Major Guitar Scales and key Signatures

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Major Guitar Scales and Key Signatures

In the last lesson we covered the major guitar scales and guitar scale construction. We also covered the construction of the major, minor, diminished and augmented triads within the major scale. I mentioned key signatures, tonic, subdominant and dominant chords. What I would like to do, is take everything we've covered one step further. The first topic we'll cover is the key signature and constructing major guitar scales.

Have you ever wondered what the sharp # and flat symbol stood for at the beginning of each staff? Look at the illustration below and notice that it shows 1 (sharp #).

The flat and sharp symbols you see at the beginning of the sheet music signifies the key the music was based in. 

To make this more understandable we need to construct the key of G major.

The illustration to the left shows how to begin to construct the Major key. In this case, we are going to construct the key of G major.

The first thing you do is determine what key you would like to develop. And then start with the first note  of that key you would like to construct. From that first note, write out all the notes that follow up to one octave. Notice we have went from G to G. Don't worry about the whole or half steps yet.  Once you have your notes in place, you now begin to determine the sharps and flats of that key. Remember all keys are constructed with a certain, whole and half step combination. This formula for every major key is:  Whole, Whole, half, Whole, Whole, Whole, half. 

Knowing this, we need to construct the key of G major. We need to take the first note and this is the G note. So, from the G note we need to go one whole step to the next note. One whole step is two frets on the guitar. If we go up one whole step from the G, we would have the A note. So the A note is correct on the illustration above so we would not add a sharp or flat to that A note. Look at the illustration below and find the G note at the 3rd fret. Now move up two frets and you will find the A note.

We need to continue up another Whole step from the A note this time. One whole step from the A note is the B note, look at the image above. The B note is also correct above, so we would not add a sharp or flat.

Now we need to go only 1/2 step from the B note. 1/2 step is one fret on the guitar. So if we go up one fret from the B note, we would have the C note. The C note is also correct, so we would not add a Sharp or Flat to that note.

So far we have completed the steps, whole, whole, half or the notes G, A, B and C. We now need to do three more whole steps and one half step.

Continuing from the C note, one whole step from the C would be the D note. That is also correct, so leave it as is.

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