Classical Scales

Natural Major, Natural Minor,
Harmonic Major, Harmonic Minor,
Melodic Minor

Jazz Scales

Augmented, Suspended Pentatonic,
Bebop Major, Whole-Half Diminished,
Bebop Minor, Half-Whole Diminished,
Bebop Dominant, Whole Tone

Rock and Blues Scales

Major Pentatonic,
Minor Pentatonic,
Major Blues, Minor Blues

World and Exotic Scales

Spanish, Hungarian Minor, Persian,
Oriental, Arabian, Japanese, Balinese,
Indian (Raga Asavari)

Arpeggios

Major,
Minor,
Diminished

C major scale

The major scale in other keys:

C C# D Eb E F F# G Ab A Bb B
notes on piano keyboard (one octave)
notes on piano keyboard -  c major scale

c major scale - staffs (notes) and guitar tab

* the figures behind the staff reperesent a guitar tab.

 

This is the easiest scale to play on a piano keyboard, the correct fingering
for both hands goes as follows:

Right Hand                      Left Hand

C - thumb                       C - pinky
D - index                       D - ring
E - middle                      E - middle
                                F - index 
F - thumb                       G - thumb 
G - index                       
A - middle                      A - middle
B - ring                        B - index
                                C - thumb
C - thumb                       
D - index                       D - ring
E - middle                      E - middle
                                F - index
F - thumb                       G - thumb
G - index                       
A - middle                      A - middle
B - ring                        B - index
C - pinky                       C - thumb

Locations of notes on a piano keyboard:
Locations of notes on a piano keyboard

If you don't know yet, the A natural minor scale consists of the same
notes as this C major, the only difference is that the A minor starts and
ends at the note of A, instead of C.

A minor scale
the A natural minor scale
C major scale
the C major scale

 

Another major scale that is played in almost exact way as
the C major is the G major scale:


G major scale
the G major scale

As you can see the only one key is changed, instead of the F key, you'd now play the F sharp black key.

As with the C major scale the G major scale has its equvalent scale in minor tonality, and this is the E natural minor scale .


E natural minor scale
the E natural minor scale

 

Being able to play just these four scales accurately will enable you to improvise on very many themes and jam tracks, as those tonalities are used quite frequently espeacially in pop and rock music.

To work on your improvisational skills you can play the scales in sequences too, in both ascending and descending motion. for example, you can play the C major scale in two note sequence:

C-B   D-C   E-D   F-E   G-F   A-G   B-A   C-B...

An example of three note sequence:

C-D-E   D-E-F   E-F-G   F-G-A   G-A-B   A-B-C...

Feel free to modify these sequences as you see fit and create your own sequences and patterns - this is all you need to know to start improvising.

Another scale that I suggest you to master sooner rather than later is the C major or A minor blues scale. Playing sequences and patters based on this scale sounds well with many different kinds of music, including flamenco and rock, not just blues.