A scale is a series of notes that can be used to create chords and play melodies. When a musician first begins to understand scales and their purpose there are a number of ways to go about it. The process of learning the scales includes learning to write and identify notes on staff, playing the notes on the instrument, identifying the sounds by ear, and also spelling the notes of the scales like words. Just like words, scales can be played without knowing the spelling. Many people know how to speak a language without knowing how to read or write but the benefits are obvious. Learning to spell scales will no doubt help with learning to spell chords and quickly identifying the quality of all chords and other scales. Note identification on your instrument will also become easier with the ability to quickly and accurately spell chords and scales. Initially it will take quite a bit of effort to recite the notes of all scales. Once they are learned, the benefits go well beyond just the ability to One of the easiest scales to spell would be the C major scale. C major has no sharps or flats and therefore would be spelled like this: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. The key of G Major contains only one sharp note and is spelled: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G. There is a large fraternity of musicians that will never need to spell scales to play and perform the music that they do. Spelling scales is an exercise that is mostly used by the academic musician who is interested in composing and analyzing written and recorded music. For musical composers of guitar, piano or any other instrument, spelling scales is an essential skill. It leads to mastery of intervals, triads, seventh chords, pentatonic scales, minor scales, and many other note patterns. Regardless of your principle instrument, the keyboard is an obviously valuable tool for learning scales, modes, and chords. White keys are natural notes and black keys are the sharps and flats. With the keyboard as a reference, it’s very easy to learn all the scales. Ask your music instructor to help you with scales. There are also a good number of reference books that help you to learn and memorize all of your scale spellings. Check out the Incredible Scale Finder for Guitar from Hal Leonard Publishing.
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