You learned this name for reasons other than how to pronounce it: C major is the major scale.
But C major isn’t just for beginners; it’s very useful for both the guitar player (whose fingers learn the notes of C major, but not the intervals of those two notes) and the piano player.
The C major scale is the most common major scale known, with over 10,000 fingering variations. And there are some really, really weird notes (and a few actually playable), but if you want to develop an accurate sound, these are the notes your fingers should play for the major scale at any speed and in any key.
The C major scale helps you keep your fingers on the strings at all times. The notes of the scale are easy but fast to play. If you play a C major scale as a fast-moving jazz bass guitar player, the notes of the scale will be easy to play (so you won’t get tired) at any speed… so you’ll go further and play the scales even faster.
So this is why C major is popular: because it’s fast. Here’s an example from John McEnroe, who plays with a solo band. The C major scale is played with a fast, high-octave (low C) sound, but he plays it with great technical skill. When he plays it solo, the only notes he’s ever used are G and D.
He can play any note on the C major scale, making this a fantastic solo in any key. If you want faster and higher chords, just change the notes. You can solo on the C major scale while playing a C minor pentatonic scale on a F sharp minor chord… and you can solo on a C major scale with a G major pentatonic on a F sharp minor chord. Here’s a great example of a C major scale in F sharp minor in “The Sound of Music”.
The C major scale is a perfect accompaniment to major guitar chords… but you don’t need to worry if you haven’t learned to play it. Learn how to play it now as a starting point. And if you’re just starting out, check out our popular video lessons on our popular learning resources page. If you’re not a beginner, then you can check our beginner’s guitar sheet music lessons now:
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