Constructing The G Major Scale

Many of the songs in popular and folk music are composed from a major scale.  A major scale starts from a certain root and then follows a formula of whole and half-steps to reach the next root an octave higher.  The step formula for the major scale is whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half.  Since a half-step was a one-key distance on the keyboard, a whole-step is a two-key distance, or two half-steps.  Let’s take a look at the piano keyboard and use it to construct a major scale.

Earlier, we learned the song “Hush Little Baby,” which started with the G chord.  This is because “Hush Little Baby” is in the key of G, and the opening chord of pop and folk songs typically indicates its key.  Using the major scale formula, build the G major scale from which the song is derived.

G   (W)  ___  (W) ___  (H) ___  (W) ___ (W) ___ (W)  ___ (H) ___

Applying the G Major Scale to the Fretboard

If you did the above exercise correctly, you should have ended up with one accidental, F#.  Now use your diagram of the pitches in the open position of the fretboard to construct a one-octave G major scale in the open position.  Beginning with the open G on the fourth string, find each note in the G major scale until you reach the next G an octave higher.