Major open scales


ccrider19632
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Joined: 09/21/20
Posts: 7
ccrider19632
Full Access
Joined: 09/21/20
Posts: 7
10/11/2020 12:18 am

I’m in the process of trying to teach myself basic music theory. My question is with the major open scales. It looks to me that there are generally 5 major open scales.

A/C/D/E and G. Is this correct? What about B and F and if not, why?

Thanks, Clayton Collins


# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,313
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,313
10/11/2020 2:52 am

Hey & welcome to GT!

Originally Posted by: ccrider19632

I’m in the process of trying to teach myself basic music theory. My question is with the major open scales. It looks to me that there are generally 5 major open scales.

A/C/D/E and G. Is this correct? What about B and F and if not, why?

Often beginners learn to play major scales based on the open strings. But most scales can & do use open strings. I encourage you to work through one of the Fundamentals courses in order to get the appropriate amount of theory along with practical physical playing skills at the same time.

I cover intervals, scales & basic theory starting here.

https://www.guitartricks.com/course.php?input=fundamentals2(discontinued)

To answer your question more directly, there are 12 possible musical alphabet notes: 7 letters A through G & the 5 accidentals (sharps & flats) between them. I cover that in this series of lessons.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=11078&s_id=1138

You can build a scale on every one of them. So, there are 12 possible major scales. But this is way beyond what a beginner needs to know or practice! The best place to start is to learn one major scale & really work it out. Get used to playing it, hearing it, using it. That's where the courses are valuable.

Hope this helps. Please ask more if necessary & best of success!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 2
alwaysliestal
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Joined: 10/28/20
Posts: 1
alwaysliestal
Registered User
Joined: 10/28/20
Posts: 1
10/28/2020 8:26 am
Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

Hey & welcome to GT!

Originally Posted by: ccrider19632

I’m in the process of trying to teach myself basic music theory. My question is with the major open scales. It looks to me that there are generally 5 major open scales.

A/C/D/E and G. Is this correct? What about B and F and if not, why?

Often beginners learn to play major scales based on the open strings. But most scales can & do use open strings. I encourage you to work through one of the Fundamentals courses in order to get the appropriate amount of theory along with practical physical playing skills at the same time.

[br]I cover intervals, scales & basic theory starting here.

[br]https://www.guitartricks.com/course.php?input=fundamentals2(discontinued)

[br]To answer your question more directly, there are 12 possible musical alphabet notes: 7 letters A through G & the 5 accidentals (sharps & flats) between them. I cover that in this series of lessons.

[br]https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=11078&s_id=1138

[br]You can build a scale on every one of them. So, there are 12 possible major scales. But this is way beyond what a beginner needs to know or practice! The best place to start is to learn one major scale & really work it out. Get used to playing it, hearing it, using it. That's where the courses are valuable.

[br]Hope this helps. Please ask more if necessary & best of success!

Thanks very much for that information.


# 3
frankmaghler
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Joined: 03/31/23
Posts: 13
frankmaghler
Registered User
Joined: 03/31/23
Posts: 13
05/17/2023 9:27 am

Hi Clayton Collins! It's great that you're teaching yourself basic music theory and exploring major scales. However, I must clarify a few points regarding major scales and their corresponding open string patterns on the guitar.


In standard tuning, where the strings are tuned to E, A, D, G, B, and E, the major scales that correspond to the open strings are:


E Major: Open E string serves as the root note (tonic).
A Major: Open A string serves as the root note (tonic).
D Major: Open D string serves as the root note (tonic).
G Major: Open G string serves as the root note (tonic).
B Major: This major scale doesn't have an open string as its root note. Instead, it is typically played using barre chords or by barring across multiple strings.
F Major: Similarly, F Major also doesn't have an open string as its root note. It is typically played using barre chords or other chord voicings.



The major scales that correspond to the open strings on a guitar are E, A, D, and G. The B and F major scales are commonly played using different chord shapes or scale patterns that involve barring or using specific fingerings.


As you continue learning music theory and exploring the guitar, it's important to understand the concept of transposition, where you can play the same scale or chord pattern in different positions on the neck to change the root note.


Keep up the good work in your music theory journey, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions!


# 4
truongthaietc50
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Joined: 09/04/23
Posts: 1
truongthaietc50
Registered User
Joined: 09/04/23
Posts: 1
09/04/2023 6:10 am

Yes, you are correct that there are 5 major open scales: A, C, D, E, and G. However, B and F are not considered open scales because they require additional fingerings due to the absence of open strings. The open scales are popular among beginners due to the ease of playing open strings, but as you progress, you'll learn the fingerings for all major scales, including B and F. Keep up the good work in teaching yourself music theory!


# 5

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