We would use our root note and go from there. I will give two demonstrations, one in the key of c as it is built up of whole notes (white keys on a piano) and B as it has 5 sharps.

Let’s line up the key of c and add the numerical value underneath (these values would normally be presented as Roman numerals but I will keep it simple for now).

C – D – E- F – G – A – B – C

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Now we will quickly learn how to build chords using this method.

Major chords – use the 1, 3 and 5 of your major scale. In the key of c, that would be C, E, G.

Minor chords – use the 1, flat 3, 5. In the key of c that would be C, E flat/D sharp, G.

Major 7th chords – use the 1, 3, 5, 7. In c that is C – E – G – B.

Minor 7th chords – 1, flat 3, 5, flat 7. In c that is C – D# – G – A#.

Dominant 7th chords – 1, 3, 5, flat 7. In c that is C – E – G – A#.

Due to the purpose of this page I’m not going to lay out anymore chord formulas, however they are easily accessible on the web or you can do it on your own! It makes great practice. Last addition to this section is that after you hit your 8th note in the scale, you continue to go up in numbers. If C is our 1 and 8, Then D is our 9th, F 11th and so forth.

If this is all new to you then please practice the above until you have a decent understanding before moving on.

Now we know how to use intervals to build chords, let’s move on to building scales. To start this of, here is all the intervals lined up:

Root, Minor 2nd, Major 2nd, Minor 3rd, Major 3rd, Perfect Fourth, Minor 5th, Perfect 5th, Minor 6th, Major 6th, Minor 7th, Perfect 7th. Now you will be back at your root note.

So your probably wondering how this helps build new scales. Keep all this in mind as you read on and give it a second read if you need to.

Now I’m going to list out the intervals between some of my favorite scales. (If I do not specify the interval as a minor(represented as a ) then it is a major or a perfect interval)).
Major – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 (easy)

Minor – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Dorian – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Phrygian – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Romanian – 1 – 2 – 3 – #4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 (I find this scale very pleasing, give it a go!)

I’ll add more scales at the bottom of this page so you can take for reference; but for now let’s move on to using these formulas to actually figure out the notes we will be using.

I recommend having a sheet with all the major scales notes from each root in front of you as you work this out. I also recommend keeping a list of formulas and a circle of fifths around you as you play as a useful resource if you need it. This post has included all of which, so print out this page as a handy guide if you need 😉

So let’s go back to our easy c major scale and turn it into a c minor scale. The c minor scale has a  3rd, 6th and 7th. The rest is the same as the major key. As C major is all white keys we can quickly work out that our 3rd is E, our 6th is A and our 7th is B. Flatten them 3 puppies and baboom! Your in minor. Simple right? If you answered no, re read and come back, it’ll hit you like a sledgehammer after several attempts.

Our next example is going to be in B major, which we will be turning into B Dorian. In Dorian, you use a  3rd and 7th and the rest would be your standard Major key. Our 3rd in this key is a C# and our 7th is A#. Lower both of those notes while using the scale and Bam! You have B Dorian.

Below I will list more of my favorite scales which you can play around in. I won’t be including bebop scales, iwato, or several others due to there being more or less then 8 notes within these scales (let’s keep it simple for now).

Lydian – 1 – 2 – 3 – #4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Mixolydian – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Aeolian – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Locrian – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Super locrian – 1 – 2 – 3 – 3 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Ultra locrian! 1 – 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ♭♭7 (an extra semi tone down from your 7) 8

Phrygian dominant – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Javanese – 1 – 2 –3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Okay that’s a good list to start with. Use this information to work out which notes to use for a certain scale and key. If you have any feedback, edits or questions, send an email to the meyoumusiconline team and we will happily help as much as we can. Happy learning everyone!

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Here is an Image of the circle of fifths. I added it to the bottom as I will not be giving a lesson on how to use it with this post. Print it/ write it up for reference and I will write a guide soon so follow us online!

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