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Major Scale Notes & Intervals A half step (H) is the “distance” between frets or between any two adjacent keys on a piano. A whole step (W) is the “distance”

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Presentation on theme: "Major Scale Notes & Intervals A half step (H) is the “distance” between frets or between any two adjacent keys on a piano. A whole step (W) is the “distance”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Major Scale Notes & Intervals A half step (H) is the “distance” between frets or between any two adjacent keys on a piano. A whole step (W) is the “distance” between two frets. Note number

2 Major & Chromatic Scale Notes Note: A C Major scale has no sharps (#) or flats (b).

3 Chromatic Scale Notes & Intervals

4 Note number

5 2 nd 3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th 7 th (octave) 8 th Intervals

6 2 nd 3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th 7 th (octave) 8 th Building a Major Chord 1 st CEG It can include the 8 th, and in jazz includes the 7. Any major chord is built from the 1, 3, & 5 relative to the root of the chord.

7 2 nd b3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th b7 th (octave) 8 th Building a Minor Chord Any major chord is built from the 1, b3, & 5 relative to the root of the chord. A b3 rd is also called a minor 3 rd. It can include the 8 th, and in jazz includes the b7. 1 st EbGBbC

8 Within a key, Major chords are assigned UPPERCASE Roman numerals (I, II, III, etc), while minor chords are assigned lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc)

9 If we start counting at C, Major chords would be C D E F G A B C I II III IV V VI VII I, but not all of these Major chords sound good in progression. If we start counting at C, minor chords would be Cm Dm Em Fm Gm Am Bm Cm i ii iii iv v vi vii I, but not all of these minor chords sound good in progression.

10 The next simplest chord progression in any key is I IV V I. In the key of C major, the chords would be C F G C. A chord progression is chords played in sequence such as I V I. In the key of C major, the chords would be C G C, which is the simplest chord progression.

11 Why do these progressions sound so natural to us? It’s because the chords C F G C all contain only notes from the C major scale: C Major chord = C, E, G = 1, 3, 5 in key of C F Major chord = F, A, C = 4, 6, 1 in key of C, but can also be thought of as = 1, 3, 5 in key of F G Major chord = G, B, D = 5, 7, 2 in key of C, but can also be thought of as = 1, 3, 5 in key of G

12 2 nd 3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th 7 th (octave) 8 th 1 st Major scale notes F G A Bb C D E FF A C F Major chord notes 2 nd 3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th 7 th (octave) 8 th 1 st Major scale notes G A B C D E F# G G G Major chord notes BD

13 When we add minor chords to a tune that’s in a major key, there are two chords that are most likely to sound natural, because those two chords (the ii and vi chords) also contain only notes from the I major scale (C major in example below). A typical such progression would be C Dm F Am G C = I ii IV vi V I. The C and Am chords only differ by one note, and the F and Dm chords only differ by one note.

14 The vi chord is given a special name: the relative minor, because the key signature (number of sharps & flats) is the same for the keys of C and Am (in the key of C, these are the I and vi chords).

15 “7 th” chords When you see a chord chart with symbols like G7 or D7, these symbols are for a “dominant” 7 th (= b7 th ), not a major 7 th chord, which has a 7 th. A Gma7 chord has the notes G E D F# , whereas a Gdom7 = G7 = G b7 chord has G E D F b7. Why? G7 is the V chord for the key of C, which has no F#, but rather has an F, which is the b7th to G

16 2 nd b3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th b7 th (octave) 8 th Building a minor Dominant 7th Chord 1 st Any minor dominant chord is built with a b3 and b7 (relative to the root of the chord). An Am7 chord “fits” the key of C because every note in Am7 (the vi7 if C is the I) is in the key of C: A B C D E F G A C = Am scale notes starting on A W H W W H W W When you see a chord chart with symbols like Am7 or Dm7, these symbols are for a “dominant” 7 th (= b7 th ). What would the ii7 chord be in the key of C? Dm7

17 Why should a bass player care? How many bluegrass bass players does it take to change a lightbulb? I V I V I ………… Which can get pretty old after a while. The main “job” of the bass player is to (almost always) play the root on the downbeat, then some other note(s). The bass can also help define whether the chord is a: major (by playing a major 3 rd ) minor (by playing a minor or flat 3rd) dominant (by playing a dominant or flat 7 th ) You don’t want every bass player in the audience saying, “Horrors. He just played a major 3 rd over that minor chord!”

18 Why should any of you care about theory? Knowing just a little theory can help you understand tunes and learn by ear much faster. It will help you make sense out of chord progressions by making better guesses as to what the “off chord” is. If you keep at it, you will start to say things like “Oh, this part of the tune is just like the progression in that other tune……” You’ll also be able to read chord charts.


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