zentao.com main site entrance

Guitarists Click Here!

Guitar Lesson Seven


This lesson is divided into five parts:


Theory Part I

The major scale and the minor scale have a unique relationship with each other. This is because the minor scale is actually built from the major scale. Each major scale has a minor scale inside of it.

Let's take a look at the major scale.

If you have worked through each of the preceding lessons, you know quite a bit about the major scale. You know that the note you start on is called the root note. You know that the rest of the notes follow a pattern of whole-steps and half-steps and that this scale produces the intervals 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7- 8. You also know that the major scale can start on any note.

Now I'm going to add one more item to your knowledge of the major scale: the minor scale.

The minor scale is arrived at by starting and stopping on the 6th note of the major scale. For example, if we take the C major scale (C D E F G A B C) and start on the 6th note (A) instead of the original root (C), we get the A minor scale (A B C D E F G A). Notice that we are using the exact same notes as the C major scale, we only changed which note we start and stop on. This is very important. By starting and stopping on A, your ear will begin to hear that note as the root note. (It is important that you make sure that you are playing the correct notes. You may find yourself accidentally playing the notes of A major (A B C# D E F# G#), because that is what you are used to hearing. Pay close attention so that you are sure to play the correct notes.)

The minor scale may sound a bit odd to you at first. That's ok. It takes a little while to get used to a new scale sound. That is why I started you on the minor scale in the last lesson. You should be getting used to this new sound by now. This will make it a little easier for you to understand and work with the relationship between the major scale and the minor scale.

The C major scale and the A minor scale are considered RELATIVE to one another because they share the exact same notes. You could say that the two scales are like brother and sister.


In lesson 4, I had you make a chart of all the possible major scales. Now I want you to figure out the relative minor scale for each of those major scales. Draw up a chart that looks like this:


C major scale: C D E F G A B C
Relative minor: A B C D E F G A
G major scale: G A B C D E F# G
Relative minor: E F# G A B C D E
D major scale: D E F# G A B C# D
Relative minor: B C# D E F# G A B


Now, once you have your chart finished, you need to practice the major scale and it's relative minor scale in each key. But don't try to practice them all at once. It's better if you take one scale per day and work that scale and it's relative minor scale up and down each string. The next day, pick a different key. Do this every day until you have practiced in every key. Over time you will begin to see the relationship between the two scales in every key.


This lesson is divided into five parts:

Comments or questions about this lesson?
Visit Jam Session.

online guitar community, discussion forum
    If you think this site is way cool,
click here to tell your friends.
Search zentao.com

Home | Contact | Lesson Menu | Theory | Practice Room | Jam Session

Guitar Anatomy | Diagram Explanation

zentao.com main site entrance

Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001 F.W. Lineberry and D.L. Keur, all rights reserved