Let’s look at how to build an E flat major scale on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any major scale.
What Are Major Scales?
Major scales are groups of eight notes, in alphabetical order, starting and ending on the same note.
They’re groups of notes used to write songs. Songs written in the key of E flat major used the notes of the E flat major scale to write the song.
How to Build Any Major Scale
To build a major scale, we first need to understand half-steps and whole steps.
A half-step is the distance from one note to the very next, whether black or white.
A whole step is the distance from one note to two away, whether black or white. A whole step is two half-steps.
Major scales are named after their starting note, so an E flat major scale will start on an E♭.
To build a major scale, find your starting note, then play this pattern of whole and half-steps (where W = whole step, and H = half step):
W – W – H – W – W – W – H
It can help to think of this pattern as two sets of W – W – H, joined by a whole step.
Major Scales Printable
This 23-page PDF will help you learn and visualize the notes for different major scales, laying the perfect foundation for learning the piano with chords!
How to Build an E Flat Major Scale
So to build an E flat major scale, we’ll start on an E♭. If you’re not sure how to label the notes of the piano, start here.
Starting on an E♭, we’ll play the note one whole step up, which is F. Then we’ll play the note one whole step up from F, which is G. Next, we’ll play the note one half-step up from G, an A♭.
We can continue playing through this pattern of whole and half-steps until we reach the next E♭ and the scale is complete.
What Are the Notes of an E Flat Major Scale?
The notes of an E flat major scale are:
E♭ – F – G – A♭ – B♭ – C – D – E♭
Labeling the Notes of an E Flat Major Scale
You may be wondering why the A♭ is labeled as an A♭ instead of a G♯, or why the B♭ is labeled as a B♭ instead of an A♯ (sharps indicate the note 1/2 step up, flats indicate the note 1/2 step down).
The reason is because the notes of a scale must progress in alphabetical order. Since this is an E flat major scale, the second note will be some sort of F, the third note some sort of G, the fourth note some sort of A, and so on.
Other Major Scales
You can use this pattern of whole and half-steps to build any major scale. Find your starting note, then play through the pattern of W – W – H – W – W – W – H to complete the scale.
Here are all the major scales:
C major scale
G major scale
D major scale
A major scale
E major scale
B major scale
F sharp major scale
C sharp major scale
F major scale
B flat major scale
E flat major scale
A flat major scale
D flat major scale
G flat major scale
C flat major scale
If you’d like to see how the scales are related to each other, take a look at the circle of fifths. It’s a really neat pattern demonstrating the relationships between the major scales!
Now you know how to build an E flat major scale on the piano, and you can use that knowledge to build any major scale!
Seeing the patterns on the piano and using them to build scales and chords is a wonderful way to learn the piano. Once you understand a pattern, you can repeat the pattern starting on different notes. The piano begins to come to life!