What is a Scale?

A scale is simply a collection of notes.

In music, a scale is any set of musical notes ordered by fundamental frequency or pitch. A scale ordered by increasing pitch is an ascending scale, while descending scales are ordered by decreasing pitch. Some scales contain different pitches when ascending than when descending for instance, the Chromatic scale and Melodic minor scale.

Often, part or all of a musical work including melody and/or harmony, is built using the notes of a single scale, which can be conveniently represented on a staff with a standard key signature.

All music originates from scales.

A Practical Approach to Exploring Scales

On ukulele there aren’t many positions where you can play a one octave scale from the root to octave. An instrument like the guitar with the additional lower strings five and six allows one to play a one octave scale in multiple positions in the basic 4-fret, 4-finger position. On ukulele there might be one or two depending on the scale and the key - and whether your using a low string four tuning.

Connecting Scale Positions on Ukulele

Whether it’s connecting licks, riffs, scale positions, arpeggios, sequences or melodies – navigating the fingerboard and connecting positions it’s all about using sound fingering principles. I’ve adapted Chuck Anderson’s, The Six Secrets of Guitar Fingering to the ukulele in my book The Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering. It’s from these six fingering principles that connecting positions can be come natural.

Diminished Scale for Ukulele - C Tuning

The Diminished Scale scale is a symmetrical scale with a repeating pattern of whole steps and half steps. You only need three Diminished scales to cover all 15 keys.

Dominant Seventh Chords?

Not all seventh chords are actually “dominant” seventh chords. This lesson covers when is a Dominant Seventh Chord NOT really a Dominant seventh?

Essential Ab Major Scale Patterns for Ukulele

Essential Ab Major scale patterns for ukulele.

Essential Bb Major Scale Patterns for Ukulele

Essential Bb Major scale patterns for ukulele.

Essential C Blues Scale Patterns for Ukulele

Essential C Blues scale patterns for ukulele.

Essential C Major Scale Patterns for Ukulele

Essential C Ionian/Major scale patterns for ukulele.

Essential D Major Scale Patterns for Ukulele

Essential D Major scale patterns for ukulele.

Essential Db Major Scale Patterns for Ukulele

Essential Db Major scale patterns for ukulele.

Essential Eb Major Scale Patterns for Ukulele

Essential Eb Major scale patterns for ukulele.

Essential F Major Scale Patterns for Ukulele

Essential F Major scale patterns for ukulele.

Essential G Major Scale Patterns for Ukulele

Essential G Major scale patterns for ukulele.

Essential Jazz Scales for Ukulele

After you mastering the six essentials scales below and start to explore more advances styles of music, especially jazz. There are a few more scales that are needed to cover the broader harmonic palette that a typical jazz tune draws from.

Harmonic Analysis - Scale Selection

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords. It is the process used to analyze the harmonic structure of a progression, song or composition. This analysis is then used to make scale selections for improvisation and chord substitution. This lesson covers the vertical and horizontal scale selection.

Learning The Blues Scale on Ukulele

Learn the Blues ( Minor Pentatonic ) and Pentatonic ( Major Pentatonic ) scales on ukulele.

Playing by Ear - Melodies

Playing melodies, licks, riffs, motifs, single note lines by ear is all about getting your ear to recognize intervals and train the fingers-the hand to follow your inner ear and play these melodies on demand.

Primary Chords - A Major

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For A Major the primary chords are: A, D, E and E7

Primary Chords - Ab Major

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For Ab Major the primary chords are: Ab, Db, Eb and Eb7

Primary Chords - Bb Major

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For Bb Major the primary chords are: Bb, Eb, F and F7

Primary Chords - C Major

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For C Major the primary chords are: C, F, G and G7

Primary Chords - D Major

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For D Major the primary chords are: D, G, A and A7

Primary Chords - Db Major

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For Db Major the primary chords are: Db, Gb, Ab and Ab7

Primary Chords - E Major

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For E Major the primary chords are: E, A, B and B7

Primary Chords - Eb Major

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For Eb Major the primary chords are: Eb, Ab, Bb and Bb7

Primary Chords - F# Major

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For F# Major the primary chords are: F#, B, C# and C#7

Primary Chords - Gb Major

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For Gb Major the primary chords are: Gb, Cb, Db and Db7

Secondary Chords - A Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of its corresponding major scale. For A Major the secondary chords are: Bm, C#m and F#m

Secondary Chords - B Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it’s corresponding major scale. For B Major the secondary chords are: C#m, D#m and G#m

Secondary Chords - Bb Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it’s corresponding major scale. For Bb Major the secondary chords are: Cm, Dm and Gm

Secondary Chords - C Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it’s corresponding major scale. For C Major the secondary chords are: Dm, Em and Am

Secondary Chords - Cb Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it's corresponding major scale. For Cb Major the secondary chords are: Dbm, Ebm and Abm

Secondary Chords - D Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of its corresponding major scale. For D Major the secondary chords are: Em, F#m and Bm

Secondary Chords - Db Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it's corresponding major scale. For Db Major the secondary chords are: Ebm, Fm and Bm

Secondary Chords - E Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of its corresponding major scale. For E Major the secondary chords are: F#m, G#m and C#m

Secondary Chords - Eb Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it’s corresponding major scale. For Eb Major the secondary chords are: Fm, Gm and Cm

Secondary Chords - F Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it's corresponding major scale. For F Major the secondary chords are: Gm, Am and Dm

Secondary Chords - F# Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it's corresponding major scale. For F# Major the secondary chords are: G#m, A#m and D#m

Secondary Chords - G Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it’s corresponding major scale. For G Major the secondary chords are: Am, Bm and Em

Secondary Chords - Gb Major

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it's corresponding major scale. For Gb Major the secondary chords are: Abm, Abm and Ebm

Six Essential Scales - Aeolian/Natural Minor Chords

The Aeolian/Natural Minor scale is one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know.

Six Essential Scales - Aeolian/Natural Minor QuickStart Scale Shapes

QuickStart scale shapes summary for Aeolian/Natural Minor, one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know.

Six Essential Scales - Blues/Minor Pentatonic Chords

The Bues/MInor Pentatonic scale is one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know.

Six Essential Scales - Blues/Minor Pentatonic QuickStart Scale Shapes

QuickStart scale shapes summary for Blues/Minor Pentatonic, one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know.

Six Essential Scales - Dorian/Minor Chords

The Dorian/Minor scale is one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know.

Six Essential Scales - Dorian/Minor QuickStart Scale Shapes

QuickStart scale shapes summary for Dorian/Minor, one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know.

Six Essential Scales - Ionian/Major Chords

The Ionian/Major scale is one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know. Here are the chords for all 15 Ionian/Major scales.

Six Essential Scales - Ionian/Major QuickStart Scale Shapes

QuickStart scale shapes summary for Ionian/Major, one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know.

Six Essential Scales - Mixolydian/Dominant Chords

The Mixolydian/Dominant scale is one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know. Here are the chords for all 15 Mixolydian/Dominant scales.

Six Essential Scales - Mixolydian/Dominant QuickStart Scale Shapes

QuickStart scale shapes summary for Mixolydian/Dominant, one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know.

Six Essential Scales - Pentatonic/Major Pentatonic Chords

The Pentatonic/Major Pentatonic scale is one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know.

Six Essential Scales - Pentatonic/Major Pentatonic QuickStart Scale Shapes

QuickStart scale shapes summary for Pentatonic/Major Pentatonic, one of the six essential scales that every ukulele player should know.

Six Essential Scales for Ukulele

The six essential scales are: Blues, Major Pentatonic, Mixolydian, Dorian, Aeolian, and Ionian. These six can get you through a wide variety of traditional and contemporary music.

Six Essential Scales for Ukulele - C Pentatonic

Essential C Pentatonic or Major Pentatic scale patterns for ukulele.

Six Essential Scales for Ukulele - Major Scale Five Position Summaries

The five Major/Ionian scale positions - a summary.

Six Essential Scales for Ukulele - Pentatonic Scale Five Position Summaries

The five pentatonic scale positions - a summary.

Ukulele Doodling - An Introduction to Scales and Soloing on Ukulele

An Introduction to Scales and Soloing on Ukulele using the C Pentatonic Scale. Taking what you might already know and using it in different ways. Exploring the entire ukulele fingerboard. Anyone can have hours of fun just doodling around and exploring the ukulele's possibilities.

Ukulele Scale Diagram Explained

The ukulele scale diagram is explained. A chord or scale grid is an alternate, visual why of showing a scale pattern.

What is the different between a Scale and a Mode?

The term scale and mode are used interchangeably and in a strict theory sense there is a big difference between a scale and a mode or modal scale. They are NOT the same, even if they are the same notes. A scale and mode can contain exactly the same notes.

Whole Tone Scale for Ukulele - C Tuning

The Whole Tone scale is a symmetrical scale with an equal distance been each note or scale degree.

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