A major scale is a seven note diatonic scale with a numeric formula of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8/1 and is the basis for Western music and theory. Whenever you see a scale or chord formula it is always written relative to the major scale which has no alterations (relative to itself). The major scale has seven modes starting with Ionian which is a major scales modal name, followed by Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian.
The major scale patterns below are referenced as numbers #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 which you will find correspond directly with the chord voicings and reading positions of the same number, for instance: major chord voicing #4 is built from major scale pattern #4 and both belong to reading position #4. The five positions cover the entire neck which gives us a structure to memorize scales and chords. This same pattern numbering applies to all the scale, chords, arpeggios and reading position numbers on this website.
Major scale profile
|Notation formula (key of C)||C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C/1|
|Stepping||whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half|
|Tonal||tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, tone, tone, semi-tone|
|Harmonized triads (key of C)||CMA / Dmi / Emi / FMA / GMA / Ami / B⁰|
|Harmonized tetrads (key of C)||CMA7 / Dmi7 / Emi7 / FMA7 / G7 / Ami7 / Bmi7(♭5)|
Major scale patterns
Major scale audio sample(s)
|C Major scale pattern #4|