Scale Formulas

Scale Formulas In Steps (or Tones)

w = whole step    1/2 = half step

Major Scale: (Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do) = │ w │ w │ 1/2 │ w │ w │ w │ 1/2 │

Natural Minor Scale: (flat-3rd, flat-6th & flat-7th) = │ w │ 1/2 │ w │ w │ 1/2 │ w │ w │

Harmonic Minor Scale: (minor scale with a raised 7th)= │ w │ 1/2 │ w │ w │ 1/2 │ w+1/2 │ 1/2

Melodic Minor Scale: (minor scale with raised 6th & 7th) = │ w │ 1/2 │ w │ w │ w │ w │ 1/2

Minor Pentatonic Scale: (has 5 notes) = │ w+1/2 │ w │ w │ w+1/2 │ w │    ex.) A-C-D-E-G-A

Major Pentatonic Scale: (has 5 notes) = │ w │ w │ w+1/2 │ w │ w+1/2 │   ex.) C-D-E-G-A-C

Blues Scale: (Minor Pentatonic scale with flat-5th Added) = │ w+1/2 │ w │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │ w+1/2 │ w │ ex.) A-C-D-Eb-E-G-A

Chromatic Scale: (has every note in it) = │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │ 1/2 │

* The smallest interval (distance between notes) in western music is a “half-step” or “semi-tone.” Two half-steps together make a “whole-step” or a “tone.” A half-step on guitar is the distance between two notes that are one fret apart. A whole-step would be two frets apart.

*On piano, if you play any two notes that are right next to each other the distace would be a half step. If you jump over a note, such as playing a white key and skipping over the black key to the next white key, that would be a whole-step.