Key = A home, a basis, a starting point, a wrapper for everything possible in Diatonic Theory. In our case
a "Key" is the Intervals, Scales, Modes Chords, Chord Progressions, and Tonal-Centers of a Major Scale.
Intervals = The distance or spacing between two notes. The smallest spacing is a Half-step (H) and is two
notes that are one fret away from each other.
Half-step = One Fret
The next possible spacing is a Whole-step (W) which are two notes that are two frets from each other.
Whole-step = Two frets
Larger spacing's are consider groups of Whole-steps and Half-steps. More on Intervals can be found at my
Intervals Series. More can be found at my Intervals Series.
Scales - A series or sequence of Intervals/notes that form a consistent sound from Low to High, and High to Low. Scales are made of different Interval sequences that include Whole-steps and Half-steps.
Chords - Grouping notes of a scale together and played as one to form a Harmony of three notes or more.
From scales you can create chords. In some scales you can create a chord from each note of the scale (see
Modes). More on building chords from scales can be found at my Chord Construction Series.
Chord Progressions - Taking some, all, or any chords built from a scale and playing them in succession or
in any order. Essentially groups of chords are what make up songs. But a progressions "in a Key" is a group
of chords that ALL come from the same scale. If a progression contains chords that are not from the same
scale, the progression is considered to be "changing keys throughout the song".
Tonal-Centers - Commonly thought of as the Root note of a Chord a song starts on or ends on. Each chord
could have it's own tonal-center, but in most cases the "Key" of the song is the tonal-center. Or, if a
song is made of progressions from different Keys, the tonal-center can change during the song.
Modes - Modes are created by using each note within the Major scale and considering it as a Root note. Then building a scale or a chord from that note while still keeping the Intervals of the original Major scale in
mind. Since the Major Scale has seven notes, it also has seven scales, or Modes, and can build seven
individual chords, one from each note of the Major Scale.
Each Mode has it's own name.
Each chord will start on a different note of the Scale, or the Root of the Mode.
Each Mode will create a different chord name.
This is the Interval relationship (whole-steps and half-steps) of a Major Scale from any given Root note:
This is each note of the C Major Scale from Root to Root: C D E F G A B C
This is the Interval relationship (whole-steps and half-steps) of the C Major scale: C w D w E h F w G w A
w B h C
Each note in the Major Scale also has it's own Scale which is a Mode of the Major Scale. Since there is
seven notes, there will be seven Root notes, seven scales, seven scale names, and seven basic chords that
can be created.
Here's the basic Major and Minor chords that can be built from each note of the C Major Scale:
C Ionian = CDEFGABC = C Major
D Dorian = DEFGABCD = D Minor
E Phrygian = EFGABCDE = E Minor
F Lydian = FGABCDEF = F Major
G Mixolydian = GABCDEFG = G Major
A Aeolean = ABCDEFGA = A Minor
B Locrian = BCDEFGAB = B Minor b5
C Ionian = CDEFGABC = C Major
All of these terms in this section will be described, and used, in detail as you read on.