What is scale in music?

A scale is a group of notes that are related to each other. Melodies are formed with the notes within a scale. Different scales create different moods and flavors.

Scale means ladder in Latin and there are many scales around the world. However, in western music, there are 2 main scales, which are MAJOR AND MINOR SCALES.

Recall that we mentioned there are semitones between the notes at Notes and frequency lesson. A scale can be decribed as a pattern according to the semitone distances between notes. For example:

MAJOR PATTERN: F-F-H-F-F-F-H

Full: 2 semitones
Half: 1 semitones

For A MAJOR SCALE, you start with A note and follow the major scale pattern.

A Major Scale

There is 1 semitone between each 12 note
La La sharp
Si bemol
Si Do Do sharp
Re bemol
Re Re sharp
Mi bemol
Mi Fa Fa sharp
Sol bemol
Sol Sol sharp
La bemol
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab

MINOR PATTERN: F-H-F-F-H-F-F

Full: 2 semitones
Half: 1 semitones

For F MINOR SCALE, you start with F note and follow the minor scale pattern.

F Minor Scale

There is 1 semitone between each 12 note
La La sharp
Si bemol
Si Do Do sharp
Re bemol
Re Re sharp
Mi bemol
Mi Fa Fa sharp
Sol bemol
Sol Sol sharp
La bemol
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab

You can check common scales and their note positions on guitar, piano and ukulele at

Scales Page

Next we will learn about chords.