Harmonized Major Scale | Guitargate

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Harmonized Major Scale

In this masterclass, Michael Palmisano delves into the concept of harmonized scales, specifically focusing on the major scale and its application on the guitar. He begins by reviewing the basics of the major scale and its construction, emphasizing the importance of understanding the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 note sequence. Michael demonstrates how to play single notes and introduces the idea of playing in a more melodic and harmonious way by incorporating chord tones and harmonies. He encourages participants to have their guitars ready and to actively engage with the lesson, offering opportunities for viewers to join him on screen and ask questions towards the end.

As the lesson progresses, Michael explains the concept of harmonizing the major scale by building and playing triads (three-note chords) for each scale degree. He meticulously demonstrates how to construct a harmonized major scale across the guitar fretboard, highlighting the different chord qualities (major, minor, diminished) associated with each scale degree. Michael's instruction includes practical exercises for practicing these concepts, emphasizing the ability to bridge the gap between rhythm and lead guitar playing. He also touches on inversions and the importance of understanding the role of the third in determining chord function.

Throughout the masterclass, Michael encourages experimentation and practical application, suggesting that viewers create a loop in a key of their choice and practice playing the harmonized major scale and its triads over it. He also discusses the concept of dyads (two-note chords) and how removing one note from a triad can lead to interesting comping options, further blending rhythm and lead guitar skills. The lesson concludes with an open Q&A session, where Michael addresses viewers' questions, reinforcing key concepts and encouraging further exploration of the harmonized major scale and its creative possibilities on the guitar.

Transcript Summary


  • Introduction (00:00:04 - 00:00:30)
    • Michael Palmisano greets viewers and mentions the spring break.
    • Apologizes for being late due to camera issues.
    • Welcomes new member, Landon, and encourages viewers to have their guitars ready.
  • Lesson Overview (00:01:13 - 00:01:21)
    • Introduces the topic of harmonized scales.
    • Explains the structure of the lesson, including a presentation and Q&A session.
  • Harmonized Major Scale Explanation (00:02:00 - 00:07:55)
    • Discusses the importance of understanding chords around single note lines.
    • Introduces the concept of playing triads to bridge the gap between rhythm and lead guitar.
    • Explains how to build and practice a harmonized major scale using triads.
  • Practical Application and Examples (00:08:00 - 00:14:35)
    • Demonstrates playing the harmonized major scale in the key of A, including major, minor, and diminished triads.
    • Gives tips on finger positioning and transitioning between chords smoothly.
    • Encourages viewers to create a loop in the key of A and practice playing the harmonized scale over it.
  • Advanced Concepts and Key Change (00:15:00 - 00:24:55)
    • Discusses the concept of chord function, particularly focusing on diminished triads and their role in dominant seventh chords.
    • Changes the key to C to demonstrate the universality of the harmonized scale concept.
    • Emphasizes the importance of understanding and practicing inversions for each triad.
  • Dyads and Their Application (00:25:00 - 00:30:05)
    • Explains how playing two notes of a triad (dyads) can provide comping options and enhance melody.
    • Demonstrates how to select and play dyads from the harmonized major scale.
    • Highlights the importance of practice for integrating dyads into playing.
  • Conclusion and Q&A (00:30:10 - 00:35:37)
    • Summarizes the lesson's key points and encourages practice of the harmonized major scale in different keys.
    • Opens the floor for viewer questions, covering topics such as chord inversions, rhythm counting, and the role of thirds in chord function.
    • Closes the lesson by thanking viewers and encouraging further practice.

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