Intro to the Major Diatonic Scale

Major Diatonic Scale - Linear Form

Linear Form

Major Diatonic Scale Position 1

Box Form

The major diatonic scale is the most well-known scale in Western music. It is made of eight notes (including the repeated octave) with the interval arrangement of whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half.

This scale is sung with the syllables do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do in the solfège method. The major diatonic scale can be characterized as having a “happy” sound.

The diagrams on this page show the major diatonic scale in linear and box form. The tonic note is indicated with a red circle in both diagrams. When practicing the scale, start with the lowest tonic note and play up to the highest note in the scale. When you reach the highest note, play it once and descend back through the scale. Play all the way to the lowest note in the scale, play it once, then return to the lowest tonic note.

When practicing the box form of the scale, assign one finger per fret and only use that finger to play any notes that land on the fret assigned to that finger.