Need a recap on your major scales?
Learning scales is essential but can seem tedious and boring.
But it doesn’t need to be that way!
In this lesson I’ll show you WHY you need to learn major scales as a saxophone player. I’ll teach you all the major scales, plus, I’ll show you how scales work so you can learn them more easily and efficiently.
Don’t forget to grab the reference worksheet download below. keep it on your music stand to help you in your practice.
Why learn scales?
In Sax School we talk a lot about scales because it’s so important. All of the western music we play is based on scales.
So understanding and practising scales will give us a great foundation when we come to play any other piece of music. It helps with
- Understanding harmony and the chords in a piece of music
- Getting faster fingers because we learn the finger patterns we’ll need again and again – whatever style we are playing.
Whatever level you’re at, including major scales in your saxophone practice routine is really going to help you. In fact, when we talk to the amazing pro sax players in our Guest Masterclasses, they all talk about practicing scales – it’s that important.
The structure of a Major Scale
All major scales are built using the same pattern of tones (whole step) and semi-tones (half-step). It goes like this:
tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone.
Understanding this pattern and how it sounds will really help your develop your ear – and help you to play scales in any key.
The Circle of Fifths
We’re going to be using the “Circle of Fifths” here. This is a useful way to organise the scales – as you go around the circle one way, you add a sharp #, and in the other direction you add a flat♭. So the scales get more tricky as you go!
We’ve got lessons inside the Sax School Members’ Area on the Circle of Fifths. Learning more about it is a good way to make your practice more methodical.
Major Scales Learning
We’re going to learn the scales in just one octave here. Once you’re familiar with the pattern you can expand it across your full range.
Watch as I show you how to play each major scale, starting with those which use sharps.
A great way to practice is using my 5 Minute Major Scale Workout as part of your warm-up. It’s a really popular lesson with my Sax School members.
Next it’s the turn of the scales which use the flats. Watch as I show you how to play them.
You’ll see we’ve already covered the fingerings we need.
Take your time playing through these and make sure you get the fingerings right – that way you’ll learn faster.
And that’s it- we played all the major scales.
Let me know in a comment if you found this lesson useful!