The Major Scale

The major scale contains 7 notes and is the basic building block of all western music. It’s one of the most important things to learn on the guitar.  This lesson will show you how to play it through video and tab. Don’t miss it!

Fig. 1: The Major Scale

The tab below shows the major scale beginning on C (3rd fret of the A string). Beginning with C makes the scale the C major scale which notes are as follows: C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Then it can start all over again beginning with the next C (called an octave- which is the 1st fret on the B string in the tab below).

Fig. 2: Extended Major Scale

The 7 notes of the major scale repeat over and over. This tab shows all the notes from the major scale when playing in the open C position.

Fig. 3: Pentatonic Major

The major pentatonic scale may be thought of as an incomplete major scale. Pentatonic scales lack the most dissonant intervals- it omits the 4th and 7th scale steps.  It has a unique character and is widely used because of ease, but things start falling apart when we start talking about theory or chord variations.

Fig. 4

This table will help you learn the scale steps for C major.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7