It’s always handy to have a nice list of major scales available whenever you need them. I like to keep a list with my music theory materials and then a separate list to refer to with my playing material.
Whether you are learning scales for the first time or just need a quick look now and again, it’s always nice to have several lists laying around for easy reference.
What Makes A Major Scale?
Major scales are made up of two tetrachords joined together by a whole step. For more in depth information about this, please take a moment to read about tetrachords and major scales.
All of the major scales begin and end on the same note. This note is also used to identify the name of the scale. For example, the F Major scale starts and stops on the note “F”.
There are a total of eight notes (or two tetrachords) in a major scale. Sometimes we like to number them (called scale degrees) to help us identify the exact note in the scale and its positional importance.
List of Major Scales
There are a total of 12 major scales in music. Three of the scales can actually have two names, a sharp name and a flat name. Why is this? Well, because those notes are enharmonic to each other.
If good musicianship is your goal, you need to be able to know and read all major scales and their enharmonic equivalents eventually. However, it is your choice on how you want to tackle them in the very beginning.
If you prefer the sharp keys, then practice reading and playing the C# Major Scale instead of the Db Major Scale. Maybe you like the flat keys better. Why not concentrate first on reading and playing the Gb Major Scale instead of the F# Major Scale. Decide what works best for you and then go take action!
C Major: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C
G Major: G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G
D Major: D-E-F#-G-A-B-C#-D
A Major: A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#-A
E Major: E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D#-E
B Major: B-C#-D#-E-F#-G#-A#-B OR
Cb Major: Cb-Db-Eb-Fb-Gb-Ab-Bb-Cb
F# Major: F#-G#-A#-B-C#-D#-E#-F# OR
Gb Major: Gb-Ab-Bb-Cb-Db-Eb-F-Gb
C# Major: C#-D#-E#-F#-G#-A#-B#-C# OR
Db Major: Db-Eb-F-Gb-Ab-Bb-C-Db
Ab Major: Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb-F-G-Ab
Eb Major: Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C-D-Eb
Bb Major: Bb-C-D-Eb-F-G-A-Bb
F Major: F-G-A-Bb-C-D-E-F
Treble Clef Major Scales
Major Scales in Bass Clef
Here’s a list of major scales in bass clef:
Go ahead and print these scales out if you want. Keep them right with your learning materials. Now that you have a handy list of major scales at your fingertips, you are ready to either learn how to play them or use them to further your music theory knowledge. If you really want to be a well-rounded musician, try using them for both!