Basically, people know at least two notation scales. Those are Major scale and Minor scale. Both are relatives to each other and consists of same notes. But still, both sound different feels different and used differently. The easiest way to notice the difference is by listening to how it sounds. If it sounds happy and uplifting, we can almost predict that it’s a Major scale. When it sounds sad and stressful, then it’s a minor scale. Let’s start with the first modes of the major scale, we call it Ionian modes.

There are 12 notes in one octave, including the flats and sharps:

1 – 1 1/2 – 2 – 2 1/2 – 3 – 3 1/2 – 4 – 4 1/2 – 5 – 5 1/2 – 6 – 7

We are only covering the popular scales know, while there are other scales that have even narrower or wider interval. Like microtonal in the video below…

Let’s Start From The Ground

First, we have to understand what notes are on a Major scale.

They are: do – re – mi – fa – so – la – ti – (high) do <— without sharps and flats in between.

Or in numeral: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 1 <— without sharps and flats in between.

Or in the alphabet: c – d – e – f – g – a – b – c <— also without sharps and flats in between.

There are distances between notes in this scale:

  • Whole note from 1 to 2
  • Whole note from 2 to 3
  • Half note from 3 to 4
  • Whole note from 4 to 5
  • Whole note from 5 to 6
  • Whole note from 6 to 7
  • Half note from 7 to high 1

This is where the notes located in guitar tab view (in the Key of C):

1 |——————————————5–7–8—|

2 |——————————————5–6–8—|

3 |——————————–4–5–7————-|

4 |———————-3–5–7———————–|

5 |————3–5–7———————————|

6 |–3–5–7——————————————-|

On the piano, you can play it from C to high C without hitting the blacks. The blacks are the half notes.

As you can see, a whole note equals to 2 frets on the guitar. That means one fret on the guitar has the value of half note.

We call this scale Ionian modes, the first mode in the major scale.

Next, we will cover the relation between Ionian and it’s relative minor. Already know what it is? Write it in the comment below.