The Harmonized Major Scale: Why harmonizing a scale for guitar is important? The answer is simple, knowing how to harmonize a scale makes it possible to better understand most chord progressions.
The Harmonized Major scale is very helpful as it allows us to identify all the chords within a given key. It also allows us to find the right chords when writing or playing music.
If you don’t have the time to read the whole post right now, watch the short video below it will show you everything you need to know to harmonize a major scale.
Harmonize a Scale in 3 simple steps
Now let’s explore the most effective method to harmonize a major scale in 3 simple steps.
To simplify things, we will be harmonizing a C major scale which has no sharps or flats, so we can focus on the actual theory rather than keys.
Step I: Start with your favorite scale
Write all the notes of your favorite scale (we’ll use the C Major scale for this lesson) on a blank sheet of paper, don’t write them on old newspapers because texts or pictures on them may distract you.
When you finish writing all the notes, they should look like this:
Step II: Write the scale again, but this time starting with the second note of the scale like this
Do the same thing like we did above and write each of the remaining notes of the C Major scale like this
Step III: Number each arrangement and you will have your very first harmonized scale
Now here comes the fun part. We can use the chart above to help us see which chords will sound good in the key of C Major. Now closely observe the chart above and pay attention to line 1, line 3 and line 5.
Now look at column 1 you will have – C E G which are the notes of a C Major chord. Remember it only takes 3 notes to make a C major triad, if you are not familiar with chords construction theory or simply want a quick review check out this lesson Chords construction: Triads.
Moving on to column 2 you will have – D – F – A which are the notes of a D Minor chord.
Moving on to column 3 you will have – E – G – B which are the notes of an E Minor chord.
If you move from column 1 to column 7 you will derive these chords:
C Major, D Minor, E Minor, F Major, G Major, A Minor, B Diminished
Harmonizing a scale will help you to focus on just a few relevant chords as opposed to a countless number of possibilities.
But remember the chords you came up when harmonized a scale are not the only chords you should use when writing or playing a song because as you can see all the chords we derived from a C Major scale are triads and a triad is a combination of only three notes.
Just a small tip: If you want to spice up your chord progressions, you may want to play chords like a C Major 7 over a C Major chord because a C Major 7 has four notes and it sounds sweeter.
Write down your D Major Scale (Major scale chart) and take out the notes from the scale like we did with the C Major scale in this lesson and write a quick progression to make use of this new theory.
Harmonizing a scale will help you to understand how music theory really works. Remember there is not any merit in knowing music theory just to understand it. Use the concept we discuss in this lesson to make yourself a better guitar player.
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