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Classic Style Banjo
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Banjo Lessons: Theory - Scales

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It's time to talk about theory folks.
Theory's not so bad.
People get scared, they feel like there
are sea monsters around theory, but
it's really good for you like medicine.
Now, a little theory is a good thing to
know and
I'm just gonna talk about scales and how
they're constructed.
And about chords.
And whether you're beginning,
intermediate, or advanced.
If you aren't really clear on this,
I think it's worth knowing how these
things work.
So, let's just talk about how a scale is
constructed, first of all.
Let's take a G scale since we live in the
world of G most of the time in Blue Grass.
And we'll just go up on one string, we'll
just go up on the third string.
Zero, two, four, five, seven,
nine, eleven, twelve.
Now let's talk about the intervals between
each of these notes.
Even though you don't have to read music
to play the banjo,
it's, it's a good idea to know what the
notes, actual notes are and
I'm not gonna get into that right now in
any detail at all.
But just so you know, it's G, A,
B, C, D, E, F#, and G.
[SOUND] Now, when you go from the first
note G to the second note A,
you're encompassing two frets there.
And that's called a whole step.
[SOUND] That's if.
And if you're at the piano and if you know
where C is.
It'll go from a C to a D or from G to A.
G to A and you don't play the black key,
that's a whole step.
Then when you go from A to B,
the second to the third note, that's
another whole step.
Because you're going two frets.
When you from B to C, that's a half step.
You're just going one fret.
Do, re, me, fa, that's just a half step.
When you go from five to seven, that's a
whole step, going from C to D.
When you go from seven to nine, that's a
whole step, whole step.
There's a Christmas carol in here
what you have are one whole step, two
whole steps.
Two whole steps and a half step.
[SOUND] And then three whole steps.
Whole, whole, whole and a half step.
[SOUND] Right there, you have the formula
every major scale ever invented in the
[SOUND] So it's two whole steps, a half
step, and
three whole steps and a half step.
So now you can go over to the fourth
string, which is D, and
you can play a D scale.
So let's go up two whole steps, half step,
three whole steps, and a half step.
And there's a D scale.
And you can do the same on the first
cuz those are both D strings on the first
and fourth string.
So two whole steps, half step.
Whole step, whole step, whole step, half
Now you may never have played a B scale,
but there's your second string.
It's a B note.
So 0 to 2, 2 to 4, 4 to 5,
5 to 7 to 9, 11, 12.
And we're just using the same formula.
Two whole steps, a half step, whole step,
whole step, whole step, half step.
So that's, at the moment, again this a
very cursory,
just surfacey concept, or surfacey
discussion of theory.
I just want you to know how a scale's
And that applies to any key.
You can start on an E note, which is the
second fret of the fourth string.
And it goes whole step, whole step, half
step, whole step,
whole step,whole step, half step and
you've done an E scale.
So this applies all down the line.