Scales are an arrangement of different notes, at certain distances (intervals) between each other. The first note in a scale is called the root or the key.
Every scale has a formula of distances that can be applied to obtain the next note.
Notes are named using the first 7 letters of the alphabet (A, B, C, D, E, F, G).
A scale's formula will tell you if the next note needs a sharp ( ♯) or a flat ( ♭) operator to lower or raise it to match the distance from the previous note.
Most common scales are diatonic (7 notes) scales.
Diatonic (7 notes) scales are built by arranging notes in alphabetical order, starting from any of the 7 letters. When reaching the last note (G), you start from the beginning and continue until you complete the scale. The next step is to figure out what operator you need so the distance between any two notes matches the scale formula.
The distances between notes in a diatonic scale can be one of the two below:
- H - Half Step (Semitone)
- W - Whole Step (Whole tone)