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Take complexity out of learning your invaluable chord theory.

The Major Scale

So what are the notes of a given Major Scale? With the Chord Wheel the answer is right at you fingertips. But first, let's make sure we know our Roman Numerals. Why Roman Numerals? While the reasons may become apparent later, for now let's just say we use Roman Numerals because that's what musicians do.


Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Roman Numeral I II III IV V VI VII
roman numeral i ii iii iv v vi vii
*Note that Roman Numerals can be capitals or lower-case


Grab your Chord Wheel and align the movable transparent disc in such a manner as the small arrow above the box labeled 'KEY - I chord' is pointing to the 'C' at the top center of the inner circle and colored light yellow. Once properly aligned, you have at your fingertips the key of 'C.' Within the triangular outline, you'll notice seven boxes that is also depicted in the black-and-white legend at the upper right of the wheel. At the base of each box printed on the clear disk you'll notice a Roman Numeral followed by the word 'CHORD.' Using just the Roman Numerals for the time being (pay no attention to whether they a capitals or lower-case and for now ignore any lower-case 'm'), we can read off the notes in the C Major Scale as shown below:




Notes of the C Major Scale:
Key I ii ii IV V vi vii








Notes of the g Major Scale:
Key I ii iii IV V vi vii
G G A B C D E F#





If this seems like a lot of work to determine the notes in a scale, don't worry. First of all it's not a question you'll need to be asking yourself frequently in terms of exercising the practical benefits of chord theory. Also, you'll become much more familiar with the layout of the Chord Wheel as you begin to appreciate it's unique advantages. This is all just background information.