The Logic of Scales

Explore scales with colors, numbers and piano keyboard.

Examples on this page will be with the key of C.

Root/key note, where the scale starts, is "1" or Red.

Remember, colors and numbers are always relative!

 

The Chromatic Scale

is the canvas with all the musical pitches/notes, 12 per octave.

Neighboring notes are 1 semitone (pitch interval) apart.

All other scale types will be extracted from it.

2

1

4

3

5

6

7

9

8

10

11

12

1

 

Major / Minor

Let's look how major and minor scales are built from the chromatic scale.

Notice that the pitch intervals are having a pattern.

They have 7 notes per octave.

Chromatic

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Major

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Minor

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 

C Major Scale

7 notes per octave with pitch intervals having a pattern:

2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1 semitones apart (starting from the root).

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

1

C Minor Scale

7 notes per octave with pitch intervals having a pattern:

2, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2 semitones apart (starting from the root).

3

1

2

6

4

5

7

1

 

C Major Pentatonic

Major pentatonic scale is extracted from the major scale.

5 notes per octave with pitch intervals having a pattern:

2, 2, 3, 2, 3 semitones apart (starting from the root).

1

1

2

2

3

3

4

5

5

6

7

6

1

1

 
 

C Minor Pentatonic

Minor pentatonic scale is extracted from the minor scale.

5 notes per octave with pitch intervals having a pattern:

3, 2, 2, 3, 2 semitones apart (starting from the root).

3

1

2

3

6

4

5

7

7

1

1

4

5

1