Major and minor scales are made up of a pattern of whole steps and half steps (or tones and semitones)
Formulas for Major and minor Scales
Here are the formulas for creating Major and minor scales. You can start on any pitch and follow these patterns and play either a Major or minor scale.
Major Scale Formula
If you played all of the white keys you would play a C Major scale (C D E F G A B C). If we were to note the spacing of the pitches as either whole tones or half tones we would create the pattern below.
Next, start on a ‘G’ and see if you can use the formula
W W H W W W H we just created to play a G Major scale.
Next, start on a ‘D’ and see if you can use the formula
W W H W W W H we just created to play a D Major scale.
Minor Scale Formula
You can create a minor scale if you played all of the white keys. An A Minor scale (A B C D E F G A) would create the formula below.
See if you can start on an ‘E’ and play an E minor scale using our formula
W H W W H W W
Next, see if you can create a ‘B’ minor scale using the formula
W H W W H W W
Practicing Playing Scales
Try starting on different pitches on the piano and use the formulas to create Major and minor scales
Online Game of Major Scales by MusicTechTeacher
Online Help with Creating Scales using Whole and Half Steps – by Music Fundamentals – Great explantion
YOUTUBE semitones/tones, half/whole steps and major scales