E Major Scale and Transcription

Posted on December 10, 2010


This week I am covering the next scale in the line-up, E major scale. It has all the same sharps as the A major scale, (which was covered a few weeks back) but  also now includes the D#. Notice here that the new sharp is a 5th above the last # in A major. The #’s in A major are F# C# and G#. The last sharp is G#, D# is the perfect 5th of G#. another point to make about this new # is that it is one 1/2 step below the name of the scale.

Using the same major scale pattern, W W H W W W H, let us now construct the E major scale.

Listen in MP3 Format: E major scale, one octave, ascending and descending

One of the exercises I like to use in conjunction with this scale is the 2 octave climb up the neck. I mentioned this in an earlier major scale exercise but what is different with this is that you will ascend the scale one way up your neck and descend another.

Listen in MP3 Format: E major scale, two octaves, ascending and descending

Now for the really fun part!

Here is a bass line that uses the E major scale. This is Tony Markellis’ line from the tune “Last Tube” which can be found on Trey Anastasio’s self titled solo album. If anyone is unaware of Trey’s work, he is the guitarist for the band Phish.

There 2 MP3’s of this tune, I wanted to give a slower version to practice with at first and then the actual tempo.

Listen in MP3 Format: (slower version) Last Tube-BPM 60

Listen in MP3 Format: (actual song tempo) Last Tube-BPM 136

Scales are so helpful to us. Think of it this way, when you taste a certain food dish, if you’re familiar with the tastes then you may be able to pick out which ingredients are being used. Having this knowledge allows for duplication. It is the same with music, If you are familiar with scales, when you hear certain songs you can start to indentify which sounds are present which leads you to the scales being used.

I hope you enjoyed this segment on the E major scale. See you next week.


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