The Major Scale
The major scale is built on the following series of whole and half steps: Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Whole, Half. This gives us the following intervals: Root, major 2nd, major 3rd, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, major sixth, major seventh and back to the root. So in the key of C major this is C, D, E, F, G, A, B and C.
Here are the 5 scale patterns on the fretboard for the key of C major. Notice the location of the roots (C in this case). Once you are familiar with the patterns, play with a metronome to track your progress and build your speed. Aim to make each note clean, don’t play too fast and sloppy.
We start on C (the root) go up as far as we can in one position, all the way back down as far as we can and back up to C again. This helps to associate the scale pattern with the root note and help you to hear the intervals in relation to C. We do all these scales without any stretching of the fingers (one fret per finger).
Here’s the Major Scale PDF for you to print out.