There are 7 different notes in the scale. When the scale is played, the first note is usually repeated at the end, one octave higher. In this case, that’s the note G. This kind of “rounds off” the scale, and makes it sound complete. Therefore, the final G will sometimes be included in examples and diagrams, depending on the situation.

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Scale Position

Each note has its own specific position within the scale. For example, C is the 4th note, or degree, of the scale. F# is the 7th degree, and so on. The chart below shows the position of each note within the scale:


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The rest of the notation examples will be shown in treble clef, but all the examples are provided for reference in the others 3 clefs as well at the end of this lesson.

The next example shows the notes of the scale, along with the note names and scale degree numbers:


And here is one more example displaying the unique major scale pattern:


Solfege Syllables

Solfege is a musical system that assigns specific syllables to each scale degree, allowing us to sing the notes of the scale and learn the unique, individual sound of each one. It’s a great way to train your ears to know what you’re hearing!

The following chart shows the solfege syllables for each note in the G major scale:


Here are the solfege syllables on piano:


And in music notation:


Tetrachords

All major scales can be split in half, into two major tetrachords (a 4-note segment with the pattern 2-2-1, or whole-step, whole-step, half-step). It’s much easier to remember 4-note patterns than 7 or 8-note patterns, so breaking it down into two parts can be very helpful.

The lower tetrachord of G major is made up of the notes G, A, B, and C.

The upper tetrachord is made up of the notes D, E, F#, and G.

These two 4-note segments are joined by a whole-step in the middle.

It’s helpful to see this on a piano diagram:


And here they are in music notation:


Traditional Scale Degree Names

In traditional harmony, special names are given to each scale degree. A lot of harmony textbooks use these names, so they’re useful to know.

Here’s a chart of the scale degree names for the G major scale:


And here’s an example in music notation:


Finally, here’s a chart showing scale degree numbers, solfege syllables, and traditional scale degree names, all in one, to clarify the relationship between all these:


Notation Examples In Bass Clef

All the notation examples used in this lesson are provided below in the other three clefs, beginning with bass clef:


Notation Examples In Alto Clef

Here are the notation examples for alto clef:


Notation Examples In Tenor Clef

The final set of examples, for tenor clef:


Practice Quiz

G Major Scale Quiz


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Question 1 of 10
1. Question

What scale degree is the note C in the G major scale?


6 3 4 7
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Incorrect


Question 2 of 10
2. Question

Which note is the 2nd degree of the G major scale?


F# B D A
Correct


Incorrect


Question 3 of 10
3. Question

Which note is the 6th degree of the G major scale?


E B G F#
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Incorrect


Question 4 of 10
4. Question

How many sharps/flats are there in the key of G major?


2 sharps 1 flat 1 sharp 2 sharps
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Incorrect


Question 5 of 10
5. Question

How many white keys are in the G major scale?


5 6 2 4
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Incorrect


Question 6 of 10
6. Question

Which note is MI in the G major scale?


D B G E
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Incorrect


Question 7 of 10
7. Question

What is the solfege syllable for D in the G major scale?


LA MI SO TI
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Incorrect


Question 8 of 10
8. Question

Is the note A part of the upper or lower tetrachord of a G major scale?


Upper Lower
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Incorrect


Question 9 of 10
9. Question

Which note is the submediant scale degree of a G major scale?


B E C F#
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Incorrect


Question 10 of 10
10. Question

Name the traditional scale degree name for the note F# in a G major scale: