Major Scales –
Musical Scales and Pitching Exercises Too!
Major Scales are one of the most basic scales that we can sing in order to practise our pitching and keep ourselves in tune.
In fact, most vocal instructors would use this scale as a simple vocal warmup, by getting students to sing this simple scale at the start of each lesson, in order to test their pitching and also their rhythm sense.
For those who wish to understand more about how we can keep ourselves in pitch, do refer to my webpage on Pitching Tips and find out about the various points we need to take note of when singing our pitching exercises, in order to train our voice effectively!
Do also view this video to learn how to sing a Major Scale easily and quickly:
The Major Scale is made up of 8 notes, with 7 basic notes and the 8th note being a repeat of the 1st note, but in a higher octave. In solfege notation, the major scale looks like this:
Here is a list of all the major scales and their notes on the piano, for those piano/keyboard players out there to refer to when practising your pitching exercises:
For those of you who do not have any musical instrument at home, you can find out how to access the full list of major scale audio clips by clicking here. I have uploaded my full set of audio clips online for our members to access, and you can then practise these major scales in the convenience of your own home.
Here are some Scales played in various Major Keys for you to try them out first:
G Major Scale Ascending
G Major Scale Descending
C Major Scale Ascending
C Major Scale Descending
Find out how to access the full list of major scale audio clips and practise them in the convenience of your own home by clicking here.
Note: The practice music for B Major as well as A Flat Major is available on the webpage about scale singing for vocal warmups.
For those who are interested in the structure of the Major Scale and how it is formed, here is a diagram that we can refer to:
Referring to the diagram, a Tone, also called a ‘Whole Step’, refers to 2 Semitones (also called ‘Half Steps’). A Semitone refers to moving left or right to the next immediate note; for example, moving from a B note to a C note – these 2 notes are side by side. Whereas if we were to move from a C note to a D note, we can see from the diagram that there is a black key (C# note) in between these notes, and this means that we have to take 2 ‘half’ steps or a Tone when moving from C to D.
A Major Scale is made up of various Tone and Semitone intervals between notes in the structure illustrated above, i.e. Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Tone, Semitone.
This means that we can construct scales in any major key that we want, just by following this structure. For example, if we were to wish to construct the scale of D Major, by following the above tone and semitone structure, we would know that this scale would be made up of the following notes:
D (tone) E (tone) F# (semitone) G (tone) A (tone) B (tone)
C# (semitone) D
You can try this with any note and you will be able to construct any major scale you want!
All musical scales have a fixed structure, and if we just remember their structure formula, it is easy to construct the scales that you want to play for your pitching exercises!