The Whole Tone Scale
The Whole Tone Scale (a.k.a. the Augmented Scale) is, as the name implies, built from notes with intervals of a whole note. This is a so-called symmetrical scale, meaning that the interval is the same throughout the scale. A whole tone is the same as two steps on the keyboard Ц a half tone is consequently one step. Whole-tone scale, in music, a scalar arrangement of pitches, each separated from the next by a whole-tone step (or whole step), in contradistinction to the chromatic scale (consisting entirely of half steps, also called semitones) and the various diatonic scales, such as the major and minor scales (which are different arrangements of whole and half steps).
There are lots of different types of scales in music. There is also a type of scale that has six notes and all of them are a tone apart called a whole tone scale. A whole tone scale sometimes known as the symmetrical scale is a hexatonic scale which means that it uses only six notes. Unlike the many different types of diatonic scales which centre around a certain key there how to measure carbon footprint only two who,e tone scales:.
Whole tone scales are quite rare in music what percentage american indian for scholarships there are some examples that are worth checking out.
This interesting piece from Debussy I think is one of the best examples of the whole tone scale in classical music. It really shows how versatile the whole tone scale is being able to be used to create completely unique compositions across so many genres of music! Table of Contents. Dan Farrant. Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 10 years helping thousands of students unlock the joy of music.
Since sdale he's been working to make music theory easy for over 1 million students in over 80 countries around the world. Sign Up To Our Newsletter. Sign Up. Popular Pages. All About Us. Site Information. Start typing and press enter to search Search Е.
Jazz Scales: The Whole Tone Scale
Whole tone scales are mostly used by composers who wish to convey an indistinct or vague feeling in their music, which is why it works great in У dreamy Ф sections. The symmetrical aspect is what make this scale so disorientating. The whole tone scale has the pattern of: Root 2 3 4# 5# b7. Jul 12, †Ј The whole tone scale is a symmetric scale as well. The whole tone scaleТs repeating interval is the whole step; itТs comprised solely of whole steps. The whole tone scale is easily recognizable for a few reasons. The interval between each note is the same.
In this tutorial we're going to learn an uncommon type of guitar scale , the Whole-tone scale, that, as the name suggests, is composed of only whole-tones. Take a look at your guitar and give yourself a little bit of a music theory reminder; each fret is a semitone away from the other. If we play the third fret of the A string we get the C note , one fret up C , and one more fret we get D.
Remember the chromatic scale moves up a semitone or half step at a time. Now the whole tone scale is literally what it sounds like, it is made up of whole notes , no semitones, unlike other common scales. Each note of the scale will always be two frets after the proceeding note.
To listen to the unique sound of the whole tone scale, click on the play button on the interactive guitar below. You can also set the BPM as well as the volume of the guitar and drums. Don't forget to play along with the tool! Loading sounds That ascending scale he is playing on his piano is exactly the C whole tone scale! Also, it is very common to hear the whole tone in fantasy and dream sequences in movies and TV! These give us an idea of how the scale sounds in music.
Because each note is the same distance apart, no single note stands out and there is no leading tone. Also, the whole tone scale can only be transposed once, as the C whole tone scale;.
This scale has been used in classical music , jazz , a little funk , and of course in any form of experimental fusion. It is especially common among jazz guitar players. The symmetrical aspect is what make this scale so disorientating. Because the C note whole scale is symmetrical we can play it over all these chords;.
And of course the C whole note scale will cover all other 7th chords. The C note whole scale will also be a great scale to use for chords like this:. Note : An aug7 is the same chord notation as the 7 5 , which means Caug7 is the same as C7 5.
Because the distance between root note and sharp fourth is an augmented fourth the scale will fit with rarely used tritones and 9ths and sharp 11ths. So, it will also work with chords like this;. C9 , C9 5 , and even a chord like C7 The mysterious, aimless, and rootless sound of this scale can make it difficult to know exactly when to use it. The chords listed above are a great place to start to have an idea of when to use this scale, but even then, it is not a scale that you will always want to be playing.
Still, keep an eye out on other places where the whole tone scale may fit. At times it is possible to use it when you are playing your guitar in Lydian dominant mode.
For example, here is the Lydian dominant in C;. Even though the last three notes are different , the Lydian scale and the whole tone scale can sometimes be played together creating a nice little tension and release in your music. If you really want to use the whole tone scale in some very challenging areas, try minor chords.
The same triads that exist in the whole tone scale also exist in the melodic and harmonic minor scales. When you play the whole tone scale over minor chords you always play it a half step down.
If you have the chord Cmin7 you would use the B whole note scale remember from above there are only two types of whole note scales, the B scale has the same notes as the C above. If you can get past the confusion of this, it makes a great mixture especially for improvising in jazz.
In the right situations of playing your guitar a minor chord and a whole note scale can be quite different and interesting. Whenever you have a minor chord to riff over , try the appropriate whole tone scale.
When mixed in with other scales they can add a great dimension to your music. The next time you have one of the chords mentioned above, just see how the whole tone scale sounds over it! Here below you find the most common guitar pattern for playing the whole tone scale on the fretboard. These diagrams has been created with our free online guitar scale finder.
Share with your fellow guitar players! Guitar Lessons Guitar Scales. Play pattern. Also, the whole tone scale can only be transposed once, as the C whole tone scale; C D F G A B Interesting facts about the Whole Tone Scale: Any other way to try and play a whole note scale will end up as the same notes as the C or C It is symmetrical and since it is only made up of 6 notes it is also known as hexatonic.
Every single note in the scale is a major second apart , every second note is a major third, and four notes apart is a tritone Anytime you build any triad with the whole tone scale you will get an augmented chord. For example, the triad of C E G is of course a C augmented chord. If it is an augmented chord that means there is a sharp fifth. The whole tone scale has the pattern of: Root 2 3 4 5 b7 If you notice the scale has: major third augmented fifth flat seventh 1.