If you’ve done everything this chapter asked you, you’ve played at least three different major scales: C, B♭, and one of your choosing. In this Challenge, you’ll play every major scale there is.

Recall there are 7 natural notes: ABCDEFG. Let’s write those in a table so we can see where the half-steps and whole steps occur naturally. (Half-steps between E-F and B-C.) Remember these are the white keys on a piano.

Note Name A whole
step
B C whole
step
D whole
step
E F whole
step
G whole
step
A

 

Now between each pair of notes a whole step apart, let’s write in the “in-between” note. Remember those notes are the black keys on a piano and have enharmonic names.

Note Name A A♯/B♭ B C C♯/D♭ D D♯/E♭ E F F♯/G♭ G G♯/A♭ A

 

Notice our table starts and ends with the note A, so we’ll only count the first one. This leaves us with a total of 12 different notes – the entire musical alphabet. We have seven natural notes (A, B, C, D, E, F, and G) and five accidental notes (A♯/B♭, C♯/D♭, D♯/E♭, F♯/G♭, and G♯/A♭). That’s all the notes there are. Just twelve.

Do This

Your challenge is to play a major scale starting from each of the 12 notes. You’ve already played C, B♭, and one more that you chose. Now play all 12 scales. Play the scales in the following order.

  1. C
  2. G
  3. D
  4. A
  5. E
  6. B
  7. F♯/G♭
  8. C♯/D♭
  9. G♯/A♭
  10. D♯/E♭
  11. A♯/B♭
  12. F

Be sure to follow these guidelines for each scale, filling in the ♫ symbol with the correct note name. When naming notes in a scale that starts with an enharmonic accidental – like D♯/E♭ – choose to start with the ♭. The only exceptions are F♯/G♭ and C♯/D♭. In those cases, start with either one. Why? If you start with the ♯, you’ll end up needing to use one or more double sharps (double sharp) somewhere in the scale, which can be confusing right now. F♯/G♭ and C♯/D♭ are the only ones that won’t require a double sharp if you start with the ♯. (Replace the symbol with the correct letter name for the note.)

 

  1. Say, “My starting note is ♫” and then play it.
  2. Say, “From one to two is a whole step. A whole step higher than ♫ is ♫.” Move up a whole step (two frets) and play the 2nd note.
  3. Say, “From two to three is a whole step. A whole step higher than ♫ is ♫.” Move up a whole step (two frets) and play the 3rd note.
  4. Say, “From three to four is a half-step. A half-step higher than ♫ is ♫.” Move up a half-step (one fret) and play the 4th note.
  5. Say, “From four to five is a whole step. A whole step higher than ♫ is ♫.” Move up a whole step (two frets) and play the 5th note.
  6. Say, “From five to six is a whole step. A whole step higher than ♫ is ♫.” Move up a whole step (two frets) and play the 6th note.
  7. Say, “From six to seven is a whole step. A whole step higher than ♫ is ♫.” Move up a whole step (two frets) and play the 7th note.
  8. Say, “From seven to eight is a half-step. A half-step higher than ♫ is ♫.” Move up a half-step (one fret) and play the 8th note.