SATURDAY, August 22, 2020 – 1:48 AM

## Major Scales…

There are exactly 12 of them, no more and no less. There is one for each white key and black key that is contained in one octave: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C#/Db, D#/Eb, F#/Gb, G#/Ab, and A#/Bb. Out of these possibilities, the names D#, G# and A# are not normally used for standard scales, thought they do exist. However, Cb major is a standard alternate name for B major. This means that there are 15 standard names that are commonly used, but only 12 keys according to what we see in the hands and what we hear. Here are the scales that are generally written only one way because of key signatures. Remember, an ordinary key signature can only have up to 7 b’s or #s, so here are the 12 major scales written the way we most like to see them:

- C, D, E, F, G, A, B, 7 major scales that start on white roots.

- Db, Eb, Gb, Ab, Bb, 5 major scales that start on black roots.
- F# is another way to write Gb. The key of F#has 6 #s. The key of Bb has 6 b’s. So it’s tie, and you are equally likely to see either.

- Cb and C# have 7 b’s and 7#s. They are not as common, but they do exist. Put all these together and you get 15. But remember that this is a notation thing. There are really only 12.

Again, when you put all these together, you have 15 standard ways to write the 12 major scales. There are more ways to write the scales, but they are non-standard. However, these scales exist, they just are not used with key signatures:

- D#, which will have 9 #s. Why 9? Because 2 of them will be x (double #s)

- Fb, which will have 8 b’s. Why 8? Because 1 of them will be bb (double b)
- G#, which will have 8 #s. Why 8? Because 1 of them will be x (double #s)
- A#. which will have 10 #s. Why 10? Because 3 of them will be x (double #s), and here is this nightmare: A# B# Cx D# E# Fx Gx A#. This nightmare will show up in the key of D# minor. It not only exists, it’s happens a lot more than you would think.

In other words, if you think about a weird way to write a scale but say it’s just two strange to be real, sooner or later it shows up in a piece of music!

#### Back to THEORY

## 01 Major Scales Thumbs Together

These are the easiest scales. There are 4 of them. First you learn theses really easy scales: B, Db and F# major. C# jazz minor is a bonus, and I don’t always teach that in the beginning. F major is harder but it is still much easier than C major and all the other scales that use the C major scale fingering.

## 02 Scales like C major

These are the major scales where the thumbs come together only once. there are 6 of them. The other time finger 1 in one hand always comes with finger 2 in the other hand. Finger 4 always comes with finger 3. The C scale is taught first by most teachers, but it is actually about 10 times harder than the B, Db and F# major scales. Normally the thumbs always come together for the name or root of each of these scales, but Ab major is a huge exception.

## 03 Odd Ball Scales

There are only 2 of these. These are the only major scales where the thumbs never come together. Playing them hands separate is no problem, but when the hands come together the fingering challenges are unique. There are also several kinds of minor scales that have their own tricky fingerings, and I will add them here soon.