Fiddlewidget for String Teachers

Activity 2- Where do these major chords come from? They come from scales.

Present these in two parts: 2A-the Chromatic Scale

Time required:5-10 minutes

1.Printed copies of the chromatic scale notes, at least 1 1/2 octaves. Two is better. I use the Fiddlewidget slide layout, or copies of it, for any instrument except a mountain dulcimer for this. Alternatively you can use a piano keyboard diagram or just make your own.

2. An instrument capable of playing chromatic tones. Anything the teacher can play well enough to demonstrate the concept will work; just as long as it has all the chromatic tones available on it.

Play a chromatic scale, starting on any note, ascending, and let students visually follow it all the way up to the next root note-12 tones before the cycle repeats.

Now do it again, but start on the root note of the example tune you played in Activity 1; I chose the key of G for mine.

Point out that if you wish to play the kind of music we typically listen to, be it classical, country, rock, blues, folk, jazz, etc-these are the notes you have to work with. There are just twelve of them, before the cycle repeats.

Emphasize also that the interval between these tones is called a half-step, and that corresponds to one fret on a typical fretted instrument, or going from one key to the next on a piano. Now you can proceed to the second part of this activity- the major scale, to get closer to where those chords come from.

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