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LESSON ONE: INTERMEDIATE STUDIES

Student NotesRemember our discussion in the "Starter Studies" about half steps? At the end of the discussion I asked you to file away the words "whole step" and "natural." Well bring them back out because we are about to talk about them.


In the figure above there are two measures. In measure 1 is the C scale. This scale is 1 octave (from 1 C to another C). It's formal name is the "C major scale." A "Major" scale is a scale that sounds relatively happy when you play it. Play the C major scale on your keyboard now. Each scale has a formula to use to play it. The formula for a "major " scale is:

whole-whole-half-whole-whole-whole-half

This formula refers to half steps and whole steps. A whole step is 2 half steps. It is that simple. Put your right hand thumb (#1 finger) on middle C. To go from C to C sharp is one half step. To go from C sharp to D is another half step. Add them together and you get 1 whole step. Look at measure 1 in the figure above. The BLUE areas above the notes show the whole steps. The YELLOW areas above the notes show the half steps. Play each note up the scale and as you do, notice how each whole step or half step is determined. Try this until you have a good idea of what we are trying to show for the "major" scale formula. (Note: the fingering to play this scale is 1,2,3, curl your thumb under your palm then 1,2,3,4,5).


Now look at measure 2. This is the D major scale. All major scales are constructed in the same way. Put your right hand thumb (#1 finger) on D. To go from D to D sharp is one half step. To go from D sharp to E is another half step. Add them together and you get 1 whole step. Look at measure 2 in the figure above. The BLUE areas above the notes show the whole steps. The YELLOW areas above the notes show the half steps. Play each note up the scale and as you do, notice how each whole step or half step is determined. Try this until you have a good idea of what we are trying to show for the "major" scale formula. (Note: the fingering to play this scale is 1,2,3, curl your thumb under your palm then 1,2,3,4,5).

12 Note Companion

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