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  • Chris Anderson

GCSE Music Revision - Melody Part 5 - Other Scales

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

GCSE Music Revision - Melody Part 5 - Other Scales

Each week at least one of the blogs will be a GCSE music revision topic. Although each board has its own requirements I’m focussing on the broad strokes that feature in most of them.

The previous blog was about modes. In this blog we’ll look at other scales you need to know.

Pentatonic Scales

These five note scales are used a lot in folk and rock music. There are no semitone steps in a pentatonic scale and most combinations of notes sound good.

Major Pentatonic - Use a standard major scale as your foundation. Then to get the major pentatonic scale use notes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6.

Major Pentatonic Scale
Major Pentatonic - G major

Minor Pentatonic - Use the natural minor scale as your foundation. Then to get the minor pentatonic scale use notes 1, 3, 4, 5, 7.

Minor Pentatonic - Em

I’ve used the key of G and its relative minor of E in these examples.

Whole Tone Scales

These do exactly what it says on the tin. The interval between each note is a tone. There are only six notes in a whole tone scale. The example shows a whole tone scale starting on C.

Whole Tone Scale

Chromatic Scales

The distance between each note in a chromatic scale is a semitone. On a piano you’d play every white and every black key, in sequence. On a guitar, it’s every fret. An octave chromatic scale will be 12 notes.

Chromatic Scale Using Flats

Chromatic Scales Using Sharps

Being able to identify what all the scales we’ve covered sound like and look like is very important. Perhaps play the different scales to familiarise yourself with how they sound.

Next blog will be about intervals.

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