More Major Scales
Now that you have learned the fingering for the C major scale, you can apply that same pattern to several other major scales. These new scales should sound exactly like the C major scale you just learned, only you will be starting on a different note and will be using a combination of white keys and black keys. You can use the same C major scale fingering for the major scales starting on the notes G, D, A, and E.
How Scales Work
You may be wondering at this point how the scales will sound the same if you are using different starting notes and playing black keys as well as white keys. The answer comes from an understanding of how major scales are formed. Each note of the major scale is based on a pattern of whole steps and half steps. Every major scale shares the same pattern of whole steps and half steps. You can start on any note, and as long as you follow the correct pattern of whole steps and half steps, your major scale will sound as it should.
To determine the proper series of whole steps and half steps required to form a major scale, you can analyze the C major scale that you just learned. Starting on C and going to D is a whole step because there is a note in between C and D (in this case it is the black key C#). Continuing from D to E is another whole step due to the black key D# in between. Going from E to F is a half step with no key in between. The pattern so far is whole step, whole step, half step. If you continue up the scale and mark the occurrences of whole steps and half steps you will come to this arrangement:
FIGURE 8-11: C major scale construction—whole steps and half steps
This pattern of whole steps and half steps can be used to form any major scale. Starting on the note G and following the same pattern of steps will produce the G major scale. Note that in order to maintain the proper pattern of whole steps and half steps you are forced to use the black key F#.
Luckily, even though you are starting on the note G and have to play a combination of white and black notes, you are still able to use the exact same fingering pattern as you used for the C major scale. Give it a try, just be sure to start on the note G and be careful to play the black key F# rather than the white key F
FIGURE 8-12: G major scale construction—whole steps and half steps
Using the same pattern, you can construct more scales that use the same fingering. Figure 8-13 shows the major scale for the key of D. In this case use two black keys in order to maintain the correct pattern of steps, F# and C#.
FIGURE 8-13: D major scale construction—whole steps and half steps
The A major scale uses three black keys, C#, F#, and G#, but you can still use the same fingering that you have been using for all of your other major scales to this point.
FIGURE 8-14: A major scale construction—whole steps and half steps
Finally, the E major scale requires four black keys (F#, G#, C#, and D#) to create the proper pattern of whole steps and half steps, but still the fingering has not changed.
FIGURE 8-15: E major scale construction—whole steps and half steps