Major Scale: Theory & Ear Training

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Mastering the Major Scale is absolutely essential for your development as a musician for at least two reasons…

  1. It is widely-used in all kinds of music all around the world.
  2. It provides a solid foundation upon which we are going to build a rich network of scale and chord mastery that integrates both theory and ear training.

Theory

Here, for example, are the notes in the C Major Scale identified by letter name, scale degree, and Solfege syllable…

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  1. The scale structure of the Major Scale is always 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-1, no matter what key you are in.
  2. The Solfege syllables of the Major Scale are always Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do, no matter what key you are in.
  3. The only thing that changes when you change keys are the letter names.

Solfege Ear Training

Let’s take a moment to talk about how to get the most benefit from the Solfege ear training studies below…

  1. Singing the Solfege syllables out loud is the most effective way to internalize the unique sound-feeling of each note in any musical scale. Why? Because singing out loud requires you to actively process the sounds at a much deeper level than merely passively listening.
  2. It is absolutely essential that you go slowly enough to allow the unique sound-feeling of each Solfege syllable to make a meaningful impression on your mind’s ear.
  3. This is not interval training. It’s okay if you hear the intervals between successive notes, but your goal is to hear and feel the unique character of each Solfege syllable with respect to the key center DO and to each other.
  4. Solfege ear training generalizes to any key. In other words, if you can hear and feel the unique harmonic pull of Ti towards Do in the key of C, you will be able to hear and feel the unique harmonic pull of Ti towards Do in any key!
  5. At first, it’s quite alright to play each note on your instrument before you sing, but I promise you this: If you do these studies as described above, you will quickly internalize the unique sound-feeling of each Solfege syllable in you mind’s ear without help from your instrument.
  6. In summary… Sing out loud, take your time, and fight for every note. If you do, you will enjoy musical dividends for a lifetime, guaranteed!

C Major Scale: Linear, Ascending…

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Listen to Frank model how one might productively do the study above…


C Major Scale: Linear, Descending…

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Do you hear and feel the unique pull of Ti toward Do going up and the unique attraction of Fa toward Mi going down and La toward So and Re toward Do?


C Major Scale: Do-X-Do, Ascending…

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C Major Scale: Do-X-Do, Descending…

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Tip: Many other patterns are possible as well, but at this point your time is better spent going right to the kinds of music that YOU want to play for your study-practice material.

learn more… Natural Minor Scale: Theory & Ear Training