The Major Scale is a system used to organize music notes into a group. With this “music alphabet” we can create melodies, harmonies, and chords. Each group of notes is commonly referred to as a Key. For example, here is the Major Scale for the Key of C:
Sometimes musicians use numbers instead of letters to label the notes of the major scale. Each number refers to the note’s order in the scale. For example, here is the C Major scale with numbers added.
The spaces between scale notes are called the Scale Steps. Two notes in neighboring frets are a half-step apart, and two notes with a fret between them are a whole-step. We can see this pattern when we play the C Major scale along one string. We have to skip a fret to reach most of the notes these are all whole-steps. The only half-steps fall between notes 3 + 4 and 7 + 1, these are the only half-steps.
This pattern of whole-steps and half-steps repeats the same in every major scale. Play through these examples of the major scale along one string. When you have the pattern memorized, try to recreated starting on another fret or string that is not shown.