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Basic scale query

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Depth_Charge, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. I'm a theory noob and know even less about scales etc, but
    I've started learning and am looking at the C Major scale (the only scale in my book) but by applying the WWHWWWH formula I applied it to the other notes and came up with this:

    C - C D E F G A B C
    D - D E F# G A B C C#
    E - E F# G# A B C# D# E
    F - F G A A# C D E F
    G - G A B C D E F# G
    A - A B C# D E F# G# A
    B - B C# D# E F# G# A# B

    Is this correct? I've gone over it 3 times and think it is right, but I'm left with both the F and G scales having 1 sharp each and I wasn't expecting that.

    What am I doing wrong? Thanks for your time on this very basic question...feel free to laugh :)
  2. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Looks right to me. I mean, when in doubt, bust out your bass and apply your scale patterns, and look at which note your finger falls on along the way.

    D is wrong though. It's D E F# G A B C# D

  3. You can't have two A's in a scale ie A and A# - this would be a Bb - google the circle of 5ths and check it out.
  4. Zebra


    Jun 26, 2005
    Looks right except for D. Although if you use proper convention, you never have both a natural note and its accidental (like C and C#) in the same scale. So F should technically have one flat (Bb,) not one sharp. The Circle of Fifths is a great way to get the scales drilled into your head with the right notation too.
  5. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003

    you're doing great! they're all correct (lose the C out of D and just have C#) except for F... you should have used a B flat instead of A sharp... the note is the same pitch and is in the same place on your bass (in other words, 'enharmonic') but you can't have an A# and an A natural in the same major key

    so F should have been:

    F G A Bb C D E F


    if you have a look at the above link you'll see that what you've worked out corresponds to the number of sharps in the key signatures shown... i.e. E major has 4 sharps, D major has 2 etc

    there's an equal number of major keys that go the other way, i.e. they have notes that are flattened... we looked at F major with 1 flat, the next is Bb major, which has 2 flat notes (Bb and Eb)

    so I guess your homework should be to do the other 5 keys you missed out of your list: Bb, Eb, Ab, Db & Gb.. then you'll have worked through all 12 chromatic notes
  6. Thanks guys! A lot of the theory goes over my head and it's great to have a resource I can bounce ideas off of.

    I was obviously too sloppy working out the D scale and forgot the enharmonics vs "same" note value standard on the F.

    Working the flats out was a little more difficult, but I ran through 'em and came up with this...if someone is happy to correct me again, I'd be grateful for the help :

    Ab - Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab

    Bb - Bb C D Eb F G A Bb

    Db - Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db

    Gb - Gb Ab Bb C D E F Gb

    Eb - Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb

    Does that look right to you experienced folk? I'll be honest, I'm not confident about Gb and the others are worring me a bit too. But I've run over it a few times now and I THINK they're right.

    It's a bit embarrassing actually, on the surface it seems a pretty simple concept to grasp...yet I'm struggling with it. :)
  7. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Gb: Gb Ab Bb Db Cb Eb F Gb
  8. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    The next thing you need to be doing is to put the scales in order of numbers of sharps and flats.


    D: 2 #s: D E F# G A B C# D
    G: 1 #: G A B C D E F# G
    C: 0 #/bs: C D E F G A B C
    F: 1 b: F G A Bb C D E F
    Bb: 2 bs: Bb C D Eb F G A Bb


    Then make two lists... one with the order the sharps appear in, eg. F, C, etc.
    one with the order the flats appear in, eg. B, E, etc.
  9. I already have that listed out in an article on the Cycle of Fifths in Bass Player Magazine, they list the number of sharps/flats and the natural scale on it...

    I just wanted to work the scales out myself using the major scale formula, with a view to learning the other ones (minor and whatever that third one is called) later ...

    Thanks again for your help I'll be reviewing these scales, especially my mistakes, over the next few days :)
  10. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Nevertheless, you should do it for yourself. That's the best way to memorise it.
  11. "I already have that listed out in an article on the Cycle of Fifths in Bass Player Magazine"

    Play with the Circle of Fifths on the neck of your bass and find the pattern.

    Start on C "A string @ the third fret" - No Sharps No Flats

    Go up to G "E string @ the third fret" - One Sharp No Flats

    Go down to D "A string @ the fifth fret" - Two Sharps No Flats

    Go up to A "E string @ the fifth fret" - Three Sharps No Flats

    Move onto E, B, F#, and C# in the same fashion.

    Then you go to F. This is where your flats will start and you'll be moving down the neck in the opposite direction.

    The pattern is F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb.

    Does this make sense. I like that I can look to my bass for the Circle of Fifths instead of some book or chart.
  12. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Oooh didn't know that. Good info, thanks. :)
  13. Yes definately! Described like this, application of the Cycle of Fifths on the bass makes much more sense to me than it previously did.

    Somewhat reminiscent of a Ju Jitsu concept I learned at a John B Will seminar known as "The Guard Wheel" where various guard positions are marked on a "wheel" and ... oh nevermind...I'm digressing and look forward to practicing my scales etc. with renewed vigour.

    Thanks again for the valuable input this forum is excellent !!
  14. H2ODog


    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    Here is the circle of fifths

    Attached Files:

  15. "look forward to practicing my scales etc. with renewed vigour"

    There you go! You are now a master of the Circle of Fifths!

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