Although just about everyone knows or can recognize the major scale, I include it here to illustrate the whole-step/half-step sequence as a way of thinking about scales. Knowing the interval sequence of a scale will help you to understand any mode of the scale. Here is the whole/half step map (formula) to create the major scale: The first interval is the interval from whatever starting note you pick to the next note in the scale.
- Whole / Whole / Half / Whole / Whole / Whole / Half.
One way to look at it is that the scale is derived simply by starting at the 6th degree of its relative major scale. Starting on any note, however, the Whole/Half step map below will produce this scale. The first interval is the interval from the starting note to the 2nd note:
- Whole / Half / Whole / Whole / Half / Whole / Whole.