The word scale comes from the Latin Scala meaning a ladder. Scales in music are basically a ladder
of notes. A simple music scale is a series of notes in alphbetical order from any note to its octave
moving either upwards or downwards.

There are two kinds of scale - diatonic and chromatic

A diatonic scale is a seven-note scale consisting of half-step and whole-step intervals whereas a
chromatic scale uses all half-step intervals.

Diatonic scales are divided into two kinds: Major and Minor

Major Scales

A major scale consists of the following intervals:

· Whole - Whole - Half - Whole - Whole - Whole - Half


Relative Minors

Every major scale has a corresponding relative minor scale. A relative minor scale consists of the
same notes (key signature) as it's relative major.

For example; A minor is the relative major of C major.


· C D E F G A B - C major

· A B D E F G A - A minor

There are 3 types of minor scales.

The harmonic minor, melodic minor, and natural minor.

Natural minor

The natural minor is the most common scale, because it is simply consists of the same interval
sequence with a different starting point (A minor is the C major scale starting on the A) using the
following intervals.

· Whole - Half - Whole - Whole - Half - Whole - Whole


Harmonic minor

The natural minor scale with a raised 7th scale degree. (A B C D E F G# A)

Melodic minor

The natural minor scale with a raised 6th and 7th scale degrees (A B C D E F# G# A)

The major and minor scales (natural, harmonic minor & melodic minor) are all considered to be
diatonic scales.

Two commonly used scales in popular music are:

Pentatonic Scale

Loosely defined as a five note scale, the pentatonic usually refers to the specific 5 note scale
derived from the major and natural minor scales.

A C D E G - A Minor Pentatonic

The Blues Scale

The "blues scale", or blues pentatonic is just a minor pentatonic with an additional flattened fifth
note making it a hexatonic (6 note) scale.

A C D Eb E G - A Blues pentatonic.