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victoria Williams Music Theory

Victoria Williams

LmusTCL BA Mus (Hons)

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Next UK ABRSM theory exams
Wednesday 4th March 2020

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List of Musical Scales

List of Musical Scales

Here is a complete list of the major, minor harmonic and minor melodic scales, in treble and bass clefs.

If you need the natural minor scale - use the descending part of the melodic minor scale - it is the same!

If you need to work out how scales are constructed with patterns of tones (whole notes) and semitones (half notes), take a look at our "How to write Scales" page.

Only one octave is given - you can extend the scales over as many octaves as you like. Each octave is just a repeat of the last.

Scales here are written out in quavers (eighth notes) to illustrate how they are most commonly played in exams, with four notes to a beat.

 

How to Practise Scales - Scales are your Friend!

Practice your scales regularly - there are lots of benefits! You will help to strengthen the muscles in your hands, you will become a better sight-reader (consider how much melody is made up of parts of scales!), and your understanding of the theory behind music, in particular key and tonality, will improve.

The best way to practise scales is with a metronome 50% of the time. Start of with a medium tempo - about 2 notes per click at a speed of 60. This works out as two notes per second. Make sure you can play the scale evenly, with no mistakes. If you can't, slide you metronome weight down to a lower speed, until you find your starting point. Then, move up one click of the metronome only when you have played a scale perfectly three times.

Take five or ten minutes a day to do this as a warm up, and you will quickly see your scales improving, which will in turn lead to a stronger overall technique. For the other 50% of the time, practise without the metronome but pay attention to keeping a steady, unfluctuating speed.

Never play so fast or for so long that your arms or fingers begin to ache - this can cause damage and set you back in your practice regime.

Make sure you practice a variety of scales - if you are at a high grade and there are lots of scales you need to master, consider writing them out on slips of paper to keep in an envelope. Each practice session, take out a few slips and practise those scales. If you find some scales more difficult than others, put more slips in for those scales, and the chance of pulling one out of the envelope will increase!

Always practice your scales with a variety of articulations and expressions. Many students practise all their scales legato (smoothly) and only use other articulations such as staccato when preparing for an exam - this defeats the object somewhat! Play them smoothly, staccato, mezzo-staccato, with emotion, without emotion. It can be a hard task to play D major "sadly": give it a try! Scales don't need to be boring!


 

Complete List of Musical Scales

Jump to: Cb maj | C maj | C min | C# maj | C# min | Db maj | D maj | D min | D# min | Eb maj | Eb min | E maj | E min | F maj | F min | F# maj | F# min | Gb maj | G maj | G min |G# min | Ab maj | Ab min | A maj | A min | A# min | Bb maj | Bb min | B maj | B min

Scales with No Key Signature

C major 

c-major-scale

A minor harmonic 

a-harmonic-minor-scale

A minor melodic

a-melodic-minor-scale

Scales with Sharp Key Signatures

 G major

g-major-scale

E minor harmonic

e-harmonic-minor-scale

E minor melodic

e-melodic-minor-scale

D major

d-major-scale

B minor harmonic

b-harmonic-minor-scale

B minor melodic

b-melodic-minor-scale

A major

a-major-scale

F# minor harmonic

f-sharp-harmonic-minor-scale

F# minor melodic

f-sharp-melodic-minor-scale

E major

e-major-scale

C# minor harmonic

c-sharp-harmonic-minor-scale

C# minor melodic

c-sharp-melodic-minor-scale

B major

b-major-scale

G# minor harmonic

g-sharp-harmonic-minor-scale

G# minor melodic

g-sharp-melodic-minor-scale

F# major

f-sharp-major-scale

D# minor harmonic

d-sharp-harmonic-minor-scale

D# minor melodic

d-sharp-melodic-minor-scale

C# major

c-sharp-major-scale

A# minor harmonic

a-sharp-harmonic-minor-scale

A# minor melodic

a-sharp-melodic-minor-scale

Scales with Flat Key Signatures

F major

f-major-scale

D minor harmonic

d-minor-harmonic-scale

D minor melodic

d-minor-melodic-scale

B flat major

b-flat-major-scale

G minor harmonic

g-minor-harmonic-scale

G minor melodic

g-minor-melodic-scale

E flat major

e-flat-major-scale

C minor harmonic

c-minor-harmonic-scale

C minor melodic

c-minor-melodic-scale

A flat major

a-flat-major-scale

F minor harmonic

f-minor-harmonic-scale

F minor melodic

f-minor-melodic-scale

D flat major

d-flat-major-scale

B flat minor harmonic

b-flat-minor-harmonic-scale

B flat minor melodic

b-flat-minor-melodic-scale

G flat major

g-flat-major-scale

E flat minor harmonic

e-flat-minor-harmonic-scale

E flat minor melodic

e-flat-minor-melodic-scale

C flat major

c-flat-major-scale

A flat minor harmonic

a-flat-minor-harmonic-scale

A flat minor melodic

a-flat-minor-melodic-scale

 

 

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